If you have been trying to sell a product or service to business decision makers recently, no one has to tell you that things have changed. It seems that the entire environment of sales has shifted into an uncontrollable spiral of chaos. This article is going to outline three of the most alarming truths about these decision makers and give you a strategy for reversing the effects of the trend.
When asked, 9 out of 10 buyers say that when they are ready to buy, they will find you.
Three Alarming Truths About Today’s B2B Buying ProcessThere are lots of statistics that support the reality that today’s buying decision makers want to have full control of the buying process. Some companies are resisting that fact and are continuing to push their salespeople into the field and pressuring them to return with closed sales. But most companies recognize that the ability to close sales has transformed in recent years and they are scrambling to find a way to adjust the sales process to accommodate the new buyer attitudes.
Getting in a conversation with prospective customers early in the sales cycle is critical. We’ve developed a process called the “Magic 5” that addresses the buyer’s pain with targeted content pieces and uses an email campaign to tease out the sales leads that will identify with those pains. You can get “The Magic 5 of Content Based Email Marketing that Drives Sales” here.
Up to 80% of sales leads are falling through the cracks.
This statistic from the American Marketing Association indicates that only 20% of the sales leads given to the sales staff even hear from a sales person in any way. Eight dollars out of every ten spent in lead generation is being flushed away.
Don’t blame the salespeople. Most of the sales leads they are receiving are of very low quality. Since salespeople are by nature optimistic, they will hustle to contact as many of the sales leads as possible and often feel like they are spinning their wheels.
Not every sales lead is qualified for the sales team to follow up. Unfortunately, most of these “non-qualified leads are not even archived in centralized CRM software by businesses. If your lead generation includes a way for the prospect to indicate interest by opening a content piece offered through marketing automation, you have accomplished the first step of qualifying the sales lead. Once the content piece has been read, the sales person can get on the phone and actually qualify the prospect to determine if more time should be spent learning more. The rest can go into a lead nurturing system to deepen the customer relationship and build trust in your company.
Decision makers want to be fully educated about available options before making any buying decisions.
The purchasing process cycle within the company of your buyer’s has become longer and more complex. Not only is there little tolerance for a bad decision, layers of other people involved in the decision can cause rounds of “second guessing” by colleagues. The people charged with finding a solution that can be resolved by your product or service need to know enough to make a decision themselves…but they also need to know enough about what you offer to convey those benefits to those who will question the decision.
Success in lead nurturing depends on delivering highly valuable information in your content. It is the backbone of your marketing automation. On top of the value you provide to prospects, being of value to your customer simply feels good.
Our recent Sales Growth eBook series is full of simple, yet cutting edge methods for responding to the alarming truths about today’s B2B buying process. Marketing automation is the new way you can effectively handle a large number of sales leads. The beauty of this way of selling is that the business owner and/or sales manager actually has more control because the set-up is totally in their control.
More Business articles from Business 2 Community: