Still a Challenge to Fill the Sales Pipeline
Even though technology has vastly improved both the efficiency and access to the information your sales team can use to connect with qualified prospects, it’s still difficult to make meaningful connections and fill the sales pipeline – especially when times are tough.
Five Tips to Better Fill the Sales Pipeline
Over thirty years working with sales teams to improve their sales performance from cold calls to closing deals have taught us what can help develop prospects that are worth targeting. Here are five tips on how to do it right:
- Be Intentional
Don’t waste your time on making numerous blind calls hoping to convert a percent or two into a meeting. Instead, define a purpose for your sales call that differentiates you and your company from the competition and fits prospective clients’ goals and objectives. You need to declare your value up front to really get their attention.
Be clear about who to call, what you can offer that fits their needs, and articulate persuasively the value you bring.
- Be Prepared
Be ready to use a referral or leapfrog the receptionist and get a senior person on the phone. Don’t squander the opportunity by being unprepared for your sales call. Know the customer, know the role of the person you’re talking to, be primed for a real business conversation where you can bring value and insight, and have a strategy for dealing with objections.
- Make It Personal
In every interaction including follow-up conversations, meetings and emails, build the relationship upon the sorts of personal information that create memorable moments. Once you know your prospect’s professional role, dig a bit to find out their communication style, what they like to do outside of work, their areas of expertise and if they belong to any groups you, too, may be familiar with.
- Remember the Rule of Eight
Despite your thoughtful approach and thorough preparation, be aware of the rule of eight. It is said that it can take an average of eight touch points before you are able to hold the right conversation with the right target. The key to success is to persevere without being annoying. You want to be there when the prospect is ready. This requires a planned “drip” approach that provides value each time you reach out.
The more you practice, the better you get. Work with your team, with a coach, or even in front of a mirror until your pitch comes naturally. You want your genuine voice to come through. Too smooth a patter raises hackles. Be friendly, respectful, and don’t talk over the prospect. To really learn about their business priorities, you need to perfect the art of listening as much as the art of verbal communication.
The Bottom Line
Is your team still relying on the dialing for dollars approach? If so, you’re out of touch with what really works. Refine your calls so they truly bring results.
To learn more about how to better fill your sales pipeline, download How to Sell Through Networking and Referrals to Close Half Your Pipeline