What I’ve learned in my sales career
Forrest Marketing Group Blog blog

What will your sales pipeline look like coming out of lockdown?

In a competitive target driven sales environments, it’s human nature to look for the quick, easy wins and to rely on inbound phone and web enquiries. All too often building a strong pipeline can get pushed down the list of priorities, so if the unthinkable happens and enquiries dry up, you can be left with no backup plan for generating sales.

The world has been turned upside down by the current pandemic. We’re working and living in a reality that nobody could have predicted. Businesses that will emerge the other side looking strong and feeling positive about their future are out there today building their sales pipeline. The good news is it’s never too late to start laying the groundwork for a healthy pipeline that will yield both immediate and future sales. Here’s how you can make it a reality for your business.

Take control with a proactive sales approach

 Online enquiries or referrals might be down, but you can take control by proactively generating qualified sales leads through prospecting calls. Start by identifying the types of companies that would need your product or service. Not just any company or any sale, you want the ones that would be a good sale revenue-wise for your company.  They will have issues that your product or service can fix and it’s likely that they haven’t started looking online for a solution for these issues yet. They may not be familiar with your company or your products’ benefits yet, so you will be talking to them much earlier in the sales cycle. This puts you in the driving seat and ideally positioned to win the sale and puts you well ahead of your competitors.  Start talking to them early and you’ll find many are ready to buy reasonably quickly.  Add them to your sales pipeline if they are not ready to buy right now.  Keep yourself in the driving seat (and keep your competitors at bay) by nurturing them throughout the process until they are ready to buy.

 It’s worth seeking out the decision makers

Lockdown has changed day-to-day business operations but, in many cases, businesses are still operating and decision makers, working from home, often have more time and are much happier to talk to a salesperson now.   Working remotely, they welcome a friendly and engaging conversation about their business needs.

We are experiencing exactly this in our current lead generation campaigns. Sure, we’re finding it harder to reach decision makers (17% harder right now), but our conversion rate of prospects into sales opportunities has soared by a whopping 56%. So, whilst we’re having to work hard to reach prospects, more of them are turning into qualified sales leads for our clients. This suggests that now is a great time to make those prospecting calls, building a strong sales pipeline that is independent of, and in addition to, online and phone enquiries.

 The secret to enduring success

Investing time in building your sales pipeline is the only guaranteed way to future proof your sales results. In fact, it’s one of the most vital aspects of a salesperson’s role. But you can’t go through the motions; it takes investment and the right approach to ensure enduring success.

The bottom line is that a sales pipeline is only worth building if you have the right prospects in there. These prospects should have been qualified as having a genuine need, as well as the ability to buy what you sell. You need to nurture them with quality marketing content and meaningful phone calls and meetings. There’s no point adding prospects to your database, failing to engage with them and wondering why they aren’t turning into sales. It’s vital to support your sales pipeline with engaging and consistent communication.

In many cases, almost 70% of qualified prospects in a typical sales funnel fail to convert immediately and they leak out of the sales funnel as a result. They stop receiving any contact from the salesperson weeks and months before they are ready to buy. But around 83% of these “leaked” prospects will buy what you sell at some point in the future, but once they leak out of your funnel, they’re just as likely to buy from one of your competitors as to buy from you. This is why regular touch points with your sales prospects are so valuable; they keep you top-of-mind and demonstrate your expertise and its benefit to them. So, when they are finally ready to buy, you’re the obvious choice.

If you’re not sure where to begin or would like more in-depth insights on this subject and guidance on how to tap into new markets, check out The Ultimate Guide to B2B Sales Prospecting. You’ll learn how to design your sales strategy, define your market, perfect your pitch and how to measure your lead generation and sales prospecting results. By following the steps outlined in this book, you’ll be uncovering the sales opportunities that don’t come looking for you online; those who are living with a problem but haven’t yet started to look for a solution.

If you’re interested in strengthening your pipeline and your existing sales strategy, please get in touch. Our expert team have years of experience across a broad range of industries and will be able to help you reach your sales goals. Call us on: 1300 396 888 or drop us an email to enquiries@fmgroup.com.au.

4 Steps to unlock your hidden market

The Ultimate Guide to B2B Sales Prospecting takes you through the step-by-step process of lead generation and sales prospecting.

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