Tried-and-tested sales techniques to move leads down the sales funnel quicker: Part 1

Salespeople are the front-line of businesses—from being the face of the company and helping prospects choose the right products to being responsible for business sustainability. If you have products flying off shelves or rapidly growing sales revenue, you know whom to thank!

This National Salespersons Day (December 10), having recognized the struggles of these unrecognized stars, we’ve compiled a three-part series of tried-and-tested sales tips to ease their work life. We’ll also tell you how a customer engagement software tool like our own SalesIQ can help with these tips. The first part covers the prospecting stage of the sales process. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Sales techniques to boost conversions

Know your perfect customer  

No matter how good your sales strategy is, unless you reach out to the right people, your sales skills will have no impact on your conversion rate.

Draw an ideal customer profile (ICP) by analyzing your customer base and mapping their journey. Shape your sales process based on this. Make the most of your time by contacting only your most valuable prospects and tapering down the conversation anytime existing prospects don’t fit your criteria. 

Real-time visitor tracking and lead scoring can save you time when vetting leads.

Automate lead generation 

In sales, time is money. So it’s imperative to automate as much of the sales process as possible.

Deploy a chatbot to handle its first stage. From collecting information from leads to answering questions or even showing the right products based on their requirements, a chatbot that’s built right is a huge asset.

Building a fully-functional chatbot isn’t as complex as you think. Zoho SalesIQ’s codeless bot builder comes with a drag-and-drop interface and pre-built blocks that you can use to create a bot flow and add responses. In short, if you’ve ever been good with Lego sets (yes, the toy), setting up a custom chatbot can’t get any simpler!

SalesIQ also comes with an AI-powered chatbot that’s as close as chatbots can get to being human-like—understanding customer queries irrespective of the words used, responding using your knowledge base, and even engaging in small talk. This is made possible with Business Terms—a library of words used in your domain and business—and Small Talk—a library of casual engaging phrases.

If at any point the prospect wants to talk with a live salesperson, the bot can hand the chat over.

Connect with thought leaders  

Work with industry influencers to gain more credibility among potentials who fit your ICP. You can also join relevant social media groups and answer questions or conduct live sessions to establish yourself as an expert. This will help step up your lead generation significantly and get qualified leads who’re interested in doing business with you.

Don’t miss the age-old prospecting goldmine: tradeshows 

Amidst all the digital avenues for prospecting, salespeople tend to forget the importance of face-to-face networking and prospecting. Tradeshows and business events are still very effective lead generation tools. A study by The Tradeshow Network showed that 92% of tradeshow attendees come to learn about new products and services in the market. So though there are costs involved, exhibiting your brand or product at the right events is more likely give you quality leads who have a higher conversion probability. To get the most ROI, make sure you select events whose attendee demographics match your ICP.

Get complete details on your prospects 

Having an in-depth knowledge on your prospects—in the case of B2B sales, the company and stakeholders, job roles, employee strength—geo-location, pages visited, and time spent can help you make a targeted sales pitch, foresee roadblocks in the sales process, and drive the conversation accordingly.

Zoho SalesIQ’s AI-powered profile enrichment does this research for you so you can focus on driving sales. If there’s a third-party enrichment tool you already use like Clearbit or Leadberry, you can integrate them with SalesIQ too.

 You also get detailed website activity of your prospects along with time stamps and chat history, so you’re best prepared to get them through the sales funnel.

Make time chunks for each sales activity

Block off time slots to focus on one activity—chats, calls, emails, proposals, and more—at a time. This helps you get in the groove and perform them more efficiently, leading to higher sales volume.

Perfect your timing 

If you know the psychology of selling, it might be no surprise that you’re more likely to make a sale when prospects are actively thinking about their needs.

Every minute you wait results in a decrease in their interest, so don’t wait till you have a free moment to initiate contact. Set up chat triggers on your website in high-intent pages with relevant messages based on the visitor’s stage in the sales funnel. But don’t scare them away with messages as soon as they land on a page. Time your chat trigger optimally—20 seconds for first-time visitors and 30 seconds for repeat visitors.

If your sales process includes cold calling or if you need to do follow-up calls or emails, the best days of the week are Tuesdays to Thursdays, with Wednesdays being ideal.

We already know that people hate interruptions while at work, so reach out before they start their workday (8 to 9 am), before they break for lunch (11:30 am to 12:30 pm), or late in the afternoon (4 to 5 pm). But every other sales person has probably looked this up over and over, so try out different slots to zero-in on what works best for you.

Call from a local number 

You may know all the secrets of closing the sale, but unless you get through to your prospect, all the sales techniques in the world will be of no help. If the number that shows up on your prospects’ phone is detected as spam, a toll number, or a long-distance number, they are less likely to answer. You have more chances of getting through if they recognize the area code.

Despite this, if you do end up in their voice mail, leaving an outstanding pitch that can grab their attention in the initial 18-20 seconds can radically increase your chances.

Follow up with a crisp email 

Incessant calls are a sure-shot way to land on the dreaded block list. Nevertheless, giving up the first time your call isn’t answered is a dead end. So what’s a middle-ground solution? Send them a crisp, conversational email introducing yourself, the business, and the pain point you’re addressing and requesting a callback or a good time to connect.

Conclusion 

In this article, we’ve covered the initial stages of the sales process—creating an ICP, qualifying leads, and establishing contact. Let us know if we’ve missed any sales tips in these stages.a three-part series of tried and tested #salestactics that all kinds of businesses can incorporate to boost conversions.

The next part will cover conversion tactics. Ensure you follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter so you never miss an update!

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