Does your business development team spend a lot of time “working the prospect?” This is a very common term in the sales world that means they are spending time with the prospective customer trying to find the right angle so they can close the deal. I know, there’s a lot more to it than that, however, we all know it can take a lot of time, sometimes all for nothing. For years, sales has been called “a numbers game.” The more people you contact, the better chance you have to make a sale. Yes, this can be true… sometimes. However, I believe we can make this process smarter and more efficient, yielding a higher close rate, reducing the rate of chance.
As we all know sales is challenging, time consuming and you’re not quite sure if the prospect is going to buy or not. If we could reduce the time answering questions for prospective customers that are not ready to buy and increase the time with prospective customers that are ready to buy, would you do that? What if we could learn something from our prospective customers that will help our marketing team target them effectively and educate them along the way. Hmm, I think we’re on to something. Now the sales team can speak to prospects that are more likely to purchase.
Two Questions To Think About First:
- If you know the sales team invests a lot of time answering prospective customer questions, how do you take advantage of the information they learned from those calls and conversations?
- How can business development team answer questions for the not-so-ready-to-buy prospect without to spend countless hours with them?
Follow This Process Next:
Once you answered the two questions above, here is a simple process that can be followed with a little collaboration from your sales and marketing team.
- Sales Team: Write down questions you hear from customers each day and send them to your marketing department. These questions can be anything about the brand, product, service, price, the competition, and even the market segment. These questions are usually centered on the prospective customer searching for answers. It could even be a pain point for the customer. They have a need or a problem and you have the ability to help them and/or solve their problem. The conversations you have with prospective customers can provide priceless information. Don’t listen to them and forget it. This information is valuable market research your marketing team needs to do their job better and also provide you with stronger leads. This valuable information can come from phone calls, emails, attending trade shows, social media, in-person meetings, webinars… anywhere where there is a prospective customer asking questions.
- Marketing Team: Now it’s time to get to work. Your job is to take all the questions the sales team gives you and make a long list. This list of questions is also a topic list in which you will create content that answers customer questions and helps solve their problems. This content should be delivered online so that when your customer searches for answers prior to contacting a sales person, they will see your information in the form of an eBook, blog, social media post, email, content article, video, or a website landing page. The marketing team’s job is to answer customer questions so that this information is accessible 24×7 online – broadening your online footprint. Now questions will be answered without the sales person spending valuable time.
Prospects have made about 60% of their buying decision before talking to a sales rep– HubSpot
Marketers, you can create content that is highly relevant to the prospective customer and solve their problems all at the same time. In doing so, your sales team will be able to spend more time with prospective customers that are more likely to buy and less time trying to “work the customer.” Give that job to the marketing team. Let the sales team spend their time actually closing deals.
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Photo Credit: HubSpot