Working Smarter, Not Harder to Close Deals
By Jonathan Raney Founder and CEO, hubPitch
Between 70% and 90% of the companies that your sales team talks to will never purchase your products. If you are in any sort of leadership role, this should piss you off. It’s not your sales reps fault though. It’s your fault.
If 9 out of 10 companies that your sales team meets with have no interest in moving forward what can your team do to improve this?
Are your leads bad?
Does marketing need to do a better job?
Does the product not align with their needs?
Fixing the above examples (if they are true) will definitely help, but they will be expensive. Improving leads, content, and product features all have major costs. Solving your broken sales process doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. The smallest changes can have the greatest impact.
Who better than your current customers to provide your business with leads? In a recent article by the Brevet Group, they explain that 91% of customers would be interested in providing a referral… whereas only 11% of sales reps actually ask.
This is mind boggling. If 90% of your “opportunities” will say no to your sales team, but 9 out of 10 customers are willing to refer your products... why aren’t you investing more resources on this? Referrals are low hanging fruit that essentially cost nothing to convert.
Additionally, a referred contact is less likely to black hole your sales team as there is a stronger sense of respect, which you have already earned by doing business with the company whom referred them.
Asking for their Business… at the Right Time
Asking for a customer's business is nerve racking. You never really know how they will respond. If you knew their answer, you wouldn’t need to ask. So when is the right time to ask?
The answer isn’t “when”, but “who” do you ask for their business?
A sales cycle is very similar to a sales funnel. There are many different steps that need to be taken in order for a “prospect” to become an “opportunity”, and then an “opportunity” to become a “customer”. In most cases, the person who you are working with when they are a prospect will not have authority to make a decision once they become an opportunity.
Most of the work you will do on a deal is with a “below the line” buyer. Essentially, you need to influence the “above the line” buyer: Execs, Directors, Managers, etc..
Placing your Product in front of Decision Makers
Let’s face it, scheduling a meeting with a Decision Maker is really tough in sales. Unless your product starts with the name Microsoft, Apple, or Salesforce the people who make the final decisions probably have never heard of you. So what do you do?
In one of our last articles we discussed how 80% of Decision Makers will never be available for a call until a final decision has already been made. So now you need to get creative. As a sales team, you must know how to train your prospecting customers on how to sell your product to their bosses. If you have structured your sale properly, and not packed your product presentation into a single 60-minute meeting, your contacts will have a good understanding of the value of your product. Next, they need to show your product off.
When setting your contacts up with product content to share with their bosses you will need to stand out in the crowd of competitors. Every PPT deck will look the same, just different screen shots. Use a combination of intro videos, product videos, case studies, and other (short) product content. Then, bundle all of this into a single location where you can measure what generates the most interest.
Once you have built a successful product overview for the decision makers you can then push a group conversation to discuss incentives and packaging to make the deal progress faster.
Learn more about how your sales team can get out of the sales black hole and increase sales at www.hubpitch.com.