According to data from Ascend2 Research, 77% of those surveyed want to improve the quality of their leads (research.ascend2.com/2017-lead-generation-increase-conversions). Whether you are selling in the B2B or B2C space, the quality of your leads is just one of many factors influencing your overall success rate. From your team's time management skills to the methodologies used to create customer relationships, each aspect of your sales funnel needs to be optimized for success. You cannot hope to capitalize on improved leads if your sales team isn't prepared for accelerated sales. If you want to ensure each member of your B2B sales force achieves all they are capable of, follow these 10 tips from results-driven manager and team leader, Rory Angold to maximize sales opportunities.
Research Sales Leads Prior to Contacting
Sales lead quantification is critical for increased B2B sales conversions. Cold calls and emails to unqualified leads can significantly reduce conversion rates. From approaching individuals with no purchasing authority to connecting with companies in the midst of a takeover, numerous factors can influence your ability to close a sale. Spend just as much time on lead research as you do on reaching out to prospects.
Base Your Sales Pitch Upon Buyer Needs
Not every sales prospect has the same motivation for needing your product or service. When you listen carefully to buyer responses, you are in a better position to offer the appropriate information. Too many sales reps get caught up in their own response templates that they forget to truly listen to what is being said (and not said). Fine-tuning listening skills is one of the savviest moves you can make as a salesperson. When you understand where your leads are in the sales funnel, you can adapt your outreach to suit their individual needs.
Review Your Progress
Progress analysis is an essential skill for sales reps who succeed. The better informed you are on what is or is not working, the better your sales pitches will be. When you look at your conversion rates as a whole, you can pinpoint outreach tactics that have higher rates of success. What works for one salesperson does not necessarily work for another. By reviewing your progress on an ongoing basis, you are able to understand your weak spots and double-down on what works for you. Make a concerted effort to improve your weak areas, so your entire sales process improves.
Nurture Leads over Time/Build Relationships
Not every sales lead is going to be ready to convert immediately. Some leads can take months to make a purchasing decision. When you build relationships with qualified prospects, you earn their trust and their willingness to purchase from your company. Unlike B2C conversions, where it is often a "one-and-done" sale, B2B conversions take time and require ongoing nurturing. When you think of B2B lead nurturing as building a long-term relationship, your success rate will skyrocket.
Use Multiple Outreach Opportunities
Just as every relationship partner is unique, so is every sales lead. Some might convert better when nurtured with email outreach. Some might prefer content marketing posts delivered via social media interactions. Integrating multiple outreach components into your sales strategy lets you increase your odds of conversions. From phone conversations to direct mail, you have a multitude of sales tools at your disposal. The more tools you utilize to reach leads, the likelier you are to reach buyers via their preferred format. Not every prospect wants to give up their time for a sales call over the phone; allow them the freedom to investigate your company on their terms. You are more likely to build a relationship that lasts.
Understand Your Sales Personality
Just as every sales prospect has an outreach preference, so too do salespeople have selling preferences. When you understand your sales personality, you are in a better position to make the most of your talents. Are you a problem solver? Do you prefer the showmanship of sales? Maybe you are motivated by the art of the deal. When you dive into your sales personality and truly understand your competencies and motivations, you can structure your sales outreach efforts in a way that resonates with your sales persona. The more comfortable you are when selling, the greater the odds you will close each sale.
Understand How Administrative Tasks are Influencing Your Sales Success
Successful salespeople do not spend every hour of their workday closing deals. Customer research, social media networking, data input, and sales team meetings are just some of the tasks salespeople must deal with on a daily or weekly basis. If you understand the impact administrative tasks have on your productivity, you can structure your day in a way that sets you up for success. Should you arrive at the office an hour early to make the most of quiet time before the rest of the team arrives? Can you spend your lunch break on routine data entry on your mobile phone while you are away from the office? Improving your task management skills can greatly influence your success as a sales rep; the sooner you realize this truth, the better prepared you are to make adjustments.
Lead Management is Crucial for Success
Lead management is also a crucial skill for success. Without a lead management plan in place, you will soon find yourself overwhelmed by too many leads and too little time. Track everything from the voicemails you leave to the follow-up emails you send. Understand where your leads are coming from, which referral plans are working, and how long leads are taking to convert. Salespeople who manage their leads effectively are better positioned to close more deals and acquire more happy customers.
Use Your Resources
Resource management is another essential skill for accelerated B2B sales. Utilize the resources your marketing department is creating. Dive into data provided by the mobile touch-points created from your company's mobile application (native/iOS/Android). Build relationships with team members in the customer service department to understand common questions customers have and how those queries are handled. When you integrate multiple resources into your sales strategy, you build a framework of success.
Salespeople who measure customer satisfaction are destined to earn more referrals and close more deals. If you track your own successes as a salesperson, doesn't it make sense to track the successes of your customers too? By building a rapport with your clients, you can understand where they might be having problems with your company's product or service, and offer solutions to alleviate their concerns. Not only does this strengthen your relationship with existing customers, but it also helps you tweak your sales outreach to new customers.
B2B sales are completely different than B2C sales. Understanding what it takes to be successful when selling to business customers can influence your own conversion rates as well as those of your team members. By bearing these 10 tips for B2B salespeople in mind, your odds of business success significantly increase. Will you be using these business development tips to nail your sales targets and land more customers?
About: Rory Angold is the leader, the manager, the financial expert, and the insurance advisor all car dealers would want to have on their team. He has a knack for risk management, sales, and finance, all paired with a leadership mentality that makes him the ideal strategic consultant. He will help you devise and execute a detailed strategic plan to achieve both short-term and long-term goals.
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