The right place, at the right time.
These days, we’re accustomed to having instant access to everything. People are no longer ready to wait because of technological developments that allow nearly everything to happen instantly. They want everything, and they want it right now.
B2B clients are similar to B2C consumers because, well, they’re humans, too. They anticipate timely and pertinent communication. Buyers will go elsewhere if your company does not contact out with the appropriate message at the right moment. Consider this: if you don’t reply to leads’ questions and follow up promptly, you’re simply giving your client time to consider other alternatives and companies.
In a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, it was found that B2B businesses had an average response time of 42 hours. Most purchasers don’t want to wait that long, which is fair.
While expectations vary by channel, 80%of consumers say a company responding immediately when they reach out for help influences their loyalty, according to a Salesforce study, which isn’t a “thank you” email. This is an actual sales representative’s customized email response. Furthermore, 83 percent of consumers want a text update within one hour. Messaging applications are widely used nowadays, and 87 percent of clients expect to be reached within one hour of using them.
Ensuring proper timing in your prospecting process
So you’ve built your perfect prospect profile and great content; how can you make sure you get the most significant leads and reach them at the right time? Simple. Here are a few steps that can you can include in your B2B sales funnel.
Conduct research and analysis of your prospective accounts.
First and foremost, you must determine the lead’s quality. You can decide if a prospect is worth pursuing by researching them. Make a list of questions to ask your prospective client, such as if they are in an area where you can do business with them and whether they are in a sector with which you are acquainted and knowledgeable.
Make the most of compelling events signals.
Multiple companies to whom we’ve introduced the notion of trigger signals have seen significant improvements in building sales pipeline. Suppose these compelling events signals are watched, especially on LinkedIn. In that case, your revenue team will be able to utilize their time on activities that are much more likely to lead to a won contract.
In addition to building pipelines, these trigger signals act as a tool for keeping track of what’s going on with your existing clientele. They give you more than just intelligence; they also let you keep track of what’s happening in your accounts, so you’re constantly ready for potential sales opportunities.
Determine who is in charge of making decisions.
Once you’ve determined that a lead is worth following up on, you’ll need to figure out who the key decision-maker is. It’s critical to ensure that you’re targeting the right individual when it comes to B2B prospecting. In the B2B sales process, a corporate buying committee may consist of multiple decision-makers.
Why you must consider ‘touches’
These days, everyone is suffering from an information explosion. As a result, it takes a lot of ‘touches’ to obtain a sale, which implies businesses want to create many ‘touches’ to get a deal.
Most marketers now feel it takes 11 to 13 touches for a message to go through. And this poses a challenge for sellers: how many touches, contacts, or interactions are too many, and when do prospects begin to feel harassed? Knowing how many touchpoints you’ll need may help marketers and sellers plan their campaigns and establish reasonable goals.
Certain businesses use a 10 to 16 touch rule. They understand that between the efforts of the sales and marketing departments, a prospect must hear the company’s message between 10 and 16 times before a deal can be closed. These sellers use this guideline to organize their company’s marketing and sales operations.
Companies can utilize rules of thumb to determine the proper range of touchpoints based on the nature of their service or product and the sort of target consumers they pursue. Based on previous experience with new and current clients, each firm may estimate various touchpoints.
It’s a good idea to start with ten touches. Some businesses know that ten touchpoints are considerably more or far less than is typically required to enlighten a prospect, depending on feedback from their sales and marketing teams, and they adapt appropriately. The sales and marketing teams should identify the number of touches they want to make with each new prospect. They can use this framework to organize their operations.
When should you call it quits on a lead?
We’ve all been there, debating whether or not to make a follow-up sales call. Will the prospect become annoyed if we make too many calls, and we’ll lose the deal? Or will the chance pass you by if you don’t follow up? This is another one of these age-old sales conundrums. There is no easy or correct solution, as there is with so many things in life.
Recognize the cause of non-response.
When there hasn’t been a response from a consumer, it’s obvious that you need to follow up. Putting yourself in the consumer’s position and figuring out why they aren’t responding is critical when deciding on a follow-up plan.
Clients frequently do not react because they are just too busy. There are a lot of things to do, and buying your stuff isn’t one of them. Often, your point of contact isn’t the only one who makes decisions. There are others in the chain, and no meaningful answer can be offered until a decision is made at all levels.
Modify the way you contact the prospect.
When they don’t have any updates to provide, no one appreciates getting follow-up calls. However, you want to make sure that the ball is moving and that you’re on the prospect’s mind. Thankfully, phone calls and emails are no longer the only options for following up.
Frequently, a brief, precise query through Whatsapp could provide the status update you require. Engaging with your client on LinkedIn may also be beneficial. Things could move magically on the sales front on several instances by interacting with them on LinkedIn without any direct follow-ups.
Furthermore, if all of your encounters with the prospect are not about follow-ups, the follow-up will not stand out and will appear to be simply another engagement.
Match the frequency of your follow-ups to the length of your sales cycle.
Your sales cycle will also affect how often you follow up. When marketing an inexpensive yearly subscription product to existing or prospective accounts, the client’s decision-making time is limited, and an average sale may complete in a week.
If you’re selling $500,000 worth of yearly licenses to a major corporation, though, the procedure can take up to nine months. Following up every week on a business deal, for example, will be detrimental. You’ll be fine after you understand your sales cycle and establish the best follow-up frequency.
Make an effective follow-up template.
Again, there is no one-size-fits-all formula that will work in every circumstance. However, I’ve seen that a message that begins with “Is it too soon to inquire…?” frequently receives a response. “Is it too early to inquire about the status of the proposal we filed last month?” for example.
This does not have to be a phone call; instead, it might be a text, email, or Whatsapp chat.
Should you stop following up when asked?
What should you do if a prospect tells you flat out, “Do not follow this up.” Many individuals would advise you to cease following up immediately. We disagree. We have one last question for them: why?
Usually, the answer will allow you to decide on your following action. Make a note or a reminder to contact them before next year’s budget cycle if they indicate there is no funding this year. This, in our opinion, is a really effective strategy.
Finally, add them to your sales funnel even when they request you to stop following up. Remember, if they’ve contacted you, they must have a basic need, and you can assist them by delivering frequent updates on their area of interest. They will return for the sale when the time is right.
B2B buyers, like B2C clients, want a quick and customized response. Consider your target buyers as humans with distinct wants and needs. And again, it’s all about the timing.