You are guaranteed to face objections when prospecting for new business. Any of these sound familiar?
- I am busy right now.
- What is this call in regards to?
- I am not interested.
- We already use somebody for that.
- We are not looking to make any changes.
- We do not have money to spend.
- Just send me your information.
- We do not have money to spend right now.
You will face those same objections again and again. And you can add to that list a few objections that are specific to your business.
What do you do when those come up? Do you know how to respond and what to do in order to not get completely shut down?
If you are not sure, check out this training module on how to get around prospect objections. It will provide a methodology that you can easily implement that will give you clarity on exactly what to do when any objections come up.
Many sales people will say that one thing they would like to improve is their ability to close sales prospects. If they are having a big challenge with closing, they are likely trying to sell to prospects that are not qualified.
Closing should actually be one of the easiest steps in the sales process if you are trying to sell to prospects that fit well and need what you have to offer. And one way to make sure that you spend your valuable time with prospects that fit well is to have a process for screening them to make sure they are qualified.
By simply qualifying better, you will greatly improve the quality of leads in your pipeline and this will greatly improve your ability to close prospects.
In this video, we break down a two-step process that you can easily implement to improve your ability to qualify sales prospects.
Learn simple techniques to identify potential customers that are most likely to buy and focus sales efforts on turning them into customers. Make sales people more efficient and effective by nurturing prospects that are not quite ready using automated email marketing campaigns to educate them.
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Creating email campaigns that pre-qualify leads for sales people is a challenge for most businesses. Sales people want leads that are ready to buy. Most businesses make the same simple mistakes in creating emails to generate leads. This short ebook describes 5 simple things anyone can do to generate leads using email campaigns.
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It’s common for businesses today to possess just one process for lead gen at any given time. Perhaps you’re more focused on cold calling, direct mail or search engine optimization. Sure, it’s a good thing to be working toward a singular strategy for lead generation (at least you’re doing something!) but you can be even more effective when you employ a bidirectional strategy to boost results.
A bidirectional lead generation strategy is one that drives improvements with both outbound and inbound leads. Outbound strategies include activities that actively reach out to prospects in an effort to generate leads, while inbound strategies involve getting prospects to come to you.
Outbound Lead Generation
Here are some examples of how to proactively contact prospects to pique interest and therefore develop leads:
- Cold calling: Cold calling is perhaps the most well known and commonly used form of lead gen. This is when a sales person contacts a list of prospects over the phone using a predetermined script to schedule a meeting or appointment.
- Cold walking: Similar to cold calling, this approach is when a sales person engages a prospect face-to-face, such as within an office setting. This type of lead generation technique is not used as much as it should be.
- Email marketing: This strategy relies on mass emails to prospects for the purpose of staying in touch and generating leads. This approach is gaining momentum in terms of being a highly cost effective method of outbound lead gen. However, the response rate tends to be quite low.
- Direct mail: This traditional form of marketing involves sending snail mail to prospects through the U.S. Postal Service, which is a more costly approach than email with about the same response rate.
Inbound Lead Generation
Inbound lead generation activities involve creating systems and information that drive prospects to you. The two methods to achieving this are:
- Search engine optimization (SEO): SEO helps improve the content of your website to make it easier for search engines to find you and thus send traffic to your site on a consistent basis. You’ll have to make the investment in time and money, but you can succeed in drawing in prospects and establishing an inbound channel in terms of lead gen. When done right, this approach can bring you excellent results.
- Social Media: Social media, a collection of varying web-based and mobile applications, promote networking and communications between you and your prospects. These resources are certainly great for outbound lead gen activities, but they can also be used to encourage inbound traffic. Why? They are an ideal way to connect and share information online with potential clients.
Through the creation of a bidirectional strategy, we can diversify our lead generation approach to boost overall results and cut down on risk.
Contact HexaGroup for help with creating a bidirectional lead gen strategy for your business.
In the course of fine tuning your sales strategy, you may evaluate whether sales outsourcing should be part of mix of tools and resources. There are advantages and disadvantages to this approach, of course, but one of the big benefits is that you can cut down on costs when you outsource sales. It is a very safe estimation that you will improve the company bottom line by transferring some sales department responsibilities to a third party and here are three factors that can influence that.
One of the initial things you may do when hiring a sales person is to gather all the necessary IT equipment and systems required. This could include a PC, desk phone, mobile phone, tablet device, etc.When you outsource sales, you eliminate the necessity for providing this equipment.
In addition to the actual equipment, you must also consider the software, services and IT support involved, which can also drive up the overhead cost for an internal sales resource. The a typical sales person in today’s world, they will need plenty of software, as well as internet and mobile phone service plans, access to help desk support, and more. Using an outsourcing provider can nix these costs as well.
Workspace related overhead is another component that can boost costs for your organization, but the good news is you can decrease these expenses as well through sales outsourcing. Every employee needs a dedicated workspace of some kind.
