b2b lead generation

Warming Up Those Necessary Cold Calls: 5 Tips to Remember When Cold Calling Business Leads

talking on phoneEven though lots of salespeople would like to avoid cold calling altogether, it makes a very effective sales tool. Here are five things you can do to ease your anxiety and make cold calling easier.

When most folks think about cold calling, they don’t get a warm feeling. Even experienced sales people can be intimidated by the prospect of picking up the phone and calling a new business prospect that doesn’t know them and is not expecting to hear from them. There are plenty of reasons why cold calling gives some the chills. They’re shy. They’re easily disappointed. They feel like they’re bothering people.

While these feelings are legitimate, it’s no excuse not to make the call. The fact remains that cold calling is a necessary and highly effective tactic in the vital campaign to build a successful new business pipeline and grow your company. Yet although cold calling is a significant component in generating leads, it is often given the lowest priority.

Today’s easy access to email doesn’t help matters either. Too often an email is substituted for the more personal and useful interaction that occurs when individuals actually use their voices to speak to one another. Cold calling is the first step toward winning new business. It’s the process by which we identify strong prospects and generate worthwhile leads. Trust that that the actual you, not the virtual you, is the best way to begin these relationships.

The following five tips should help you overcome your anxiety and improve your success rate:

1. It’s No Bother…It’s Just Business

It’s important, if not essential, to remind yourself that when you are cold calling prospects, you are doing business, during business hours, with other businesspeople.

You’re not calling someone’s home just as they’re sitting down to dinner after a long day at work. Your targets are at work, and they spend a great deal of their workday doing business on the telephone. Think of it this way. When your phone rings at home in the evening, you may let the voicemail take the call quite often. But when your phone rings in the office, you pick it up. Talking on the phone at work is the rule, not the exception. You’re not bothering anyone when you cold call. If you’ve targeted the right group of people than what you have to offer will be helping your prospect and you will no longer be perceived as a bother.

2. Research, or be Destroyed

Always make sure to spend the necessary time researching your prospects. First look at your past customers and see if you can find similarities that will allow you to find the folks that generated the most revenue for you. From there you can find prospects with the same demographics. Check out their Web sites. Look for any coverage they might have received in the media or in industry journals. Look into their competitors. You want to know not only what the prospects do, but also how they do it, and in what areas the companies have succeeded and in what areas they have failed. The purpose of thorough research is twofold. First, it allows you to create a viable prospect list by eliminating companies that are not appropriate targets for your services. No need to cold call a fish if you’re selling bicycles. Second, it will make you well prepared. The goal of a cold call is to talk not only about your company, but also to encourage the prospect to talk about their company and their needs.

3. “Less is Better”

Although you know everything there is to know about your product or service saying it succinctly is key when cold calling. I recommend that you introduce the product or service that most appeals to your prospects. After you get your foot in the door you can then up sell other services or products. Before making the actual call, write down what you want to say. It should include a statement of who you are and what your company does, a reference to the prospects needs in that area and an open-ended question that will lead to a longer conversation. Prepare yourself for objections. Objections are a good thing. It means that your prospect is listening. The more objections you plan for the better results you will have. Make sure your talking to the right person by asking some qualifying questions during your conversation and if the person your speaking to isn’t the right person find out who is and call them referencing the person who gave you their name. If you do this, you’ve created a script that will help you to organize your thoughts and boost your confidence!

4. Put One Foot in Front of the Other

For the easily discouraged, cold calling can prove a particularly distasteful experience. More often than not a prospect will be too busy to talk, or if the prospect does have time to take your call he or she will eventually confess that the company is not spending until the next quarter…of the next year! We all share the same economy. Don’t take it personally and don’t get discouraged. Treat each cold call as if it is your first call of the day. Just because a prospect can’t see your face, that doesn’t mean they can’t hear your attitude. In other words, any timidity, disinterest or gloom will shine right through that phone line. When I say smile, I mean it. And stand up when you make cold calls. The simple act of getting out of your chair will increase your energy and sharpen your focus. A good attitude is a key to success, and it’s easier to have good attitude when you have a good opening. Setting small reachable goals will help you to obtain success. If there are 10 prospects to cold call on your list for the day, the goal should be to have a valuable discussion with three of them. Don’t expect to close a deal on the call either. Realistic goals for cold calling include determining the quality of the prospect, stimulating interest in your services, agreeing to mail the prospect more information and/or securing a face-to-face meeting.

