I often get asked why does a B2B Sales Prospecting Campaign Campaign fail?
There’s a multitude of reasons and today I just want to go through some of those reasons to see if any of them apply to you.
If you’re having problems generating the opportunities for your business, there’s going to be one of these things that really is relevant to you that you might just be able to tweak and learn from and change and tweak so you can actually improve your results.
The first thing is this….
If you haven’t got a proven methodology that works you’re going to random and scattered on approach, then you’re really going to struggle.
We use a process called the OUTREACH Formula.
It’s a step by step approach we’ve run on every single campaign, which to date is 23 countries, in multiple languages. We have a campaigned for clients with a whole range of different propositions from IT software tech, financial services, consultancy, and a number of other things as well.
We continually refine the process and we test it all the time.
It’s an ongoing learning and development.
It’s never the same.
It’s always a continual refinement process.
If you haven’t got a process in your business, you’re just one day testing one thing one day testing another thing, you’re really going to struggle to learn an implement and refine and improve your results.
Make sure you’ve got a proven method.
The next thing is consistency.
With B2B sales prospecting you can’t just do it randomly every now and then and think it’ll generate some leads and then move one and start focusing on closing deals or going to see current clients and not coming back to those opportunities.
Wouldn’t it be great if every phone call you made, every email you sent out, people said “that’s great come see me, let me sign up and buy your stuff.”
In the real world that probably is rare, if it ever happens.
If you’ve got a hundred percent conversion rate, get in touch.
I’d love to know how you’re doing it!!
But reality is you’ve got to make sure you’re relentless and you’re consistent.
Some people are ready to buy now.
Some people just aren’t.
You got to make sure you’re reaching out on an ongoing basis.
They used to say 7 points of contact to actually get a conversion from cold lead to customer.
It all gets a lot higher now because we all get bombarded with so much information, so much marketing from everywhere…. in our pockets on our phones, on our tablets, on our laptops, TV, radio, everywhere.
There’s so many marketing messages. You have to be consistent, relentless to actually convert people from cold leads to clients.
Make sure you’re relentless with your prospecting.
The next thing relates to being relentless.
It’s actually commitment.
It’s a mind set and dedicating either yourself or a member of your team or outsourcing to a specialist B2B Sales Prospecting Agency like Marketing Republic.
Quick plug there (!!) but the point being is you’ve got to make sure that you dedicate time and your committed to prospecting.
You don’t just dabble at it.
If you dabble at it you’ll get poor results.
If you really commit to it, you invest in it, either internally or externally, that is how you get results.
I’m sorry but sales just is.
If you don’t like it I think you’ll always struggle but if you’re prepared to invest, make a decision, and get on with it in the long game basis, that’s how you build momentum.
The next thing is having a random scatter gun approach.
One minute you’re doing email marketing, one minute you’re doing cold calling and then you’re blogging…. just all over the place and no consistency.
That could even be around your target market.
Maybe you’ve got different niches that you serve.
Maybe you do some prospect into one niche and leave that and then move onto another niche.
Then a few weeks later you think oh I’ll come back to that niche!!
You’ve got to have a method and be relentless to each individual target market you’re going after. If you’re scatter gunning all over the place, again, you’ll just struggle to really get results.
Another really important factor is really understanding your ideal customer profile.
A business can have multiple ideal customers depending on what you sell to people but if you don’t really know even just one key ideal customer profile for your business, you’re going to struggle.
How do you target anyone?
Some people say that to us.
“Well we can sell this to anyone.”
Where do you start with a marketing campaign that targets anyone and everyone?
You’ve got to make sure you’ve really drilled down into understanding your Ideal Customer.
The best way of doing that is look at your current client base and who are your best customers there.
Not just any old client!
Not just a pain in the neck client you make no profit from, not great to serve, they don’t value what you do, they’re not loyal to you.
Who are really your best clients and how do you profile them?
That might be breaking down to a number of segments depending on what you sell to those people.
It could just be one individual profile where these guys get what we do, they need what we do, let’s find more of those people.
It’s so important to actually understand your ideal customer profile so you can go out and make sure that there are more of those people out there.
Sometimes there’s a finite number of people if it’s a really niche product or service that you have.
It might only be a certain number of people.
Other times it could be tens, thousands, millions of other people who fit that profile.
Then you can start drilling down to geographies or other sectors or whatever it may be.
You’ve got to understand that so you can start building a database of target people who fit that ICP.
The next reason that sales prospecting fails is not understanding why your ideal customers buy from you.
It’s a very common problem.
People make assumptions why their customers buy from them.
The obvious way of defining this is to ask your best customers.
One of the key aspects of sales prospecting success is to really understand this point.
It’s something that so many people fail to do.
They just assume why they bought.
Just go out, list some best customers, pick up the phone or drop them an email, and just ask questions.
This will help you define your own customer profile again even more but also help you with your messaging and your pitch.
To fully understand why people you want to ask questions that help people respond with the pain points around the solution you provide.
If you don’t understand why those current customers buy, you’ve got a problem.
