When your marketing department rounds up good inbound leads for your sales reps, but your sales don’t increase, it can leave you confused. If the leads are highly qualified, it can leave you confused about why your b2b inbound leads are not closing.
On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll discuss the common reasons that your b2b inbound leads are not closing.
When you’re spending large amounts of money on marketing campaigns only to find that the deals aren’t closing, it can leave you frustrated and confused. Today we’ll address why that happens.
Your organization may be structured so that your sales reps spend about 60 percent of their time on outbound and 40 percent of their time on inbound.
Very often, though, we’re finding that sales reps aren’t closing their inbound leads.
Last week, I mentioned the importance of calling immediately after the buyer makes contact.
If I’m doing research and I find your website, and I sign up and give you my consent to reach out to me, I shouldn’t have to wait 24 to 48 hours to hear from you.
Put yourself in my shoes. I’m not going to sit here and wait for your company to respond to me.
There are many other companies out there, and I’m making contact with multiple vendors at the same time.
The people at insidesales.com shared that, when you get a lead, it’s imperative that you call that lead within the first five minutes. The lead is interested and ready to talk to you.
The truth is, though, that only one in four internet leads are contacted, which could be the primary reason why your sales reps aren’t closing enough deals. They may not be reaching out to the prospect enough.
Even if your sales reps are making that first call, they may not be calling additional times after that.
Studies show that reps average between 1.3 and 2.1 call attempts, and that probably isn’t enough. You, as a sales manager, need to give them a flow process to follow.
Your sales reps want more inbound leads, but that doesn’t mean that they know how to handle, guide or close those leads. It’s your job to give them a roadmap and show them the ropes.
What are the steps to your flow process once a lead comes in? Will they make a phone call? Send an email? Reach out on LinkedIn? When will we leave a voicemail?
Some people call this a cadence, but you need to have something that nurtures that lead for 14 days. You must have multiple attempts because your buyer isn’t sitting and waiting for your company to call back.
Your customer has reports to take care of, a business to run, errands to run, meetings to attend, and a personal life to attend to. If you call me once and I don’t call back immediately, it doesn’t mean I’m not interested.
Many people avoid calling multiple times because they say they don’t want to be pushy.
While it’s true that buyers hate when sellers are pushy, there’s a difference between being pushy and nurturing a lead.
Usually, being pushy involves repeatedly calling a cold lead who isn’t interested in what you’re selling. You’re trying to sell something that I don’t even want, and you’re badgering me.
The difference is customer intent.
If I have expressed to you that I’m interested in your product or service, that’s not the same as a cold lead. I’ve given you permission to contact me, so you have my consent to try to reach me more than once.
Even if your lead is reaching out to other companies, that doesn’t mean the other companies are the best fit. It means you need to contact him and show him that your company is the best.
Statistics show that it takes a minimum of 8 to 12 contact attempts within 10 to 14 days to connect with a prospect. Eight to 12. Now refer back to the statistic that said that most sales reps are making 1.3 to 2.1 attempts.
It’s not enough. You’re leaving so much on the table and throwing away money.
Don’t rely only on one kind of contact when reaching out to your leads.
Take advantage of where your contacts are. If they’re on LinkedIn, reach out on LinkedIn. If they’re on Twitter, reach out to them on Twitter.
Add those steps into your flow process. Make the phone calls and send the emails. Drop something into the mail.
Do whatever you need to do to grab the prospect’s attention because your competition is doing the same thing.
Once you get your prospect’s attention, your job is to pull that prospect out of the “dating pool” as quickly as possible so that he isn’t going around looking.
Figure out why your prospect opted in. Determine what part of your messaging he responded to, and wrap your very first contact attempt around that message.
Marketing and sales have to work together to communicate about these things so that sales knows what the prospect responded to. Educate both your sales and marketing teams about the details of the prospect.
When your teams have that kind of alignment, you’ll be likely to close more of your inbound leads.
Make sure your messaging resonates totally with their intent.
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When you’re not making the progress you know you’re capable of, you have a choice to make: do you continue doing the same things you’ve always done, or do you try something new? I believe it’s important to investigate new ideas, and I’m going to conduct a social selling experiment that will accomplish that very thing.
Today on The Sales Evangelist, I’ll share new ideas that have worked for me in the past, and I’ll explain how I’m going to put my reputation on the line to test it.
Buyers aren’t looking for typical salespeople. The landscape has changed, and buyers are seeking sellers who will take the lead. They want sellers who solve problems and conduct business differently.
The authors of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading compiled tons of research direct from buyers that helps sellers understand exactly what they’re looking for. The book is like a blueprint for sales professionals.
At The Sales Evangelist, we’ve found the same thing. We’ve begun offering services in business development that allow us to develop business for our clients. We find the buyers and set the appointments, and we’re discovering that many companies aren’t doing business development well.
We’re trying new strategies and exploring different possibilities to reach the prospects that can become long-term relationships.
To demonstrate the power of it, we’re going to conduct a social selling experiment. We’ll connect with 20 people we’ve never done business with before using traditional techniques like phone and email.
