B2B Lead Conversion Tips: How to Convert Leads into Sales Faster
Highly complex and customizable enterprise software product and service offerings means B2B SaaS sales leads come to the table prepared. We'll show you how to convert more leads into sales faster with effective changes to your sales approach.
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Today’s B2B SaaS buyer is more informed than ever. In an industry where product and service complexities are commonplace, sales cycles can be rather lengthy and buying processes can involve software experts and multiple stakeholders, preparedness is everything. Highly customizable solutions tailored to specific company needs require more from sales reps and buyers alike. Prospective buyers do their homework and often have anywhere from 70-90% of their journey behind them by the time they reach out to a sales rep. Trends such as these don’t translate into less work for sales teams, rather lead conversion requires more attention and strategy.
Many businesses invest highly in lead generation measures in the hopes that the sheer mass of incoming sales leads will ensure overall sales success across the board. While we can’t underscore the importance of effective forward facing digital assets such as websites enough, lead generation alongside effective lead conversion strategies is the only road to higher closing rates.
In this article, we’ll show you how to convert more leads into sales faster by making simple changes to your approach.
B2B Sellers Must Ensure an Effective Point of First Contact
B2B buyers often have to make large-scale purchasing decisions involving complex products and services for which buying processes can turn out to be rather lengthy. For this reason, a reputable sales force has long been the go-to means of first contact for many B2B buyers and sellers alike. However, the ease of online research as part of the buying process alongside the vendor’s need to make a good first impression can no longer be overlooked. Current trends see growing importance of both a strong sales team and digital investments as a part of an effective multichannel sales strategy.
Two of the first channels in which prospective buyers most often engage with suppliers are company websites and advertising. Among the 250 senior-level B2B executives surveyed on the topic of vendor websites featured in the 2019 Demand Gen B2B Buyers Survey Report, 97% highlighted the importance of relevant content and ease of use. Another 96% underscored the website’s need to speak directly to the needs of the industry and demonstrate expertise in their field. For B2B marketing teams, this raises the bar for invaluable facets of the prospect’s point of first contact experience, such as relevant website content, messaging and accessibility of information. For sales, this requires alignment with the marketing team and acute attention to all marketing measures in place.
Utilize Visual Content: Articles, Infographics, and Charts
Incorporating effective visual aids presents a great opportunity to grab your prospect's attention, spark curiosity in your product or service and begin addressing potential questions or concerns prior to first point of contact. For instance, you might use infographics or graphs to quickly display select advantages or savings opportunities tied to your particular product or service. Once established, you can easily share this content across multiple channels. While the average social media user is active on 8 different platforms, the reach of your compact statistics, product information or company news is virtually limitless.
Sales Must Maintain Alignment with the Marketing Team
As noted above, content marketing and customer facing digital assets have the potential to boost the efficacy of sales initiatives, bolster established client relationships and bring prospective buyers closer to sale quicker.
What does this mean for lead conversion? The sales team can augment the impact of initial marketing measures with timing. In other words: Individual sales reps can add value to the sales process by sharing the right content at the right time. The ability to remain responsive and stay in front of prospects throughout the entirety of the buying process can be decisive in securing a positive outcome. One way to do this is to keep up to date with your company’s marketing resources. Attend company webinars, talk to your marketing team and provide relevant feedback where needed.
Commit to Selling a Solution Rather Than a Product
Buyers often expect to be able to learn the ins and outs of your product prior to reaching out to a sales rep. Particularly in the B2B SaaS market, leads also scope out the competition and have a good idea of what to expect from your product in terms of capabilities and key features. Whether or not your product or service is a good fit will undoubtedly play a decisive role in the degree of customer engagement early on in the sales process. However when it comes to lead conversion, the difference maker will more than likely be the customer experience your team has to offer. In an industry known for high complexity sales situations and specialized knowledge and experience, successful sellers must be able to identify buyer’s specific needs in order to provide viable and appropriate solutions. The first step in signalling to your prospect collaboration is worth further consideration is to focus on selling an experience (instead of a product) as part of a customer centric sales process.
As part of a customer centric sales process, solution selling prioritizes a highly specialized problem-led approach to sales in place of a traditionally generalized product-led sales pitch. In other words, sales reps aren’t pitching their best-performing software subscription to all companies to cross their path, rather they’re providing tailored solutions to companies depending on their particular challenges or overall business needs.
Reduce Inquiry Response Time
Response time is another factor vital to successful lead follow up. When researching a new product or service, 76% of B2B buyers surveyed by McKinsey states they prefer to speak to a salesperson as the mode of first contact. Whether new lead or return customer, responsiveness is key to converting leads in a timely manner. The lack thereof was one of buyers’ biggest complaints according to the McKinsey B2B customer decision journey survey conducted in 2016.
Another reason to ensure promptness is that sales reps are playing greater roles in ever earlier stages of B2B customer journey, (a 2019 Demand Gen report cites). With time to engagement shortened and buyers making important decisions sooner, sellers must ensure prompt attention to buyer needs at key points within the buying process and reach out with accurate and relevant information in a timely manner.
Sales Cadence: Follow-Up Sales Strategy
Following improvements to response time, the next step towards increasing your team’s lead conversion rate involves laying down a follow-up sales strategy to ensure your interested prospects don’t slip through the cracks. Consistency is key to keeping your sales funnel full. According to Hubspot, 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls, and almost half of sales reps don’t follow through with the second. Reps who touch base with their leads via email more than once have a 25% chance of hearing back. Especially in the field of B2B software where sales processes can be rather lengthy, sticking to a firm scheduled sequence of touchpoints from first point of contact onwards will help your team stay ahead of the curve at every stage.
Keeping a sales cadence also allows you to diversify your outreach efforts by reaching out across multiple channels. From sharing the right content at the right time over socials to an occasional brief email check-in following a lull in correspondence, the structured framework of a sales cadence can help keep prospects engaged, boost conversion rates and help your sales team stay on track.
Competitive Analysis: Know and Understand Your Prospect’s Alternatives
Another essential element of effective B2B lead conversion is maintaining a thorough understanding of competing solution providers and their products. B2B SaaS is a highly competitive industry which offers many similar but not identical software alternatives. Incorporate competitor analysis prior to engagement and your team will be better poised to handle objections common to the enterprise software industry such as price point or feature requests.
How to Convert Leads into Sales Faster: Key Takeaways
Lead generating strategies and assets will not automatically translate into higher closing rates or overall revenue. It takes a skilled sales team with a comprehensive plan to convert more leads into sales.
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