Sales And Marketing Technique And B2B Sales Cycle – When it comes to finding new business, we rely on two overarching sale and marketing techniques:
- We have ‘inbound’ prospecting (marketing).
- We have ‘outbound’ prospecting.
And now, we have a third option, Intraprospecting. (Customer Success)
Variety of strategies for selling more to existing clients. That said, upselling to existing clients is NOT the same as actively prospecting (i.e. searching, defining, uncovering for new business opportunities) within (intra) a company.
Intraprospecting is MORE than just rooting around an existing client’s company for more business to sell more of your products (services) to increase wallet share. It also encompasses the act of:
- Product Development: Working with the company on modifying an existing product (strip it down or enhance it)
- Partnership: Proposing new (non-existent) products for joint development.
- Solution Selling: Creating a proposal that might include multiple vendors.
The act of intraprospecting is being able to create something (an opportunity) out of nothing. This new activity will require that a salesperson:
- Really understand the client’s business
- Understand their own company’s capabilities
- Have a vision for what ‘could be’ developed
- Bring together the right decision-makers to make it happen
Intraprospectiing is about selling more to existing clients, and it’s also about creating new opportunities with the same!
Going forward I see several challenges:
- Companies currently don’t have upselling strategies as part of their sales process
- Like prospecting, intraprospecting requires that a process be (a) defined and (b) put in place to ensure the activity is being done
- Training salespeople to learn the art (and patience) of prospecting for new business and being creative enough to ‘see’ what others don’t.
Today’s buyers are desperate for new approaches to increasing revenue, reducing cost, and/or expanding their market share. We need to start training our sales team members on how to be intraprospectors!
In-person meetings between customers and salespeople were once at the heart of B2B buying and selling. Now digital communication is embedding itself in every aspect of business. This had led some organizations to look at the future and ask a simple question: Will we still need salespeople?
This question is not new. However, two powerful forces are reshaping the answer. First, personal and organizational digital savvy are skyrocketing, even among those who were once digitally challenged. Second, evolving technologies make it possible for companies to engage customers in ever-richer experiences, both digitally (e.g., websites, mobile apps) and virtually (e.g. live video calls).
B2B sales cycles are large time & huge effort draining and if it’s a capital purchase than its minimum 6-12 mts of B2B sales cycle time with multiple influencers playing the role in decision making.
Sales is the engine that drives business, we all know that. But in 2022 sales is failing.
57% of salespeople fail to make quota – Salesforce research
Research shows that over half of all sales reps fail to make their quota (57% according to Salesforce) so this problem is less likely to be “we didn’t recruit well” or “people are underperforming” and more likely to be a more fundamental problem.
When we talk to businesses, they often are very focused on KPIs for their salespeople. Don’t get me wrong, KPIs are important but only if they are linked to success rather than activity.
50 years ago, cold calling was king. When a large proportion of calls were answered obviously making more calls would improve performance.
Even if you do get to speak to someone your “benefits of our product” pitch simply leads to the target Googling to find your competition and some background knowledge.
90% of decision makers NEVER respond to cold outreach.
Because there is so little chance of this process leading somewhere asking people to do more calls or emails per day rarely, if ever, moves the needle because 10 x zero is still zero.
KPIing someone on these things is like KPIing them on how many pizzas they can eat and then complaining that they haven’t got fit. It seems rather unreasonable.
As a sales function the focus needs to be either on activity – make more calls, send more emails, go to more offices (but we know where that will lead), or on results – sell more.
75% of sales team members claim that they have never had any sort of social selling training. According to Hubspot social sellers are 51% more likely to exceed quota…they also go on to say those with a strong SSI (or a broader social presence) have 45% more sales opportunities. Sadly though 75% of sales reps report that they have never had any sort of social selling training.
If you are staring at an empty pipeline this must be addressed. People need to be trained, not just to give them the knowledge but to show them how to use that knowledge to develop conversations.
Sales enablement, marketing and senior management need to recognize that empowering everyone in the organization to mobilize their own networks and relationships is the way to become the dominant player in their industry.
Understanding how to change people’s behavior to leverage their own credibility and relationships to deliver corporate visibility, influence, trust and sales is proven to be the way to increase revenue and EBITDA particularly in difficult times.
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