PROBLEM #1 – NO TIME. This is the biggest self-imposed challenge sales reps face. They believe they don’t have time to prospect on a daily basis after they attend to all the things they consider important. This is simply false. We have regularly worked with salespeople that believed were overloaded, and with proper time management strategies, we helped them free up 2 to 4 hours per week for prospecting that can result in over 30 new contacts in a single week. That’s 120 new contacts per month and over 1,400 contacts a year. Most salespeople don’t contact 120 new prospects in an entire year.
If you want to see an immediate increase in sales this is one of the best steps you can take.
PROBLEM #2 – Bad Messaging. Again this is a common self-imposed challenge for salespeople. They have a “wing-it” prospecting strategy. They make a couple of calls, attend a networking event, maybe ask a current customer for referral and then send out a bunch of poorly written emails that are never answered. Last year I worked with a client that sent out over 2,000 emails to what they believed were good prospects. The email campaign resulted in over 100 responses. Unfortunately, every response told the sales rep to remove them from their email list.
Working with the owner we uncovered a major crisis their target customer was experiencing. We developed a new email message that directly addressed the challenge and how they could provide a solution. We sent out 50 test emails with this new message to the prospects. We had 17 responses within a few hours and within two weeks they had conversations with over 30 potential customers. The results speak for themselves. An effective business to business prospecting system combines emails, networking, phone calls and LinkedIn engagements all using an effective targeted message that addresses your target markets pain points or presents a new opportunity.
PROBLEM #3 -POOR FOLLOW-UP. The only thing worse than not prospecting is failing to follow up on leads. One of the biggest customer complaints we hear is that sales reps consistently fail to deliver information to the prospect in a timely manner. Customers are not going to chase you for answers to their questions or a proposal, they’re going to forget about you and either stick with their current vendor or switch to the one they feel better suits their needs.
There are so many opportunities to outsell outmaneuver and out think your competitors but sales reps consistently fail to do things that make them stand out. Effective follow-up is one of the easiest, least expensive and best ways to differentiate yourself and your company.
If you are looking to improve your selling then consider making improvements in those three problem areas. Focus on better sales time management, develop better messaging and make sure you always follow up in a timely and effective manner.
Implementing any of these 3 simple, no-cost solutions will immediately provide an increase in your sales success. To make these solutions work you first have to acknowledge you have a challenge in any or all of these areas and then immediately change your mindset and that is the hardest part. If you want to be successful commit to a 30-day focus and a 90-day goal. Once you start to see small successes you will be on track for much greater things.
If you are looking for more ideas on how to improve your selling process check the B2B Sales resource centre. If you need help generating more leads and converting more of your prospects into customers consider investing in a business mentor.
Robert J. Weese, B2B Sales Coach , Professional Speaker
B2B Sales Connections
Are you looking for a speaker at your next sales conference? Robert J. Weese is a former broadcaster, award-winning professional speaker, author, and sales coach. He has lead high-performance sales teams to record growth over his career. For more information please contact him directly by email. Robert@b2bsalesconnections.com
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