Tactics to Help B-to-B Sales Reps Shine
1. Cold calling. Dump it. It's extremely discouraging to see how many people believe this methodology still works. Cold calling is a disruption. It wastes time, and people are too busy. Very few are successful at it, and very little product is sold. Financial resources are better spent increasing visibility and investing in customer-centric relationships.
2. Customer response. Return calls when promised. Customers don't appreciate being placed on indefinite hold. They desire immediate conversations with those that can offer assistance. Not returning calls or hiding behind voice mail is an excuse for a customer to discover your competitor.
3. Customer care. Research illustrates that over 50 percent of customer interaction is service related. Treat your customers correctly by becoming engaged. Be in the moment; become genuinely interested in their concerns; have representatives smile and be interested in engaging with customers. Certainly sales people have bad days too, but the client doesn't need to know and doesn't care. Service must be paramount. Selling departments must build a service-oriented culture.
4. Selling vs. building relationships. Social networking groups are besieged with conversations about selling to the C-suite. Not only is it interesting to discover so many self-proclaimed experts, but more ironic to view the opinions on how to sell to senior executives. Herein is the best advice: Senior executives don't want to be sold anything. They desire healthy conversations that build relationships with trusted peers.
Senior officers know what they need and when they need it. Representatives must be keener to the issues of decision makers so that their conversations and questions allow them to be a peer of the buyer. Vendor thinking must end so that representatives focus on objectives, measurements of success and value returned to the organization.
5. C-to-C. With today's high level of connectivity, customers are more interested in talking with other customers than talking to sales reps. People buy from those they know and trust. Individuals desire customer-centered relationships. Build your community with case studies, testimonials, and audio or video snippets that illustrate results from other customers. Ensure that your customers become selling avatars.