When is the last time that you made a purchase on a whim? This past weekend, I decided to go to a really fancy brunch with two of my friends. When the check came, it was about 5 times the price of what I would normally spend on brunch. It was a splurge, to be sure, but in the heat of the moment (and perhaps also the heat of the Los Angeles sun) it seemed like a good idea.
While buying a fancy dinner or a new iPhone are often emotional purchases, business-to-business (B2B) sales are quite different. Companies don’t tend to switch internet providers or marketing automation solutions on a whim. There’s a lot of research and due diligence that go into those decisions. Often a group of decision makers have to agree upon a new solution before change can occur. The result is that many B2B sales cycles are notoriously long.
If you’re in B2B sales, chances are you already know that it can take a long time for deals to close. But the fact is that by making some strategic and tactical shifts, your entire team can work together to close deals faster than ever before.
Here are 3 easy ways to keep leads moving through your sales cycle at maximum velocity.
One of the biggest objections B2B sales reps get from customers is that it isn’t the right time to buy. But if your sales team is smart, they can do a lot to identify the right time to sell to prospects. When possible, I recommend reaching out to companies after trigger events. One example of a trigger events is when prospects download content from your website. However, even if a prospect has never heard of your solutions before, you can still use trigger events to close deals faster. If a prospective company recently hired a new executive, it can be an opportune time to reach out. Likewise if a company just closed a funding round it can indicate that they have budget. LinkedIn can help you identify when companies hire new decision makers and AngelList can help you identify when companies close funding rounds.
Marketers have been using content to nurture leads for years. But sales managers should work with marketers to create content that’s tailor made to help reps close deals. For example, if prospects are regularly mentioning a particular competitor, your sales team can work with marketers to create a document that shows advantages your company has over that specific competitor. If you have the budget, you can get even more granular by working with marketing to get deal-specific content such as decks and one sheets.
One of the biggest reasons that deals get stuck is because inside sales reps are just not persistent enough. That’s why it is absolutely vital for managers to be tracking whether reps are calling leads enough times. Our customers are able to use our call metrics dashboards to quickly identify how many times reps are following up with leads. Then, managers can develop best practices for how many times reps should call leads and how often. For example, you might find that a large portion of deals move forward after 4 calls. In this case, giving up after only two call attempts could be sticking valuable deals that could otherwise close.
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingringDNA
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at ringDNA, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 9 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.