Reaching out to prospects by phone is still a channel that sales teams use to connect and raise awareness among the potential buyers of their brands. However, with the changes in technology and increasingly reluctant attitudes of buyers, it has become much tougher to make connections this way consistently. So it raises the question of what to do when prospects are not responding to sales outreach attempts?
Getting prospects to answer the phone is a process that matches your sales assets and team to the journey that the buyer takes with you. Even a friendly courtesy call is pointless if your prospects’ defenses are so high that they won't take your call.
This evasiveness has been one of the difficulties that were a way of life in the era of mass marketing and outbound sales campaigns. However, that struggle need not be so intense if you adopt the Inbound Sales Methodology and a suitable set of sales enablement tools that help you automate the process.
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Hubspot’s Sales Perceptions Survey for Q1 2016 found that 37 percent of respondents thought that connecting with prospects was a top challenge. Interestingly, the only activity respondents found more difficult was creating a sense of urgency for prospects. Additionally, 84 percent of buyers reported negative experiences that they attributed to overly pushy sales representatives.
The scattershot approach of traditional outbound marketing falls short these days. Buyers are more knowledgeable about the products and services they need, and they choose to be more discerning as to whom they will speak and listen.
Sales representatives often found the job of cold calling prospects to qualify them to be grinding, frustrating work. The point of qualification is to separate the prospects that have a motivating need to purchase your products or services from those that may be interested but unmotivated.
The Inbound Sales Methodology addresses these issues by formulating outreach efforts, as a strategy that respectfully offers value and targets content where it is welcome, and then delivers solutions for your buyers’ needs. Inbound provides a process by which to research and classify prospects efficiently before you invest heavily helps both sellers and buyers.
The objective of inbound sales enablement is to create the conditions in which your prospects are significantly more responsive when you reach out to them - you are not perceived as "Pushy." Your prospects will be more likely to take your call when they have already made small commitments via supporting channels. When you focus your efforts on these more qualified buyers, who need your offerings as a solution to a particular pain, they will be more welcoming and likely to engage in the selling process ahead.
When you have rewarded these contacts with useful content, speaking with your sales team will be a comfortable progression for them. Additionally, the lead-up process helps to qualify prospects and establishes their precise needs, which is a more efficient allocation of the valuable (and expensive) time of your team.
> Listened to the prospect's needs
> Not be pushy
> Provide relevant information
> Responds in a timely manner
> Provides a range of options, even, beyond his/her offerings
> Cares about the success of the prospect's business
> Details the way you can help the prospect succeed.
The transformation to inbound sales requires a shift in attitudes and culture. The most dramatic changes are the ability to automate prospecting and communication with your contacts, to make better use of content assets. As part of this practice, inbound sales teams must be responsible for producing content for buyers and/or work with their marketing team to create content that is valuable for the inbound sales outreach approach.
Sales enablement provides resources that match the path of the buyer’s journey. A program of automated emails can help to build awareness and enable consideration. Offers that represent your brand with valuable information products such as pricing information, eBooks, and customer case studies to inform and build trust and engagement.
Content that matches their buyer's journey stage aligns with where they are in the prospect's process. Even though, buyer's want to speak to sales during the consideration stage (see the chart below), you must engage them at the awareness stage to earn the right to speak to them when they are ready.
As you may imagine, the effort to understand where the buyer is in their journey, craft valuable outreach messages, and keep track of where you are with each of the 50 to 100 prospects you are attempting to engage is a daunting task. There are sales tracking and automation tools that power the sales outreach process.
With the tools to automate, monitor, and analyze how prospects respond, you can segment them and follow up via the most suitable channel. You will know when they reach the decision stage so that you can approach them at the right time to close sales.
Consulting with an external agency to implement the Inbound Sales Methodology can be the difference between success and failure. Bristol Strategy provides the critical guidance to transform your brand and the sales enablement tools to increase your sales productivity.
If prospects find value in the experience of engaging with your automated channels and content, it changes the game. These buyers will be happy to answer the phone and engage with your representatives directly when the right time arrives. To find out how Bristol Strategy can help you get prospects to answer the phone consistently, contact us today.
To learn more about the Inbound Sales Methodology, download the eBook: A Guide to Inbound Sales, How to Transform The Way You Sell to The Modern Buyer.
Bristol Strategy is a full funnel inbound marketing agency and inbound sales agency offering the full complement of Inbound Marketing services that enable our clients to surpass their business objectives by transforming the way they engage with their buyer on-line. Reach out to us to learn more about how our experience and capabilities can help your business grow.
Image Copyright: The three images used in this blog article are from the Hubspot Research Report: Buyers Speak Out: How Sales Must Evolve in the Digital Age.