5. Following Through Means Following Up

New sales are made after an average of 4-5 contacts or “touches”. Your first touch is the cold call, the second is when you follow up with them (either by mailing or emailing) and then call again just to make sure that the information was received and to answer any questions. At this point you have now touched your prospect 3 times! (Almost there!) It sounds like a no-brainer, but very often we find it easier to move on to the next opportunity than to show persistence. Simple things like doing what you say you’re going to do may not close a sale, but failing to follow through can absolutely kill your chances.

Cold calling is a proven method of generating new business. If you want to grow, you have to contact prospects and generate leads. The cold calling process allows you to more accurately identify solid targets, quickly generate interest in your products and services and easily develop a dialogue with people whose needs match what you have to offer. Just follow these five simple tips, and the next time opportunity knocks, you won’t leave it out in the cold.

https://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/coldcalltips.htm

Sales Lead Generation

The quickest way to generate qualified leads is to utilize a b2b telemarketing process.  It’s easy to utilize the internet and gather prospects but often times it’s easier to send an email and wait around for a response.  To be proactive, and a great sales person, picking up the phone, finding the right person and then asking a few simple qualifying questions can start your b2b lead generation process in an afternoon.

New sales leads are the lifeblood of many businesses. To successfully generate them, you’ll need to actively prospect for marketing leads – then quickly identify and follow up the hottest prospects.

Acquiring business leads
Simple lead generation usually starts with desk research and you might find sales leads in directories (on and offline), or by buying a targeted mailing list.

Networking and encouraging your customers to provide word-of-mouth referrals can be more powerful ways of generating sales leads, however. They don’t just provide you with the names of potential leads, but also with useful introductions.

Alternatively, you can rely on repeat sales and responses to advertisements and other promotional activities. Enquiries can be “hot” or at least “warm” leads, as these potential customers have already expressed an interest in what you offer. Be careful not to depend too much on this kind of passive lead generation, though, as it may blunt your ability to actively source prospects when you need to.

Qualifying sales leads
You may be tempted to focus your efforts on getting as many sales leads as possible. But the key to success is getting qualified leads – people you have a good chance of selling to. Remember, that the overall aim is to make sales, not just leads.

The faster you can discard unpromising leads, the less time and money you waste on them and the more you can focus on better prospects. You should try to qualify leads before you start selling to them:

Does the potential customer need what you are offering?
Are they likely to buy soon, or should you approach them again at a later date?
Do they have the money to buy your product?
Have you identified a decision-maker with the authority to buy?
Do you have a reasonable chance of making a sale?
Unlike selling, when you aim to overcome objections, you should accept that not every lead will meet your criteria. Focusing on a small number of qualified leads can be far more effective than trying to sell to too many prospects.

Sales lead management
For many businesses, the most important factor in successful sales lead generation is to commit resources to it. You can then decide whether it’s more effective for lead generation to be part of a general sales role within your business or carried out by separate researchers. A lead generation service might also be an option.

Whoever is doing the prospecting needs to understand what they are trying to achieve and how to go about it. A typical approach is to qualify leads before requesting a meeting or following up with more information in a sales letter. There should be clear agreement on when a lead is handed to a salesperson.

Sales tools like customer relationship management software can help you track contacts and follow up on leads at the right time. Systems like these can also help you monitor lead generation numbers and sales conversion rates, so you can identify what is and isn’t working.

marketingdonut.co.uk/sales/sales-lead-generation/sales-lead-generation-overview

How to Make a Successful Cold Call

Making a cold call can increase your sales activity almost instantaneously.   The e-book “Cold Calling for the Clueless” is a guide to help you set up a b2b telemarketing process for your organization.  It also outlines the steps below in a little more detail.

While there are plenty of ways to get sales leads, sometimes you end up having to call people you’ve never met. This process, known as “cold calling,” is actually easy–but only if you know how to do it.

Here’s a step-by-step guide.

1. Introduce yourself. When you get through to a prospect, say:

You: Hello [prospect’s first name], this is [your name] from [your company] …
2. Obtain permission to continue. Without waiting for the prospect to respond, immediately ask the following question:

You: … Have I caught you in the middle of something?
So, the whole opener should sound like: “Hello, Jim, I’m John Doe from Acme. Have I caught you in the middle of something?” Exactly like that.

In most cases, the prospect will respond one of three ways:

“It’s always a bad time, but what’s this all about?”
“No, this is not a bad time. What can I do for you?”
“I’m in the middle of something. Call me later this afternoon.”
If you get the third response, go to Step 3.

Otherwise, skip Step 3 and proceed directly to Step 4.

3. Reschedule the conversation. If you get that last response, say:

You: Thanks, I’ll call you then.
Make a note in your calendar to call again at that time. Call back at the time that you committed to do so. If your prospect answers the phone, proceed to Step 4.

However, if when you call back, you land in voicemail, leave this message:

You: Joe, you asked that I call you around this time, but it looks like you’re out. Call me at XYZ number, but if I don’t hear back from you by this Friday, I’ll call you on Tuesday.
Then call back when you said you would. When you get finally through, proceed to Step 4.

4. Continue the conversation. If in Step 2 you got one of the first two responses, say:

You: I know I’m calling you out of the blue, but sometimes if I don’t know anyone at the company I’m calling, this is the only way to develop a relationship. All I want to do right now is quickly introduce myself, my firm, and my offering.
As I mentioned, I’m with [your company] and we help companies [what your company does] and I was wondering how to best position myself to determine if our product may be a fit for you?
Most of the time, the prospect will either continue the conversation or point you at somebody who is more appropriate. In either case, you’ve successfully made the cold call and are moving the sale forward. Congratulations!

inc.com/geoffrey-james/how-to-make-a-cold-call.html

Cold Call Tactics That Increase Sales

This article has great tips on utilizing b2b cold calling in your sales process.  I was going to try and single out my most favorite tip but I like them all! It differentiates between prospecting and telemarketing (blitzing), talks about the timing of the call, and how to be persistent and not annoying.

As social media and web applications have become the hottest networking tools in business, too many sales managers are burying the cold call as an obsolete business practice. If you fall in this category I’ve got news for you: the cold call is not only alive, it’s kicking. And it should be utilized by every B2B sales force.

I see far too many sales teams focus all their attention toward hosting fancy webinars or creating snazzy web-based marketing channels. Still, cold calling remains the most effective way to set up appointments with the right decision makers at your target accounts. A Fortune 50 wireless telecom company hired our firm to train their sales force in the ways of cold calls, and saw a 10% jump in revenue after implementing the tips below. Other clients have seen similar leaps in meetings or demos scheduled, from 20-100%.

So how can you convert phone tactics into actual results? Here are four cold calling tips that will make the sale:

1. Get the direct line of the person that you are cold calling. This doubles the probability of the person answering the phone.

2. Separate your cold calling into two activities: prospecting to find the right person, and call blitzing to get that person on the phone. I recommend prospecting during normal business hours (starting around 10-11:30 am) when administrative assistants are in the office and call blitzing during “call windows,” before 8:30 am and after 5:30 pm when admins are gone. Some other great times to call are five minutes before the top of the hour, catching the executives before their next conference call meetings, and holidays like President’s Day, when executives are likely to be in the office and other business may be slow.

3. Know the difference between persistence and annoyance. Follow these rules of thumb to be professional while consistently reaching out to prospects: manage the flow of information (make sure it’s a constant flow), personalize each message, vary the medium (use an alternating combination of voicemails and emails), and always add value with each subsequent touch.

4. Utilize online resources. There are so many new tools to help you out, including information sources like LinkedIn, Jigsaw, InsideView, and ZoomInfo. With ConnectAndSell you can even outsource your dialing and block an hour to sit at your desk to only talk to live prospects when they get a “connect.”

These techniques have helped us set up thousands of sales appointments with strategic executives at target companies. With a good cold calling effort, you can propel your sales team

hbr.org/2010/03/the-art-of-the-cold-call-4-tip

Use cold calling for lead generation

This is a great article that outlines the b2b cold calling/ b2b lead generation process.  My one critique is that there is little discussion about lead qualification. In order for lead generation to be valuable the prospects need to be qualified to determine if they are worthy of your time.

Cold calling is one of the best techniques you can use for lead generation marketing. Unlike other advertising strategies, this option puts you into direct contact with consumers. Stephan Schiffman, author of “Cold Calling Techniques: That Really Work,” believes that cold calling is especially important given how frugal most consumers have become over the last few years.

“The economy has everyone at a four-way stop sign. No one is moving. So your No. 1 competition right now is the status quo. Forget ROI [return on investment] or cost or color or anything else. Every buyer will ask: ‘Does buying this product make sense for me?’ You’ve got to give him that reason.” Schiffman said, according to Microsoft Business Hub.

Telemarketing does have a negative reputation, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from pursuing this strategy. You may be missing out on great leads if you don’t start cold-calling leads sooner rather than later. Here are a few tips to get your new marketing campaign off the ground.

Write a script
While you and your employees should treat every consumer like an individual, you need a general framework to use during the calls. With such a high volumes of calls to make, you must ensure that the right statements are being made to convince prospects that they should buy your products or subscribe to your services.

Microsoft Business Hub recommends writing a script and sticking with it for your phone calls. The documents are basic guidelines employees should follow when someone answers the call, but Wendy Weiss, author of “Cold Calling for Women: Opening Doors and Closing Sales,” points out that workers shouldn’t use their scripts for specific conversations.

“The script shouldn’t be word for word. It’s a way to prepare yourself for the conversation. You decide ahead of time how you want to present yourself, what reaction you want to get and how to ask for what you want,” Weiss said.

Listen to a few cold calls to learn what is usually said during successful ones. Use these statements in your script so employees understand what they should say and how they can steer the conversations in positive directions.

Prospect and blitz
The Harvard Business Review recommends dividing your cold-calling efforts into two separate tasks: prospecting leads and then blitzing the best prospects. The former should be completed before the latter so you know who your best leads are and have more time to call them multiple times. The news source notes that prospecting should be done early, but blitzing requires careful timing. Consider waiting until late in the day or early the next day to catch consumers before they become busy.

Rejection is a common aspect of the blitzing phase, so tell your employees not to give up after one or two unsuccessful calls. Consumers aren’t always receptive to cold calls, but persistence pays. Eventually, a prospect may be willing to listen if you call frequently enough and show that you won’t give up.

Don’t make small talk
Personal phone calls usually start with pleasantries, but cold calls should only be about business. AllBusiness notes that common greetings from strangers are off-putting to consumers. The call should begin with a direct statement. For instance, you can instruct employees to start by introducing themselves and saying where they work.

The news source also explains that you should never ask if consumers are available to talk. This question gives leads the perfect escape route from the call – they can simply say no and hang up the phone. Only use direct statements and don’t ask questions until the conversation is flowing naturally and you’re confident that the prospect is interested in hearing additional information.

Research leads
You should be prepared for every call before picking up the phone. Be proactive and learn everything you can about a consumer before cold-calling him or her. Research is a crucial part of every marketing strategy and will allow you to tailor your sales pitch to specific individuals. Entrepreneur Magazine notes you can just use a basic Google search to find some background information. In most cases, you’ll be able to find social media profiles and blogs so you can learn personal details that will help your sales representatives make successful calls.

