Building your company probably depends on the right selling approach. Even the best digital marketing and lead generation strategy matters little if that final step, the actual sale, isn’t right.
But how do you get to that point? How can you make sure that your sales efforts actually help you convert prospects, and grow your business? To help answer that question, here are our top 5 best sales practices to help you convert more prospects.
1) Become a Thought Leader
First, you need to build credibility in the eyes of potential customers. By the time they hear directly from you, they should already associate your brand and its products with thought leadership in their industry and area of interest.
You can achieve this type of credibility in a variety of ways. For instance, you can build your social media presence to become a valuable resource for any member of your target audience. Your blog can accomplish the same effect, offering a space where you can comment on news and trends, share tutorials, and offer valuable advice.
2) Prepare Your Prospects
General credibility, of course, doesn’t tend to be enough to convince your prospects. Modern sales cannot sustain on cold calling, which actually comes with a customer conversion rate below one percent. By the time you pick up the phone, your prospects should be prepared for it.
Lead nurturing is a popular concept to get to that point. Offer easy ways for your audience to become prospects, through sign up pages and newsletter subscriptions. Then, begin to send regular follow-up emails designed to provide further information, and nudge your new prospects closer to sales-readiness. Finally, send an email shortly before the call to let your prospects know the pitch is coming.
3) Do Your Homework
In the process of convincing your prospects to become customers, you need to make sure that you leverage the information you have about them. The more you know, the more tailored your communication strategy can be to their needs. Both before and during the pitch, you should anticipate any questions and customize your messaging toward their needs.
That step, in turn, requires the implementation of a comprehensive lead database and CRM. Here, you can log any interactions with your prospects, while some software solutions even allow you to see what pages they’ve viewed. As a result, you can better tailor your messaging, and increase your chances of conversion.
4) Nail the Sales Pitch
Any list of best sales practices, of course, would be incomplete without at least mentioning the important of the sales pitch. No matter how good your buildup, the customer conversion can fail if you don’t get this step right.
HubSpot has compiled a list of the best ways you can nail your sales pitch. It includes tailoring each pitch to the potential customer, including social proof, and being honest about the consequences or next steps of the decision. It also pays to listen to your prospects, ask for feedback, and answer questions as needed.
5) Follow Up
Finally, it’s crucial to realize that the perfect selling process does not end after the pitch. Now is the time to follow up, whether it be with next steps (such as customer onboarding) or simple acknowledgments of the pitch itself.
The best way to engage in a follow-up is to treat it like you would the lead nurturing campaign mentioned above. Set up a set of emails and messages that allow you to both talk about the pitch, and outline potential future paths together. Converted customers will become more engaged, while those who jumped off may consider doing business with you in the future.
The times when selling was as simple as picking up the phone and making a pitch seem like ages ago. Today, your prospects are more educated and cynical toward selling than ever before, so new approaches are needed.
You might have noticed that at their core, the above five sales practices are actually closely related to inbound marketing. That’s because to succeed in today’s environment, you need to make sure that your marketing and sales efforts are tightly integrated. If you cannot do it on your own, work with an external partner who can help you streamline your operations, improve your customer conversions, and grow your business.