B2B sales in corona times
Updated: Mar 18
I was reading the newspaper last week, the first week of a near total close down in Belgium. I don't remember the author's name but what I do remember was his loud and clear appeal towards down-sizing and cost-cutting businesses, not to entirely suspend their sales and marketing presence. It is of utmost importance to nurture the relationships with clients and prospects and to keep their interest and attention, even it seems unlikely that they will spend or invest in the nearby future. Clients and prospects continue to have their business needs, be it in a different context compared to pre-corona, and may suddenly face new and/or different tools or services.
This morning I googled "truths about sales" and fell on Josh Winters and his "12 universal sales truths".
The one that almost jumped out of my laptop screen was truth nr 2 :
"The secret to selling is to be in front of qualified prospects when they are ready to buy, not when you need to make a sale. Let there be little doubt, when and whether prospects will decide to buy anything has far more to do with their time schedule than the time schedule of any salesperson. " In Dutch we call this statement "a truth like a cow". Where the expression comes from, no idea, but in Dutch it is the highest level of truth.
It is one of those simplicity of life such as the truth about investing : "buy cheap and sell expensive" . Of course, easy, isn't it?
If it weren't for the question : when is a stock cheap and when is it expensive?
Similar question in sales : how the bleep do you know that a prospect is qualified and ready to buy, unless he/she comes to you and requests for a quote and asks for delivery delay and payment terms? Very often, certainly in a B2B environment, the question already is "who is the prospect?" as you may never have seen him or her. Once you know the answer to that one, the next is already there : what is the prospect possibly interested in?
Everybody having had a bit of sales training or coaching knows the importance of asking questions and active listening.We need to find out what the prospect is after and how expectations can be met by which product, which service and which relationship.
We did not need corona to convince us that digital presence, starting with a website, is an absolute must for every B2B player. Once the digital presence has been established, next challenge is to make sure that our target audience finds our digital shop window. Over the last decade, the growth of digital marketing budget was exponential.
But let's take a step back and return to Josh's 2nd truth. How about the "ready-to-buy" and "qualified" prospects? In a real life physical shop it is fairly easy and straight forward. Someone looking at the window at least demonstrates an interest, someone entering the shop demonstrates a clear interest, someone looking at specific products and price tags comes very close to "ready-to-buy" and "qualified" , high time to have a conversation with the prospect...and...close the deal.
But how about the digital world? Here things are far less obvious and privacy regulations don't make it simpler...We like to know who looks at our digital shop window, don't we? We certainly like to know who explores our website more in detail, visiting different pages...and we'd give money to someone who tells us which products or services in particular were studied in more detail. At the end of the day, these are likely to be the qualified ready-to-buyers that we want to focus our efforts on.
Well, we have good news for you!
Drebbel is the proud and happy user of a digital service that tells us exactly what we want to know: which businesses stopped at our digital shop window, who entered our digital shop and which items were looked at in more detail?
We can now reach out to them, well prepared and with a listening ear, with the comfortable certainty that the effort is justified and well invested.
If you'd like to learn more about the service that we took on board and how we actually use it, we kindly invite you to come along our shop window, enter the store and walk straight to the aisle "B2B leadtool".
The Drebbel team looks forward to welcoming you and thanks you in advance for your kind visit!