Practice makes perfect
Experience is the key to success for cold calling. You need to practice your sales pitch and hone your script to generate leads. If you’re going in blind, you’ll likely lose more opportunities than you gain. Start slow by listening in on a few calls and then start conducting your own.

Cold calling is one of the most effective lead generation strategies you can use to bolster sales and find new customers.

coxblue.com/use-cold-calling-for-lead-generation/

Money Making Methods for Following Up with Trade Show Leads

This article is right on about the follow up strategy for trade show leads.  When I started IT’S YOUR CALL I knew that most companies didn’t do the necessary follow up on leads gathered from trade shows.  I went to exhibitors at small business trade shows and asked who would do the lead qualification to all the prospects in their gold fish bowls? I then explained that being a B2B telemarketing service we could help them out!

The trade show is winding down and the exhaustion is setting in. So much planning! So much work! You’ve got a bunch of hard-earned leads when that nagging thought creeps in… what happens now? Do we have a solid plan to make the most ROI from these fresh contacts?

According to new research from Certain, 57% of survey respondents said it takes their organization four days or more to follow up with leads after an event concludes. Only 6% can follow-up with prospects on the same day or the day following the event. Timing is the key for successful follow up. Is your sales team ready for the leads that you gathered?

Having a solid follow-up plan is one of the most important parts of your overall trade show strategy. Too often we find exhibitors don’t have the necessary sense of urgency or a well-thought-out plan to successfully contact leads obtained at the show. It is all too common for leads to NEVER be contacted. Leads seem to “disappear into the ether” without a well-developed and executed after-show protocol.

There are many ways to capture a lead on the show floor and the follow-up method will be the same no matter how they were collected. There are many sophisticated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems available that make this process easier. Touch screen and badge scanning technology allows you to instantly capture their info. The most important thing to keep in mind is that leads are time sensitive.

Common Lead Follow-up Methods

  • Phone call
  • Email — this can be done directly from the show floor if you are using interactive technology.
  • Social media – LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are powerful and immediate contact points.
  • Direct mail including follow-up packets — include a thank you letter, catalog, informational brochures, special offers and maybe even a company branded give-away (people love freebies). Have these prepared before the show to get them out quickly after.
  • Best case is to schedule appointments directly from the show floor.

Keep in mind that the follow-up process starts on the show floor by qualifying your prospects properly and organizing their information immediately. Having the staff keep good notes on what the lead was interested in, buying timeline, and purchasing credentials will help identify leads as hot or cold. Using a score card is also an effective way to make sure they are being qualified correctly. Hot leads need to be followed up on immediately, within 48 hours of the show. Again, CRM software can help prepare a lead to go through the sales funnel quickly and efficiently.

Using interactive technology can also help qualify your leads with targeted surveys to find out what they are interested in. Analytics track what products and services are investigated. Automatic follow-up emails or custom messages can be scheduled with more useful content and information. New inbound marketing systems give customers what they want no matter where they are in the sales funnel.

Lead Follow-up Timeline

  • Send a simple thank you email 1-2 business days after the show, even if you emailed them directly from the show floor. Mention the topic of the conversation you had with the person and how your product can solve their problems. The personal touch can make a dramatic difference.
  • Follow up with a phone call to schedule a face to face appointment 1-2 weeks after the show.
  • If appropriate, extend a personal invite to an open house or corporate seminar at your facility 2-3 months after.
  • Deliver content and special offers catered to the lead via drip-campaign emails.

