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Prospecting: The Single Most Important Factor of Your Sales Success

Almost 90 percent of companies that improve the customer experience will see a boost in revenue. 

If you want success in your business, you need to realize why the customer experience is so important, especially when it comes to sales. Prospecting, the early stage of sales, is critical to your business. You need to know who you’re targeting and how you can help them. 

However, you must know the difference between prospecting and leads. You should also know what to do when you’re prospecting that can give you more sales. 

Here’s a guide on everything you need to know about prospecting and how it can help your business. 

What’s the Difference Between Prospecting and Leads? 

When you generate leads, you are not qualifying them. You are trying to get as many people through your funnel and sign up with their information. 

But you don’t know how qualified they are. That means you don’t know if customers signed up on an accident, are ready to buy, or are months away from buying. 

You can accumulate leads when someone signs up for something on your websites like a lead magnet, a blog post, a newsletter,  or something else that gets someone to give you their information. 

Prospecting is a bit different than leads. Prospecting is when you have more qualified people who are more ready to buy than leads. Prospecting is for people who are your target audience. They are ready to get on a sales call and make a purchase. 

However, leads and prospecting still require work. It requires you to do a lot of work about your prospects to have a successful call. 

Here are some of the best tips when it comes to prospecting. 

Look at the Funnel

If you want higher quality leads, better prospecting, you need to inspect your funnel. You need to see what works and what doesn’t. 

Take for example the strategy AIDA — Attention; Interest; Desire; Action. This strategy is critical to your funnel. 

You want to grab someone’es attention in the funnel with a lead magnet, an ad, a blog, or something else. The part that grabs your customer’s attention should immediately hook them. It should appeal to a specific audience. 

Next, you want to interest them in your product. That is when you warm them up to what your business does. It could mean you put them on an email campaign sequence and tell stories about your business. 

The next part of your sales prospecting strategy is to give them desire. This is when the customer decides to buy the product. However, before you reach that point, you need to train your sales team. 

You need to make sure the prospect is ready to buy. 

Finally, you have action, when the product is purchased. There is no hesitation. 

Overall, your sales funnel can take a lot of work, but when you have it mastered, you won’t be generating unqualified leads. You’ll be generating prospects who are ready to buy. 

What Does Your Ideal Target Customer Look Like? 

If you don’t know what your target market looks like, you can’t help them. You don’t know their problems or why your business can benefit them. 

Creating a buyer persona will help you understand the target market. You are figuring out their age, their interest, behavior, and where they live. The more you know about your target market, the more you know how to help them. 

In addition, knowing about your target market can also help you create a better sales funnel that appeals to your target market. You also have a better idea of how to help them and how to address their problems when you are on a sales call with them. 

One of the ways to help you understand your target market better is to look at their online behavior. Look at how long they are staying on your website, what page they visit the most, and what they click on the most. 

You’ll have insight into what kind of content your audience is looking for. Your audience wants to see what can help them out the most. 

Have a Stellar Sales Message

When you have a sales system, a pipeline, it helps you keep track of prospects. Not everyone will be ready to buy immediately, which is why it’s important to have a sales pipeline. 

You want a sales pipeline that helps you move prospects from one stage of the funnel to the next stage. As a result, consumers will move close and closer to buying. 

A sales pipeline can also provide data for companies. It can tell a business how well your sales team is performing and how many prospects they are converting into paying customers. 

Finally, a sales pipeline can help you figure out your revenue goals. If you want to try and meet your revenue goals, you need to know how many sales you need each week to each month. You need to figure out what area of your sales team or the funnel needs to improve to reach your revenue goals.

Now You Know the Value of Prospecting

Every business needs a system to evaluate their prospects. A business needs to figure out how to improve their system to give them more success, to give them more sales from their prospecting. 

When you understand the value of your funnel, and you know everything about your ideal market, the sales part is much easier. But you should master the techniques of completing a sale. You want to show how you can help your target market. 

If you want help with your sales pipeline, you can contact us here

How to Leverage “No for Now” Into Your Future Sales

Rejection in sales is hard to face sometimes.  When you offer a product or service that you believe in, it’s difficult to get shot down instead of getting the chance to win over a prospective customer. 

So how can you avoid this? 

Whether you have a B2B or B2C business, rejection happens with both and it often ends with customers saying “no for now” to your campaigns. Here’s why and how you can convert these interactions into future sales. 

