The early bird still catches the worm….well not quite, but you do give yourself a better chance of being successful if you are a proactive, early responder to an inbound sales lead. We experienced a great example of this from a participant at a recent workshop.
Recently we ran a series of Sales Skills workshops for the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce. The workshops were designed for those relatively new to sales working in a B2B space. Being new to sales in that space can be daunting with call reluctance and the fear of not knowing the answers to customer questions ranking high amongst participants as doubt inducers.
Our training framework focusses on the 6 Fundamentals of Sales Know How, that is knowing:
1. WHAT You Do
2. WHY Your Do It
3. WHO Your Do it For
4. WHERE To Do It
5. HOW To Do It
6. HOW To Do It More
For the vast majority of our clients’ sales is a new scary world where the age old stereotypes of shiny shoed used car sales teams hang over them like a dark cloud. Our approach is to reframe their role in their new world as that of being problem solvers. That mindset enables them to focus on making their customers lives easier and their sales experience more enjoyable, while growing business for their employer. We teach a problem solving approach coupled with the proven processes, organisational skills & disciplines to succeed.
The first workshop session focussed on developing a sales mindset and understanding their role as a problem solver. During our recap at the start of the second session it was wonderful to hear how one of our younger, shyer participants had successfully secured a machinery sale during the past week by putting into practice his learnings:
- On receipt of an inbound email lead that morning he had called the customer, that same morning.
- During that call he asked sufficient questions to get an understanding of the customers issue, needs & timeframe.
- He committed to fill in some of the gaps he didn’t know and call the customer back with the necessary details.
- He did some research, called the customer back and committed to submitting a quotation by the end of that day.
- He did just that and received the purchase order two days later.
As he regaled his success story to the class his smile grew and posture opened up proudly – for us that was the best reward. A simple, real life example but how much of the above is really that difficult to do?
In their blog piece 60 Key Sales Statistics That'll Help You Sell Smarter in 2021, Hubspot tell us that 35-50% of sales go to the vendors that respond first. It also states that 41.2% of sales people said their phone was the most effective sales tool at their disposal.
Too often, in fact just yesterday, we hear of warm inbound leads not being responded to for 2-3 weeks by which time the customer has shopped elsewhere – and not always satisfactorily. Next time you get an inbound lead, pick up the phone and call your customer. It’s the first step in building a rapport and can get them further into your Sales Process as you seek to solve their problem. If they ask you a question you don’t know the answer to say so, commit to finding out and getting back to them – then do so.
How does your Sales Playbook describe your approach to handling inbound leads?
If you don’t have an answer to that get in touch and we can start working one out.