Lead Follow-up Tips

  • Have a meeting with follow up staff to clearly communicate timeline and expectations.
  • Craft emails with a recognizable and personalized subject, such as “(James), here is the information you requested at (show).”
  • Include succinct and mobile friendly email content highlighting the value your company will add to their program, your solution to a problem they are currently having, why your product/service/company is superior, a call to action, and a product/service overview. Give them valuable content they want and will use.
  • Put all potential leads into the CRM tool your company uses for future use. Make sure to drop them into a specific Nurture Campaign to keep them engaged.
  • Hold your sales reps accountable for actually following up with the qualified leads generated on the trade show floor.
  • Don’t start the follow up conversation with a sales pitch. Start with referencing the conversation you had with them on the sales floor (this is where those notes will really come in handy)

Following up in a short amount of time is crucial. Prompt, personalized and helpful follow up touches will lead to more sales. Organizing your leads into categories based on importance will help you prioritize and get the most return on investment from your trade show. But most of all, don’t let those leads melt away over time. Contact them!

https://www.applerock.com/blog/post/best-practices-following-after-trade-show#

 

The 7 most important stages in the b2b telemarketing funnel

b2b lead generation

This is a great breakdown of the B2B telemarketing process for generating leads.  Defining the steps helps all involved to understand the various stages of the sales funnel.  Working with our customers we make sure that everyone has the same definitions for the various aspects of the sale funnel.

Funnel measurements have two important benefits in B2B lead generation:

Helping marketers forecast outcomes.  By tracking the conversion percentages, marketers can apply those conversion percentages to each new campaign and predict what the outcome will be before the campaign occurs.  Such predictions are very helpful in capacity planning and budgeting.

Helping marketing identify funnel leakage and optimize revenue production.  Marketers can apply both their own internal, historical baseline conversion ratios (i.e., an aggregation of conversion ratios) and industry benchmarks, like those gathered by MarketingSherpa.

Executive-level funnel metrics provide marketers with the 50,000-foot view to provide an end-to-end perspective.  But when there appears to be leakage, zooming in on a particular leak is essential.

In that context, let me share seven funnel conversions for telemarketing.

But first, let’s agree on the scope. In B2B, there are two important functions in this  area:

  • Following up on, qualifying, educating, and nuturing marketing responses until they are sales-ready leads.
  • Prospecting into target accounts to identify and qualify existing demand and to generate demand and convert that demand into sales-ready leads.

For both of these activities, it seems the key funnel stages would be similar. But, what are they?

Before I share a point of view on this important subject, let me say that telemarketing is very complex and the interpretation of outcomes at various stages of the funnel are more and more subjective. Plus, in one call, the telemarketing rep may go through all the funnel stages.

  1. Dial – a telemarketing rep making an outbound dial; or a customer making an inbound call.
  2. Connection –the dial converting into a connection.Those dials that do not convert into connection either have busy-outs, dials with no answers, recorded phone company messages about the number being out of service or changed. A very high percentage of dials not converting into connections means the list or lead source is problematic.
  3. Conversation.– the rep reaching someone to have a conversation, however short; a prospect reaching a telemarketing representative via an inbound call.
  4. Decision-maker conversation – some of the conversations are with those who would be part of a decision and some are not, either because the telemarketing representative is speaking merely to a receptionist or to someone otherwise not involved in the solution area.

Decision-maker/decision-influencer conversations are much more predictive of future purchase intent than non-conversations. Even when following up on marketing responses, it’s not uncommon that 20 percent of more of the leads never make it to this stage.

  1. Qualified Account –Usually, the first thing a telemarketing representative does is qualify the person. The second thing is often qualifying the account. Is the account in the target market? Those that are would get this kind of status.

At the top of the market, the funnel may end here with an attempt to set an appointment, the idea being that the sales person will take meetings with the right people in the right accounts because the buying potential is so large.

  1. Acknowledged Need – The next thing a telemarketing representative does is discover if there are buying plans, and if not, at least an acknowledged need. Those who meet the other criteria (Qualified Account, a stakeholder in the decision processs) and have an acknowledged need are the most likely to convert into a sales-ready lead.

In fact, for some larger accounts, the sales organization may decide that this level of qualification is sufficient to warrant sales follow-up. Others in this stage might warrant tele-nurturing.

  1. Sales-Ready Lead.Sales-ready leads meet any other qualifying criteria, like a particular timeline for buying, the existence of a budget, etc.

And then, of couse, the overall sales-marketing funnel extends beyond the telemarketing operation as sales people validate leads, convert them into opportunities, forecast them, and close them.

