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How to build a B2B sales pipeline in zero time

September 25, 2020

No matter the size of your business, your style of selling, what you’re selling, or who you’re selling to, there’s one thing that all salespeople have in common - the need for a robust B2B sales pipeline.

Why do you need a B2B sales pipeline? 🤔

Quite simply, most B2B leads are not ready to close immediately and must be filtered through a pipeline - a stable and reliable sales cycle that helps you meet your end goal of closing deals and generating revenue.

How can you build a sales pipeline quickly? 🤷

There are many ways to go about building a sales pipeline and many different steps to follow. These can vary based on your organisation's needs and your timeline.

For most SaaS sales companies, revenue growth is the name of the game - and the goal is achieved by building a pipeline quickly.

Here at Cognism, we think of ourselves as masters of the sales pipeline. After all, our processes helped us to grow ARR last year by an astounding 180%!

So, here's our advice for building a B2B sales pipeline in zero time 👇

1 - Identify your ideal customer 🕵️‍♀️

Who are you looking to sell to? You need to clearly identify the best customers for your product/service, and then focus all of your sales, marketing and advertising efforts on this customer. This process of identification is known as your Ideal Customer Profile, or ICP.

The best way to determine your ideal customer is to:

  • Define your product from your ideal customer’s POV
    What does it do for them? What problems does it solve? How is it improving their life?
  • Think of your ideal customer’s demographic
    What industry are they in? Where do they work? Where do they spend their time online? 
  • Pinpoint when your customer is buying your product
    Does it peak seasonally? Is it a monthly purchase?
  • Understand your ideal customer’s buying strategy  
    How are they making the purchase decision? Have they bought similar products in the past? Is it just one decision-maker driving the sale, or (usually more likely in B2B) is there a buying committee involved?

2 - Research your leads 👩‍🔬

The best way to show your prospects that you've taken the time to understand who they are, and that you recognise their needs, is to research them.

If you’re speaking to the wrong person about the wrong thing, you’re wasting everyone’s time - especially yours! Time counts in B2B sales. Make sure you understand what the client needs and who the decision-maker is by conducting thorough research.

This part is made a lot easier with Cognism’s  B2B data. It gives you access to the world’s largest business database, with direct-dial phone numbers and verified email addresses - meaning that you can reach your ideal customer, fast!

3 - Prospect effectively 🎯

"Salespeople focused on new business who exceed quota perform 52% more people searches each month. Smart searching can generate more qualified leads." - LinkedIn

Aside from motivation, there’s one thing that your outbound sales team needs every day...more prospects! 

Prospecting is fundamental to the success of a business. Your salespeople must utilise a multi-touch approach to make more sales. A multi-touch strategy is the best approach, when well executed and managed effectively.

There are many methods to leverage for prospecting but the best picks are cold calling, email and social selling on LinkedIn (the number one social network for B2B). 

4 - Become an industry thought leader 👩‍🏫

"By sharing your knowledge and values through digital content, you can showcase your experience, build relationships, and stand out from the crowd." - Kelly O’Bryan da Mota, Forbes

You’re not going to become an influencer on LinkedIn like you would on Instagram, but it’s a great place to connect with people in your industry and get noticed.

Why? LinkedIn is a B2B platform, meaning you get to connect with businesses and the people who run them, directly. To become an industry thought leader on LinkedIn, you need to share your own content, and engage with the content that your prospects or others in your field are putting out there.

But how do you do it? All will be explained in the next step!

5 - Build your own personal brand 😎

Your pathway to becoming an industry thought leader, and have prospects come to you, is to build a personal brand on LinkedIn.

Start off by contributing something of value to your target market. Create engaging content, post about trending topics in your industry, and post regularly.

Remember Step 2! Conduct some research to identify the types of content that resonate with your ideal customer.

Who are the top thought leaders in your sector? What types of posts do they share and which ones get the most likes, comments or shares? Copy their LinkedIn sales strategy but make it your own.

A great way to ensure you’re putting out compelling content is to align with your marketing team. Ask them to help with content creation, whether that be blog writing, video marketing or publishing long-form eBooks. 

Leverage LinkedIn further by sharing other people’s content that's relevant and useful to your audience. Join popular LinkedIn groups, connect with prospects and nurture them over time. 

6 - Test everything 🎮

This is our favourite part! A/B testing, also known as split testing, is an essential part of conversion optimisation.

In A/B testing, you have the original version of the content you want to use and a variant. The test shows you what's working and what to do more of, as well as what's not working and what to avoid. 

In B2B sales, A/B testing works with trying different cold calling scripts and varying your email and LinkedIn InMail copy. Once sent to your prospects, you should track the results (measured against the number of conversions) over a number of weeks or months.

Then, take a step back. Study the data and see which script or template performs better. Now you'll know which approaches you need to focus your energies on.

At Cognism, we've made A/B testing a central component of our sales team's daily routine. The insights you gain from it drive improvement across the team.

Cognism: the world's best sales pipeline builders 👷

Cognism understands that connecting with your prospects is all about engagement. We can help you increase your conversions with multi-touch, multi-channel activity, using personalised sequences at scale.

Add to that our B2B prospecting tools and unmatched global database, and your sales pipeline will be sure to grow in record time.

Register for a demo and learn more about how we can help - click the button below and book your slot today!

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