As a salesperson, knowing who to call and having the ability to control the conversation are key to the outcome of a call. This is where a well-run marketing automation system, content management system and lead scoring system pays off for a sales person.
In a retail setting, it takes a keen eye and well developed senses on behalf of a salesperson to understand what customers are there to buy and who is there ‘just shopping’. The best salespeople seem to have a third eye telling them whom to approach and what tactic to use. In Malcom Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, he explains that these superior salesmen know that “nonverbal cues are as or more important than verbal cues” and, “subtle circumstances surrounding how we say things may matter more than what we say.”
People who are able to sell based on subtle cues are really just good at picking up buying signals early. Most salespeople just go from person to person asking, “Can I help you?”—this essentially equates to cold calling. When your organization relies on an inside sales team, you need to be like Gladwell’s superior salesperson, not an average ‘greeter’.
But, how do you do this over the phone when you can’t really interact with customers in a way that allows you to pick up all their subtle buying signals?
This has always been a problem with phone sales and cold calling. Salespeople are left wondering:
- Who’s actually interested?
- What are they interested in?
- What features are they most interested in?
- When should I call them back?
- How do I know if they really want to talk to me?
So, how do you find the answers to these questions with limited visibility?
You see what your prospects are doing via your marketing automation system. Marketing automation gives you the ability to know who to call, which is probably the biggest success factor on a sales floor—it is what separates the best from the bunch. Marketing automation also gives you insight into when they want to hear from you, what they want to talk about, what you should share, what you shouldn’t share, etc. With a marketing automation platform, you have the information at hand to gain the respect of the prospect and have a real conversation, rather than a cold call and hearing, “No thanks, I’m just looking” or “ Who are you?” or “What is this about?”.
Another trick of great salespeople involves resources and control. Most successful sales reps know when to move on from a prospect that is not going to transact, allowing them to control when the conversation ends rather than wasting their time educating. Marketing automation can also help automate this often times tough skill by giving you the ability to see if your prospect is opening and sharing content or if he or she is just blowing smoke and is not really ready to transact.
For more on using marketing automation for sales, read “A Twist on Selecting a Marketing Automation Platform.” Feel free to contact us with any questions.