Your sales professionals continue to build their pipeline by following up on company-generated leads and contacting existing customers. However, they become frustrated by the limited access they have to decision-makers. Each day begins with a call list of potential prospects (targets) received from corporate marketing. With each call, they carefully enter the date, time, person they tried to contact, and the call’s outcome into the corporate SFA system. Too often, the sales professional gets a voice-activated system and/or voicemail. There are times when an administrative assistant will screen the calls.
Sales professionals have had great success in contacting decision-makers in the past by calling early or late or meeting them over lunch. Before COVID, They used to build relationships with administrative assistants and convince them to set up a time to talk with their boss. Now, there are times when they even get the assistant’s voice mail. Sales Professionals send out daily news bits via email to prospects, and they get blocked by their SPAM filters. Other tactics they’ve tried are calls into the corporate customer database. Once again, they’re either automatically sent to voice mail or barraged by issues they are experiencing with customer support at corporate. A sales professional’s days are filled with frustrations.
Voice mail, SPAM filters, and number blockers are all technologies designed to stop sales people from selling, yet they make us more efficient. Many technologies drive a more efficient office and, at the same time, make it more difficult for a sales professional to be effective. Your sales organization has probably designed a wall around your decision-makers to keep them focused on none other than selling. It is astonishing how we isolate ourselves from salespeople and complain we can’t get a hold of someone when we want to sell to them.
Aside from the technologies used to protect ourselves from solicitations, sales professionals face many other challenges: call screeners, rising travel costs, flight delays, and cancellations, and of course, the need to understand their own customer base and their issues, pains, and goals. In today’s selling environment, it is necessary to use innovative techniques and technology to beat the technology keeping us from selling.
I recently said to my sales rep, “You need to develop a strategy that will bring the decision-makers to you.”
“It begins with an ROI model on their website.”
Most buyer’s come to the realization their problem must be solved. We call this a tipping point. When a buyer reaches a tipping point, they begin the search for a solution. That solution must reduce their cost of pain, mitigate risk, and in some cases, even improve their revenue. Offering a calculator on their website will draw the buyer in to calculate the value a solution like yours can bring. In addition, the output from the effort can be used to guide a purchase, influence an RFP, and even drive an appointment.
Online calculators now interface with most sales force automation and marketing automation systems. When your prospect completes a form on your website to receive a report, the lead automatically updates your other sales prospecting systems. This is a valuable tool when prospecting.