So much of our time in sales is spent on convincing people on the value of our solution. Even if they’re convinced of the value, pushing them off the status quo is the most challenging part.
“Call me in a month,” or “We don’t have time for this.”
Overcoming a prospect’s lack of urgency is the most gruelling part. Not doing this can have detrimental impact on the top of your funnel. So, here’s the million dollar question; what can you do about this?
Let’s Look At the Data, Objectively
Statistics from The Corporate Executive Board indicate that 57% of the buying journey is now done online before a buyer has any meaningful sales conversation with your organization. Forrester says this number is 70%. There have been studies recently from SiriusDecisions questioning the accuracy of this data.
I’m not sure what percentage of the buying journey is done online. Are you? However, I do know that buyers are heading online, doing due diligence, conducting research, collaborating with like-minded peers all in an effort to shape their opinions.
I believe every buyer is unique; while some may complete 25% of the buying journey online, others may be completing 42.9% online. Who knows? I certainly don’t.
All that matters is that they’re online and if you’re not there helping to take them from status quo to realizing they have a problem, the top of the funnel will be a problem for you.
How Can You Move Prospects?
Typically we help people by providing information and insights to convince them of our position. This is a good thing, no doubt about that.
However, if you’re looking to do this when you first meet the prospect, you’re adding value far too late in the equation. Think about it, every buyer will have at least done some type of research online, on their own, consumed ideas from others, all in the quest to learn more.
Why aren’t you providing this learning?
Modern-day sales professionals are using insights to fuel more relevant and contextual sales conversations. They’re doing this systematically all with the purpose of being as close to aligned with the prospect when that first meeting does happen.
Here’s What to Do
In addition to your phone and email efforts, become more social. Don’t just have a LinkedIn Profile and say “I’m a social seller” (hint: you’re not).
Instead, try one or a few of the following concepts:
1. Share content that’s insightful; the type that gets them to think about particular challenges in new and fresh ways.
2. Use social media to network. Find ideas from their own profiles and/or their companies to demonstrate your understanding of their business.
3. Engage early and engage often: nothing happens in sales with one or two touches. The same way you use the phone and email, with a multi-touch strategy, should be the way you use social also.
The Bottom Line
I don’t want you to show up to a meeting to begin to add insights. As well-intentioned as that is, it’s no longer practical. Remember, prospects are beginning their buying journeys online now – be there, help them, get them to think about concepts that are fresh and exciting.
Yes, this requires your creativity!
How are you convincing prospects of your position? Tweet me your thoughts @AmarSheth or connect with me on LinkedIn to let me know (send me a piece of content that gets me to think, while you’re at it!).