Four months ago I shared an initial review of HubSpot’s new CRM system by remarking that I’ve never heard a sales rep or executive comment, “I love our CRM!” Well, I can no longer say that as several people have commented to me how much they love the CRM; and I’m one of those people.
While the CRM still has some meaningful improvements that are needed (for example it still has no real reporting capability), it is living up to the promise that was made when it was announced.
It happens to all of us. We feel like we’ve done a good job. We did our investigation, asked good questions, put together a strong proposal and delivered a solid presentation.
We left feeling great as everyone that we talked with sounded excited and there was a powerful vibe at the end. The only thing left was the formal decision to move ahead (and, of course, signing the contract or purchase order).
Then...nothing. Phone calls aren’t returned. Emails go by unnoticed. At most, we get cryptic responses indicating that no decision has been made yet, but everything is still under consideration. I call this a Zombie opportunity. It appears to still be walking, but there’s no life.
While there is a lot of conversation about strategy and tactics, growing a business is more about math and managing by the numbers than anything else. If you’re tracking the right things and communicating the numbers then growth becomes a much simpler task.
However, if you’re not tracking the right numbers, it is impossible to have the right strategy. Consider the results of a recent study that found:
Prospecting, like a lot of words used in business, gets thrown around a lot; yet means different things almost every time it’s used. I make that mistake when I say things like, “Salespeople shouldn’t prospect.”
I’ve been thinking about this as we’re in the process of updating (and upgrading) our go-to-market plan at Imagine. As we’re developing our plan, it’s become clear to me that there are three distinct types of B2B prospecting, each of which needs its own customized strategy to be successful.
To build a predictable growth model in the B2B sales world, you must choose which approach(es) you’re going to implement and dedicate the necessary resources to be successful. The worst thing you can do is try a one-size-fits-all prospecting approach
A common question I get from prospects is whether outbound sales efforts really work today. They talk about the noise in the market, the number of calls they get and how overloaded their email boxes already are.
My response is, “Crappy outbound doesn’t work anymore, but well-designed efforts work as well or better than they ever have.” A recent outbound effort where I was the recipient provides me a great opportunity to show why outbound efforts fail, and more importantly what you can do about it.Three weeks ago I received the following email (I’m eliminating all identifying information):