In this fast paced, modern business environment sellers are up against heavy competition, highly informed buyers, and prospects who are consistently exposed to solicitations from sellers.This year’s annual Richardson Selling Challenges research surveyed over 350 sales reps and sales leaders to gain insight into the issues they face as they navigate the sales process from prospecting through closing.
In this first part of our three part series we’ll highlight the top 3 sales prospecting challenges in 2017, and how by investing in a structured plan and the right tools, sales will be empowered to win more deals.
1 - Creating a targeted prospecting strategy
Compared with 2016 responses, this year’s top challenges reveal a trend toward greater targeting and quality of leads. With the availability of data through lead generation tools, sales professionals are now able to effectively research, identify contacts, and set trigger events for their accounts. The problem, though, is that without a strategic method on how to best use this data and how to best reach out to prospects, these efforts are useless.
Embracing a targeted prospecting process allow sellers to get better responses and see better results with better fit accounts.
In order to build a successful prospecting strategy, sellers need to allocate time to the following stages: 1) identifying the right prospects based on your ideal customer profile, 2) researching and prioritizing prospects with the highest chance of becoming long-term customers, 3) crafting targeted messages based on in-depth insights, 4) sending customized emails and making personalized calls, and 5) social selling.
Sales enablement tools such as VOIQ allow you to discover and capture a wealth of data about prospects (i.e. pain points, interests, push-backs, buying cycle, competitors, etc.) through the call channel. Sellers will be able to improve and refine their sales strategy with real-time insights rather than assumptions, and get a clear picture on how to best spend their time to win more deals.
2 - Quality of leads from marketing
Sales and marketing need to work together on setting a clear definition of what a quality lead is, to then direct their efforts across the funnel. Having a shared understanding not only increases the effectiveness of both teams and creates a better experience for the buyer, it also improves the company’s overall sales process, having a dramatic impact on the bottom line.
How does that works? Through account-based prospecting. Instead of pushing broad messages to a wide audience and filtering the leads as they come in, Marketing leverages lead intelligence to identify the right prospects within each account and proceeds with a highly orchestrated, multi-channel, multi-touch nurturing workflows, helping Sales connect and advance the right prospects down the funnel.
VOIQ gives marketers the ability to integrate sales calls within their automated marketing workflows. They are able to trigger a phone call based on a prospect’s behavior just like they do with emails, and to track their engagement directly on the CRM. By accessing the data, sales reps are equipped with all the relevant information they need to have better sales conversations with prospects and better chances of converting them to customers.
3 - Gaining appointments
Breaking into new accounts and getting a prospect to agree to an appointment is one of the most challenging tasks sellers face, especially when buyers are being oversaturated with every prospecting tactic imaginable.
That’s why an alignment between marketing and sales is so important. With all the automation tools out there, marketing can now influence the prospect’s decision making process. As buyers leave and re-enter the sales funnel, marketers can follow-up as many times needed using automated email and call sequences to guide them into uncovering their own pain points, educating them through targeted content, addressing every question, until finally landing a meeting with sales.
Download our guide below to learn how to develop a successful prospecting call strategy that drives you appointments!