Convincing consumers to convert is tricky enough, but if you are targeting B2B customers then the challenge is amplified.
Thankfully with the right approach to finding prospects, you can catalyse conversion rates and hit targets more reliably.
With that in mind, here are a few game-changing techniques to use if you are unhappy with your current prospecting strategies.
Let tools do the hard work
One of the main obstacles associated with sales prospecting is the seemingly endless admin it involves. Manual tasks can monopolize sales team resources and lead to all sorts of other frustrations.
The good news is that you do not have to suffer unnecessarily, as there are plenty of tools available to identify and onboard B2B prospects, all with a healthy dose of automation thrown into the mix.
For example, solutions like the outreach automation software by Salesflow can empower established businesses and startups alike with streamlined, self-perpetuating campaign management.
As well as automating outreach, you can also turn to software services to integrate your prospecting activities with your existing CRM. That way you can maximise the impact of the rest of the tactics you are using and the content you are creating to connect with prospects, without stumbling at the point of lead generation.
Get to know your products and services
It might seem obvious, but it is a mistake that many sales teams make; if you don’t know what sets your products and services apart from the crowd, you will struggle to convert prospects.
Uniqueness is vital to connecting with customers and is especially relevant in B2B scenarios. You have to demonstrate the aspect that gives your offering the edge and do so in a way that shows you understand its value.
For example, if your business has implemented a technology that no rival can offer, whether that might be 3D printing for rapid prototyping or cloud-powered software for streamlined remote access, this can be emphasised.
This is just the start in terms of successful selling, but you cannot skip over this cornerstone of impactful prospect communication. And of course, it is not just useful for networking purposes, but also for informing your broader marketing strategy.
Avoid rushing into things
The temptation to hit prospects with a sales pitch straight away is strong. However, bombarding would-be customers from the word go is not always sensible.
B2B connections can only be built by creating a relationship and forging trust between you and your prospects. If you forget this, you could drive away customers that might otherwise bring business to your organisation for years going forward. So just remember that selling will come later, as without that base level of engagement you might risk losing out.
There are lots of ways to take the first steps towards a sale without coming on too strong. Social media is a well-chosen format for this and can be handled using the aforementioned automated tools to alleviate some of the challenges of managing an online presence as a sales team member.
Even firmer bonds can be established if you get referred to prospects through a third party who has already had the experience working with your business. This is why it pays to put together and maintain a network of contacts, as nothing sells like a word-of-mouth recommendation.
Reflect critically on your own pitching performance
Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses when prospecting and pitching to potential customers. The struggle comes when you need to examine your own performance and find where you are going wrong.
The best way to highlight and work on mistakes is to record the calls you make and then play them out afterwards. Listening to yourself with a critical ear will give you that extra layer of disassociation that can lead to valuable insights.
Of course, if you are sticking to a specific script, then you might think that all of your calls will end up sounding the same. This is true to an extent, but reviewing the pitches that did not result in a conversion will still be instructional.
This may interest you: Stop, Reflect, Go!
Another way to improve your pitches is to get feedback from someone you trust. You will benefit from the critical input of an honest and experienced third party, as they will see issues with your approach that might not be obvious to you.
Reflecting on performance can pave the way to future improvements, while also indicating to others that you have a desire to grow and do better. This singles you out as a leadership prospect; one that understands the role that accountability plays in this context, and who wants to proactively find mistakes in sales plans so that they can be patched before it is too late.
See how rivals are doing it
If you feel like you have tried everything but are still not making headway with your B2B conversions, then it’s time to check in on the competition.
Read more: Exploring The Nature of Competition
You might find that rivals in your market niche are using sales and marketing tools in a novel way that could inspire your own strategies going forward. You might even see the mistakes that they are making and aim to avoid them yourself.
Whatever the case, it helps to remember that you are not working in a vacuum. Keeping tabs on competitors is as efficient as it is expected.
Keep follow-up communications interesting
The follow-up is an important part of the prospecting process, yet one which can also become a missed opportunity if you handle it badly.
Do not just reach out with the same information you presented to the prospect in the first place. Instead, give them additional information and showcase the value you can offer them in a bespoke, personalised way.
Another angle to take is to approach prospects on the channels that stand the biggest chance of grabbing their attention. Email is an obvious choice, but you might get more joy from a social media message or a phone conversation.
Also, remember that a call to action is a useful part of any follow-up message. Unless a prospect understands how to push things forward, they won’t be able to do so even if you have successfully won them over this time around.
Take a focused approach
In busy sales teams, it is possible to get sidetracked and distracted by all manner of tasks over the course of the day. If left unchecked, this can mean that your prospecting is fragmented and sporadic, which will limit its effectiveness.
The answer is to set aside a period of time during which you solely focus on prospecting, to the exclusion of all else. You will be surprised by how much you will get done if you add more structure to your days.
The recipe for successful sales prospecting will be different for every team and every business. However you decide to balance your strategies, it is necessary to make sure that you are taking action if conversions are falling short.
Only those who stick to techniques that are not pulling their weight will be left behind, so track performance and embrace change.
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