Do you feel that your productivity is slipping, even though you are putting in the same effort as always? Are you wondering why your productivity is not growing compared to the hard work you are putting in?
If your answer is “YES” to the above questions, then your sales process and the techniques involved in your sales process are out of date. B2B sales is constantly changing. What used to work is earlier is no longer an option as the B2B buyer is in control. The strategies that were effective a decade ago are simply not going to work, no matter how hard you try. If you don’t want your sales productivity to suffer, it’s better to remove your old sales techniques and upgrade your sales process with the latest sales techniques.
Read this blog and learn how to remove old techniques form your sales process and add the latest proven sales techniques to your sales process for boosting your daily productivity.
Overselling the product
Before the dawn of the Internet, buyers obtained information about a product or solution straight from a sales rep. Back then sales calls were highly engaged, confusing, and much lengthy. Now, buyers are around 70% convinced before even calling a sales rep. This implies one simple thing, your prospects are well informed and therefore, they’re less likely to care about your sales pitch.
Overselling usually happens when we promise a prospect/customer in our sales pitch that they could get more than what they need – although they did not mention such thing and may never use what you are trying to sell. So, instead of providing a solution you are creating a problem as it leaves the prospect in a state of the doubt especially at the moment when they need reassurance whether they are making the smart choice.
New Approach: Let the prospect take the lead
Being a sales rep, you can generally identify how informed is your prospect. As you develop the idea about their familiarity with your offerings, tailor your sales pitch in real-time to deal with their specific questions and concerns.
Manual administrative work
The study shows that sales rep just spend about 33% of their total time talking to their prospects. So, what do they do for the rest of their day? They spend around 21% of their total time emailing, data entry consumes around 17%, another 17% is spent on researching their prospects, 12 % is spent on internal meetings, and they spend around 12% on scheduling sales call. That’s a huge amount of time spent away from their primary and the most important work which of course is selling.
If we’re in the 90’s most of these tasks was absolutely necessary. But we are not living in the 90’s anymore, are we? The 21st century has brought us new tools and amazing technologies, manual administrative work is no longer required and has become a thing of the past.
New Approach: Embrace Automation
With the automation tools for sales enablement and for your general day-to-day work, you can easily cut down on the busy work which distracts you from your primary goal. Research and invest in automation tools to handle your usual tasks, and spend more time on your primary task which of course is selling.
Spending time on unqualified leads and prospects
A sales qualified lead (SQL) is a prospect that is created by the marketing team and verified by the sales team.
Earlier, the one and the only way to qualify a prospect were by speaking to them directly. Which usually led to hours of unnecessary discussions, ultimately causing the sales rep to lose their valuable selling time.
This is a quite familiar felling – sales rep has to go through the entire sales process only to learn that the person on the other side of the line isn’t a fit for your product or solution. Unfortunately, it is still a quite common issue among many modern sales rep.
But the good news is that with a few simple tweaks in your lead generation process you can easily have much better insight into your prospects which will ultimately let you prioritize qualified prospects.
New Approach: Sales and Marketing Alignment
When your sales and marketing teams are working towards different goals, both teams are going to lose. According to a study, 61% of B2B marketers send all leads straight to their sales team, out of them just 27% are qualified leads – Which is a result of misalignment between the sales and marketing teams.
In order to achieve alignment between your sales and marketing teams, you have to define the common characteristics of a sales qualified lead (SQL). Along with your sales and marketing teams include customer service involved in the process too, as they have much experience training customers and are familiar with the churn rates and reasons.
Once you have settled on the definition of a SQL, ensure that both of your teams are working towards finding and following-up with leads which meets those criteria.
Surprisingly just 8% of companies say the alignment between their sales and marketing teams is good. However, the alignment between your sales and marketing teams won’t only help the lead qualification. It will completely improve your overall sales pipeline leading to a long-lasting revenue generation. Consider the following statistics:
Businesses with a strong alignment between their sales and marketing teams have 20% annual growth rate.
