The road to landing a B2B sale can be a long and winding one. But whatever that journey may look like for you, it all starts with understanding your target market and who may have a need for your product.
Identifying potential customers or sales prospecting as it’s commonly known is what lies right at the beginning of the sales process. As before you can start selling anything to anyone, you need to have a List of Prospects to sell to. And that’s a fact that will never change.
It makes no sense to waste time or effort chasing the wrong accounts. Start at the beginning and figure out exactly who you should be aiming for. Consider what account details may be good indicators for you, such as company size (in terms of employees or turnover), geographical information, and industry.
Don’t forget to also think about whether they are going to be a good ‘fit’. If you are aiming for a long term relationship then it is important that you speak the same language and have a similar culture and vision, otherwise, trouble may lie ahead.
The best way to start figuring out who is a good fit is by analyzing your existing customers. Have a good look at what they have in common. If you’re just starting out then you will have to do some guesswork here and refine your assumptions later on, once you have a couple of clients.
Once you know the kind of accounts you want to target you can start finding the right people and begin building your List of Prospects.
For sales teams, your CRM is going to be your best friend. It’s the glue that holds it all together and can make it a seamless process. You’ll want to know everything there is to know about an account and the people that work there. And importantly you’ll need to find out who the decision-makers are and how you can contact them.
Defining your buyer personas will help you here, as they will help you identify the specific people within an organization who you should be speaking to. Social selling techniques and tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator are also invaluable for ABM. The data they provide will be vital for enabling you to sort your List of Prospects into hot and not so hot prospects.
Plus, don’t forget to ask for referrals within your existing network as that can be a hugely effective way to find new contacts.
Once you know who the decision-makers are it’s time to reach out to them. This will take some trial and error to do well. You’re looking to pinpoint what works most effectively. Keep in mind that each prospect will have a preference when it comes to how they want to be contacted. This may not be your preferred medium but remember, it’s not about you, you need to put the contact at the center of every decision you make.
Cold contacts who are well-researched contacts, aren’t actually going to be that cold because you’ve done your homework. Don’t waste time (and money) making contact with people of a List of Prospects you just buy-in, instead focus on those people who you think are most likely to have a need for what you’re offering. This can often mean making the first contact will be a positive experience. But if it isn’t, just keep your communication light, which is easy to do via social channels.
So, you’ve done your research, narrowed down your list of ideal customers, and identified the key people to contact. What now? This is when you get to flex your sales muscles. The next step is to start a conversation with the decision-makers.
You need to be patient because this part is going to take some serious trial and error. It’s important to get a feel for how certain people prefer to be contacted. Some may be more traditional and prefer a phone call, while others may want you to Tweet at them.
We know that landing a B2B sale can be a headache sometimes. Building a List of Prospects that is well thought out and highly targeted, the whole process will run much smoother.
Keep in mind that it takes work to find the perfect customer match for you, but when you do the sale will be that much sweeter. What are you waiting for? Get to building that list already!
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