In just the last five years, sales has changed dramatically, reflecting a shift in buyer behavior that essentially puts the customer in charge now. Once lead generation lands you prospects – where they raise their hands and show interest in your product or services – it’s no longer time to jump right in and make the hard sell.
For a prospect that has shifted from a marketing-ready lead to a sales-ready lead, how must you guide the conversation from there?
Today, it’s important to model your sales process after what the customer wants, instead of establishing a process that does what you want. When you center your sales process around giving customers what they want, you create a completely different experience with potential customers or clients.
The following are three ways to guide sales-ready leads in today’s marketplace:
1. Follow The ODAC Method To Guide The Sales Conversation
Lead generation is largely based in an online realm, where prospects find your company via marketing campaigns and content. However, while content educates prospects on the solutions you provide, it’s only the beginning of a conversation. As you begin to make a human connection with the sales-ready lead, you’re only starting to discover if their needs are a good fit with what your company provides.
While the BANT method for selling does establish if a prospect has enough money or enough need, the ODAC method promotes a consultative sales conversation with the prospect:
- Open: Open the door to business-level discussions. Instead of highlighting a product or service feature in your first conversation with a sales-ready lead, discuss the potential impact of your solutions. Prospects really want to understand the bottom-line results.
- Discovery: Take time to understand the prospect’s business environment and listen for any pain points they are experiencing. Once you discover pain points, you may use them as discussion points on how your products or services offer a resolution.
- Agreement: During the agreement phase, your goal is to get the customer to visualize your product as a solution for their pain. If they see how your product or service will have a positive impact on their business, you’re able to work on closing the deal. If not, you’re able to weed that prospect out.
- Close: Even though the close phase is about closing the deal, this still isn’t the time to make a hard sell. You have to take into account what the prospect’s decision-making process entails. This is a time to ask specific questions about next steps and who is involved in making decisions.
The ODAC method is mostly about understanding each prospect and making a human connection. By consulting rather than selling, you find ways to stay in touch and continually educate your sales-ready leads.
2. Diversify Tactics To Accommodate Each Prospect In Your Sales Funnel
Everyone manages their communication channels differently. If you’re only sending emails or making calls, you’re likely losing sales-ready leads that delete unwanted emails or screen for unwanted calls. During the open phase of your consultative sales conversation, ask prospects how they prefer to be contacted.
It’s also critical to establish relevant content campaigns for where someone is in the sales funnel. The marketing campaigns you send to a prospect during the sales process should be focused on their needs, answering questions they have and exemplifying ROI. This is no time to send an explainer video of your company’s high-level messaging points. Rather, send your sales-ready prospects a case study highlighting a client success story.
3. Change The Language Of Your Calls-To-Action (CTAs)
While you can deliver your prospects interesting, well-written educational materials on the solutions you provide to common pains within your industry, effective CTAs are the most crucial aspect of your proposal. And, sales CTAs must be different than your marketing CTAs.
Marketing CTAs look something like this:
- Download Now
- Sign Up Now
- Register Today
- Schedule A Free Consultation
Sales CTAs, however, must ask the prospect to evaluate something, either the cost or the need. Use a CTA that works alone and hones in on one beneficial action:
- Take The Quiz And Get Your Results
- Access Your Free Case Study
- Limited Time Offer
- Send Me Info On Closing Costs
With your sale CTAs, it’s important to highlight the next step in the process, always focusing on the problem that clicking on this CTA will solve for your sales-ready prospect.
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