On the other hand, businesses with a poor alignment between their sales and marketing teams register a 4% decline in their revenue.
A better alignment between sales and marketing teams can generate up to 209% more revenue from marketing.
When sales and marketing teams are working towards the same goal, businesses register 36% customer retention a 38% higher win rate in sales.
The Universal Sales Pitch
Sales rep usually develop just one sales pitch and improve their delivery before approaching their prospects. Working with just one “perfect” sales pitch may appear as time-saver but it’s not. The marketplace has changed dramatically in recent years and working with a single, one-size-fits-all sales pitch, not an option.
The human factor that you should be considering which is the universal desire to be heard and to connect in a meaningful way. In order to do that, you have to move beyond thinking of sales as a one-way path and start actually listening and connecting with your prospects.
The expectation of the buyers has increased in recent years. Now the customers want to develop relationships with business that addresses their specific needs and concerns. If you keep approaching the customers with the same sales pitch you use on everyone else, you are going to lose their business.
New approach: Prioritize personalization
The prospects don’t just want a personalized sales pitch, in fact, they demand it. They want to learn why they should buy/invest in your product or solution and it will solve their specific problem(s). A recent study confirms the following:
90% of business professionals said that sales pitch personalized to their business is very important.
83% of business professionals said that sales pitch personalized to their specific business problem is very important.
70% of business professionals said that sales pitch personalized to their specific role within their organization is very important.
Dialing a company’s main phone line
In order to talk to a prospect, usually, a sales rep have to call their office main phone line and depend on a switchboard operator or receptionist to transfer their call accordingly. Its natural, the more people to have to go through to reach your prospect, the likelihood of reaching your intended target reduces dramatically.
New Approach: Work with a database service to access direct dials
With the rapid growth of data and B2B contact information, it’s quite easier to get a prospect’s direct phone line. Having direct dials of your prospect is a highly effective way to boost your sales productivity and spend more time selling instead of being routed by a switchboard operator. Consider the following statistics:
A sales rep spends 22 minutes to connect with a prospect using switchboard numbers, compared to only 5 minutes using direct dials.
A sales rep using a direct dial is 46% more likely to reach prospects at the director level than a sales rep using switchboard numbers
A sales rep using a direct dial is 147% more likely to reach prospects at the VP level than a sales rep using switchboard numbers.
Use the below-mentioned tips and tricks to select the best data provider for your specific needs:
Request for a free sample and put each vendors sample data to test.
Enquire with each vendor about how frequently their database is updated.
Find out for each vendor how they source their data.
Check online reviews to get customer feedback of each vendor.
Make sure the vendor has data for the market segments and territories you’re looking to reach.
While the majority have declared cold calling as a thing of the past or dead practice, we are not going to use such strong words for it. After all, it is the simplest and the quickest human way to connect two strangers and to reach a prospect or customer. Today’s customers, whether they’re consumers or business buyers, are expecting more personalization. Thankfully, there is a more productive and better way to consider.
New Approach: Warm calling
The common problem with cold calling is that it usually catches people off guard which irritates them.
As the name suggests, warm calling is the opposite of cold calling – it means calling to a prospect you’ve already established a connection with. Warm calling is all about starting the conversation before you pick up the phone. In today’s digital era, there are several effective ways to do that
By building a prior connection with your prospect, you have gained a certain level with them. Hence, your prospect is likely to hear your sales pitch and may consider making a purchase for your offering(s).
Sales reps will always have their favorite techniques and tactics. In some cases, these techniques will hold their ground and continue to be effective and help sales rep increase their productivity.
We strongly advise moving a step back to analyze how the world around sales has changed. Find out which of your sales techniques needs rework or an update and the ones that are best left behind.
Data never lies, Contact Infotanks Media today to learn how our business database and Technographics Database can help your team exceed their goals!