Hello and welcome to our brand new blog series, The Biggest B2B Software Sales Questions, Answered!
This is the first issue of a series from Slintel where we collate three of the most eye-catching questions about B2B sales on the internet at the moment and come up with actionable solutions to them. If you’d like to send in some questions, you can always fill out this form and we’ll try and include it in the next issue!
We’re starting off today with a question from the Corporate Bro Sales Savages Slack group.
Question #1: Unresponsive Prospects
Question: “I have a prospect, I am in the conversation with him about a project, after our initial meeting, he said that he is working on briefings and will share me the details. I reminded him 3 times, it’s been 2 weeks since I heard from him again. Any ideas? Maybe some follow up methods or messages could help me? Please give your suggestions.”
We’ve all been here in one way or another, haven’t we? If you’ve worked in Sales, then you’ve definitely had instances where some people just ghost you without giving you a proper yes or no, and continue doing so even after repeated follow-ups.
Here are a few things you could do to go about this conundrum:
- Send follow up messages to your prospect, but don’t make it annoying. Provide value in your messages to them, and share resources that they might find useful. Your follow-up messages should never be something like this:
No, sir. Instead, try:
A prospect that is not responding to your email is
a) Genuinely busy
b) Isn’t interested in your product any longer but wants to avoid the confrontation, or
c) Still in the decision making process.
You need to be patient, but at the same time, relentless. However, have a cut-off period (perhaps 6 weeks) after which you can stop contacting them if they don’t seem to respond to any of your messages. Your time is valuable too!
(Pro Tip: Use an email sequencing software to automate things after a while of getting no responses)
- Establish alternative channels of communication, and show unfeigned interest in their life. People don’t like “sales-y” messages unless they’ve made up their mind to purchase the product, so show them that you care about them. Connect with them on channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or other communities at a non-professional capacity to build a relationship with them.
Send them a LinkedIn connection request, congratulate them if you see updates about life events, and wish them on their birthday.
We’ve had so many instances where salespeople who texted their prospects about something unrelated or personal saw the conversation naturally turn into a discussion about upcoming demo booking or potential opportunities (in fact, we wrote an entire blog post around this topic). Expect nothing in return and talk to them like you would with an acquaintance, and you’ll get the response you’ve been waiting for!
Moving on! The next question is from the one and only Warrior Forum.
Question #2: Creating Urgency
Question: Hello, warriors. I have a question regarding creating urgency in sales. Are you familiar with this concept? What are your experiences? Successful? Good? Bad? Please share with me.
This is a great question, and a fairly common one too in the Sales community. “Will creating urgency help me make the sale or come off as too pushy?”. Well, the short answer is, “Both”. Allow me to elucidate.
Let’s break this down. Creating urgency can work in your favor when:
- You’re selling your product/service at a timed discount:
If your prospect likes your product/service and is at the phase when they are negotiating pricing with you, pulling out the urgency card might help you. When the ball is in your court and all that remains is making the sale, then sending a message saying, “Hey, I’m glad that you’re liking the product, and we’re excited to get you onboard! I spoke to my Director of Sales and I have authorized an extra 15% discount if you can sign up within the next 48 hours. Deal?”, works.
- You’re selling slots for an event, etc.:
If you’re selling speaker/sponsorship slots for events, etc. then since there’s already a hard deadline in place. Creating urgency by saying that all bookings close 1 month before the event, or something along those lines, will always work. To strengthen your pitch, make sure you have collateral that promotes the event and talks about the previous year’s turnout, the kind of audience that comes to the show, or other popular brands that have already purchased slots. You’re bound to see success if you do this, and you can always run outbound campaigns after the bookings deadline closes to fill other empty slots (if there are a few).
- You’re providing limited freebies with the sale:
And no, I don’t mean branded face masks. Incentivize prospects to bite the bullet and purchase your product/service by telling them that “the first 15 clients this month get free onboarding (usually costs $200)”, etc. Providing services free of charge will help sweeten the deal to a customer and create some fear of missing out (FOMO) in your prospect’s head.
However, there are situations where you’re better off NOT creating urgency/pressurizing your prospect, or you need to start thinking of alternative plans. Here are a few examples:
- You’re bugging the prospect:
Incessantly following up with the prospect in very short intervals and pressurizing them to purchase the product (especially if they’ve mentioned that they’ve not made up their mind or are unsure about the budget) is almost a sure shot way to completely drive business away.
- You’re creating a poorly done landing page:
This might not be destructive as such, but we’ve all seen those landing pages with “limited discounts” that have a countdown running from 1 day: 13 hours: 17 minutes: 46 seconds. And then the countdown starts from the same number whenever you refresh the page?♂️
While this necessarily isn’t a problem as such, it can completely subdue the actual impact you’re trying to create with your limited offer and cause a few eyeballs to roll. It might also come off as gimmicky and might make the prospect lose trust in you. Never try to create phony urgency for your product/service.
- You’re selling large ticket items:
If you’re selling a product that has an average ticket size of over $20,000 (and this number might vary depending on your industry), it’s better to let the customer take their time making the decision. Big ticket items generally have a long sales cycle, and pressurizing your customer when they’re still evaluating their options might irk them and ward them away.
- Your prospect’s just not there yet:
While creating urgency when your prospect is in the final stages of evaluating your product is great, it might backfire if you push them too hard too early on. Providing timed discounts after you’ve been negotiating with your prospect for a while will work in your favor, but being aggressive when your prospect’s just started evaluating the product might work against you. Help the prospect understand the value and benefits of your product/service before you start nudging them towards opening their wallets. Jumping the gun will almost always result in prospects feeling like you only care about the money and not their growth.
And the last question we’ll be covering on this issue comes from Field Sales Talk.
Question #3: Competitor Behavior
Question: What to do when a competitor is lying about your product?
Ouch! That sounds like an unpleasant position to be in, but it’s nothing you can’t get over. The best way to handle a situation like this one is to prove that your competitor’s statements were factually incorrect. If you’re in SaaS sales and you know that the allegations made by your competitor against your product are untrue, then you can simply show your prospect a demo account of your product and categorically debunk the myths that they have spun.
If the nature of the allegations are different (they’re talking about how you wronged customers, or something to do with subscription renewals, etc.), then you can only reassure them that it won’t happen and that you’d personally be accountable whenever you
However, definitely don’t do these two things when you find yourself in such a situation:
- Don’t speak ill of the competitor when your prospect says this to you. Be the bigger person and show them that your product is run with honesty and integrity, and that you aren’t sure from where your competitor got this incorrect information.
- Don’t come off as defensive, or take the allegations personally. The worst thing you could do when you find yourself in this position is lash out on your competitor or get offended. Instead, show your prospect that that isn’t the case, and befriend them. Earning their trust is more important than anything else.
Until Next Time!
And that brings us to end of the The Biggest B2B Software Sales Questions, Answered: Issue #1! I really hope you learned something today. If you’d like us to add some more pointers to this list, then leave a comment below, and if you’d like your question to be featured on one of our next issues, fill out this form. Happy selling!