Figuring out how to generate new business is often a daunting task for both business owners and sales reps. Many businesses rely too heavily on their marketing strategy, which is generally a more broad-based approach announcing what you will do, with fingers crossed, hoping that new business will just come pouring in.
But is the ‘If you build it, they will come’ strategy really BS? Sometimes your potential prospects don’t know they need your product or service until you connect with them. So, how do you connect with these potential prospects, by targeting them with a one by one approach, has been proven to be extremely effective in increasing sales conversion.
When I started out with sales coaching, I can remember my mentor telling me that “Jody, you’re going to have to let people know that this is even a thing.” My mentor was right, it wasn’t a thing until I told them about sales coaching and its benefits, that they even considered the fact that they may need it to help grow their sales.
According to The RAIN Group Centre for Sales Research recent study of buyers and sellers, most buyers want to hear from you in the first stages: 71% when they’re looking for opportunities to improve their business and 62% when trying to solve a problem.
Yes, businesses are always looking to improve sales, well at least the ones that I speak with, but lots aren’t aware that sales coaching is an effective investment with a positive ROI.
Targeting opportunity is why you should coach your sales team and for any business, why active prospecting is a must. After all you know your business, product, services and target market better than anyone, so go connect with them and create opportunity and close sales.
So now that you have a plan, how should you connect with prospects?
Well first of all, it is important to come up with your prospect list. This is a combined effort so, have brainstorming sessions with your team, lots of new ideas will come out of this and it will be far more effective than leaving it to your sales reps to do it alone.
Lately, I’ve heard a lot of professionals saying that cold calling is ‘dead.’ But, when you look at sales data, in fact, 50 % of all buyers like speaking over the phone, and this percentage increases the higher up the ladder you go as time is valuable and getting them on the phone, will help you to get in their office to close the deal.
So, don’t let your message get lost over technology. It might sound old school, but start with a call to your potential customer, then follow up with an email. 8 in 10 prospects prefer talking over email however, in the initial stages and first contact, a phone call is a nice touch.
Now that you’ve actively sourced and reached out to your new prospects, understanding what will get their attention is the next step.
Need – The biggest factor (75%) on whether a prospect will connect with you, is if they have a need for your product of service, so it is important that you understand their needs and that your product can offer a solution to their problem, known or unknown.
Budget – This is the second major factor (64%). Focus on what you bring to the table in terms of a solution and highlight why they need you. Then the sales process starts.
However long it takes to convert prospects into buyers often varies, understanding the average length of your sales cycle is imperative to successful selling.
Sales reps and entrepreneurs often get caught up in non-revenue generating activities in their day to day tasks. It is extremely important for any business to set aside time every day to actively look for new clients and new business opportunities, so you maintain a healthy pipeline of potential clients, which ultimately having a positive impact on your bottom line.
By Jody Euloth
Jody Euloth is the CEO of The Mesh Media Network and Founder of The Dynamic Soul of Selling. She helps entrepreneurs, business and sales professionals and creative visionaries get over their fear of selling so they can generate more revenue and make a bigger impact in business.
Social handles @jodyeuloth www.meshmedianetwork.com