We’re all talking about how the B2B landscape has changed: new technologies, better tools, more data and dynamic buying behaviors. Even though a lot has changed, some things have not. SiriusDecisions and Gartner find that B2B buyers value sales reps and want direct interaction with a vendor (even if buyers still spend hours online doing research.)
This got us thinking. What HAS changed? And where should you make adjustments? Want to close the quarter (or year) on top, read on.
A sales team without predictive intelligence and a sales team with predictive intelligence play two different games. The former plays the game of guesswork by knowing only whether prospects meet a typical buyer profile. The latter plays the game of insight by knowing the buying stage, the pain and the competitive research based on access to data about their prospects’ buying signals.
Many companies are in the process of transitioning to predictive intelligence, but guiding marketing and sales teams to this goal requires thought and execution.
6sense partnered with Heinz Marketing to write an ebook that tells you how to do just that. The ebook “Outsell your Competition: Sales Funnel Dynamics and the Digital Footprint” is available for download.
This ebook gives advice on how to combine tried-and-true practices of sales with data-driven intelligence.
Here are the four big take-aways of the ebook.
One email isn’t going to cut it
Sending one email out to a list of addresses will not drive any significant growth. Nor will a deluge of emails. To get an individual to stop what they’re doing and consider your product takes balance. You can’t push too hard, too fast. You must have an understanding of where a buyer’s pain points will be.
The sales funnel is more like a bow-tie
The sales funnel is still applicable, in that many leads turn into prospects and then narrow into buyers. But it’s more complicated than that. A prospect can be close to buying, and then they won’t. A lead might not be interested in buying now, but could be later. The sales funnel is too linear and binary, with the relationship ending in the sale. As a bow-tie, the point of sale is in the middle and the second-half is all about getting a returning customer through various marketing measures.
Process, process, process
Many campaigns don’t lead to sales, and it has nothing to do with the offer. Instead, it has everything to do with the process of rolling out and executing a campaign. The ebook defines a list of best practices to increase your lead conversion rate, and it all hinges upon consistency and communication. There must be a process for every step of the way, from pre-campaign briefings to staging follow-ups on prospects.
Predictive intelligence does not replace a sales team
Once a predictive intelligence program is rolled out, the sales team does not pack up their bags and go home. Predictive intelligence is only successful when a sales team embraces and understands the power of data. This includes training the sales team to understand why predictive intelligence is important, how to score leads and to instill a sense of competition to drive optimization of the predictive program.