Dun & Bradstreet reported that most B2B buyers are happy with the communications they are receiving from the marketing and sales teams of companies they patronize. According to this report, 51% of buyers say that communications have improved in recent years, with 24% complaining of worse service.
Of the buyers that reported a positive increase in service, 41% of them said that these communications were more important to business then before.
One thing is for sure – buyers continue to raise their expectations for communications. If you have not prioritized advancing your efforts in this field, now may be the time to heed some of the tips below.
First, make sure that your representative has done basic research about the prospect before making the call. At the very least, your representative should have the full name of the contact, the job title of the contact, and a basic understanding of the relationship between your two companies. Calls usually go much more smoothly if your representative has more detailed information about the prospect, such as recent projects and partnerships, a working knowledge of recent news items about the prospects, and the scale of business to be potentially conducted.
Secondly, make sure that your representatives call at an appropriate time for your prospect. Sometimes, there is no way to know when the busiest time of the day for a prospect is. However, one call should take care of that problem. Once this has been determined, the information should be kept in notes for other representatives who call out to that business.
If it is obvious that your representative is calling from a list, giving a robotic script reading and generic terms of business, your close rate falls immensely This is also a very quick way to lose any standing that your business may have had within your prospect’s industry. Make sure that your representatives know how to think on their feet and present a personable voice over the phone. Even if they are following a script, give them the leverage to have a real conversation if the interaction moves in that direction. If you do not have the talent in-house for this to work, consider email blasts instead of phone conversations for your initial outreach efforts.
Lastly, do not try to climb the totem pole within your prospect’s hierarchy to quickly. If you are cold calling, then your representatives will likely run across gatekeepers rather than decision-makers. These gatekeepers should not be trampled over, as many of them actually help executives make decisions. Your representatives should have a script based on the job title of the person who picks up the phone. You may also be able to find out a great deal of information about the decision-maker from the gatekeeper.
Your sales and marketing messaging will improve over time if you analyze the shortcomings in your current workflow. However, follow the tips above to start on the right track. Remember that communications should be a priority in your business from 2017 forward – prospects are no longer putting up with anything less than a fully personalized, genuine conversation about business.