Sales At Lform Design, our roles are constantly evolving. One of the many hats I wear as an owner is that of the salesperson. In order to keep my skill set fresh, I recently began to research the art of sales from a more modern perspective. In this blog, I would like to share four tips that I found helpful.
1) CREATE A PERSONA
Lform has recently become a Hubspot partner. As stated on their website: “Hubspot is an inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers.” What does all that mean? It’s about turning your website into a lead generating machine with a mix of content marketing and SEO. Hubspot allows Lform to revamp our marketing efforts and in turn, permits us to offer our expertise to other companies.
In training on the Hubspot platform, one of the most important principals taught is that creating customer “personas” is a vital part of the process. A persona is a fictional character representing your ideal customer. Created by doing research on existing and potential clients, a persona allows your marketing efforts to be focused. Everything you do from content creation and keyword research to writing cold calling scripts will be informed by the persona.
2) SET GOALS
How can you measure success without first defining it? Begin with specific metrics that impact your bottom line. What will you measure? Visitors to your site, leads, and customer contacts are all good places to start. Write down a specific number so you know when you’ve hit your goal.
For example: “I will attract 150 new unique visitors to my site this week.”Make sure you set a time frame to reach these goals.
Whether it’s a day, a week or a month, make it attainable but challenging.
3) LEARN BUYER BEHAVIOR
There is an abundance of great information online about buyer behavior. Take the time to do some research and discover how to maximize your time and optimize your approach to sales.
Recently, I came across a terrific infographic by marketing technology review firm Software Advice, about timing in B2B sales.
A small sample of information I gleaned from the piece includes:
- The best time of year to sell to B2B buyers is Winter or Spring.
- B2B buyer activity is highest Tuesday through Thursday.
- If a buyer converts on your website (fills out a lead capture form), the chances of your qualifying them drops as the seconds go by. In fact, the highest qualification rates are in the first five seconds.
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4) FIND THE PAIN
In my case, I am selling website design and development to mostly B2B prospects whose companies have either neglected to update their current site or (gasp!) may not have one in the first place.
To overcome objections, it is necessary for me to have already performed an assessment of their site (if they have one). Is it responsive (one of our specialties), is the design modern and in keeping with current web standards, is it optimized for search engines, is it text-heavy, is the navigation confusing? All of these are qualifiers and could mean that the site is due for an update. However, to the average non-web savvy business owner, none of that means anything.
Why should they care their site doesn’t render correctly on an iPhone, or that the interface looks like it was designed in 1997?
But they do care that they might be losing customers due to a poor first impression. After all, 78% of B2B buyers start their research with online searches.
What if you start talking about the fact that 58% of American adults have a smartphone and 34% of smartphone Internet users go online almost exclusively using their mobile devices? All of a sudden, that site looking terrible on an iPhone becomes a much more pressing issue. “Maybe I DO need responsive design,” thinks the decision-maker.