As a sales professional, you know how difficult it can be to reach decision makers. Maybe they’re too busy for a phone conversation or you’re just not targeting the right people. Whatever it may be, if you’re looking to shorten the sales cycle, you need to understand who your best buyers are in order to fuel your pipeline with new contacts.
Here are 6 tips to help you grow your sales pipeline with new contacts and shorten the sales cycle:
1. Identify Your Target Market
One of the most crucial steps in any marketing or sales decision is knowing who your customers are. In order to identify your target market, talk to your marketing, sales, and finance teams.
Then take a look at your existing CRM data to validate. Who are your top performing customers? Leads? Biggest deals? Fastest sales cycles? Also consider title, job function, company size, and industry.
Look at the characteristics and common trends these people have. If your data is incomplete or inaccurate, you need to fill in the blanks and update the out-of-date information in order to figure out who your target market is.
2. Segment Your Current Personas
While basic demographics are important to know, you need to go beyond these data points. Create fully developed outlines of who they are, and flesh out all of the factors that might affect their buying decisions.
Ask questions like ‘What are the most common problems that they face?’ or ‘What are their goals and values?’ The types of profiles created from these questions are called buyer personas, and will help you greatly in tailoring your communications to these peoples’ needs.
Once you’ve identified your different personas, create relevant talk tracks, voicemail scripts, email templates, and pitch templates for each one. Targeting your buyers with relevant messaging and content increases your chances of getting a response.
Do your homework to fully understand your different segments and have a consistent plan in place for how many times you plan to call and email these people and what your messaging is.
3. Define Your Services
Now that you’ve defined your customers, you need to define the scope of the services you offer. Are most of your customers in one specific industry? Then you might want to start marketing yourself as a niche 3PL provider.
While it might sound enticing to go after anyone and everyone that has some shipping need, shippers will be much more receptive to you if you intimately know the ins and outs of their industry. They don’t want to be your first foray into their industry – they’re paying for your expertise, not to be your training ground.
A recent trend in logistics has seen the diminishing number of 3PL firms, but growth in size. As an increasing amount of companies consolidate, it’s more vital than ever to stand out.
It goes without saying that the more specific your solutions meet a customer’s needs, the more likely you are to make a sale. So instead of being a middle-of-the-pack general provider, it’s much better to be a leader in a specific field.
4. Build Targeted Lists for Prospecting
Now that you’ve identified your target market you can fuel your pipeline with new contacts matching the characteristics of your best buyers. Since these contacts are similar to your best buyers, they’re likely to have a need for your product or service, whether they know it or not.
To drive success it’s important to create a personalized connection with your leads. Building out targeted lists will help ensure your prospecting approach is relevant.
5. Spend More Time Selling and Less Time Researching
The U.S. Department of Labor projects up to a 40% turnover rate in corporate America, meaning contact data that was valid last month may not be accurate this month. Partner with a data provider to ensure you have accurate contact and detailed background information at your fingertips at all times.
With access to on demand email addresses and direct dial phone numbers, not only will you have the ability to reach leads faster, you won’t have to search for bits and pieces of information on Google, LinkedIn, and other sites.
This will also eliminate individual sales reps at your organization creating duplicate contact records in your CRM and prevents them from manually typing information in – avoiding human error. Reaching contacts on the first try will increase productivity and drastically shorten the sales cycle.
6. Bridge the Gap between Sales and Marketing
While it would be great if you could reach your prospects at the right time in their decision making process, the chances of that happening are very low.
In the age of the internet, people go online to research their problems. If you’re not creating content that addresses some of the common concerns or issues your ideal clients are facing, then it’s unlikely that they’ll find you during their search.
This is where close collaboration with your marketing department comes in. A solid inbound and email marketing strategy can really help move prospects move further down your funnel independently. Share what your sales goals are with your marketing department and have them start crafting content geared to your buyer personas.
Blogs, white papers, webinars – whatever makes sense for the market you’re targeting. Once your content is live on your website, it almost turns into a lead sourcing process that runs in the background, warming up prospects to your business before you ever make contact.
Are you looking to simplify your sales strategy? ZoomInfo can help! Contact us today to learn how ZoomInfo can help your business grow.
Originally published by ZoomInfo on January 27, 2016.