Looking for a more focused process to create conversations that will lead to sales? Keep reading.
While it can be appealing to create large pipelines to increase your conversion numbers, it’s possible this will limit your focus and the quality of conversations you’re having with potential customers. That means you’re likely missing the chance to truly engage with the best prospects and wasting time managing a heap of unnecessary administrative tasks when that same time could be used to close deals.
Instead of spending time on prospects that don’t match your target profile, why not have conversations with the right people? Seems pretty logical, right? The most efficient sales teams close more deals faster working with a smaller pipeline filled with higher quality leads. These quality leads are developed by thinking more strategic about the customer you want to work with. A healthy pipeline is vital to your business’ success as it helps you to move your better prospects through your sales cycle. It’s crucial that your business develops a clear strategic customer profile and lead qualification process that allows you to highlight low quality leads early so you can shift your attention to the right prospects.
Declutter your pipeline, save money and effort while earning more loyal customers: if you ask us, that’s a win-win situation for everyone! After all, resources are not endless.
Identifying and building an ideal customer profile
So firstly, what is your ideal customer? Consider your existing customer-base and identify all the commonalities you can see to begin building a strategic customer profile.
Here’s what we’re looking for when we’re talking about ‘compatibility.’
- The product meets the customer’s needs.
- Your team’s sales cycle syncs with the customer’s purchasing behaviour.
- Your brand’s pricing strategy is in-line with the customer’s budget.
- Your brand and company personality complements the customer’s persona.
Intuition is always involved with the best sales reps but ultimately, data empowers your business’ definition of an ideal prospect with a better chance of conversion at play.
Here are some key points to evaluate:
First, assess the basic details about your most successful conversions.
- Company size/Number of employees
- Annual revenue
- Persona of the decision makers
Next, you want to examine your customers’ behaviours, patterns and preferences that lead to deals being done and dusted. Examine the people you’ve had the most success with. Can you identify any patterns or variables that typically influence purchasing decisions?
Some patterns we always suggest Woven customers look out for during this process include:
- Their attitude towards change
- Factors that influence decisions
- Decision making process
- Level of impact from internal influencers
- Common hurdles and objections
- Purchase cycle length
- Their growth year-on-year
Then start evaluating the ideal business’s status (where they currently are) and direction from those customers you were the most successful at converting. This will help determine if the customer is at the right stage to adopt your products or solution. This includes details such as their market position, current growth strategy and goals/objectives, whether they have plans to invest in new areas, acquisitions or to enter a new market etc.
Questions to ask your team to help determine your ideal customer are:
- Which type of customer produces the highest conversion rates?
- What are their common attributes -size, location, business model, industry, target market, technologies used and so on?
- What type of customer will best benefit from your product? What problems does it solve? What kind of customers have these needs in common?
- Which customers deliver deals with the highest monetary value?
- How are purchase decisions processed by customers you are most successful at selling to? How long does it take these customers on average to reach a final decision?
Understanding your prospect’s specific pain points
You should be able to form a list of problems and challenges you’re solving for an ideal customer. This helps you to demonstrate value when needed and quickly.
- Whether your product or solution actually answers the pain points of your potential customer
- What needs are you most successfully addressing with your solution and its features
- Which companies have the best product and need fit
Do some more digging to pre-qualify and prioritise leads
Once you have you ideal customer and you think your lead is a close fit, further access them with qualifying criteria to help determine if a prospect is worth pursuing. BANT qualification is a good foundation but shouldn’t be used as a final checklist. After all, qualifying prospects goes much deeper than this. Still, it does help you to evaluate if your prospect has the capacity to buy now, will in the future, or not at all.
Make sure to do your groundwork and see if you can answer these questions before you reach out to people:
- Budget: look into what kind of budget they have through the size of the business, annual turnover or what your prospect is currently spending on a solution.
- Authority: look at the decision makers within the business. Who are the key decision-makers or influencers, is it a single person the head or a group committee who makes the decisions?
- Need: look at the prospect’s needs, their main goals, challenges and desires and assess if they are similar to any of your existing customers.
- Timing: look into the buying cycle and try to evaluate the urgency of their needs.
By addressing these points, you’re foreseeing common roadblocks and positioning your team in a better position to engage. While your qualification criteria may not be met by every prospect, it will help to evaluate the potential deal size and value so you can prioritise your leads. The qualification criteria doesn’t mean ignoring leads, but it may make sense to park the prospect for now so you can focus on those best fit leads.
Identify how to best reach ideal prospects
You need to work with your ideal customers so that you’re generating the right leads that have a better chance of converting. Think about how they may reach out to you and ensure those touch points filter through those compatible customers - here are some suggestions.
One of the quickest and simplest ways to qualify leads and push them along your sales cycle is to have a lead generation website form. Having the right form fields in place filter out mismatched prospects while saving time. Both the format and design of your form directly impacts conversion rates, so it’s important to A/B test your forms and optimize the best on your website. It’s essential your sales/marketing teams are working together so both departments are collecting the right data and applying an effective lead qualifying model.
These pointers will help you to develop a form that captures the data you need:
- Quality over Quantity: ask for what you really need only. Form fields can include both demographic and qualitative style questions, but always assume that your prospects are busy and determine the number of form fields with this in mind. You need to find the right balance between collecting the information you need and not wasting your prospect’s time and putting them off with an overwhelming form. Of course, always think mobile first!
- Visibility: always test and position your form so it is easily visible. Instant visibility is critical to gain the web browser’s attention.
- Call to Action: ensure your form caption or submission button has an enticing and strong CTA. Keep it simple and catchy so people know exactly what they can expect.
If your prospects are contacting you via phone, it’s important to have some qualifying questions ready so you can morph the call into a mini discovery session and filter their compatibility and to determine the next steps of engagement.
This can include asking some of the mentioned questions above to gain insights into who they are, what their business is and their brand, their pain points and challenges, needs snd wants in a product and desired outcomes.
Point of contact
To further tailor your engagements to prospects you can apply the BANT approach to build an ideal profile for the point of contact within the business to help identify the best people to connect with.
Such questions may look like:
- What are their job description and responsibilities?
- What is their decision-making ability/influence within the company?
- What are their goals and priorities?
- What are their individual pain points?
Don’t forget your existing customer-base
Do you have customers that are looking to scale their business?
Is there another department that could use your solution?
Your existing customer base is a powerful tool in more ways than one. Proactively look for opportunities to upsell or cross-sell - we know existing customers are more likely to further invest in your solutions.
Think about what else you have on hand that can help. Platforms like LinkedIn can equate to more contacts and chances are, lots of information via profiles at your fingertips. Confirming important details like whether employees are still with the same company, what role they’re performing and so on, can all be done in a matter of seconds and with a quick glance. LinkedIn is also useful for mining additional contacts within the company. By reviewing the “People Also Viewed” box on a contact’s LinkedIn profile, you may find additional relevant prospects you have not found previously.
Work your network!
Customer referrals are truly priceless. Word of mouth is impactful, focus on looking after them and it’s likely they’ll in turn, look after you! Take it from us, long-term relationships really are the key to enhancing your business’ reputation. Remember, trust is a huge factor in the decision-making process and customer referrals serve as proof of the value you can bring.
One super simple way to increase your networking success is to be social! Engage in regular conversations with your target market to ensure your brand is always relevant. Continue connecting and staying in touch with the relevant people so that your business is always top of mind. You never know where your next customer may be in the online world!
Need help qualifying leads so that your team is converting at higher rates? Get started by contacting our team at Woven today.