Sit down with your sales people and ask them how their week is going. We bet the same complaint will crop up across the board. They’ll shrug, answer with an nonchalant things are going fine... and if they trust you enough, they’ll launch into a long-winded complaint about how they just haven’t been able to connect lately with prospects. They make their calls, even do some research beforehand to ensure it’s a warm call, but the conversation feels as forced as HR’s “funky hat day” to boost office morale.
If your sales people are complaining about the quality of their prospect conversations, it’s because they are missing a monumental piece in their sales call strategy...
A reason for the call
It seems so obvious and yet, it’s the one thing many sales reps are still getting wrong. Your reason for outreach is your differentiating factor. It’s the biggest thing that will set you apart from every other sales representative, but only if your outreach is well timed, your conversation is well executed and, most importantly, the topic is on-point.
We’re talking about using reference points to craft highly customized and personalized conversations. Where do you get these reference points?
Prospecting is the only way to ensure you have a meaningful conversation with a potential customer. Do it well, and you’ll know: who a prospect is; what their pain points are; how big their company is; why they need your solution; whether or not they have experience with your product or service; and how far along they are in their buyers' journey before you even pick up the phone.
This prepares you for confident, deep-level conversations that won’t bore or insult your prospect. The prospect may even leave the call feeling impressed with your wit, knowledge and empathy for their situation. Here are a few ways your reps can dig deeper into research, identify reference points and bring purpose to their conversations.
Follow the Prospect’s Company Blog
It’s a great way to keep up with company news, get a feel for what’s hot in your prospect’s industry, and understand business from their vantage. It may also help you build a case for why your solution is a perfect fit for them. While you’re at it — pay attention to which blogs they follow. There might be something telling about where they choose to get their information.
Set Up Revisit Notifications
Set up notifications that alert you when a prospect revisits your website. This gives you the opportunity to actually call them while they are in the process of researching your brand. For directions on how to do this in HubSpot, click here.
Monitor Your Prospect’s Social Media Pages
But don’t be creepy. Your conversation starter with a prospect shouldn’t be hey, looks like you had a great time in Florida last week. The point of observing their social media accounts is to look out for company news and updates that will make for a great conversation starter. Keep it professional, people.
Set up Google Alerts
Google Alerts allow you to enter search terms and receive email notifications any time Google finds new results that match those parameters. It’s a great way to ensure you don’t miss news stories or changes that apply to your prospects. To learn how to create an alert, click here.
Get Friendly With Your CRM
Seriously... your CRM should be your best friend by now. If it’s not — you’d better warm up to it quickly. If your CRM is properly integrated with marketing automation software, the closed loop reporting system should automatically be capturing lead intelligence as prospects interact with marketing collateral. Find out what information resonates with them and use it to plan your conversation.
There you have it — the giant chunk that’s been missing in your sales call strategy: purpose. It’s all about what you know, so don’t skimp on the research! Your prospects will appreciate not having to explain the basics to you, and you can cut out the fluff talk and get down to brass tacks.