1. Why “No For Now” Can Translate to Future Sales

Since 73% of B2B leads prematurely receive sales pitches, this proves that a vast majority of prospective clients often end up rejecting a sales pitch simply because it occurs too early in the customer experience.

Sometimes a “no” from a customer just means “no for now.” That means there’s an opportunity to win the customer’s interest in the future. The problem isn’t your product or service, it’s the timing.

First-time customer interactions don’t always last very long. So if you’re rejected, that can sometimes be the end of the interaction and the customer moves on. 

Instead of focusing on how to win customers over within one interaction, you can achieve this through multiple interactions. 

This allows your prospective customers to become more familiar with your products or services and develop long-term interest for future sales. 

Since timing is the primary problem, you have to find the right moment to pitch to customers. You need sales strategies that allow you to control the timing and allow your customers to respond to your offers on their own time. 

These methods allow your target customers to reach out to you and express buyer interest. If they’re interested, there’s less opportunity for them to reject your offers.

 

2. Create Email Alert Opt-Ins for Promotions

Email marketing is one of the best marketing methods to generate long-term revenue.  It’s got the highest ROI out of all the other marketing channels and it’s still widely used, despite its age.

Best of all, email marketing allows you to control the timing of your marketing campaigns so that you can appeal to those “not now” customers at the right time.

Email marketing often enables you to tailor promotions to individual customers. This is otherwise known as personalization, and it allows your promotions to operate on the customer’s timeline so that they’re less inclined to put off your offer due to timing.  

Here’s an example. If a customer expresses interest in a product but doesn’t make a purchase, you can invite them to share their email info to receive promotional offers or information on that same product. 

With this strategy, you encourage the customer to look out for a product with a discount they could’ve otherwise missed. 

Not only does this benefit the customer, but it keeps them engaged with your product and allows them to purchase when the time is right for them. 

Email marketing also works for business platforms other than eCommerce stores such as in-person or service-based business.

If a prospective customer walks in requesting information, you can offer to give them regular updates on that information via email. While this doesn’t promise you future sales, it does increase your chances of getting those future sales. 

3. Use Sales Funnels

Sales funnels are fundamental tools to use, especially if you have an online presence or you’re trying to build that presence.

In addition to increasing customer retention and building customer loyalty, sales funnels also help you attract new customers. 

While sales funnels don’t always offer a lot of control over timing, they do allow you to control how the number of interactions with your products and services.

This is because they’re uniquely designed to handle upfront rejection. In a sales funnel, “not now” customers have more opportunities to reconsider your offers.

For instance, if a prospective customer declines an offer in a sales funnel, you can promote another offer of interest immediately after without overstepping.

This other product can either be a fraction of the original product’s price to incentivize the customer’s purchase, or it can simply be another related product that adds value. 

You can also use a similar strategy like an upsell or cross-sell to increase the average customer value (ACV). After a customer adds a product to a cart, you can promote an upsell or cross-sell to add to their purchase. 

If the customer rejects the first upsell, you can always provide a second one. However, you don’t want to overwhelm customers with too many upsells.

Upsells and cross-sells are particularly popular for eCommerce stores with products and most of them use a basic formula similar to this: 

  • attention
  • interest
  • decision
  • action

This is the ideal buying process for a successful sales funnel, but don’t be surprised if you face some rejection here too. The trick with funnels is to intercept the point of rejection between the customer’s moment of interest and moment of decision.

4. Offer a Free Product or Service 

The price tag can often deter a potential customer from buying. That’s why offering a product or service for free can pique customer interest in your brand. This sales strategy allows you to introduce customers to your brand first before promoting an actual sale.

For businesses that offer services, you can provide a free quote for those services to help prospective customers make more informed purchasing decisions.

For businesses that sell products, free giveaways allow the customer to own a piece of value without paying upfront.

One perk with free giveaways is the ability to combine it with funnels and email marketing. A free quote may require contact info, which prompts the prospective customer to share their email.

Meanwhile, a free product may involve a shipping address or contact info for a receipt which can also prompt an email opt-in.

Some businesses choose to make free items opt-ins a feature on their website and they can use them to handle those rejection interactions. You’ll commonly see email opt-in requests pop up before a site visitor attempts to click away from the website.

While the customer’s attempt to leave the site is a form of rejection, asking the customer’s permission to send them regular information or updates is a way to salvage that customer connection. 

Start Increasing Your Chances of Future Sales 

There are no guaranteed results, but learning how to turn a “no” into a “yes” can set you up for future sales.

These interactions are all about establishing connections with your customers so that you can provide value to them later and tracking the progress of your campaigns.

