September 3, 2020
“Hello Sir or Madam. Would your company be interested in signing up for our product or service?”
“Yes please, we would love to. Where do I sign?”
- No sales call, ever! 😆
If B2B sales was easy, everyone would do it. Learning a product description and writing a cut-and-paste sales script is no hard task. The difficulty is in overcoming customer pain points on the fly - this is what separates sales from snails! 🐌
We spoke to Cognism Sales Team Lead, Hugh Campbell, and Cognism Associate Sales Director, Nancy Newman. They shared some of the most common B2B customer pain points - from cold calling to closing - and how they resolve them.
To hear their top tips, scroll down! 👇
As the Sales Team Lead and former Business Development Representative, Hugh Campbell has forged his career, and those of his team, at the top of the B2B lead generation funnel. Here are some common B2B customer pain points that Hugh encounters.
Fortunately, working for Cognism has its perks. With access to 16 data points on over 400 million leads worldwide, our outbound sales team is never short of quality leads.
“At Cognism, we’re lucky - in that we already have all of the data we need. I know from the conversations I have that loads of sales professionals spend a huge amount of time searching for good leads. My advice for them would be:
“Basically, do whatever you can to spend less time on your admin, and more time on the phone.”
Many B2B prospecting successes come down to pure luck. You happen to call someone when they’re free and willing to talk. When this doesn’t happen, don’t give up.
“You have to be persistent. We hire resilient and hard working individuals because they just keep going. If you’ve got a team of hardworking people, you’re already halfway there.”
It’s also important to have the right software.
“Tools like SalesLoft put leads into a system which will increase your chances of connecting. It keeps the chase going. The salesperson will get reminders to reach out, send content, and keep the company name at the forefront of the lead’s mind. This will also increase your chances of success once you get through.”
A company’s willingness to invest in a new solution often depends on time-based factors. For this reason, it’s important to collect chronographic, time-based B2B data, and use it to determine when you reach out.
“If you do reach out at the wrong time, agree on a better time. There are so many factors which will determine whether it’s a good time. Bad timing doesn’t necessarily mean a bad fit. Ask them when would be better, and reach out then. Again, this comes down to persistence and resilience.”
If you find an approach that works, double down. You’ll have more success with certain businesses at certain times of the year. If you spot a trend, share it with your team and capitalise on it!
Sales directors are bombarded with sales pitches. You need to stand out from the crowd. This is where salespeople get to explore different techniques and forge their own sales strategy.
“Use different techniques and think outside the box. Things like Vidyard and personalised messages work better than automated emails and InMails. Quality will get the attention of the individual, not quantity. This is especially the case on LinkedIn, which is saturated with sales offers.”
“I’ve recently found success with LinkedIn voice notes. They don’t take too long to record and they show the prospect that you’ve taken the time to send them a personalised message. Mass quantity approaches just don’t work.”
As Cognism’s Associate Sales Director and former Business Development Manager, Nancy Newman is an expert in navigating the bottom of the funnel. Here are some common B2B customer pain points that Nancy encounters.
Only having conversations with one person at a company can leave you with a blind spot. As a salesperson, you need to know what’s happening behind the scenes. Not knowing that the prospect is speaking to a lot of people internally to sign off on a deal puts you in a much weaker position.
“Ask them who needs to be involved? and what will your journey to sign this off look like? Try to paint a picture of their internal process. Once you’ve done this, you can discuss whether it would help for you to be a part of it and speak to senior management - or if you could help from behind the scenes, providing numbers and proving potential ROI.”
“Try to avoid being blind. If you don’t know what the process looks like, you can’t steer it in the right direction. Visibility is the most important thing. After I come off a call, I need to know exactly what that person is doing before our next call.”
This all comes down to asking the right questions on the very first call. If a prospect cuts off communication with you, it’s probably the result of a badly-closed conversation.
“If someone likes the tool, I try to get them on my side and make them my teammate. We create a plan of action together and get it implemented. When you switch that dynamic and become a collaborator rather than a seller, they will be much more open with you. This all comes from genuinely wanting to help the prospect and - above all - believing in your product.”
The meetings you’re booking may seem unnecessary to the buyer. You’re taking up a lot of their time and being a nuisance. This is a feeling all B2B salespeople will recognise. The key is to not be put off. Here’s Nancy’s advice for getting things back on track.
“If you’re booking arbitrary next steps to meet a quota, your meetings will feel pointless. You need to provide an element of value every time you connect. If you have something to show a prospect, don’t email them, set up a call. If they need time to review your offer, book the next meeting in to discuss it.”
While the salesperson does need to be responsible for booking the meetings and writing the agendas, it’s not good to dictate the entire process. The salesperson can’t buy the product for the prospect.
“Sometimes in sales you need to stop talking and start listening. The prospect needs to make a decision and you are their guide. Be on their side, be collaborative, and understand their processes so you can make it easier for them and for yourself.”
Trying to close with a prospect who just doesn’t seem interested can be exhausting. Remember, not every sales qualified lead will close - and that’s ok! Nancy told us:
“You’ve got to know when to quit. If there’s no pain point you can resolve, they will never buy. Always qualify your leads in advance, and always know when to nip it in the bud. The goal of a good salesperson is to sell, the goal of a great salesperson is to help - not to persuade the wrong people to buy from you. It’s not worth making a quick buck from someone who won’t be happy.”
“Again, this comes from genuinely wanting to help your prospects.”
Learning how to resolve customer pain points takes time. Nancy left us with some valuable comments.
“Be curious and ask questions. Salespeople are in such a lucky position - we’re always speaking to people we can learn from. Try to understand your prospects and build a relationship with them. If you can do this, they’ll be more open with you and you’ll be better positioned to help with their pain points.”
Many thanks to Hugh and Nancy for their advice on overcoming sales obstacles. The first thing you need before you can have a great sales call, is a great lead. With Cognism Prospector, you’ll gain access to 400 million of them, worldwide.
With the option to search by job title, industry, company name, revenue and even specialised sales triggers, you’ll be speaking to ready-to-buy SQLs in no time!
To find out if Cognism could be a good fit, speak to one of our experts.
Click 👇 to register your interest!