Today’s sales landscape looks vastly different than it did from even a year ago.
Due to COVID-19, in-person meetings are limited, more sales teams are working from home, and digital communication is more important than ever before.
Combine that with marketing blindness that makes it harder to reach prospective customers — and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
Here’s the thing — sales has always been about building relationships. The only thing that’s changing is how we build those relationships most effectively.
If you want to end 2020 with a strong Q4, it’s time to change your approach. Here’s how to do it.
No, we’re not talking about sending cold pitches to thousands of LinkedIn connections. Nobody likes spammy sellers. Rather, this is a softer sales technique with less stress placed on an immediate response.
In B2B, social selling is about using social media to fill your sales funnel with warm leads by building relationships.
Don’t use LinkedIn to send a bunch of contacts sales messages about your company —- that’s a good way to get banned or (at the very least, ignored.)
Start with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, a premium feature designed to make social selling easier. It offers a range of features, including search and filter, preferences, lead recommendations, and a lot more, so you can easily define and create a target market.
Then, interact with that audience by commenting on their posts and sharing useful information, so when you do make that follow-up call, they will remember you.
Linkedin, Twitter, and even Facebook can be fantastic platforms to establish yourself — but it’s safe to ignore platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest, at least in B2B sales. Stick with the platforms where your audience hangs out and build a meaningful relationship.
When a prospect hits your LinkedIn profile, they make a snap-second decision about whether you can be trusted and if your solution can meet their needs. So make sure your profile is optimized and authentic.
Even if you think your profile is perfect, take the time to do a once-over and see how you come across to prospects.
When a prospect hits your LinkedIn profile, they make a snap-second decision about whether you can be trusted and if your solution can meet their needs.
Social selling doesn’t come naturally to some salespeople because it requires a softer approach, but 78% of salespeople using social selling outsell peers who don’t.
Automation is a powerful tool for sales reps, but it must be wielded very carefully. Overuse it, and your sales pitches will fall flat. Use it carefully, however, and it’s like having several extra hours in your day.
Here are two ways to leverage automation without overusing it.
Emails are often the first step of turning cold contacts into warm leads. Research has shown that leads often do not convert until after being contacted between 6 and 8 times, which makes email automation particularly powerful at moving leads through the sales funnel without taking over your day.
Here’s how to create a scalable yet personalized email campaign:
We’ve already covered how valuable LinkedIn Sales Navigator can be, but did you know the data can be imported into other tools?
Once you’ve outlined your target audience, you can integrate Sales Navigator with your CRM or prospecting platform to gently nurture those leads before using more direct outbound sales strategies.
Ah, cold calling.
A sales staple, but also the bane of many salespeople’s day. So, how do you use this age-old technique in a way that actually gets results?
You could call thousands of people and hope that, just maybe, a few will bite. Or, you could customize your call scripts to improve your approach.
We got this one from the pros over at Gong. The sales intelligence experts suggest that when you make a sales call, hit your prospects with a fact about their current competitor. Then, follow it up with a relevant insight for their specific pain point.
This strategy lets potential customers know that you know your stuff and provokes a response by mentioning a competitor. Remember, this tactic only needs to build curiosity to get the lead to the meeting. The value proposition should be centered around your ideal customer profile’s pain point, not the product.
Automation helps salespeople work more efficiently, but it lacks nuance compared to having a back and forth conversation where you can quickly feel out how a customer feels about your offer. Instead of using a standard script, leverage information about purchase history and current goals to customize your pitch.
If the call is truly cold (meaning you don’t have information from a lead generation form or website activity), ask questions to better guide your pitch, then use a conversation map to guide the conversation.
No two calls will be exactly the same — but you will face similar objections from prospects. Review call logs to find common objections and then create a call map you can quickly reference to guide the conversation.
If the call is truly cold, ask questions to better guide your pitch, then use a conversation map to guide the conversation.
This is an instance where your sales playbook and manual lead research come in handy. Use what you know about each lead to tweak the conversation as you go.
One of the most effective ways to improve outbound sales is to use a visitor identification tool such as Leadfeeder to track down leads that visited your site but didn’t leave their contact information.
If it sounds a bit like magic, that’s because it is. Here are two ways that lead generation software can supercharge your sales.
Leadfeeder is an advanced B2B lead generation tool that identifies who comes to your website. In many cases, it also provides their name, contact details, and information about their business. This information can be integrated into your CRM, email marketing platform, or prospecting platform.
Lead generation software tools don’t just show you who has visited your site — it also tells you where on your site those visitors went and how long they stayed on specific pages. This info is incredibly valuable when you go to pitch. For example, you might already know that the decision-maker is interested in a specific solution.
Lead generation tools paired with the techniques discussed above will help your business recover lost leads who don’t leave their contact information and provide information you need to craft personalized pitches.
A steady stream of inbound leads is great.
Still, it’s not without challenge. Lead quality may be poor, researching and qualifying the leads can take forever, or there are too many leads to act on properly. Whatever the reason, one way to improve the process is by enriching your marketing automation platform with fresh and reliable company data.
For salespeople and marketers, data enrichment mainly serves to bring internal and external data together to build a richer profile of their potential and existing customers. This is done by integrating a sales intelligence or data enrichment tool, such as Vainu, with your essential systems—your CRM, prospecting platform, and your marketing automation platform.
The integration will append real-time company information, such as firmographic, technographic, and intent data, to the contacts in your database.
By getting a successful data enrichment process going, you can short signup forms, create hyper-targeted customer segments, improve your lead scoring models. Also, you’ll become better at predicting and preventing churn.
The key to outbound sales success is to avoid solely focusing on sales metrics. Instead, focus on building relationships and allow those to grow into long term partnerships over time.
The truth is, you won’t convert every lead that comes your way. But by building up relationships and establishing yourself as helpful and resourceful, you may find that even old leads may convert down the road when they move departments or companies.
In 2020, outbound sales is about leaning into the digital space to build real connections with people, and thanks to the number of tools on the market, it’s never been easier.
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