Sales has always been a challenging aspect of business, and that is particularly true in today’s business climate. Between a still-sluggish economy, increased access to information via the Internet, and lower barriers for competitors to enter many markets, it is imperative that your sales team stays ahead of the curve.
Instead of letting technologies like the Internet work against you, your team should be using the wealth of information it provides as an asset in the sales process. There are a number of sales prospecting tools and techniques that can help you accomplish this.
Why is your sales team having trouble closing leads?
If your sales team’s numbers are lower than they should be, the problem could be in your strategy.
The fact of the matter is that consumers and business owners alike are literally inundated with cold calls and other outbound prospecting methods on a daily basis, making these once-effective methods significantly less so. In order to compete, your team must make use of Internet-based sales prospecting tools, which can be broken into three main categories:
Perform research before contacting the prospect.
Whenever possible, your team should learn as much about the prospect before contacting them—a feat that is made easier thanks to search engines like Google.
Try instituting this methodology with your team:
First, find the company website— understanding what a company does and what their stated values are can go a long way in determining what the sales call should be centered around.
Then, once a salesperson has read through the website, do a Google news search on the company (and its C-suite) to see what local and (if applicable) national newspapers are saying about them. Major events or company announcements can provide incredible context for a sales call. Not only will your team have an opening topic that is all-but-certain to interest them, but they will also be able to have a conversation that is both timely and relevant to a potential client.
Another area that prospect research can be conducted is on social media. Most companies, and decision makers within those companies, have some level of social media presence— typically on Facebook and LinkedIn. You can use the status updates and links posted on social media to gain further insight into the topics that the prospective client company finds most interesting.
Use analytics data to see which prospects have shown real interest.
Having analytics data can help ensure that your sales team is working on prospects that have the greatest actual interest in your company’s products or services. One of the best ways to gain analytics information about prospects is through an email campaign. Whether you’ve obtained email addresses through an email gathering campaign or through purchase, knowing which prospects are actually opening emails offers important insights into which prospects are actually warm leads who may have need for your product and which ones are not. However, this is not where email truly shines.
The best use of email comes from the integration of hyperlinks within the email, each linking to different areas of interest. Email analytics services will provide you with insight into which links are clicked by each prospect. By knowing which links— and by extension, which areas of interest— prospects clicked on within the email, you can develop a sales strategy that is uniquely tailored to each specific prospect’s interests.
You don’t need to completely abandon your established sales strategies.
Ultimately, while certain sales methods have changed, what was true in the past is still true today. Internet sales prospecting tools can provide more effective ways of learning about prospects, but the ultimate goal is to learn about prospects so you can offer them meaningful and insightful information about solutions that could benefit their business. Make sure to use these tools to stay ahead of the curve, and help your sales team close leads more effectively than ever before.
RDI Corporation was founded in 1978 and is headquartered in Blue Ash, Ohio. We provide precise business solutions through a fully integrated outsourcing model and our clients ranged from mid-sized corporations to distinguished Fortune 500 companies.