Your sales strategies are annoying your prospects.
Sales leaders, it’s time to put a stop to this madness. Your over-dependence on technology to drive sales has gone too far. It isn’t filling your pipeline, it’s just filling people’s inboxes. And annoying prospects is not a winning strategy.
The problem has gotten worse as companies have surfaced from the pandemic. I get at least 60 spam emails a day, and they all have the same message. Reps tell me how their solution will meet my needs. How would they know? They’ve never spoken to me. If I don’t answer, they follow up with: “I know you’re busy,” or “I don’t know if you saw my previous email.” This embarrassing sales behavior goes back decades, but it’s been snowballing ever since, multiplying with each new communication channel. Pretty soon, people will stop checking email, just like they stopped answering calls from unfamiliar phone numbers.
Here’s the rub. Sales leaders know referrals are the #1 way to get qualified leads and score meetings with decision-makers. But they don’t commit to referral selling as their #1 outbound prospecting approach. They are committed, however, to sending unsolicited emails and videos. Sure, sometimes those strategies work, but not at scale. And what sales leader settles for “sometimes”?
Consider professional athletes… They win because they not only have skills, but they practice constantly. They have focus, and they’re dedicated to a system with coaching (many coaches) and accountability. They don’t leave winning to chance.
Professional sellers have left winning to chance. I really don’t understand why.
There is a better way. Be intentional about getting referrals from your clients, and watch your pipeline fill with hot leads. For more on referral selling, check out these Q3 blog posts from No More Cold Calling:
The Ultimate Sales App—No Smartphone Required
We love our sales apps. Social media, CRM, sales enablement platforms—each of these promises killer features that will streamline the sales process and make us all rich. As if! The ultimate sales app doesn’t require a smartphone, a tablet, or even a computer. Plus, it’s 100-percent free to use by anyone on any platform. That ultimate sales app is your relationships. And its killer feature is you. You are the most powerful business development tool on the planet. Despite what you’ll often hear from sales tech gurus, your success isn’t determined by the number of devices that connect you to the outside world; it’s determined by the number of relationships that connect you to your prospects. (Read “The Ultimate Sales App—No Smartphone Required”)
When to Start Prospecting for 2023?
There’s an old adage in sales: “If you’re on time, you’re late.” If you’ve just started prospecting for 2023, you’re already late. There’s only a few months left to go, and your pipeline won’t fill itself. I’ve always said that the last quarter of any year should be 25 percent about closing business for this year and 75 percent about building a robust pipeline for next year. Sure, one tactic to close the sales year is ensuring reps close business in their forecast and make quota, but if you’re only focused on finishing 2022 with a bang, then you’ll be starting 2023 with a fizzle. Some companies have unused budgets you need to grab (although that is a less likely scenario than in previous years), but most buyers have shifted their focus to next year, and smart sellers have, too. (Read “When to Start Prospecting for 2023?”)
How to Get Past the Gatekeeper
Much has been written about how to get past the gatekeeper, and many salespeople believe that gatekeepers are the source of all their prospecting woes. Apparently, receptionists and executive assistants are all that stand between cold callers and would-be clients, and salespeople have been convinced that digital technology should solve all their business development challenges. But it won’t. There’s still no button to get past the gatekeeper and gain access to decision-makers. That requires conversations and real-world relationship-building—skills that many salespeople have let become rusty. (Read “How to Get Past the Gatekeeper”)
Darn. It’s Here Again
We’re on the precipice of another recession, which has happened five times since the turn of the 20th century. It’s almost embarrassing we got into such a mess. We don’t need to be economists to recognize inflation. Costs have risen an unheard-of 9 percent, and prices at the pump have reached an all-time high. I live in California, and we’ve seen prices above $6. Life is more expensive than ever, and families are forced to make some very difficult choices about healthcare, tuition, food, lodging, and other basic needs. Business buyers are facing their own tough choices. The good news is that sales teams have been here before, most recently in 2020, and we know how to survive (and even thrive) during a downturn. The trick to surviving is to maintain a sales success mindset and protect your business now so you can keep on selling in any economy. (Read “Darn. It’s Here Again”)