It’s been said again and again: The process today’s buyers go through has changed dramatically because of all the information readily available on the Internet. And today, that information is literally available at their fingertips. This has been repeated so frequently because, well, it’s true.
However, while buyers have adapted to this change, your Sales team may not have (yet). Your Sales team may also be struggling (for now) to close deals with these leads that find information about your brand and your competitors independently. But, as the above parentheticals suggest, your Sales team can adapt, and actually make your sales process more efficient.
Using sales enablement tools, often some of the same content as your marketing assets, is more important than ever. By delivering the right information to the right leads at the right time, your Sales reps can close more leads into customers and make their quotas more frequently. In turn, this will result in a higher quality experience for your customers, as well as increased revenue growth for your company.
Before the First Call
To begin chronologically, there are tools that can be leveraged before a Sales rep even reaches out to a prospect. These include tools like LinkedIn and your company’s Buyer Personas, which allow reps to research a lead before making the call. Just as your prospects are researching your brand and your reps before making contact, you need to do the same. Not only will this put you on a level playing field, but it will let your reps have a more personal conversation.
This builds trust with your prospects, which has always been at the heart of Sales, even before Sales lost their role as the gatekeepers of information.
Other sales enablement tools can also be used to build trust with prospects—in fact, this is one of the main benefits of using these tools. Before making the first call, have a piece or a number of pieces of content in mind that you can send to the prospect after the call as a follow-up. This can help keep them engaged and show that you care. Of course, the content that you send them should be tailored to their needs or concerns, and should help answer some of their questions.
Additionally, even if the content isn’t from your own company, it can still help build a relationship with the lead. If anything, sharing other’s content will cast you as an industry expert and will make you seem more concerned with solving their problem than making a sale. Building trust with your leads as early as possible is the first step to speeding up your sales process.
Throughout the Buyer’s Journey
This is a place where Sales can take a page out of Marketing’s book. Your Marketing team has likely already compiled a number of blogs, videos, and/or ebooks, tailored to different phases in the Buyer’s Journey. However, this doesn’t mean that only Marketing can use them. If, during their ongoing communication with their leads, your Sales reps notice a particular question is being asked again and again by a number of different leads, they can leverage Marketing’s content and pass it along. Again, showing that your company already knows about their concerns and is ready to answer their questions will build trust with your leads.
Marketing teams typically have a number of skills that Sales can greatly benefit from and learn for themselves. One of the most of these skills is how to connect emotionally with leads. By getting to know your leads through tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Buyer Personas, as well through conversations, and by showing that they care by delivering relevant and valuable information, your Sales reps can build a relationship with these leads. These relationships can speed up the process of closing leads into full-fledged customers.
However, the importance of personalization can’t be understated. Leads can sense mass emails and impersonal voicemails from a mile away. With both your Sales and Marketing teams at the table, your company can develop a plan to segment leads into meaningful categories. By sorting through leads by their industry, job function, activity on your website, or other qualifiers, you can have a systematic, but tailored strategy for engaging with leads.
When leads are engaged personally, they will feel more important to your company, be more interested in your company, and will be more likely to close into customers, quicker.
After the Sale
Yes, even after the sale it is important to stay engaged with your customers. Tools like LinkedIn and Twitter can make communication easier; and periodically sending your customers new, relevant content will remind them of the value that you add to their business.
By keeping them engaged, you not only minimize the risk of your customers ending their contract to your service or not continuing to buy your product, but you increase the possibility of them becoming promoters for your business to their friends and colleagues. You can also ask them to fill out surveys about your company and the products or services you offer, which will only improve their experience, as well as the experience of other future customers.
Even though times have changed and buyer behavior has changed, the world still needs Sales teams to offer the best experience to customers and to bring revenue to businesses. By leveraging sales enablement tools to build trust with your company’s leads early on, throughout the Buyer’s Journey, and after the sale, you can not only accelerate your sales process and enrich your customers’ experience, but also allow your company to see predictable growth.