Do you sometimes feel that the sales leads are holding you hostage and making all the demands? Since a recent Marketo survey indicates that 93% of B2B buyers use an internet search to begin the buying process, by the time you talk to them they already think they have the information needed. They feel empowered to make demands.
In spite of all the inaccurate information they may get from lurking around the internet to find all the information themselves, it does no good to try to tell them at this stage in the buying process. Try these ten ways to turn the buyer’s need to control the process in your favor.
1. Place the Customer at the Heart of Your Strategy: Everything you do should address the needs and best interests of the customer. Use your CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) to monitor your best customers to learn what causes them to take action. Stay plugged into their wants and needs way beyond the initial sales leads.
2. Lead – do not interrupt: Today, any sales message that is pushed on the sales lead (like traditional advertising) is likely to repel – rather than attract. Instead, use a pull strategy within your marketing automationprocess that coverts sales leads to deep customer relationships.
3. Reach Sales Leads Early in the Buying Cycle: Get in front of the process and frame the discussion early. A recent webinar called, Sales Ready Lead Starter Kit outlines a process of identifying the pain of your prospects and delivering a content-based email campaign. You can use the starter kit determine the stage of the buyer’s cycle and what should be done at each stage.
4. Become a Trusted Advisor:Make sure that customers get exactly what they need and that is all.If you respect them enough to back off of the sales pitch and just serve them, they will begin to trust you. Show them your company fully understands their pain and knows how to resolve it.
5. Make communication relevant: Be sure that what you share is smart and tailored to the needs of your sales leads. Everything you send them should be useful and timely information.
6. Create interesting content: People like to be entertained while being informed. If you bore them – you have a good chance of losing them. Carefully plan your content strategy to include a mixture of delivery methods including video, eBooks, reports, case studies, blog posts and articles. Make sure each media focuses on the customer pain and gives them solutions without selling.
7. Stop Working with Most of the Sales Leads: When you try to work with every sales lead, your closing ratio will plummet. Instead, carefully qualify each sales lead to quickly determine if they are worth spending your time for an appointment.
8. Automate all sales leads that are disqualified:Most buyers will not qualify for an immediate appointment. Since the buyer wants to gather more information before a decision is made, be the source of information. Deliver a pre-loaded lead nurturing email campaign through your web based CRM.
9. Demolish Information Silos: If someone calls to ask a question or place an order and does not get an immediate response from the person they reach, all your hard work can quickly be destroyed. Set up your CRM to give everyone in the company a 360 degree view of every sales lead, prospect and current customer.
10. Measure and Revise as Needed: As you gather more information about your customer with marketing automation and CRM data, you will benefit from studying the numbers frequently to learn what is working and what needs to be tweaked. Use your email automation tools to constantly hone your message and delivery methods.