In today’s world there are more research tools and communication channels than ever before, yet for most sellers building and sustaining a strong sales pipeline is still a struggle. One of the main reasons for this is lack of real result driving activity and the fact that most outreach falls on deaf ears. This is the challenge facing today’s sales teams that I’ve spoken about previously; where salespeople are spending too much time perfecting their social media profiles and not enough time following up leads over the phone or in person.
CXOs don’t want another LinkedIn ‘connection request’ or InMail. If they can give you their time, then they want value in the conversation well in advance of considering your products or services. To adapt to the new normal, you need to combine old and new-school sales techniques and tools.
This will be one of the focuses of my presentation on avoiding pipeline atrophy at Salesforce World Tour in Sydney on March 6. For those who can’t make it, I’ve provided some insights into the key take-outs rom the session:
Prospect and customer attitudes about data sharing are changing. More of them are willing to provide their data to trusted companies in exchange for personalised experiences. However, many salespeople aren't yet equipped to capitalise on this new norm.
Successful salespeople are those who blend personal interactions with technologies that scale. While in-person should always remain your top communication channel for connecting with customers, high-performing teams need to scale personal engagement with self-service channels.
Now, intelligent technologies that can automate and simplify the sales process are easily within reach.
Never underestimate the power of face-to-face networking at industry and social events.
These opportunities give your prospect the chance to learn from others at their level and share their own experiences - creating great value for them outside of just being served a product pitch. They’ll also start to see you as the connection between them and other CXOs, enabling the sharing of ideas.
I’ve seen and experienced first-hand the power of collaborating with your peers in an open environment. Some of the biggest sales leads and beneficial relationships I’ve had in my career have come about from an off-the-cuff meeting during an event or gathering.
While I mentioned earlier that there’s a danger of focusing too much attention and time on social selling, that’s not to say it doesn’t have its place. As well as laying foundations with a strong, personalised approach, it’s a good idea to use social to boost your presence towards key prospects.
According to the Salesforce State of Sales Report, high-performing sales teams are 2.7x more likely to say it’s absolutely critical or very important to connect with customers using online communities.
Build a lead-generation engine through native advertising on social media with vertically targeted white papers to drive form-fills. Run a cadence of touch points across multiple mediums with a system that holds you accountable for your activities and improves your messaging and timing with analytics.
Creating awesome customer experiences through flawless sales and marketing execution is without a doubt the biggest point of difference for every business. I’ve written previously that this can only be achieved by breaking down the silos between sales and marketing .
The perfect collaboration between both departments should ensure marketing can craft strong brand messages and salespeople can tailor that message to their prospects with scale, to create personalised and unique experiences. Both pieces of the puzzle are crucial to find, win and keep customers with the help of technology.
When combining modern communications alongside the age-old persistent salesperson attitude, prospects won’t just feel like they’re being sold to, they’ll feel like their needs are being met by a trusted advisor.
I will be diving deeper into solving pipeline atrophy and hosting a live audience Q&A at Salesforce World Tour, on March 6 in Sydney.