If you need a hand with sales reporting, contact management, or content creation, we can help with that. We want to help you manage and grow your business, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

5 Reasons Why Your Email Marketing Strategy Isn’t Working

60% of consumers will subscribe to a mailing list looking for information about promotions and hope for special deals instead of 20% following a brand on social media. 

Looking at the wide margin between these two platforms, it’s evident that an effective email marketing strategy would be essential to gaining new customers and growing a business.

So what makes up an effective strategy? These five elements are some of the top qualities your campaigns should have.

1. Lost the Personal Touch

The first mistake is being far too formal, using far too much marketing jargon right off the bat. If readers are greeted with these things, the entire email will simply feel like they are stuck in a bad meeting.

Another big mistake is using a one size fits all approach to email campaigns and mailing lists. Most likely, especially if your business is on the mid-large range, you have customers with varying needs.

There needs to be some variation in email design and content. Specific lists can be made, and emails in those lists can be made with tailored content dependent on the theme or subject of said list.

Both of these approaches remove any personality and personalization of the content being written. They become cold form letters that no subscriber or customer can connect with.

2. Poor Design of Email

An email should be visually interesting, but that doesn’t mean that you need to be a graphic designer to get that task done.

There is a multitude of templates available to be edited for the needs of your business, as well as drag and drop design tools and visual assets to help bring some flash to your emails.

Pieces of software like Constant Contact and Canva offer a flexible, creative way to make logos and template images to quickly use on the go. It is just as easy to change little details on the fly as you launch new campaigns.

The formatting of the email needs to be taken into consideration, as well. The world has moved into a very mobile-centric way. Compared to the 0.9 users checking their mail on their desktop, 1.7 users are doing such on their smartphones.

Checking email design for mobile devices is more important every day as the numbers reflect a huge mobile-only trend.

3. Lack of Insight/Bought List

When you purchase a mailing list, you get a collection of contacts, sure, but what understanding do you have of that audience? What do you know about their needs related to your products and services?

They may have no need at all for anything that you have to offer. You have to also realize that as you bought that contacts list, it was also sold to other people. Now all the people on that list are receiving a large number of new emails.

It could also be a case of losing touch with your customer base. You are still working with much older information than should reflect your current audience. By running off of that information, your marketing team will suffer.

4. A Lot of Talking But Nothing is Really Said

People don’t want to trudge through a master’s thesis length email to get to the point that is never really made. They want something short and simple.

Just advertising a product or service by talking it up in an email is not going to garner a lot of, if any, response. You need to offer something of value to the reader, build a relationship so that they see what they have to gain if they continue forward.

Consumers, especially online, are particularly informed and want to know more and more before committing with a business.

By proving to them what you have to offer right from the start, you prove your value and build trust. You become more human and less just a marketing machine looking to take their money.

A short email can quickly offer a wealth of information and value by being efficient and utilizing its real estate. A quick email that has value is easy to scan because the main points aren’t lost in a sea of fluff.

Not only saying too much but sending emails too often. Eventually, you will get tossed directly into the spam folder if the user hasn’t already filtered you into the trash.

You will only get to that point by consistently sending irrelevant emails and not correctly setting proper intervals for your informative, meaningful content. No more than once or twice a week is a good plan.

5. Headlines Aren’t Making News

Improper subject lines can prevent the user from even having the chance to pass the email over. Depending on the wording and structure, they could be getting filtered directly into the spam folder.

Not only do you have to worry about being attention-grabbing but also look out for particular terms and how the subject line is structured.

Some important points to keep in mind are:

  • Personalization
  • Keep it short but be descriptive
  • Keep punctuation to a limit of 3
  • Convey a sense of urgency and action
  • Emojis can be used but rarely and never to replace a word
  • If you do use one test, it first to make sure how it appears because they do render differently on different systems

With 33% of users opening an email simply because it had a catchy subject line, those points are things you want to get right.

Equally as important to remember is that 69% of users have reported an email as spam because it had a subpar subject line. So make sure you put a quality one on all your emails! Make sure to do A/B testing whenever you start a campaign.

This Email Marketing Strategy Certainly Isn’t Spam

Developing an effective email marketing strategy comes down to a little bit of science and a little bit of art. You need to know how to formulate a procedure around the campaign and present that slight human touch. 

The process isn’t complicated, but it is nuanced. With time and attention, you will have a strong list and return on time invested, no problem! 

Be sure to stop by the site for help with any content creation and management and see the blog for more content just like this!

