Craig Klein/CEO, SalesNexus.com
We’ve all seen the predictions that technology, the Internet, social media, etc. are changing sales forever and even bringing the sales profession to an end
If you’re in B2B sales, and have ever been the recipient of leads coming through your business’ website, you know that can be a mixed blessing.
Because you can’t control who finds your website, you can never be sure about the “quality” of leads that come through the site.
Most businesses that depend on a human to human sales process to generate new business still see their website as just another resource customers and sales people have to communicate.
Most sales people spend more time prospecting than they do closing. In other words, you have to make 10 calls to get 2 appointments, which generates 1 sale. Or you have to go to 3 networking events to get 5 referrals, which gets 2 appointments, generating 1 sale. That means most of a sales person’s day is spend getting in touch with people that might be a good prospect. This is why so much of the sales training out there is about qualifying prospects. Knowing as quickly as you can whether the person you’re talking to is good prospect.
This general focus on prospecting and qualifying also leads to the pushy, impersonal reputation of sales people.
The best sales pros are excel at building strong, long term relationships but, struggle to spend time doing that. They have to stay focused on filling the pipeline with new qualified prospects.
What if your website could put highly qualified leads into your hands all day, every day?
Where would you spend your time? Building relationships of trust for the long term with great prospects and clients right? Sounds like selling nirvana doesn’t it?
Here are three simple ways to use your website to pre-qualify leads automatically, so you can spend your time almost entirely with highly qualified prospects:
- Calls to Action that Qualify
Contact Us pages tell people how to get in touch with you but, they don’t tell you much about the people that contact you. Request a Quote pages or options on the site are great but, you need a lot of visitors to the site to get a small handful of quote requests each week. What if you give the non-qualified visitors an option that doesn’t involve talking to a sales person.
If you sell chemicals to manufacturers, what if you have two separate calls to action? “Download our Product Guide” gets the visitor a PDF with your product list, specs, etc. “Let us Develop a Solution for You” gets them in touch with a sales rep. Someone just kicking tires and looking for info will download the guide. Only someone that really wants to talk to a sales rep about buying something will click the solution link.
eBooks, whitepapers, reports, product comparisons, etc. all make good “pre-qualifiers”. “4 Things to Know Before You Buy a Widget” can be a good qualifier. Also, by offering more than one “call to action”, you can also ask the prospect to provide more information about themselves when requesting contact by a sales rep.
- Automated Email Lead Nurturing
You don’t have to call every lead that asks for info via your site. How about if you use an email marketing solution to send them a series of emails over a couple of weeks? These systems are much less expensive that a sales person’s time and can be completely automated. Some can even tell you who opens and clicks on specific emails. That can be a great way to qualify leads! Create 5 emails with the 2nd and 5th containing strong “pre-qualifying” calls to action in them – “If you’re ready to buy a widget today, click here”. Then the sales person can call the folks that click on that particular email.
- Make It Clear Who You DO Want to Talk To
If a business has to be of a certain size or have other characteristics in order to be a great prospect for you, then say so. “If you have more than 20 employees, then we want to talk to you. Contact us here.” Then add “Not quite that big yet? Click to learn more about our products/services” and then have plenty of PDFs and other content that answers the questions most people have.
Leveraging these techniques can super charge your sales engine by focusing sales pros on highly qualified leads.
By the way, if you’re not in a position to make changes to your website, much of this can be done on a Facebook page, your LinkedIn profile or on a totally separate blog if you want.
Craig is the founder of SalesNexus.com. For more information visit www.SalesNexus.com