B2B buyers complete 57% of the buying decision before they are willing to talk to a sales professional. If you’re in the sales space then you’re no stranger to this defining statistic. To disrupt, challenge and impact your buyers earlier in their process, you must engage them in a valuable way. Providing commercial insights is the way to go.
“Don’t poison the watering hole.” There’s a bit of old-time cowboy wisdom to start your day moving in the right direction. Say what you want about cowboys, but they understood how to do prospecting the right way.
Poisoning the watering hole means overworking your prospecting source. When everyone on your sales team is running the same LinkedIn searches for prospects, there’s trouble on the horizon. You could pay for prospects, but there’s no guarantee that expensive leads are quality leads. Instead, you could find and qualify prospects in minutes for $0 if you only knew where to look.
Don’t sweat it, cowboy. No matter what other Social Selling problems you encounter, finding high quality leads online shouldn’t be one of them. The World Wide Web is a rich gold mine, with somewhere around 3.2 billion active leads. Here are free tools to help you find, qualify and contact them quickly. The rest of your team probably doesn’t know about these tools yet, so feel free to share as you see fit.
When things get better, change is easy. Nobody with a smartphone longs for the days of desk phones. You don’t hear people complaining that they can’t find low-definition TVs anymore.
A widely dispersed yet seemingly instantaneous transformation is known as a sea change. If you’re still out to sea about adopting Social Selling techniques or think it’s merely a temporary shift, (remember when people said that the Internet was only a fad?), these stats will prove it’s time to lower the boom and change tack before some other ship sails off with your leads.
Before I discuss the future, let’s look back at how the role of sales professionals has evolved. When I founded Sales for Life on January 1, 2010, I intended to take all of the Sales 2.0 best practices (such as cold calling and inside sales best practices) and coach local Toronto businesses on how to build SDR and ADR inside sales teams. At that time, I had just been exposed to marketing automation, live chat, inbound lead notification tools, and auto-dialers—and was confident that was the absolute future of selling.
Cold calling is often cited as one of the least-favorite activities salespeople take part in. Even seasoned members of the sales team can feel a touch of anxiety and uncertainty when faced with a prospect’s name, contact info, and not much else. It is a time-proven method of drumming up business, however, and remains a staple for many sales teams.
The key to successful cold calling is to warm up your conversations with relevance and context, but how? Salespeople need to adopt a different approach to making the first move with a new, unfamiliar customer – one that provides better insights into potential customers. Cold calling success requires that both sales leaders and sales reps overcome five major obstacles.