One of the hardest, and most important, aspects of the selling process is getting the sale off to a strong start. In this episode, we share how to strongly enter new accounts. We cover how to manage inbound leads, outbound prospecting and strategic prospecting.
Today's episode was inspired by the feedback we received on our recent blog post 6 of the Stupidest Things A Salesperson Can Say at the Start of a Sale. It focuses on how to effectively enter an account for each of the three primary prospecting situations you'll find yourself in:
- Responding to an inbound lead
- Outbound prospecting
- Strategic account prospecting
We started by highlighting the two elements that all forms of prospecting have in common:
- The need for comprehensive buyer personas that are distributed throughout the organization. In today's ZMOT world, you can't wait for your first conversation with a prospect to "know them."
- You must have strong messaging that aligns with and is personalized to each persona. Listen to the episode to learn the keys to an effective messaging blueprint.
Here are some of the highlights from the approaches we discussed on the show.
Before the first call attempt:
- Know their digital body langugage.
- Know where the lead fits within the organization and what persona role they fill (primary, secondary or tertiary).
- Be prepared with questions and content to get your message spread throughout the organization.
- The most important asset in outbound prospecting is a good list.
- It's better to have 20 lists of 200, than one list of 4,000. Why? Because you must be able to personalize your message to specific groups of people. In the podcast, we share the secret to effective segmentation.
- When developing your list...NEVER buy them (no matter how good the vendor says their list is).
- We share the keys to developing emails and phone outreaches that will work.
- Be sure you're creating value first...alway be helping.
- Develop a highly targeted list of companies you know fit your profile.
- Limit the number of prospects to 20 (no more than 30) per rep.
- Be sure you're using multiple channels and content to connect.
- Messaging for this approach must be customized (beyond personalized).
- Identify multiple targets to initiate conversation.
- Build the business case...use a tool like the 3 x 3 Sales Matrix we discuss.
In this episode, we highlight Trello...a really cool organizational tool that can be used in a variety of ways to keep track of what's happening, who's invovled and where things stand. Here's an example of a Trello "board" we use for keeping our editorial calendar:
Demand generation requires that you orchestrate multiple initiatives in a repeatable way. Trello is a tool that helps to make that easier.