In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are finding it harder than ever to make sales, especially those functioning offline.
With global lockdown orders and employees being forced to work from home, businesses must change their strategies to accommodate.
The answer is in digitizing sales.
Moving your sales online is more important than ever. For some businesses, it could be their sole source of income during this crisis.
We will be going through the steps you should take to get reach out to potential clients online, along with showing you some helpful tools and resources along the way.
When thinking of digital sales and marketing, one of the first methods that most people opt for is email marketing. Email marketing remains as one of the most popular and effective forms of marketing, with 59% of B2B marketers saying that email is their most effective way of increasing revenue.
If you are already actively sending out marketing emails, maybe it’s time for a refresh. But if you’re looking at other methods besides just email campaigns, it’s helpful to look at the bigger picture through online prospecting.
Prospecting for sales leads is the process of identifying potential customers and developing a database of contacts to reach out to (and hopefully make sales from). Prospecting is not a new process, but we’ll tell you how to do it successfully online.
Prospecting involves three main steps:
Let’s break them down.
Researching involves shopping around for potential leads and making sure that they are qualified. This means that your prospects should be relevant, targeted, and a good fit demographically.
A good starting point is pinpointing your target industries, and going through a list of companies and contacts for each one. You can also start by coming up with a list of pain points that your product can alleviate, and looking for organizations facing those problems.
Your research will result in a contact list, which contains all the contact information necessary to reach out to your prospects.
Previously, marketers and salespeople would have to manually build contact lists by looking up potential leads and finding their contact information individually. However with current technology, there are several automated tools out there to help ease the prospecting process.
One such example is TQ Prospector. It’s an online prospecting tool that allows you to scrape for contact details of potential leads within seconds. Simply install the Chrome extension, and key in any search terms of your choosing on Google. The tool will scrape each website for contact details and display the information directly on the search results. By using TQ Prospector, get started with making sales right away without the hassle of manual prospecting.
Prepping & prioritizing
The next step to prospecting is prepping and prioritizing. Based on your contact list, you should prioritize your leads based on who is most likely to make a sale. You can do so by considering how well they match your ideal customer persona, if they are aware of your brand and have interacted with you before, or if they have known pain points that your product can solve.
There are several other criteria to consider when prioritizing leads, all of which depend on each organization or salesperson.
Then, you should prep your message and tailor it to each person you’re reaching out to. Make sure to conduct in-depth research on each organization in order to perfectly hone your pitch. This also makes it easier to personalize your message.
Find a point of connection between you and your lead. Maybe you have mutual connections, or they visited a certain page on your website, or downloaded an e-book from you. Even bringing up a challenge that your prospect is facing and a way in which you can solve it is a good starting point.
The last step is reaching out. This can be done through phone calls, emails, or social media (we’ve even written a guide to generating leads on LinkedIn!). Choose the most suitable method based on who you are reaching out to.
You should always keep your message personalized and timely. A lot of people also make the mistake of sounding impersonal and robotic when first reaching out, so do ensure to keep your tone friendly, casual, and human.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should provide value to your leads before trying to sell them something. No one likes to be bombarded by pushy sales messages, so keep your message tasteful and beneficial.
By following the steps above to kickstart your online sales engine, you can ensure a constant stream of leads and sales coming through, even through the current crisis. Stay home and stay safe!
This article is part two of our blog series: ‘Keeping Business Continuity in the Wake of COVID-19’. Click on the links below to read parts 1 and 2.