This is a tactical sales process learned from the Sales Development Playbook by Trish Bertuzzi.
The 5 Whys:
The very first step when developing your sales process is to look at the situation from your customers point of view.
The very first step when developing your sales process is to look at the situation from your customers perspective If you look at the situation from your position, as the business owner or salesman, YOU WILL FAIL.
Every business owner or salesman thinks they have the best product and the best customer service in the industry. Most of the time, the reality is they don’t. They are incentivized to sell, so they are 100% biased. To really build the best sales process you can, you MUST understand how your actual prospects see the situation. You can do this by running through the 5 whys.
- Why listen?
- Why care?
- Why change?
- Why you?
- Why now?
Your prospect is exponentially busy. Everyone is. It is your job to make it abundantly clear what benefit it will be to your prospect why they should even listen to you.
Desired outcome: Peak the curiosity of your prospect
Next step: Introductory meeting
Once you pique the curiosity of your prospect, you must then make it clear to her why she should care about this topic. You’ve heard some of the stats on exactly how much time you have to grab someone’s attention. Estimates indicate people see between 2,000 – 3,000 advertisements per day. So they few that do catch the attention of their prospects must still powerfully continue the process of explaining why the prospect should care about this topic.
Desired outcome: Genuine interest from your prospect
Next step: Discovery call
Your biggest competitor just might be the status quo. Your prospect doing NOTHING. Think about it, change is hard. Staying the same is easy. So in this stage you need to emphasize just how much better her life is going to be by making the change.
Desired outcome: Active and ready to take action
Next step: Pipeline opportunity
After your prospect has decided to make a change, you want to make sure it is YOU that she decides to go with! In this stage you can show direct comparisons to the competition, emphasizing the points that you have a unique advantage. Or at least finding the points that your individual prospect is most interested in.
Desired outcome: Prospect is committed to you
Next step: Forecast opportunity
The final step is the process to get the actual signature. How many times have you made a sale, but the customers takes time to make it official. In this case, you run the risk of them forgetting, or something else coming along. So this final stage is to somehow expedite the urgency and close the deal.
Desired outcome: Prospect is committed to now
Next step: A win
Introductory vs Qualified Meeting Strategy
There are two main sales models to choose between: Setting introductory meetingsversus generating qualified opportunities. The correct method depends on your product and market maturity level.
Introductory Meetings: Prospects have a sense of your overall value proposition but haven’t been qualified as to their readiness or ability to move forward.
Qualified opportunity: Prospects have reached a qualification threshold. At some level, this means:
- A problem has been identified
- A potential solution was introduced
- And the prospect has committed to a next step
You should deploy an introductory meeting model when the market for your product is immature and/or when your account executives need more at-bats.
For instance, CRM software is a mature market. Most big companies have a solution in place, and making a change is a major hassle. So you would never want your sales reps (SDRs) setting introductory meetings for closers, it would waste everyone’s time.
But if you are selling predictive lead scoring, that market is still new, as is the concept itself. So reps should focus on setting as many intro meetings as possible to give the organization a chance to elaborate on the problem they solve.
“If SDRs are booking meetings with the right types of companies, the right people within them, and the prospects are at least curious about addressing a potential pain point, then the reps have done their jobs well.”
The Right Solution for You:
For startups, cold email can be a great way to set up introductory meetings.
Instead of paying a full time SDR to set these meetings, you can send a couple hundred conversational emails to your specific target market. LeadFuze has introduced a tool that combines both the prospecting (finding the right people at each company) and the sending (personal one-to-one emails) all in one central database/software/dashboard.
The choice between the introductory call vs qualified meeting strategy will be key decision as you build a sales team. The correct choice may change over time as your market grows and adapts as well.
Sales Process Execution
Your Goal: Create Compelling Conversations
It’s painful to read a typical cold email. Almost always a long, drawn out version of..
“I’m awesome because of this, and this, and this. BUY NOW!”
This never really works.
The key is a conversational message. The only job of the initial email is to start a real conversation, like a normal human being. Not close the entire sale.
After this first message, maybe your website/free trial/email autoresponder takes over, and makes the sale, or maybe a live salesman takes over. But never lead with a message that tries to close too early. All cheese, no whiskers.
We want to enter the conversation that is currently bouncing around in your prospect’s head.
What is she legitimately having a problem with? How can your product alleviate this pain? Does she see it this way also? How does she currently view this problem? How can we introduce you/your story in a way that builds trust and intrigue, without raising salesy red flags (if at all).
This will shape how we can start a compelling conversation that won’t be deleted as junk right away.
Architect Your Outreach
Trish’s research shows that the average sales rep only makes between 1.7 and 2.1 attempts at contacting a new prospect.
We’ve all seen the research that it takes an average of 7 contacts before a prospect is ready to take action, so why is the average only 2 attempts?
Most likely because the company does not have a formal cadence process in place. The prospecting is haphazardly left up the individual sales reps. So when they don’t hear back right away, it becomes easy to forget about following up any further.
The Multi-Touch Approach
The best outreach programs get creative with their messages. Start with a phone call, then an email that references the content of the phone call in some way. If still no response, try another phone call (with a new message) followed by an email that references something else. Use your understanding and empathy of your prospects situation to write messages that they may actually be interested in.
Many reps don’t bother to leave voicemails, because very few of them are ever turned into return calls. But that type of thinking misses the bigger picture, because that voicemail can help to get your email replied to, or help set up future interactions by giving your prospect something to get excited about, or at least pique their curiosity.
by Michael Lambourne. Read more on LeadFuze
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