Because of digitalization, the sales process has changed. Customers have taken the lead, and "always close" is changing to "always be helpful". As much as 92% of B2B buyers start their buying process over the internet. This is a big change and forces us to change in sales as well. We will let you know how to let your customer tell you how she wants to buy from you. With these few, but effective, steps your sales process becomes better, shorter and more effective than ever.
In this blog post we’re giving you an insight on the modern sales process, intelligent automatic communications and a way to profile your customers effectively. By following this ready-made process to bring your sales into the modern digital era, you’ll close more deals, save time and increase your customer satisfaction significantly.
Step 1: Qualifying a new lead
The whole process begins by receiving a marketing qualified lead. As the next step, your sales person contacts the lead by phone to make sure she actually is your potential customer. This part of the process is called sales qualification.
When confirmed that the lead actually is a potential customer, you schedule a meeting to discuss more. At the end of the phone call, however, you promise to send a confirmation email about the upcoming meeting. The special ingredient of this email is at the end of the message: a link to a survey. Tell your potential customer that answering this survey will help both of you to prepare for the upcoming meeting better.
Step 2: Profiling your lead with an intelligent pre-meeting survey
The survey placed in the confirmation email needs to be created with a modern survey tool (for example ZEF). It needs to be a visual and game-like survey, with a certain amount of different, ready-made profiles in the background. The customer doesn’t receive a profile after giving her answers – the profiles are only for your own use at this point. When the customer responds to this survey, she will be profiled automatically by the survey tool. The amount of required profiles depends on how deeply you are willing to profile your customers. You can start, for example, with three different profiles.
The questions of the survey should be about values, behavior, current state of business and recognized needs of your customer. In addition, you should place a question about how many people there are coming for the meeting from their side. According to research, there are, on average, 5.4 decision-makers in a company. Getting people’s support is vital for closing the deal, so simply by adding this question has been proven to increase the number of decision makers joining the meetings.
Now, the sales person responsible for this case receives this customer's profile and all the answers given in the survey. When the customer proves to be of a certain profile, let's say "a human-centric leader”, your sales person knows that she is most interested in customer experience and employee satisfaction. Knowing this before the meeting makes all the difference.
Step 3: Making your lead more committed by educating her
Making your lead more committed, already before the sales meeting, is easy with automated communications and well-prepared messaging based on the survey profiles. Automate your messaging with your marketing automation software so that the customer receives a personalized thank you message right after taking the survey along with links to various content, based on her interests. The message includes a call-to-action to a thank you page, which contains various targeted content for each profile.
This will help the potential customer already before the meeting, allowing her to educate herself on subjects you are going to talk about in the upcoming meeting. You can even track what the customer is reading and clicking on in the message to profile her even more precisely.
Based on the customer’s responses in the survey, your sales person creates an agenda for the meeting and sends it to the customer by email. As this agenda is created based on the survey, it is very accurate and suitable, which your customer will highly appreciate. Also, don’t forget to send a confirmation text message (iMessage, Whatsapp message, etc.) a day before the meeting as a reminder, just to make sure both of you are well prepared for the meeting next day.
Step 4: Closing the deal
Going through all of these steps has raised your customer’s expectations for the upcoming meeting remarkably. These pre-meeting steps are a wonderful opportunity to turn all of your meetings into a real world-class show, where your potential customer has been writing all of the script. Instead of merely assessing the needs and stealing your customers precious time in the first meeting, you’ll end up having only high-quality meetings and turning them quickly into new deals. This model will shorten the sales process, decrease the need for follow-up meetings and close more deals during the first meetings!
Our experiences of this model have shown that deal hit rates have even doubled. If you are having a no show problem, which means that your customers don’t show-up to the scheduled meetings, this will also decrease the number drastically. By bringing your sales process into the digital era with this model, your customers will get a whole new buying experience – which means more happy customers spreading your message further.
Start this process by generating leads from your website. Download our tips for lead generation!
- Tuomas Haapsaari, CMO