WE DEBUNK 5 SALES MYTHS
We hear it (all too) often. But no, cold canvassing is not dead, and customers actually want to hear from a salesperson!
An analysis from the American Rain Group from 2018 debunks the sales myths we encounter repeatedly in the Danish market.
There’s no doubt that sales have changed a lot in the last ten years, and generating new leads has changed the most. If you work in a sales role, you’ve most likely heard or read about how difficult it is to generate new sales, as the stories are many.
Buyers don’t want to talk to salespeople at the beginning of the buying process.
Although 57% of buying decisions are indeed made before a customer calls a supplier, and 67% of purchases are made digitally, it doesn’t mean that customers don’t want to hear from you. 82% of buyers in the analysis would like to meet with salespeople. They actually prefer to hear from you early in their decision-making process.
In the buyer’s idea-generating phase, or as a problem solver for a specific problem, you provide the value the customer can’t find on the internet. In the idea phase, 71% of buyers would like to hear from you, but only 30% need further dialogue when you have, for example, an answer to a bid.
Interest in engaging with a salesperson decreases the further the customer progresses in the decision-making process, so for you, it’s about helping to start the customer’s visions for the future.
Cold canvassing is dead
Many salespeople would probably wish that were the case. But the reality is different. The phone is essential when creating new leads, especially if you sell to C-level buyers. According to the analysis, the higher up the hierarchy your customer sits, the more they prefer to be contacted by phone.
After email, it’s the buyers’ most preferred way to be contacted. According to the surveyed salespeople, calling existing, former, and new customers is the most effective method of generating new sales.
Buyers and sellers agree, the analysis shows. Cold canvassing is still the most effective way to start new sales dialogues.
So there’s nothing else to do but spend the necessary time preparing a good pitch with the relevant idea, exploring potential objections, and then picking up the phone and trying until you get through various gatekeepers at your customers.
Sellers can’t get through to buyers
It’s not easy, and the gatekeepers have multiplied. But a whopping 82% of buyers report that they accept meetings with salespeople who contact them. The primary factor for when a buyer is ready for contact from a seller is when there is a need for a product or service, now or in the future. But elements such as budget, whether you have something of value to sell, and/or references also play a role.
The buyer may not immediately see the need in what you’re selling, but they do want the result of it. This requires your ability to influence the need by educating and inspiring your buyer. And if the customer sees business opportunities in your solution, budgets tend to appear.
Use your network and find contacts in the buyer’s network. With a reference behind you, it’s easier to get introduced. Use LinkedIn and make it a regular part of your sales process to work on increasing your network with future sales potential in mind.
Buyers don’t want to hear your product pitch
If you’re relevant, buyers will want to hear your pitch. A whole 69% would like to hear what you have to say if you’ve done your homework and ensured that your data is relevant to the customer. Customers want a combination of ideas, insights, and product features. In fact, a whole 67% would like to hear about your solution capabilities in pitches tailored to them.
If you operate at the very top management levels (C-level), your pitch must be 100% tailored to the recipient, and you must be able to provide strong financial arguments with heavy ROI messages to be heard.
So if you can create the individual focus that makes the product pitch relevant, it’s interesting to your customer. Many buyers drown in information on the internet and need you to sort the message and ensure relevance. So just because buyers want value-based content doesn’t mean they don’t want to hear about features.
“Cold” meetings don’t convert to sales
Often it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. The analysis claims that a whopping 58% of sales meetings have no value for buyers. So if you can create value, you’ll get more meetings and convert more of them into won sales.
The three elements that directly influence the buyer’s decision are:
- Your ability to create value
- Your willingness to collaborate with them
- Whether you can educate the buyer with ideas that make a difference to their business
The art is to know the market and to be able to understand the needs and development of the customers. You must be able to contribute with good ideas and opportunities for business development if you want to be heard.
Generating new sales leads is filled with emotions. People want to believe in the myths, but they don’t always speak the truth. The analysis shows that:
- Buyers want to hear from sellers early. However, it’s the seller’s fault that buyers find 58% of their meetings without value
- Cold canvassing is not dead, it just has new premises
- Buyers take meetings (82%), and sellers can influence the buyer’s agenda significantly
- Buyers can do their pre-analysis online, but they still want to hear about product features in a valuable context from sellers
- When buyers find sellers valuable, sellers convert more initial meetings into actual sales
When you revise your own lead generation process, take these results to heart. Leave the myths behind. You know there’s a basis for breaking through to leaders, filling your pipeline, and winning more sales.