If working in a formal setting, this may end up incurring costs for real estate, office furniture and office supplies. By giving sales responsibilities to an outsourced service provider, you can easily avoid all of these costly workspace overhead expenses.
When you outsource sales, you will also outsource the management of frontline sales resources and this is another cost and one that is often easily overlooked. The outsourcing company can handle all the minutiae of day-to-day management of sales resources, leading to a decrease in the amount of time and cost it takes to provide a layer of management over frontline selling resources.
Training and Recruitment
You can always count on some level of sales staff turnover. It’s simply the nature of the business. As such, you’ll spend significant time and resources on recruiting new hires and then training those new employees on the sales processes you employ.
When you let an outsourcer tackle these time-consuming sales activities, you can cut down on the amount of time and hassle this involves for you, as well as cut costs for the bottom line.
When you employ full-time sales people, you have to pay them benefits and healthcare. This can get pretty costly, especially since the price of healthcare is skyrocketing. When adding this to your sales team’s regular salary and commission, these costs can become astronomical. When you choose to outsource, however, you are essentially hiring another organization to do the work and you are no longer responsible for this cost. This is a good way to boost your overall cost structure.
Let ProSales Connection help you with sales outsourcing so you can cut down on unnecessary costs.
The competence of your sales staff directly contributes to the success of your organization. As such, even the most well-thought-out strategies won’t work if your sales team can’t follow through in the best way they can. One problem you may be experiencing is a lack of sales coaching, which is what happens when salespeople do something vastly different than what they’re taught by their sales manager — who incidentally, is often a superior seller. However, this doesn’t automatically mean that they’re great at coaching a team. In addition, you are best off putting your most successful seller out in the field. This is where CRM software comes in to help gel the relationship between sales managers and salespeople.
Thanks to CRM software, a new approach to sales coaching has arrived on the block, taking the “me” out of the process and adding back in the “team.” This is a good thing, as too many companies these days actually encourage competition within a sales team, which ultimately does nothing to hone essential sales skills that lead to whole-team success. With CRM software, all information pertaining to customers is kept in one place, where the sales team can look back at any customer conversation or transaction at any time. What this does is fosters an environment where people are encouraged to share. This also makes it easy for sales managers to hold team meetings in order to go over the quality of information that has been entered into the database, essentially focusing on the information at hand rather than on what individuals have contributed.
Equal Time for Equal Effort
Historically, sales coaching has focused on giving more training and attention to the worst salespeople rather than the best, with the mentality that the ones who need the most help should receive it to improve. This also in effect rewards the top sales team member for being the best. However, it has been proven time and again that this type of approach doesn’t garner results. For the highest level of effectiveness, all sales people should undergo equal amounts of training. Luckily, CRM software helps to streamline that process.
You can achieve this by designing a standardized template for collecting customer data, which ensures a level playing field for all your associates. This allows the sales manager to redirect their efforts of achieving success for the team as a whole. This makes it easy for everyone involved to get a snapshot of what is going on at any given time by viewing the dashboard, in effect forcing everyone to be invested in all aspects of the teamwork. Sales managers can ask for feedback from the team during meetings so that everyone’s on the same page.
Use CRM software as an ideal sales coaching device where you can tap into a centralized source of data to effectively train all team members.
When you create your cold call script specifically geared to finding out what the pain and challenges are for each prospect, you can vastly improve how you generate leads. However, it’s tough to uncover that pain in just one quick cold call. Take advantage of every second you have on the phone to reveal paint points. Check out these tips to improve your approach.
Use pre-qualifying questions to determine pain
It’s a good idea to come up with a short list of pre-qualifying questions you can ask to find out if there is a match and if there is even a point to chatting further. Determining the level of fit means your questions should connect back to the pain you wish to address. Apply the following situation to your cold call script, in regards to resolving errors that are happening with supplier-submitted orders.
How often do you find errors coming up with the orders you are submitting to vendors?
The bottom line is, if your prospect doesn’t currently experience pain that your services or products can assist with, there’s really no point in carrying on the conversation and wasting everyone’s time. They likely won’t buy anything from you because they don’t inherently need what you’re selling. Listing the pain points you intend to address when developing your script means you can create a question for each point to determine pain.
What often ends up happening is that the prospect won’t share any pain with you after you’ve gone through your pre-qualifying questions. But don’t fret, as there is another method to use. Why not share some examples of pain that other customers have experienced and see if those examples resonate with your prospect?
This is what you can say within your cold call script:
I understand. Well, many of the operations managers I’ve talked to say there are lots of errors within orders due to the time consuming nature of reviewing them and the inability to efficiently order the correct amount of materials. Can you relate to that?
