This guest post was written by Rachel Martinez at ZoomInfo.
Sales professionals often want to focus on closing the deal. And why wouldn’t they? This step is where the money comes in, after all. It’s also arguably the most exciting stage of the sales cycle, and when you succeed, it can feel like you’re making the winning shot in a championship game.
Of course, it takes a ton of work to get to that point in sports, and the same is true in sales. The reality is, most prospects aren’t ready to purchase right away. And some of them never will be, for reasons outside of your control. Don’t get discouraged, though.
Sales outreach doesn’t have to be painful (really)! With some help from your B2B database, you can get in touch with more of the right contacts, and speed up the process from start to finish.
Check out the 4 ways below to improve sales outreach and make the most of your B2B database:
Identify key contacts
Who are your best buyers? What are their challenges and pain points? If you can’t answer these two questions, don’t bother picking up the phone. That might sound harsh, but trust us, you’d just be wasting your time.
Before reaching out, you should already have an idea of whether someone would be a good fit for your organization. And the best way to gauge this is to utilize your buyer personas. Defined as profiles of your best customers, buyer personas can help you determine who to target, and the best way to speak to these people.
In order to identify them, focus on key data points, such as your fastest sales cycles and highest revenue driving deals. You’ll also want to consider the demographics and firmographics listed below:
- Job title
- Job function
- Management level
- Company size and revenue
Once you understand this information, you can build on your past successes, going after people with similar characteristics, and weeding out those who are unlikely to make a purchase.
Warm up cold calls
No one wants to hear a generic pitch. Now, this might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t personalize their sales outreach. Think about it – have you ever received a call from some clueless rep who wants to put time on your calendar? And yet, all they do is blab about is themselves and their company? This is a huge turnoff.
Even if your prospects have qualities in common, you can’t treat them all the same. Remember, you’re speaking with real people, not just numbers you need to hit your quota.
In order to combat this, be sure to conduct research beforehand. 82% of sales reps feel challenged by the amount of data and time it takes to research a prospect (source: IKO System). But it doesn’t have to be so complicated. A resource, such as ZoomInfo, can provide relevant background information on your prospects, including any recent web mentions or awards won.
These are the types of details that can help you get your foot in the door. A legitimate connection is always better than a forced (and slightly creepy) introduction, in which you mention everything they did this past weekend.
Utilize direct dial lines
Did you know that you’re 46% more likely to connect with someone at the director level, and 147% more likely to connect with a VP when dialing a direct line, rather than a switchboard number (Source: VorsightBP)?
If you’re still not convinced about the power of direct dial lines, maybe this will help: VorsightBP also found that it takes 12 dials to connect with one prospect using direct dial lines vs. 17 using switchboard numbers.
The takeaway here is that you should never waste your time on gatekeepers. Receptionists, secretaries and other office staff might pass your message along. But in most cases, you won’t get a call back.
Team up with marketing
The right sales prospecting methods will set you up for success. However, there’s still more to think about later down the line. And if you don’t have effective follow up strategies in place, you’ll lose out on potential business opportunities. This is where your marketing team and sales enablement tools, like Fileboard, can help.
If someone doesn’t respond right away, try enrolling them in a marketing nurture campaign, which allows you to keep in touch with leads that might otherwise have gone cold. This is a great way to tell whether people are ready to continue the conversation. Think about it this way, if someone engages with a piece of content, it’s a sign that they may be interested in learning more.
Rachel Martinez is a communications & marketing specialist at ZoomInfo, which offers the most accurate and actionable B2B contact and company intelligence to help organizations accelerate growth and profitability.