The way buyers now use the internet to research first, engage second has forever changed the way companies prospect for new business. It’s time to take a new look at the sales process flow chart.
Changing the sales process flow chart for prospecting in a digital age
Only a few years ago, companies held all of the information. Buyers learned about new products from the sale rep. The back up detail came from your brochure. Competitor comparisons were from the benefit grid your marketing team created. The buyer was in a passive mode of receiving information they needed to make a decision.
Today, when your buyer:
- Hears about some new tool or product – they Google it
- Schedules a meeting with your sales rep – they look them up on LinkedIn
- Compares providers – they check online rating services like Yelp, Angela’s List, etc.
Prospecting in a digital age means your sales process flow chart has to change.
How to build trust, identify the best opportunities and convert more of those opportunities into sales.
1 Building trust by nurturing your lead till they’re ready for a conversation
You walk into a store and the helpful staff comes over and asks, “Can I help you find something?” Your response every time, “No thanks, just looking”
Your buyers are exactly the same. Early in the process they are just trying to understand if there is a better way to solve their problem.
Build trust early by making information and useful content available for buyers who are researching. This will establish why you are best positioned to help them. Using this lead nurture/drip marketing approach that offers additional resources fitting the buyer’s stage, will strengthen this trust and help continue the conversation.
2 Learn from your prospect to identify power and understand the pain they’re trying to solve
The greatest asset of any good salesperson is their ability to listen to the prospect.
Lead Nurturing provides these same advantages. It allows you to identify which leads have potential and which don’t.
Plan your landing pages and data capture by stages in the funnel. In the early stage collect basic contact information only, like name, and email address. With each successive interaction you can collect more detail.
3 Keep your company top of mind throughout the research and consideration phase
There are a number of buyers who are good prospects, but because of one reason or another are not ready to buy.
Maybe they’re in a contact for another 6 months or in the middle of their budgeting process. The buyer could have all the elements you need to make a sale: Pain, Power, Vision, Value. It’s just not time yet.
A Lead Nurturing campaign built into your sales process flow chart allows for these timing delays and continues to periodically drip useful and informative content on these prospects/leads to keep them engaged, and your company on their consideration list.