Our two senior Directors of Business Development at York Consulting, Davis Elisha and Rich Douglas, talk about how they go about getting business, and how they see the B2B landscape after Covid – we hope we’re finally post Covid.
We all realize the B2B sales world has changed significantly since Covid struck. Because we have our hand on the pulse of the B2B sales world, with lead generation and appointment setting for our clients, we wanted to share five key ideas where you can effectively grow your business.
Many of us saw a sharp decline in business, right after Covid caused all the lockdowns in 2020. And yet, in the first two quarters of 2021, our business took off, as did many others, because of a pent-up demand. But we have seen this demand moderate since then, as have many other B2B businesses.
So, here are five key ideas to help you in your sales growth, as we hopefully move past Covid. We believe these are five important ideas all companies should integrate into their sales and marketing, regardless of the market situation.
Let’s look at each of these in more depth.
1. How to use video effectively for virtual selling.
Virtual selling is here to stay, so we all have to get better at it to survive and grow.
Rich stated, “lately I’ve been using video, although I usually set up the meeting using email and/or the phone”.
Rich also said, “Zoom and Microsoft Teams have allowed us to sell at a different level. Even if they don’t turn their camera on, they get to see me, and my body language. Video has made a big difference for me, and I’m getting much better results.”
Rich also feels, “video will overcome the need to get together as often, in the future”.
They both agreed the following three things are important. Ensure you have a quiet place to work and a neutral background, so as not to distract from the call. Always dress appropriately in business attire. And ensure you test the software before you use it, so you are familiar with it.
Davis point out that it’s OK to take notes, like you would in any call situation, but keep looking back up, to ensure engagement with your prospect, even if they do not have their video on.
2. Understand your metrics to move forward effectively.
Rich also mentioned, “one of the biggest surprises I found, when questioning people, is that they don’t know their metrics, and therefore how much their sales and marketing actually costs them. That is why, many times, it is difficult to convince people to use the phone, and now video, when contacting people”.
Both Rich and Davis agree that you need to measure everything you do when you are building your business, so you know which methods work for your company.
Both agreed, “you need to measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns, your cold calling campaigns, which social media platforms perform best for your business, your referral system, your account management methods, etc.”
They both mentioned that very few companies measure what a lead costs them. Yet, this is one of your most important metrics in measuring your sales and marketing effectiveness.
Davis has discovered that “there is a lot of social media fatigue. So, I prefer being pro-active by using cold calling, and this has given me very good results”.
They both agreed that there are so many ways to reach out to prospects and clients now, it is vitally important to know and understand which ways are best for your business. Once you know these metrics, then you can focus on the ones that work for you, for both new business development, and current client growth.
3. Issues we see in getting new clients, and retaining current and past clients.
Like you and your team, we encounter many of the same obstacles you face, when prospecting.
Davis has found that, “waiting for prospects to react, like in social media, is folly because only a very small percentage of people respond to business social media”.
Davis mentions that “most sales people will only try about 3 times to reach a new prospect, no matter what tool they use, and that’s the gap in the inconsistency that we help our clients with”.
Both Rich and Davis work at getting to their prospects core business issues. This helps to get their prospects engaged with them, and then they can make good progress toward the right solution for this prospect.
One of those solutions is developing a plan.
As Rich states, “many clients don’t have a plan for getting new clients, other than throwing spaghetti against a wall, which means, call as many people as possible, and eventually one will stick.”
They both agree that you need a plan for getting new clients, so you know what you are doing and why, and then you can use metrics to see what is working, and what isn’t.
Both also agree that you need a script that works, before you start your prospecting. But the script must also be flexible, depending on how the prospect responds. “That is one of our strengths in lead generation and appointment setting, we know how to get into a conversation.”
As for client retention, they both agree that you must keep in touch with current clients on a regular basis, so you know what they’re thinking, and so you don’t lose them as clients.
Davis reveals, “I keep in touch with my clients regularly, as they are a good source of referrals and references, and I encourage my team to do the same”.
4. Disqualify out before you qualify in.
First off, when opening up a new conversation with any company, both Rich and Davis agree that you need to start as high up the relationship ladder as is appropriate for what you are selling. For us it’s the CXO or VP level.
Then we try to “get to NO, before we get to YES”.
As Rich said; “I try and disqualify first, and get the NO’s out of the way, because then you get into a more fruitful conversation, and you don’t waste time trying to convince someone who doesn’t need what you do.”
This technique, of course, should be used whether your sales people are qualifying in person, or over video. The objective is to find out if your prospects really do have any issues you can solve.
The reason, for doing this, is so your sales people don’t waste time chasing prospects that don’t have problems you can help solve, and therefore aren’t going to buy. If they’re not ready to buy, and your sales people keep chasing them, your metrics and revenue targets will be distorted.
Both Rich and Davis get to NO or YES by using questioning techniques that solicit the direction each prospect is headed. Once you do get to NO or YES, then you can focus on the YES prospects that will give you the revenue you need.
The message here is to stop chasing unqualified prospects, and understand how to effectively disqualify.
5. There is a need for more effective outbound campaigns.
Both Davis and Rich have noticed, especially during the pandemic, that some companies have delayed or stopped their outbound campaigns, thinking that their prospects are just waiting for Covid to be over, so they can get back to their normal way of doing business again.
They both believe that this won’t work, and as we have discussed here, the old normal is not coming back again, certainly at least not any time soon.
Davis stated however, “a client that has done some analysis and reviewed the metrics of what they’ve done in the past, is an ideal prospect”.
They both agreed that outbound campaigns, that use at least some cold calling, are going to give you the best results.
They also agreed that you have to be doing outbound campaigns now, in order to gear up for the Fall, and to move forward into next year, to keep your company name in the forefront with potential clients and current clients.
Once you know your metrics, for each of the types of campaigns you run, you can then use those campaigns to ensure you keep your pipeline full.
As you know, York Consulting helps companies with their outbound campaigns.
Especially this year, with all of the disruptions companies have gone through, and with the new ways of doing business, you may need some help navigating your way through all of these changes, and that is where we can help you.
Outbound campaigns, lead generation, appointment setting, customer outreach, revival and expansion is our business, and we’ve been at it for over 20 years.
We understand how to talk to a current customer to see if they could be buying more.
We know how to speak with a customer that has stopped buying, and get them active again.
We can qualify prospects and help get them into your sales pipeline.
Contact either of us today, and we will get back to you ASAP, to discuss your needs and how we might help you.
There is no charge for this, and most companies learn a lot, just by talking to us.
So, don’t wait. ACT NOW
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