If you’ve got a brand new business or a brand new product or service, I suggest you start testing.
The key thing to test is by asking questions around that marketplace you’re targeting.
Ask people would they be interested in your product or service if you offered it to them.
You can actually get some feedback and then see if they want to buy.
If they buy, you then scale the up.
If you don’t ask, you’ve got to assume and that’s a massive problem really when it comes to prospecting.
Another key reason why prospecting fails is people think it’s all about them.
They just want to tell people how amazing they are.
They just want to communicate the awards they’ve won, how many amazing clients they’ve got, they don’t ask any questions about their customer, about their prospect.
I get it all the time where I see people write long emails or have a pitch where they want to get people on the phone, call them and they’ll launch into them a massive pitch straight away before they’ve really understood if that person they’re speaking to is via email, social, LinkedIn, telephone, whatever it is, whatever channel you use.
Make sure that people understand what it is you do then ask them questions.
Actually draw out and get them to identify their own pain points so you can then offer them a solution to that.
Don’t just blurt out everywhere how amazing you are and why they should be buying from you straight away.
If you don’t really understand, if there’s interest at all, to be honest, you’re just wasting your time pitching people who are never going to buy.
What’s the point of that?
Make sure that you ask key questions, you understand their pain points, then you can provide the solution, then you’ve got a reason to take it to the next stage.
When it comes to selling there’s typically two types of sales people… the sales hunters who are good at prospecting and the sales farmers who are good at managing clients on an ongoing basis, just good at looking after those people.
Of course they renew, they win more deals over time from those same people but they’re not great at finding new deals.
Prospecting is a specific skill set.
Also, account management is a specific skill set as well.
Some people can do all of course but then you’ve got issues over time.
Where is the best use of their time?
Sometimes I’ve had clients, they want their sales people just looking after the client base, or working genuine opportunities with a high percentage close rate, but don’t want them calling or prospecting as that isn’t best use of their time.
You either build a dedicated team or you outsource it.
But don’t just expect them to do everything and then they can’t keep all those balls in the air.
Commit to time, commit to specific skill sets, understand the people you’ve got… where is the best use of their time, and what is the best use of their skills.
It’s really important to know your niche.
You might be able to sell the same product or service to unlimited number of different niches but every niche might have it’s own language, approach, reason why they buy.
They could be different.
It might be consistent across the board but you might have different target markets who want to buy the same thing but how they understand your product or service, the language they use, might vary.
Just make sure you understand your own market place.
If you’ve got one niche just drill down into that niche to really ask questions to make sure they understand it and then to scale it.
If you can sell that product or service that you offer to multiple people make sure that you adjust your messaging and your approach in different ways with different people.
For example, financial people might have a different way of talking or a different need or pain point than a marketing person or a sales person.
A sales director might have a different pain point to an IT director.
Make sure that you just think about very carefully how you talk to people and the language you use because if you mix it up or just have a one size fits all approach you’re going to limit your opportunity for success.
Lastly to focus on a positive, what really ensures success of a prospecting campaign, is to try to find someone in your marketplace who’s doing it really well.
Almost copy them to be honest… with your own approach and twist.
Mystery shop or get someone else that you know who’s in a market you can actually go out and talk to those people to understand what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and then you can take the best bits of that and implement it in your own words and your own way.
That’s something that’s applicable to your business but don’t necessarily try to reinvent the wheel every single time.
Just look at the best people.
The market leaders, look at what is really good about their business and their approach to prospecting.
Find out, ask questions, model it, apply it to your business, and then scale it up.
It’s really something that I see people fail to do all the time.
I think they’ve got to start from scratch and be completely ingenious with their ideas when actually there’s stuff out there that is so easy to research these days both online as well as in people mystery shopping over there phone or face to face or whatever it may be.
Actually just look at the most successful people, look at what they’re doing, take the best bits that you think apply to you and then run them in your business and see how successful it is for you.
Success leaves clues.
Whatever prospecting process you use, just look at the people who are doing it really well, model it, and find the solution that works for your business.
There’s a whole different range of approaches these days of prospecting and B2B lead generation.
Find out what works best for your business.
Do that by making a decision… TAKE ACTION!
Find a solution for you.
Find a system that works in your business, and just get on it.
Be relentless, choose to do it, be relentless with it to actually really make sure you get better and better and better and build your knowledge, build your expertise.
That simple message is how I started my business and a philosophy we adhere to every single day!
If you don’t want to do that, hire someone who’s got those skills or if there’s someone that you can hire to bring into your business or outsource to a specialist business.
My business is Marketing Republic.
We provide that B2B prospecting service to our clients.
We’re building sales pipeline, we’re making sure that you’ve always got people to talk to that fit your ideal customer profile, to make sure they’re engaged, there’s intelligence around your marketplace so you can focus on what doing what you do best which is closing business.
If you want more information make sure you reach out to us.
It’d be great to hear from you.
If I can help in anyway, just ask.
Thanks for reading… hope this inspires you to implement a plan in your business to help you grow and achieve your sales objectives!
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