To begin with, let us admit that B2B sales prospecting methods are not easy to accomplish. Rather B2B sales prospecting can be really tough to find the attention of the B2B (Business to Business) buyers in a marketing model that has altered a lot in the recent years, whereby increasing competition in the marketplace makes is more and more stand out from the crowd.80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting. Click To Tweet
Now prospecting for hot new products and services on the market is not a difficult thing. This is because direct and targeted approaches can create enough demand and thereby keep the sales funnel from getting depleted when a new offering fills a gap in the market.
But what happens when the low-hanging fruit has been picked up by the knowledgeable buyers?
What happens when the competition has caught on and caught up?
In this case when the executive suite will be still calling for action and revenue that is when fresh B2B prospecting methods and skills are needed as we as one of the popular vendors of easy to use CRM will discuss below.
Actually at the heart of the dilemma faced by the B2 prospectors lies the inability to create selling opportunities when their buyers (inconveniently) are not actually looking to buy. Therefore traditional prospecting methods and sales pitches may no longer be effective with B2B prospecting nowadays, and this is clearly a big problem with so many sales, marketing, and business development professionals having being bought up with old school business growth ideas on a diet of little else that hardly works in B2B marketplace today.
In present times the rules have changed for the B2B marketers since the typical new breed of B2B buyers has evolved in several ways.
In modern times the individual buyers have largely given way to a “team approach” whereby multiple players are most often involved in purchasing decisions made by organizations, sometimes which spreads across different business functions, where people entrusted for buying often have very little experience of the procurement process.
An interesting report published by HBR (Harvard Business Review) in 2015, illustrated that the average number of buyers involved in a considered buying process is 5.4, however, what is more, alarming was the drop off in conversion rate as more people are added to that buying process.
Hence sellers that are keen on developing their B2B prospecting methods need to primarily ascertain who has the authority to make the buying decision in an organization, and thereafter if it is found that the person cannot make a unilateral decision, the next goal should be to help the decision-maker to get others on board and thereafter provide additional tailored information covering each buyer’s specific area of responsibility.
For example, an end-user of any B2B product or service will definitely have different information requirements and concerns vs. a financial authority working in the same company.
Nowadays with the rise in the internet which has led to a sporadic abundance of research information available online has given birth to the rise of “self-educated” buyers and so potential prospects are no longer sitting back waiting for a solution to be presented to them, as the buyers are proactively seeking information themselves nowadays and as a consequence are likely to be less receptive to traditional unsolicited approaches.
Buyers seek value not price
In a research done by SiriusDecisions, it suggests that the cost factor involved in a sale is no longer a main deciding-factor for the B2B buyers in making their purchase decisions, whereby in the present times the “unique business value” of a solution or that an organization can provide to its buyer has become the factor of primary importance.
Nevertheless, even in this era of progressively more complex solutions, it appears that old habits are hard to die, and so too many teams in sales are now still considering price and also features when in reality the focus needs to be on conversions about the distinct value that the seller can offer to set them apart from the completion in the marketplace.
SOLUTION– Going Beyond B2B Cold Calling
While this might require some time and long term training along with a cultural shift but what about here and now. So what can organizations involved in selling can do to go beyond the realms of cold calling to reach out to their prospects and get things moving in the short-term?
So as one of the most acclaimed vendors of CRM for small and medium businesses and startups here we have provided a few suggestions for growing enterprises to get them started.
Every structure needs a firm foundation to stand on its own, this is the reason people who know what is CRM is greatly in favor of this business growth tool.
CRM helps to record and organize every interaction with the leads, prospects, and customers and make it available for analysis to every department in an organization –which results in ushering more effective communication, better organizational culture, and less waste of resources.
Using easy to use CRM solutions while the number of leads generated will be less than if it was done in a haphazard and unstructured manner, but the quality of the leads generated will be much higher which will better the conversion rate in the sales pipeline.
The time and effort dedicated to prospecting in the B2B segment should be just on where it is going to be effective and not spread too thin.
This can be done by concentration on the best market segment (based on profitability) and personas as identified by the business CRM tool whereby the approach can be refined to appeal to a specific buying audience in the marketplace.
Social media can be another robust digital tool in finding outreach and build relationships online. According to research, LinkedIn is the best haunting place for the B2B community, followed by Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and all other good platforms like Quora which are good places to connect and demonstrate expertise.
Email still remains one of the most preferred modes of communication despite all that plethora of social platforms that we use. And that includes B2B buyers who are also considered as prime targets for a well-targeted email campaign that addresses their pain-points and provides solutions to those issues.
Creating separate email campaigns for the sales and marketing teams can help in prospecting B2B buyers where the sales campaigns are targeted towards the decision-makers and the marketing campaigns are covering all titles in the company involved in the buying decision of the purchasing process.
Joining networking groups online can be a source of new B2B contacts in real life as well as online, which can help to create relationships that can culminate in fresh businesses. Businesses can also consider putting their own networking events to raise their industry profiles.
B2B sales prospecting methods can be challenging and often discouraging in the face of the consumer’s demands. However, by undertaking long-term and short-term actions sales and marketing teams in the B2B industries can breathe new life into their prospecting methodology, and so we hope these thoughts will put coal and fire into your prospecting engine if it has stopped.