Referrals are HOT, HOT, HOT!
Stop rationalizing. There’s no such thing as a warm anything in sales—an email, phone call, social media outreach, or even a knock on the door. Unless your prospect knows who you are and expects to hear from you, you might as well step into a freezer. Your outreach is cold as ice.
Reps fool themselves into believing that they’re not sending cold emails or making cold calls because they’ve researched their prospects and sent emails with catchy subject lines about why buyers should talk to them. Brrr. I’m cold just thinking about it.
It’s the same on LinkedIn. Just because someone you know is connected to your prospect, doesn’t mean they actually know each other. Even if they do know each other, name dropping is not the same thing as having a referral.
However, when you receive a referral introduction from someone your prospect knows and trusts, your lead goes from ice cold to HOT. You get every meeting in one call, ace-out your competition, and convert your prospects to clients well more than 50 percent of the time.
How do you want to work? Dialing for dollars or getting referrals? The answer should be obvious.
To learn more about the power of referral selling, check out this month’s blog posts from No More Cold Calling:
Social Selling: What You Should and Should NOT Do
Social selling has finally (and dangerously) reached buzzword status. Dangerously, because there are misperceptions about what it means, how to do it, and just as importantly, how not to do it. Misperceptions, because salespeople have forgotten the social part of social selling. Instead, they pitch, spam, annoy their contacts, and think that’s actually helping them sell. It’s not, because that’s not what social media is for. What is it for? Find out in this complete guide to putting the “social” back in social selling. (Read “Social Selling: What You Should and Should NOT Do.”)
This Is Why Your Lead Generation Process Isn’t Working
Let me guess. Your lead generation process plays out like this: You don’t have enough leads in your pipe, and your reps aren’t calling high enough. You can’t count on accurate forecasts when pipelines are unqualified, so you’re never really sure whether your team will make quota until it’s too late. Big problem—the kind of problem that will keep a sales leader up at night, or worse, get a sales leader canned. Reps say they’re challenged finding the right prospects. Once they think they’ve found them, they try every trick in the book to reach them—cold calling, emailing, sending videos, pitching on LinkedIn (bad move), more cold calling, and unrelenting emails. In most cases, their lead generation process depends on marketing to round up online leads. No wonder it can take a dozen touches to reach prospects. Those leads are not qualified. Is that how you want your sales reps spending their time? There is a better way, and I can prove it. (Read “This Is Why Your Lead Generation Process Isn’t Working.”)
Relationships Rule, but Data Drives Sales, Too
I’ve interviewed many sales reps over the past two months, trying to better understand the challenges they face in today’s fast-paced, digital-first sales environment. They tell me they’re overwhelmed. Projects get thrown at them with no additional support or designated priorities. They recognize that customer experience is key, but they’re burdened down with reports, cold leads, and spending time with clients who are losers, which makes it hard to nurture their best clients. And still they are expected to prospect and bring leads into the pipe. Reps need patience and proven strategies to keep deals going. Technology was supposed to make our lives easier. And in some ways, it has. That’s why I resonated with a recent blog post by Lynne Zaledonis, VP at SalesCloud, Product Marketing at Salesforce. (Read “Relationships Rule, but Data Drives Sales, Too.”)
Seeking New Sales Techniques? Look Beyond Digital
Buyers know everything about our companies, products, and solutions before they ever speak to a salesperson. Believe that? Far too many sales reps do. They think that digital rules. So, they spend most of their time staring at screens—doing demos, sending emails, and interacting on social media. None of that would be bad, if reps were hitting quota. But most likely 57 percent of reps won’t make quota this year. Perhaps if what you’re doing isn’t working, new sales techniques are in order? Or better yet, some old ones. New research from McKinsey finds that the digital world requires a human touch for salespeople to excel. They need to be masters of digital communication and analog communication, and just as importantly, they need to know when to use which. (Read “Seeking New Sales Techniques? Look Beyond Digital.”)