1. Carry out market research
The purpose of this high-level activity is to ascertain the existing level of demand for your offer. Identify the key competitors in your segment and then work out what their sales strategies and techniques are. Look for examples as to what they are doing in the market. This will help you to work out what your prospects are hearing from the competition. Clearly, you shouldn't simply dive in at this stage and copy those approaches verbatim. However, look for examples of best practice which might influence what you do.
2. Ascertain your target market
Don't waste time targeting clients who don't actually fall within your target segment. Use your business CRM to mine for data that helps you to identify 'true' prospects and leads. Too much time is often wasted chasing after marginal businesses or those which simply aren't going to be receptive to your offer. Focus on the most strategically important businesses first and work outwards.
3. Create buyer personas
Which media, tech or SAAS companies actually look like your 'ideal buyer'? By creating a persona, you can contextualise your information and make it easier to understand. Carry out targeted research into businesses that interest you in order to build up target data. For example, have they recently delivered a new product or marketing campaign? Have they had a change in their leadership team? Are they progressing from start-up to scale up? By gathering this data, you can better establish whether or not there is likely to be demand for your own offer. The more effort you put into researching and gathering relevant data, the more effectively you can position your offer as the 'perfect solution'.
4. Map out the user journey
This involves working out how the customer will actually buy what you are offering. To do this, work through the Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action (AIDA) process. Note that the interest phase, in the context of B2B, will involve a good deal of research from the customer as to how their needs can be met. Once you have this journey in place, it becomes far easier to pinpoint where your prospects and existing clients are at and tailor your approaches so that they are appropriate.
5. Get that ZOOM meeting booked
If your lead is ready to hear your sales pitch, then they are a qualified lead. Of course, not everyone that demonstrates an interest in your product or service will convert to a qualified lead. To establish whether a prospect is becoming sales qualified, work out:
- What is the problem that they are trying to fix (this will help you to determine whether your own offer will be able to provide the solution).
- Have they previously tried to fix the problem - and why didn't they manage last time? (This will give you context and flag up pain points for the customer to which you can respond if your own offering is a fit).
- Who is the decision-maker? It is all too common for salespeople to spend time selling to someone who doesn't ultimately make the decisions. Spend time identifying who actually makes the decisions and target them.
If you can answer the questions above in a positive way, then it's time to move towards a virtual meeting/product demo. Make sure you have good video software and turn the camera on so that you can pitch your offer with a smiling face, answer questions, and begin to build a relationship.