What Is Sales Prospecting and Why Does It Matter?

More than 60% of buyers want to hear from sellers when they are actively searching for a solution to their problem.

That must come as a surprise for many salespeople who imagine prospects don’t want to hear from them until they first make up their minds. It’s an opportunity for you to fling the door to more sales wide open with prospecting.

What is sales prospecting, and why should you care about it? Keep reading to find out more.

What Is Sales Prospecting?

Prospecting is the art of nurturing sales via outbound and inbound outreach to interest potential customers in your offering.

Historically, prospecting was a term used by miners looking for gold. Similarly, sales representatives work each lead to identify golden prospects who can ultimately convert into paying customers.

Prospecting works in tandem with your sales funnel. Each action you take to nurture prospects will work towards filling more leads into your funnel. But that doesn’t mean prospecting is limited to the first stage along your sales funnel.

Regarding outbound outreach for prospecting, things such as cold calling/emailing and event outreach work to your advantage. Inbound outreach will rely on tactics such as email marketing, website leads, among others.

Why Prospecting Is Valuable in Growing Your Sales

Do you need more sales? Then you need to find more leads and prospects to nurture. That’s a simple summary of the vital benefit prospecting offers.

But are there other benefits tied to prospecting that impact your sales?

In-Depth Understanding of Your Customers

Imagine if you had to develop content without any idea of how it’s framing should look like. Can you genuinely evaluate the effectiveness of that content without grasping the design?

Sales are quite similar. If you don’t grasp the demographic and psychographic makeup of those you want to pitch, you’ll not be an effective sales rep. That’s where prospecting comes in.

As you get your sales off the ground, you’ll quickly learn if your value proposition resonates with your target market or not. If it does, that’s good, but you don’t rest on your laurels – you still tweak it.

But what about when your prospects and leads don’t find your value proposition useful?

Through prospecting, you’ll pick up on where your target market disconnects from what you are offering. You can use that insight to inform your buyer persona, giving you more clarity on who you’re serving for more sales.

Better Pivoting

There are times where feedback from prospects and leads points you in a different direction. The question then becomes whether you should change your business plan or keep plowing on.

The more prospecting you do, the more feedback you unearth to better your offering or even identify a whole new market segment. As such, any pivoting you do isn’t based on guesswork but real-world market feedback that can grow your sales.

An excellent example of this is the Apple Watch. When Apple launched its smartwatch, the target market wasn’t crystal clear. The initial product position placed the Apple Watch as a smartwatch that makes life even more convenient.

As more consumers bought the smartwatch, Apple realized that they were primarily relying on it for health monitoring. That led Apple to invest in positioning the Apple Watch as a fitness and health asset first.

Since this was the most significant need the device met for most consumers, the sales now speak for themselves.

Market Validation

Did you know that 70% of all new products fail? It’s possible to dig as deep as humanly possible in customer research and still not position your product right. In such a scenario, faltering sales are inevitable.

Prospecting becomes a valuable tool in such circumstances as it helps you judge how well your product can do in the market. Either prospects and leads convert in growing numbers, or you hardly make any sales.

Depending on the market feedback prospecting helps you acquire, you can decide whether to shelve your product or pivot it. If you choose to drop the product, you’ll better focus on growing your sales with your other offerings.

Identifying Your Best Sales Channels

When pursuing sales prospects, you rely on a mixture of several sales channels. The results each channel delivers can point you to the most favorable sales channel to invest in for more sales.

For example, let’s say you’re selling a B2B product by combining email with LinkedIn outreach. If you realize that InMail is generating more prospects that turn into leads than email, you can divert more resources to the former.

Dedicating scarce resources to the right sales channels can make the difference between hitting your sales targets and being in the red.

Better Qualification

Knowing what an ideal buyer looks like is critical in making your sales more efficient. When you have the right data to form a qualification framework for your prospects, it ultimately drives your sales up.

Prospecting is a means by which you can uncover the right questions to ask and what to look for in a prospect. If you have a buyer persona, prospecting can fortify the profile to make your sales process more effective.

Another vital benefit prospecting gives you is also qualifying who to talk to early on for better decision making. Once you identify the right decision-maker, you can pursue them and shorten the sales cycle.

Failing to qualify the right decision-maker to nurture only serves to lengthen your sales cycle, frustrating your forecasts.

Sales Is a Continuum – You Must Make Your Prospecting Matter

Nothing happens in an organization until something gets sold. Thus, you never stop selling, and by extension, prospecting. To get better results, you should seek the right answers to the question, “What is sales prospecting?” So that you gain the right approach to lifting your sales.

