3 Best Practices to Ensure a Continuous Sales Pipeline Despite the Covid-19 Downtime
If you’re in technology or B2B sales today, generating a continuous sales pipeline & closing more deals despite the surrounding Covid-19 challenges is a top priority now. Savvy technology sellers have been practicing targeted account-based sales techniques for years to ensure better outcomes. Technology today allows salespeople to plan a more focused approach when it comes to their sales process by using actual, real-time customer behavior data and insights as well as forecasting tools to understand who to go after and when. A more precise and focused sales outreach plan that is well integrated into other business activities like marketing campaigns and events is now the need of the hour; according to most technology sales and marketing leaders today.
Seeing how the numerous challenges in this new normal are affecting business decisions, tech adoption patterns and even personal lifestyles, it is crucial for sales teams to ensure a continuous prospect pipeline in order to help their businesses have enough margin to dip into in a worst case scenario situation.
Here are 3 Best Practices That Can Help Ensure A Continuous Sales Pipeline Despite the Covid-19 Downtime
Every Sales Reps’s Cold Outreach Needs to Be more Personalized, Relevant, Differentiated, yet Scalable
How you sell matters just as much as what you sell. In today’s remote selling environment, cold calling, virtual prospecting and online meetings can sometimes be good time savers but they also remove the positive impact of a face to face physical meeting and interaction. Sales reps have to master not only the sales pitch and the messaging when reaching out to prospects virtually, they have to speak their customer’s language, identify with their prospect’s core needs and create sales narratives and cadences that are personalized to their prospect’s interests and relevant to their current role in the company. Using the right data and insights, sales teams can have access to their prospect’s online behavior, visibility into their current interests and knowledge on what would most likely resonate with them at a particular time. Without using these easily accessible insights to drive forward cold calls, sales reps face the risk of losing their prospect’s interest much earlier in the buying journey. Gone are the days when booking a first meeting was considered a successful step forward in the whole sales process. In order for sales reps to be able to move prospects along the buying journey and for them to successfully book second meetings and measure impact; a greater degree of personalized communication is needed to differentiate a brand and stand out from the crowd.
Cold calling is still relevant in 2020, despite advancements in sales technology. According to an earlier Bridge Group Report; On average, B2B sales representatives make 45 calls per day. Another HubSpot report suggests that 74% of reps say they research prospects before making sales calls today.
Prioritize Prospects and Target Accounts using intent + engagement data
Sales and marketing leaders will swear by a process that allows their teams to go after high-priority accounts that are actually showing high buying signals at a given time. Purchase intent data and customer engagement data not only tells you what your prospect is interested in or what they are most likely to be interested in, in the near-future: these technologies can also help companies prioritize accounts on the basis of market conditions, their prospect’s current status in the market (are they expanding, have they recently won a new funding round, etc), their interest in similar technology products or services like yours…
Sales and marketing teams in B2B have more to benefit from when using the right intent data and insights to drive their process; given that sales cycles are significantly longer in B2B, driving sales processes based on priority accounts will help cut down the time taken to complete each sales cycle.
This is where marketing and sales need to align and share information from their different tech stacks and systems on each target account, to strengthen the process further.
In 2018’s Demand Gen Report, only 25% of B2B companies said they use intent data and monitoring tools with 35% saying they plan to use intent data and insights within the next 12 months.
Adapt An Organization-Wide Account-Based Selling Process, Work Closely With Customer Success And Marketing Teams
Account-based marketing and account-based selling are the two fundamentals that drive many B2B sales and marketing teams today. The Covid-19 downtime has established one thing: sales and marketing teams can’t afford to waste time on misaligned processes by reaching out to a wider net of targets today. The marketplace is not the way it was before Covid-19. In order to sell quick and to sell successfully despite lowering of tech budgets and changes in technology needs; sales and marketing and other customer facing teams need to work closely together, to create a 360 degree, well-aligned process that can help the business drive maximum revenues from a well-defined and shortlisted set of high-priority accounts.
Here’s Another Way to Grab More Insights on What Leading Sales and Marketing Tech leaders are doing to ensure continuous sales pipelines! Catch the latest episodes of The SalesStar Podcast where we feature thoughts from Partnerize, GRIN, AspireIQ, Acoustic and many more!