We’re also going to use social media to connect with 20 different people that we’ve never done business with before.
For the social media group, we’ll develop a cadence model, and we’ll use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to grab the attention of people and make them aware that we exist.
I’ll invest 20 minutes each morning and 20 minutes each afternoon engaging with people on social media. As they respond throughout the day, I’ll also engage with them then.
We know social selling works, and we want to demonstrate the results to you so you can see for yourself. We’ll evaluate at the end of the week which method produced the best results.
Many of us say we want to try social selling but we’re also afraid that we’ll mess up publicly. We can’t simply trust bots to make our connections for us, because people can see right through that method.
Try one of our techniques and see how it works in your industry. Check in on The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook to follow our progress and interact with us as we conduct the experiment.
We’re doing this experiment so you don’t have to. We’re putting our reputation on the line to demonstrate the value of trying new ideas to invigorate your sales pipeline.
We want you to find more customers, build stronger value, close more deals, and do big things.
Pick up your copy of Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley.
Check out a free excerpt of the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen, and discover why some of the things you’ve been taught to do in sales may be the very things your prospect hates.
Email me for more information about our newly launched Sales Podcast Network, designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries. You can also email us about our new business development services.
Audio provided by Free SFX.
Today on The Sales Evangelist podcast, we talk with Chris Rothstein about the ways to align your sales efforts, and the success that results when you do.
Two developments demand the need for greater alignment: improved tracking capability and increased specialization within companies. Because companies used specialized departments to accomplish specific tasks, many handoffs occur throughout the sales process.
When different teams operate according to different criteria, the result is often finger-pointing rather than collaboration.
If, for example, a marketing department gathers 1,000 business cards in a fishbowl, those may not actually be qualified leads. The marketing department may perceive that it achieved its goal, while the sales team may believe otherwise.
When everyone within a company speaks the same language, the company becomes more effective.
To achieve that goal, Rothstein’s company Groove tracks all forms of communication and collects data from it. The company syncs all emails and calendars, and classifies every meeting that takes place.
Armed with that information, they can determine where in the sales process deals are dying and where the sales reps need help. They record sales calls and provide follow-on, specialized coaching.
Finally, they collaborate to identify the companies they’ll pursue in their sales process so that they are all focused on the same targets.
Many organizations cast too wide a net.
They undertake a huge list of prospects with a goal to connect with a small number of them. Because the list is so large, it’s tough for sales people to achieve any depth in the relationship.
If, on the other hand, companies will restrict the number of prospects they target, they’ll achieve better results because they can focus better.
In an account-based approach, each person has a unique role, and the customer will experience a unified process.
The sales cadence model will vary according to your industry. In every industry, though, a successful cadence will require multiple touches.
Email boasts a big impact in the software industry, for example, but not in the restaurant industry. Each industry in your company’s profile will demand unique touches and processes.
Evaluate how long your process should be, and make it longer than you think it should be. Then stick with it.
You’ve heard me talk about The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, our online group coaching program for sellers of all levels. We understand the importance of cadence and repeatable action steps. We help participants understand the concepts and then apply what they’ve learned.
The easiest step you can take is to apply for The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League to see if you qualify for the program. Our next semester begins April 26 and will focus on building more value. We’d be honored to have you join us.
Audio provided by Free SFX.
You aren’t the only one fighting for your prospect’s attention; she probably doesn’t even know that you exist yet. So how can you use a targeted approach and an outreach cadence to grab her attention?
In today’s episode, we discuss the importance of using cadences and multiple platforms to create a targeted approach to grabbing your prospects’ attention.
Your prospect has a million different things competing for her time: Facebook, mail, social media, television. She is bombarded with advertising.
Don’t allow your ego to get wrapped up in the outreach process. Don’t assume that she isn’t responding to you because she doesn’t like you.
What can you say to grab her attention?
Don’t assume you’re annoying her by contacting her more than one way.
There’s a reason political campaigns use mail, email, billboards, social media, television and phone calls. They want to be where the people are.
Your goal should be to have an outreach sequence that spans a period of time. You might, for example, have an email sequence that includes sending 5 emails over 14 days.
The sequence will look different for each company, but it will include a variety of contact requests across a variety of platforms.
Those methods will allow us to initiate a conversation that may lead to a sales opportunity.
Conversations at parties begin with small talk; getting to know the person you’re talking to.
Outreach should look exactly the same.
We should begin by making a connection via email or social media, and then seeking to continue the conversation elsewhere. Perhaps we provide value or learn more about the prospect.
Tha goal isn’t to immediately let her know that I sell something that she should buy. It might require 5 conversations to finally reach a discussion about the product or service.
Sales professionals have a tendency to view relationships with the end in mind, but we must get to know people before we ask them to marry us.
Check out The Sales Evangelist Hustlers League at thesalesevangelist.com/hustlers. It’s an online group coaching opportunity designed to help sellers of all levels improve their skills and learn from other sales professionals.
We’re beginning a new semester in April and we’d be honored to have you join us.