From Recruitment Specialist & Sales Development Expert, Alex Cole-Murphy
In today’s market, it is even more difficult to find and convert leads so salespeople must fully understand The Buyer’s Journey and who is in the driver’s seat. Because of technology, the prospect is further along in their buying process than the salesperson is in their selling process, and in fact, sometimes they don’t need a salesperson at all!
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The number one challenge that salespeople we work with share is finding and converting qualified leads – people who need and will pay for their service. Does that ring a bell for you too? Why is that? Where did they go?
Let’s take a fast look at the past – legacy selling:
- A salesperson would initiate the sales process via cold calls, direct mail, walking door to door, networking events etc.
- The legacy salesperson would then ask to see the decision-maker and begin to ask questions about how happy they were with their current services, banker, insurance broker, provider.
- They would ask some probing questions about new and improved products and services, perhaps do a demo and ask trial closing questions.
How often today can you call or walk into a prospect and actually talk to them? Rare isn’t it? And let’s face it – Do you ever take a cold call? Do you respond to direct mail from your mailbox? Does anyone really walk into your business anymore and ask to see you and you end up buying from them?
This legacy approach to lead generation interrupted a prospect’s day. Here are some stats for you
- 1% of cold calls result in an appointment
- .3% of cold call appointments result in a sale
Let’s look at the math: If your sales success formula requires 10 sales at 10,000 each, then you need to make 11,100 calls! Who is signing up for that job?
This all changed of course because of technology. The buyer is now in charge of starting the buying process and is armed with more information about the things they want to buy, right on their phones, instant access. They are further along in their buying process than the salesperson is in their selling process and in fact, sometimes they don’t need a salesperson at all.
When the buyer gets an itch to find something out they ‘google’ it. If they know they want to buy something they go to amazon, overstock, or Zappos. That is the first step. The buying process begins the way it always has with something that stimulates the buyer’s thinking. In the legacy model, it was a letter or a phone call or a drop in. Today the stimulus can come from apps, pop-ups, emails with links, and sure traditional media but also social media. But after that initial stimulus, the similarity stops, the buyer ‘Googles’ and begins their buying process when they used to call or go to a company and ask, engage.
In the old days –salespeople made sales based on what they knew. With the continued development of information access 10 years ago, it was who you knew because what you knew was easily accessible. Your deep domain product knowledge was no longer an unfair advantage. Today it is who knows you.