The world of sales has been forever changed by the advent of the Information Age. It has turned what was once a sales-led industry into something more consumer-oriented. Today’s consumers have more power than ever before, and that is forcing sales teams to change their prospecting strategies. A number of new techniques have been developed, and these can be adapted to your own needs with the right steps.
New Strategies of Note
Before we discuss testing and adaptation, we first need to walk through some of the new techniques out there.
- Video – With the power of email marketing waning, video marketing has become a powerful alternative. In most cases, combining email marketing with a brief video can increase the number of opens you receive.
- Always On – In the past, sales prospecting was done at certain points, and then curtailed. You cannot afford that today. Your sales prospecting should be always on – an ongoing effort that yields ongoing benefits and growth.
- Quality Trumps Quantity – Sure, we’d all like to bring in a glut of new sales leads, but what good does that do if 9 out of 10 fail to convert? Quality trumps quantity, and investing the time and effort to develop quality leads pays for itself many times over.
- Form Alliances – You can up the ante on your sales prospecting by allying with others who sell noncompeting products and services to the same audience. By sharing the pool, everyone wins.
Testing and Adapting
As you can see, there are quite a few new techniques that can be instrumental in improving your sales conversion rate and overall profitability. The four mentioned above are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. However, you’ll need to test each first, and then adapt them to your unique organizational needs.
Prioritize: One of the first things you will need to consider in your testing and adaptation is prioritize your accounts into tiers. Each successive tier indicates the level of attention and focus that account should receive. For instance, tier 1 accounts should receive the most focus, and this is where you’ll want to spend the bulk of your time in quality building. Tier 2 accounts require less hands-on time, and a “bulk” approach can be adopted. Tier 3 accounts are those where it can pay off to experiment with your approach.
Organize your accounts into the three tiers mentioned above, and you’re then ready to set up your outbound prospecting systems. Perhaps the most important system to set up is your daily routine, which should focus on tier 1 accounts first thing in the morning. Here, you’ll study data, and then write emails to some of the most important accounts to build their quality.
It is also important that you develop personas and information segmentation for tier 2 accounts (quantity). This allows you to create specific contact and messaging strategies for individual audience segments. Invest in A/B testing of the messages here to refine them and home in on what is most effective.
Ultimately, it is essential to move away from tied, outdated sales prospecting techniques. New solutions offer better results, increased success, and improved profitability.