There are some problems with the above funnel however:

  • It doesn’t account for inbound or outbound emails sent to or from the telemarketing representative or the clickthroughs that might happen.
  • It doesn’t factor in online chat sessions, where there might be an opportunity to identify the prospect, qualify their interest, role, and the account they work for, all before having a live conversation with them.
  • There is also nothing in here about leaving messages, per se, like a voice mail.
  • There could certainly be other stages, like a presentation stage, where the telemarketing representative presents, however informally, some kind of elevator pitch to the prospect.
  • It’s also possible that by sending an Outlook meeting request or speaking to an admin, a telemarketing representative schedules a phone meeting.
  • Finally, there isn’t a stage for doing some kind of preliminary investigation of an account and/or a contact, like going to LinkedIn or the account website.

Obviously, these limitations speak to the complexity of B2B telemarketing for the complex sale, and the evolution of this capability to include more and more Web-based tools for both discovery and communication.

marketingsherpa.com/marketing/b2b-marketing-teleprospecting-funnel/

 

INCREASE B2B SALES BY MANAGING YOUR PROSPECTING AND SALES RATIOS

b2b lead generationOne of the benefits of working with IT’S YOUR CALL is that we track what occurs which each dial.  The results are then given to our customers in a weekly report.  Thus allowing them to manage their telemarketing campaign and measure the ROI. 

I asked a six person sales team I was coaching if they knew how many sales meetings it took (on average) to generate one qualified proposal. No one knew for sure.

A business owner I coached didn’t record the stats from her direct mail campaigns. She always made a few sales so she just kept it going. (But at what cost?).

A manager of a small B2B call-center I met didn’t know how many decision-maker conversations it took (on average) to set one appointment. (It’s different with every caller he said…).

Not-Working.com!

Management guru Dr. Peter Drucker said, “What gets measured gets managed.” Want to avoid sales mediocrity? Then track your numbers and improve your ratios. If you’re responsible for generating new business, start by looking at a meaningful number worth tracking…your desired income.

As a salesperson, what’s your annual income goal?

Let’s say your goal is to earn $84,000 a year ($7,000.00 per month). To figure out how to do that, work your ratios backwards as follows.

On average:

  • How much revenue is required to earn $7,000 monthly?
  • How many sales does that equate to each month?
  • How many proposals are required to yield one new sale?
  • How many prospects do you need to set appointments with to yield one qualified proposal?
  • How many decision-maker conversations must you have to generate one appointment?
  • How many dials (see definition below) are required for one decision-maker conversation?

And there you have it. Schedule X dials a week and you’re on plan.

A “Dial” means: 

  • You reach a prospect’s voice-mail
  • The receptionist says the prospect is not available
  • The number is not in service
  • You connect with a live prospect

You can’t control how many decision-makers (prospects) you connect with, but if you make the dials and have an effective introductory call process, the decision-maker conversations and appointments will come.

The number of dials you make per week is completely in your control. The key is knowing how many you need to make each week and scheduling them.

Let’s review:

  • Elements completely out of a salesperson’s control – conversations with decision-makers
  • Elements partially within a salesperson’s control – Number of appointments made and qualified proposals submitted (your effectiveness has a bearing on results)
  • Elements completely within a salesperson’s control – Number of dials made!

http://www.evancarmichael.com/library/michael-schell/Increase-B2B-Sales-by-Managing-Your-Prospecting-and-Sales-Ratios.html

B2B Sales Tips: How to Initiate Successful Cold Calling Conversations

cold calling prospecting

Whether its called B2B telemarketing, B2B lead generation or just plain old cold calling, the success of this strategy is determined by how comfortable you are with your pitch.  The tips below are good to keep in mind when you get on the phone.  I would add, though,  that practicing and role playing before you make the actual calls help to develop confidence. If you want to learn more check out “Cold Calling for the Clueless” an e-book for the non sales professional.