Click2Sell strongly believes prospecting can be made easier. Talk to us today for simplified sales prospecting that eliminates the peaks and valleys of sales for higher revenue.

8 Essential Tips for Creating Content That Is Meaningful, Relevant, and Effective

Did you know that 69% of B2B marketers have a content strategy in place? Content can build and keep your audience coming back for more. If you don’t have a content strategy, you are already behind.

Read on to learn about eight tips for creating content that can be turned into a content strategy.

1. Get Original

Original content can be hard to come by these days which is why Google praises those with original posts. Not only will Google give you a great benefit, but you will also find that your visitors will enjoy your content more. You will want their support because 94% of searches happen on Google property.

Google went through an algorithm update that prevented bad content from ranking high in the search results. For example, sites that updated copied content every day were punished by Google.

Creating content is all about originality. You don’t want to make posts that constantly relive the same topics and concepts. Content that is played out won’t build traffic to your site.

Many believe that creating a lot of content as quickly as possible is the best way to go about it. This is not the case.

You should only post when you have useful and meaningful ideas. Even if it is not every day, you will create more of an audience by having better quality reads.

2. Focus on the Headlines

Headlines are the first thing a reader is going to see before deciding if your content is worth their time. This is why focusing on headlines is one of the major things to do when learning how to build meaningful content.

Content building should start with a headline that grasps the audience’s attention. Just because this is the first thing your reader’s look at does not mean it is the first thing you have to write. Sometimes writing out the body of a piece will help you come up with an attention-grabbing headline.

It’s also a good idea to make more than one headline if possible. Selecting the best one from a few options will get you the best results.

3. Create Actionable Content

A lot of articles will give readers advice, but can the advice be applied? You should aim to make your content more actionable.

Content that can allow users to apply what they just read is the best type of content. Not only does it benefit the readers, but it can also make them remember your site and keep them coming back for more. It’s a win-win situation.

When creating actionable content, you don’t want to degrade your audience. Respecting them and providing assurance that they can use the material is the right way to go.

For example, you can give readers tips on how to apply the information you are providing them with. Specific topics can be beneficial for readers to learn from.

4. Provide Answers

Researching who your audience is can be the best way to understand how to build content. When your audience goes to a search engine with a question, they expect answers. This is why you need to be able to provide answers when you are building content.

It’s not enough to provide answers within your content. You need to be able to provide them quickly.

When content building, you should make your posts easily readable. This means users can scan through the content to find exactly what they are looking for without taking too much time. To do this, you can use headlines and numbers.

5. Be Accurate

Imagine writing a post that is only somewhat accurate. If thousands of people read it, you are spreading misinformation. This leaves people to believe you are not a credible source and they won’t be back for more content.

Creating content is all about research to ensure you are providing accurate information. When using statistics, always be sure they are accurate. It is never a bad idea to link statistics to the post so others know you aren’t making up numbers.

To stay accurate throughout your content, you need to consider some things. For one, always link to trusted sources and quality sites. Linking is helpful as long as it is accurate because the more you can back up, the better your content will be.

Lastly, you will be helping the search engines. When you link to other sources, you are helping the search engines learn what your content is about. This helps them categorize your content.

6. Engage Your Readers

Of course, a general rule when learning how to build content is to engage your readers. This is easier said than done, but there are some tips you can follow to help you out.

When creating content, leave your audience with questions. Don’t create an incomplete post, but include things that will make your readers reflect. They should be left considering how they can implement the knowledge they just learned.

Just like a headline, you should focus on the introduction. People will quickly make judgments about your content, so your intro needs to be engaging enough to keep people reading.

You should also consider leaving comments open to the public. If your content is engaging enough for people to want to comment on it, search engines will pick up on this.

7. Keep It Simple

Your content should be simple and straight to the point. No one wants to read about something they didn’t go searching for.

To do this, you need to eliminate fluff in your content. Always aim for a brief post that gets straight to the point with valuable information.

8. Stay Updated

Effective content can only go so far if it is only done every once in a while. You don’t need to write every day, but keeping your blog updated is the key to success.

New readers won’t pop up if your content is old and not updated. Search engines will also stop paying attention to your site if it is not in use regularly.

Creating Content For the People

Creating content can be challenging if you don’t know where to start. Using these tips will get you on the right track to create posts that are meaningful and effective. Keep users coming back for more by following these tips!

For more information on making your content more successful, contact us today.

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