When you approach the situation this way, you are giving them examples and encouraging them to outright agree with you or at least acknowledge that they happen. You may get any number of answers, all of which originate from a simple yes or no. Got anything close to a positive response? Go with it right away and ask more specifics. Find out all you can about their specific situation and what pain they experience on a daily basis. By capitalizing on that immediately, you’re increasing your chance of building rapport.
Let the experts at SalesScripter help you come up with a killer cold call script that reveals a prospect’s pain and promises results.
Sales is akin to sports. Although traditionally viewed as an individual approach, sales teams feel like they must compete against each other, much like sports teams do, by focusing on what they can do individually rather than what they can all do together. CRM software brings that teamwork mentality back, providing a centralized area that breeds effective communication. As we all know, this is a crucial component to the success of any collaborative effort. Because buyers are changing, the sales process is taking longer. Why? Buyers want to feel like they are involved in the process and that they are fully knowledgeable about it before making the leap to purchase. Translation: sales teams must go with the flow and evolve in order to stay in tune with the buyer.
Nix the Lone Wolf Mentality
It’s no longer effective for each member of a sales team to have that lone wolf approach. In fact, it’s well known that sales tend to increase when colleagues forget about the intense competition and instead work together. An easy way to facilitate that is through CRM software, which helps teams share data about the customers they’re tracking. Sales staff should be keeping vast data on customer profiles, along with contacts with customers and what was exchanged. With this approach, team members know exactly where to start on the next exchange — there’s no guesswork. It helps if you look at your sales process like the sport of baseball. There’s no need for everyone to get that home run, right? In fact, this is unreasonable. Each member of a team brings something valuable to the game, whether that’s fielding, hitting or running. Play on those individual strengths to make the team stronger as a result.
Redefining the Sales Manager Role
With CRM software, the job of a sales manager becomes more involved in the overall process. It’s no longer acceptable for this person to stand back and observe each individual’s contribution. Rather, the sales manager should act as a coach, developing a solid team taking into account everyone’s pluses and minuses. This manager should be able to encourage brainstorming within the team to boost sales and use the information shared to move forward when facing a dilemma. Team members can use CRM software to track progress and make the overall experience more pleasant.
Morale of the Team
CRM software changes the temperature of the business in that you are accountable for every action you take, bringing collaboration to a whole new level. This leads to boosts in team morale, and we all know a pleasant work environment is a productive one. When there is no organization, miscommunication can result. With CRM software, though, each move within the organization is tracked, leading to streamlined information that’s easily found all in one spot. As a result, the chances for miscommunication are drastically reduced.
A positive sales team that communicates and collaborates with each other is the key to a well-oiled business, and CRM software is the catalyst for this.
When you cold call your prospects, it stands to reason they will be guarded in their initial reaction. However, you can break through this wall with some small yet powerful objectives within your cold call script to diffuse any guardedness you may feel on the other end of the line.
Sound like a real person
This is to say: don’t come off like a sales person. Your prospect deals with people like you every day. Stand apart from the rest and just sound like a regular Joe. Running right into your sales pitch will increase their guard — a way of protecting themselves from a situation in which they are being asked to buy something.
Don’t talk about your product right away
One way you can achieve this is to forget about launching into the many benefits of your product and why it’s so great. Ditch the sales tactics at the start of the call, which may resemble this:
Hi, I’m with XYZ Corp and we are number one when it comes to calibrated injection systems.
Right about now, your prospect is thinking:
Great. I’m stuck talking to this guy who’s trying to get me to buy some kind of calibrated injection system that I don’t need right now. I’m so busy. How can I get off the phone??
Focus on value
Instead of touting the product you’re selling, try focusing on how it will help the prospect. You could try:
Hi there. The reason I’m calling is that our company helps manufacturers like you cut down on disruptions caused by system failures.
Changing your approach in this small way can really make an impression, as you avoid the triggers that cause guardedness and instead pique their curiosity.
Make sure they have the time to take your call
Always make sure your prospect is available to chat with you at that moment. This shows you respect and value their time and will only proceed with their explicit permission. This will buy you some more time — probably between two and five minutes. You’ll find that the prospect is more likely to open up to you than if you were to simply forge ahead with your sales call unsolicited.
How to ask the all-important question
Avoid this approach to your prospect when asking for permission:
Are you busy right now?
Particularly when calling for B2B purposes, always assume your prospect is busy. Everyone’s busy all the time. You’re setting yourself up for an answer to that question like:
Why yes, I am!
Make a tiny change in that approach and say something like this in your cold call script:
Did I catch you in the middle of anything?
This makes a better impact because not only does it confirm their availability, it also gives you a temperature reading on the state of their business at the moment. You’re showing them that yes, you know they’re busy, but you want to know if they’re engrossed in a project they can’t come away from. This also shows a level of casual friendliness that invites further chit chat.
Turn to SalesScripter to help you develop a powerful cold call script.