By: GAURAV KUMAR
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Beyond Codes Inc.
Understanding the prospecting journey of a B2B sales rep is not easy. The constant conundrum to follow up on a given lead or is the lead an ideal prospect can be a horror of its kind. A qualified lead is when a sales rep truly understands if someone has the potential to give them business. Despite umpteen definitions and how simple it can be on paper, sales prospecting as a process is not that clear-cut.
Considering more than 40% of sales reps believe prospecting to be the most difficult aspect of a sales process, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Prospecting within B2B buyers can be even more stressful, as decision-makers likely to invest in your biggest sales ever can be a handful to manage and get a hold of in the first place. Besides, decision-makers in the B2B industry are extremely well-informed and exceptionally busy.
So, what now? Do you give up on them?
I would not say that just because there are a couple of hardships, it is an impossible task to run. With my years of direct prospecting experience, I can assure with certainty that the right tools and strategy in place not only get you a better understanding of the B2B buying journey but also helps you gain valuable insights on your prospects.
More than 50% of sales time indeed gets devoted to futile unproductive prospecting due to traditional pitching and prospecting techniques which is now outdated. With increased competition, a new approach, and the typical buyer evolving to newer ways, it is quite difficult to stand out in the market.
Your standard character of a buyer has evolved a great deal today. Who are the new folks on the block? Let’s have a look:
- One Team- Multiple Buyers: Well, B2B marketers are now part of a much-enhanced environment where the new breed of buyers is no longer single entities but a complete team. Yes, ‘Multiple Buyers’ offers a team approach that is greatly involved in making purchase decisions and at times look into different functions across a company. The new approach does create a hindrance in making a clear-cut sale as the decision-makers collectively often come with less experience within procurement.
For sellers, it is crucial to identify who might have the authority to make a buying decision, even within a team. However, if that is not an option, the seller should always goal on providing bespoke information that caters to each buyer’s perspective and role.
- Self-Taught Buyers: With technology at the tips of every individual, dealing with an informed buyer is just a given. There is endless research information that can be accessed online, and buyers usually do not wait for information to come to them. Today’s buyer is proactive, skilled, and can be a hard nut to crack.
In such a case, sellers need not approach with what is already available only one but target the emotion of what the buyer is challenged most with and how the seller's solution can make life easier, efficient, and more resourceful.
- ‘Value Over Cost’ Buyer: The new age buyer is no-longer hell-bent on finding solutions, products, or services at a low cost. Considering a cost-effective proposition is a factor, however, it is not above the unique business value that sellers can offer them.
Sales prospectors need to accentuate the distinctive business value they bring to the table for buyers to contemplate taking them to the next level. The inability to do so might urge the buyer to consider other competitors.
When evaluating the types of buyers that sales prospectors might come across these days, it is more than necessary to create an edge within the sales prospecting strategy. Ideally, B2B sales prospectors can create an edge and work upon boosting the sales prospecting tactics through the following strategy:
Moving Past Cold Calls
Though this might not be an overnight transformation, sales reps need to initiate a step beyond traditional cold calling. While some will label this as a complete culture shift from what has been done for decades, but with times and technology moving at a soaring pace you need to step up your game. Here are a few suggestions:
- Implement Efficient Tools: Keep track of all your communication with prospects and identify the accurate stage that they are at within the buying journey. With the help of efficient CRM tools, you can enable a well-structured sales strategy that will not only display how close you are at closing a deal but also identify the resources you utilize the most and keep you in-sync with all your new and existing opportunities.
- Channel Buyer Attention: Utilize buyer personas within CRMs to create and refine individuality in your approach. This way your potential leads might be lesser in number than others however the conversion rate would be higher since you would be targeting a specific buying audience.
- Active Social Presence: When the world is on social platforms, then why should you not make use of it? Social media plays a vital role in rapport building, planned outreach, and is probably the quickest way to demonstrate your skill and proficiency. Though LinkedIn will be your priority for approaching the B2B community, do not refrain from exploring Twitter, Instagram, etc. to identify and learn more about your decision-makers.
- Personalized Email Campaigns: Despite social media at your disposal to connect with potential buyers, do not ignore the power of structured email targeting. Yes, to the day it holds a key role at communicating with your B2B audience. Addressing a buyer’s pain points and focusing upon the solution you can provide is something that you should work upon in your email strategy. Target the decision-makers with personalized emails and the rest within the organization who can influence his decisions through your marketing-specific emailers. This way you create better credibility and let others be your brand advocate.
- Enhanced Industry Networking: Find professionals and private entities that deal with enhanced networking and qualified lead generation. Working online is not enough. Building rapport through real-time engagement can boost new leads and professionals catering to the exact need are your go-to-people. Not only will it save time and reap better results, but it is also the most cost-effective method to build a strong sales pipeline.
B2B sales prospecting can be a tough process that does not promise a win each time since a buyer’s need is dynamic and will evolve faster than you expect. However, considering some of these short-term and long-term suggestions you are bound to create a lucrative prospecting journey. You can make this journey more beneficial, each time with Beyond Codes