Ivan Seguro

See the deal's potential where it is not obvious

Leads are born in the CRM in a variety of ways: the sales manager enters his contacts, the marketing department adds leads from the website, the business development department fills it up with recently purchased databases. Leads can be collected with the assistance of specialized organizations such as marketing agencies, call centers, or database sales services. However, leads are only cards in the funnel. What also matters is how to convert a lead into a sale.

The most critical aspect of lead generation is to obtain feedback, or the prospects's reaction to the message. Nobody enjoys direct marketing. Every day, individuals receive offers to buy things they don't need and have learned to ignore such proposals, defend themselves, and flag them as spam. To receive a reply, even if it is negative, you must first craft a message to which you expect to receive at least an answer. Even if it is a really cold one. I will make the reservation that we are currently discussing large sales only. These sales have lengthy cycles. Complex services or expensive items cannot be sold in a single click. The more expensive the product or service, the longer the negotiation process will take.

But in any case, even the longest journey begins with the first step. More precisely, a first engagement. And the first engagement begins with the establishment of a connection.

There are many ways to connect with a message. We advise our clients on a variety of strategies. For example, start with a non-trivial proposal for cooperation, partnership, participation in a survey, or a request to share experience in which a person is a professional.

Since big business decision makers are often the target of lead generation, these people could share their personal assessment of the market, contractors, and alternative solutions. Based on professional experience, they may describe the key weaknesses of competitors. As a rule, customers who order leads are very creative in this matter and find a lot of solutions on how to encourage a potential client to give feedback.

A good message must end with a call to action. After doing the outbound work, the client receives a certain number of responses. All the responses received can be conditionally divided into three groups: a refusal with varying degree of rudeness, a request for additional information, or a consent.

It is easy and pleasant to work with prospects who agree to go to the next level of acquaintance. There is a high chance of success for a sales manager also with those leads who requested more information or highlighted the fact that they did not quite understand the offer. One way or another, these people expressed their interest in contact or, at least, demonstrated their readiness for further communication, and this can already be worked with.

Sales people like the least to work with objections, refusing to see the full potential of this group. In my opinion, which is also confirmed by the experience of conducting hundreds of thousands of micro-negotiations, the chances of getting the person who refused you to continue communication can be more than 50% for any area and format of business.

First, it is important to understand why a person refuses to continue communication. There can be three answers here. First, the respondent may be embarrassed by your proposal if they stereotype you with something or someone embarrassing. Secondly, the respondent may believe that the proposal received does not apply to them, is not relevant. And finally, you annoy them.

What groups of objections should be dealt with? It is possible and necessary to work with all three. If the person answered, they can be classified as an interlocutor. And there can be an infinite number of scenarios of how to interest any interlocutor, depending on the perseverance of the imagination.

This is where the rule of increasing intimacy with the client comes into play. For handling objections, talking on the phone is always better than texting. Zoom discussions are more effective than phone conversations. A face-to-face meeting is always better than a zoom meeting. Therefore, as far as possible in modern conditions of increased epidemiological hazard, one should always strive for a personal meeting.

If for some reason it is not possible to make a call, start the text communication with a greeting. Recognize that the wording of your message has not been perfect in the past. Arrange a phone call to clarify your position with your voice. The voice gives not only instant feedback, but also a rich palette of emotions through which you can influence the decision.

As I said, the more persuasion tools you have, the more likely you are to succeed. In addition, when it seems to a person that the offer is not related to them, you can find a way out through the series of questions. Perhaps the lead simply does not keep some of his business processes in focus or does not realize the potential of his position.

One way or another, the role of a sales manager is not equal to the position of a cashier order taker. Sales managers do not receive high salaries and bonuses for serving those who have a well-formed demand. One of the main functions of a salesperson is to see the potential of the transaction where it is not obvious.