If you are 100% relying on inbound you are missing a big trick – and a big bonus too, which is the ability to build predictability and control into your lead flow.
The State of Sales report discovered that more than a third (37%) of sales professionals don’t use any technology or automation tools when prospecting, whether they are sourcing or qualifying their leads.
What this means, in effect, is that this third will always struggle to succeed at prospecting, because so many of the critical steps could be handled for them, such as:
Sourcing and qualifying new outbound leads
Effectively and quickly capturing and qualifying inbound leads
Nurturing prospects through the sales funnel
Ensuring they can close enough deals to meet their quota
But, it’s important to realise that automation isn’t just about platforms and tools – it’s also about having the people to put in place the best and most effective processes and procedures.
Here are three steps that use both people and tools to hone your prospecting.
Know your audience and market
Map out their sales journey and create personas
Clearly define who they are
What their pain points are
Where you can reach them
How you can solve their problems
How best to present your solutions
Invest in soft skills
Great salespeople are made not born – work hard to build persuasive skills, active listening skills and the ability to empathise.
Continually identify, train and track the softer skills that will ensure your team can build meaningful relationships and close valuable deals.
Look for opportunities to automate
Let’s imagine you have a small that is overloaded with work and many potential leads are being lost as it is not possible to interact with them online quick enough. In this instance, investing in an automated web chat tool that instantly engages visitors, qualifies leads and can even schedule meetings would be the ideal solution.
Time can also be saved by reviewing your current processes and jettisoning practices that add little value to your sales efforts.
Whatever processes are left should be reviewed for automation potential. For example, by triggering a follow-up email immediately after a sign-up or enquiry.
Build your authority
B2B prospects are keenly aware of your company’s brand credibility and authority. Increasingly, they will also be influenced by your own presence on platforms like LinkedIn.
Your personal brand is an effective selling tool – here are some ways you can build your own brand.
Repurpose your company’s content by ‘owning’ it through considered shares.
This means not simply copying and pasting the URL but adding a personal comment/take/interpretation. You can even call out to contacts directly by name to encourage comments.
Engage with other people’s posts.
It not only keeps you bang up to date with conversations, it also establishes you as an authority in the area.
Gain social proof through collaboration.
Linking your name with a customer is like a ‘pat on the back’ recognition. So, why not try co-creating case studies, interviewing your customer, making a video with your customer or creating a survey with your customer.
Get involved with groups and communities.
A great way to keep on top of the latest industry trends, while also joining conversations and making contacts, is to join an online community.
Make sure you write about emerging themes or new developments in your own posts beyond the group or reference interesting posts you see.
It’s already happened: millennials are increasingly filling leadership roles. This means that your prospecting activity should make sure it is hitting the channels that this generation is most at home with.
And social is the biggie here.
Social selling should become an important part of your mix – but not just on LinkedIn but on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and even hosted live streams on Twitch too.
Social is certainly where millennials are, but it also offers you the opportunity to:
Connect with audiences in a clear space where others may not be
Test out new forms of content to see what works
And, through this, gain that much needed competitive advantage
Your prospecting lifelines for 2022
With over half of our sales professionals still struggling to connect (quite literally) with lead generation, we have thrown a few lifelines out for those who are not waving but drowning.
Grab a hold – and if you want to talk about pulling yourself on board the good ship SoPro we’re always happy to natter.
Here come the ropes:
Building your authority
And here’s to keeping that pipeline awash with quality leads over the coming year!