Whether you’re a sales professional delivering working from a large prospect list, or a business person on the receiving end of a cold call, the unsolicited sales call often creates discomfort in both parties.

But a review of tips from respected sales experts shows that cold calling can turn into a happy win-win situation for everyone.

Here are the top guidelines that experts consistently mention:

  1. Be genuine, be yourself. This requires real conversation, not reading scripts.
  2. Research your prospects to determine their needs and identify what you have in common that can be used to fuel conversation and create bonding.
  3. Delay pushing for your sales goal right away. Instead, focus on the prospect’s problems, which you can acknowledge and validate, demonstrating that you care.
  4. You only have a few seconds at the beginning of your call before you risk losing the prospect. Prepare a confident, concise opening statement that provides the all-important  WIFM (“What’s in it for me”), drawing in the prospect and creating the conditions for real conversation.
  5. Remember always: It’s not about you, it’s about the prospect.

 

http://www.fp-usa.com/b2b-sales-tips-cold-calling/

5 Ways to Generate B2B Leads at Trade Shows

b2b trade show lead generation This article is written from the PR perspective but whether its from this industry perspective or any other marketing industry perspective the consensus is that a follow up phone call needs to occur after the trade show. Customers have hired IT’S YOUR CALL to  follow up on the b2b leads  they’ve generated at trade shows and we have always uncovered “hidden gems”.  Not only will follow up secure permission for opt in mailing lists but also has the extra benefit of qualifying the prospects.

  1. Contact the Right People Weeks Before

Typically, a trade show will release a list of press members who are covering the show. This may include bloggers, influencers, and journalists.

While these contacts are not themselves leads, their audience is. One of the most important steps you can take to snag time with these influential people is to reach out to them by email at least several weeks before a show. Request that they stop by your booth, and if possible, schedule a time for them to do so. Remeber that media get jammed at trade shows so you want to be early enough for them to see you. If they are overscheduled or not attending the conference, not to worry. Offer them the opportunity to interview you in advance and embargo the interview till the show.

If you can, give them samples, a free trial, or a demo of your product or service.  And don’t forget to provide background information or any helfpul collateral.

  1. Land a Speaking Engagement

Securing a speaking gig is a great way to generate more credibility around your brand, as well as yourself as a thought leader.

This isn’t always easy to do, so you must plan well in advance. Thought leadership begins with your owned media. In addition, once you have established credibility, you will have to submit an application to speak, likely months in advance. Here’s one tip to help get you in the door: Submit if you can with a customer. Trade shows are loaded with vendors eager to speak and you can differentiate yourself by presenting with a customer.

Landing a speaking engagement at a trade show is well worth the effort, as it will drive prospects, not only to your booth, but to your website since you will (with any luck) create a memorable presence.

  1. Establish Your Goals

Of course, the end game is always to turn strangers into buyers. However, the stage you’re at in your marketing game will largely determine your goals and means of achieving them.

If you’re a startup, you’re main mission at a trade show might be to create a buzz by handing out free swag. However, if you’re well-established, you might be aiming to launch a new product, or secure greater publicity.

Get your strategy in place by first determining your end game.

  1. Get Busy on Social Media

In the weeks and days that precede a trade event, you’ll want to create a buzz on social media. If your brand is launching a new product at a trade show, why not use Snapchat to reveal a hint of the product, mentioning that the full product will be unleashed at the upcoming trade show.

While you’re at the trade show, take full advantage of Facebook Liveto capture real-time highlights of the event.

  1. Follow Up

Want to know something a bit frightening? One statistic says:

“90% of trade show attendees received no follow-up within 12 months of their visit.”

If you want anything to come of your trade show experience, you must follow up. That means inputting new contacts into your CRM, reaching out via email or telephone, and asking for permission to add them to your email list.

Just think… if you can accomplish this one task that so few B2B companies are paying attention to, you’ll have the upper hand to win your prospects’ attention.

http://b2bprblog.marxcommunications.com/b2bpr/how-to-get-killer-b2b-leads-at-trade-shows