Reminisce back to a time when we sat with a phone list making cold calls hoping that one in a hundred would land a new customer. It was a numbers game, and what you needed was time and patience…lots and lots of it. It doesn’t have to be that way anymore, and frankly it shouldn’t be. There are many tools to help you build your business and be more productive, perhaps so many that you don’t know where to start. Let’s talk about three simple concepts that can easily be implemented to improve any sales program.
Network to hone in on your target market
Someone out there is looking to reach the same target audience that you are. They may not be selling the same product, but they are searching for the same buyers. Depending on the nature of your businesses, cooperation can be a huge asset.
Find out what they’re doing to reach these customers. How are they getting and holding buyer’s attention and driving interest? What challenges are they facing in these conversations? What sort of unconventional techniques are they using, and what feedback are they receiving that might surprise you?
The other option is to look at your network for someone who is selling a product or service that is complimentary to yours. Is there a cross-selling opportunity? Could you possibly setup a mutually beneficial referral agreement, so that they are incentivized to keep your product top of mind when talking to customers.
Know your client’s needs inside and out
Information is right at your fingertips these days, so you should have no trouble learning about your potential client. Delve in deep! Find out everything you can about the company and their journey. Look to see if there are any challenges they might be trying to overcome for which you could provide a solution.
If you can show them exactly how your product can help them solve a current problem, you are much closer to getting a deal. How is their world changing, and how does your product or service fall in line with new needs? Having the right timing with a relevant solution will ensure you and your message receive full consideration from your target customers.
Put technology to work for you
We all know that face to face conversations are the best way to create trusting relationships that lead to sales. With more clients being across the world or working from home, getting that face time isn’t always possible.
The best place to start leveraging technology is with video conferencing and tools like Skype. These are a great ways to bridge the gap between visits, or put a face with a name immediately after a valuable new prospect shows interest.
Touching base via phone, video, or in person is great, but at the same time you don’t want to be that needy salesperson begging for meetings, especially with busy high caliber B2B executives. There are other subtler methods using technology that can be leveraged to remind them to keep you at the top of their list.
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media channels can help your brand stay top of mind with prospects and customers. By running ads where your customers are online, you can create a halo effect of awareness even when not directly communicating with them. The first place you might think to find business professionals is LinkedIn, but keep in mind that Facebook is by far the biggest platform with most active users.
Think digital advertising just for awareness is too expensive? While Google Adwords has received a lot of corporate budget dollars of late, Facebook ads remain relatively inexpensive and untapped in the B2B world relative to the size of the audience and active daily use. A great way to most efficiently use an ad budget is by creating a Custom Audience of existing customers, or prospects that share the same traits as your best customers. There are even tools like this Custom Audience Builder that can help you pinpoint your exact buyers to show ads to.
Leveraging available resources efficiently will push you ahead and allow you to compete in a world overflowing with noise and information. Use these three areas as a jumping-off point, the key is taking the first step and getting started to try and see what works. Use your imagination and let your network and technology do the heavy lifting for you!