Tips for changing a prospecting culture

As I mentioned, I have been reading a book by Todd Martin called The Invisible Sale.  It is a study/guide on how to “sell” to today’s busy, self-educated buyer.  I want to share some thoughts I have gleaned as I continue to read through this book that discusses how to build a digitally powered marketing and sales system.

No one likes to be told they’re doing something wrong. So when you’re trying to convince your company to adopt an inbound prospecting methodology, be sure to start your message with an acknowledgment that the current sales prospecting system is working.  Take the time to acknowledge all the wins (new business) generated by your current sales prospecting approach.

Acknowledge a key strength of outbound systems—their disruptive nature. Often times in an outbound system you can create awareness where none existed.  You can create awareness where none existed because you sent your marketing materials to the prospect versus waiting for them to find your marketing materials online. Don’t ignore this in your arguments. This disarms your audience and shows that you are making a well-thought-out and properly balanced recommendation.

Todd uses the term “Painless Prospecting Systems” to describe how prospects are actively searching for information online.  This occurs in the invisible funnel.  This process should aid traditional sales programs, and, if done right, will become a larger component of a companies prospecting process.  It will definitely improve sales efficiency through the qualification process.  I blogged earlier on the idea of Inbound Sales.  Read that to understand how it will help to improve efficiency and how it compliments this prospecting strategy.

  • You can’t win if you don’t play. Every day buyers are online looking for resources, vendors, and partners to fill needs. If you’re not playing in this digital sandbox, you’re missing all those invisible sales.
  • Data-based systems focus on sharing content today that creates sales tomorrow. By spending valuable time creating and disseminating digital content that self-educating buyers can find, you are creating tomorrow’s leads.
  • The value of creating leads via content is scale. Cold calling and other one-to-one prospecting tactics don’t scale. You can and always will be able to cold call or meet with only one prospect at a time. Conversely, an unlimited number of prospects can simultaneously consume content.
  • Google never forgets and actually favors older content. Therefore, the content you create today creates leads not just for tomorrow, but for many tomorrows.
  • Today we live in the age of the self-educating buyerwho is using digital channels to develop a shortlist of solutions to pain points.
  • Executives today are busier than ever. They don’t have time to help you qualify them for 20 or 30 minutes via a phone call. But proper qualification is essential to creating a more effective sales prospecting system.
  • Data-based prospecting programs allow you to monitor your self-qualifying prospects by recording what those prospects are reading, downloading, and viewing online.
  • Without constant, real-time data from your prospects, you don’t know what you don’t know. Instead, you are shooting in the dark, hoping to hit something or convince the prospect to help remove your blindfold.
  • More important, by monitoring online information consumption, your company will be able to discover new invisible but qualified Self-Educating Buyer leads.

In future bogs, we will continue to explore the ideas an concepts of this fine read.  Consider these blogs your “Cliff Notes” (showing my age and the tools I used in college!) to help you down the road of learning how to sell to the self-educated buyer.

If you have questions, feel free to contact our office.