It doesn't matter what you're selling, being able to impress prospects and covert their attention into sales can be a tough gig. It's never been enough to simply present information, successful sales teams also need to be creative, strategic, and flexible enough to change people's minds. Let's take a look at how these three crucial elements define success in the rough and tumble world of inside sales.
1. Get creative to impress your prospects
Modern B2B buyers can be difficult to impress. Not only do they have inside access to industry information, they've often seen it all before and aren't surprised easily. In order to make a lasting impression, you need to be creative and learn to think outside the box. In the world of inside sales, creativity needs to be backed by solid data. Once you've done the research, you can put your new knowledge into action by uncovering insights into your prospects, their competitors, and the broader industry environment.
The ability to creatively transform dry industry data into key market insights can be incredibly valuable. Once you've developed meaningful insights into a product, service or business process, you can have informed conversations and create real value through communication. If you can do this before you start talking about your products or services, it won't feel like you're selling anything at all. Along with insightful and creative communication, you can also impress your prospects by being a little outrageous and using humour to break the ice.
2. Develop a strategic and unique Valid Business Reason (VBR)
Creativity, while important, will only take you so far. At the end of the day, a valid business reason is the only reason someone will give you their time. Before you get in the door, you need to have a reason for being there in the first place. What can you offer? What makes you unique? How are you going to add value? Once you've done your research and developed a solid working strategy, a VBR is worth its weight in gold.
Validity implies contextual intelligence, with any proposition you make needing to be based on the ins and outs of your prospect's business. It's not enough merely to know something about their business, you need to understand the wider industry environment in order to find and highlight space for your product or service. This is an iterative process, with a unique VBR needing to be applied from the outset and refined with every new communication. Have you given your prospect a reason to meet with you? What do you offer that no-one else can?
3. Stay flexible and change people's minds
In the world of B2B sales, flexibility is critical to success. While you need to be creative and strategic just to get in the door, you also need to be flexible and adjust when things don't go according to plan. What is your plan B? How are you going to reach out to prospects if they fail to respond? Having the ability to change people's minds should never be underestimated, with this one crucial element often the difference between success and failure.
Along with the creative and strategic tools already mentioned, you can change people's minds by surprising them with multiple methods of communication, highlighting valuable data in novel ways, and creating an authentic and transparent presence in your community. This is especially relevant for millennial decision makers, who are likely to use your online reputation as a way to gauge trust. Even when direct efforts fail, developing a professional and trustworthy online and community presence will motivate prospects to come directly to you.