by Brendan Burnett, SalesHive
Since the pandemic began, remote selling has become the norm. And, according to McKinsey, more than 80% of B2B professionals believe remote selling is here to stay.
Entrepreneur Brendan Burnett has worked in sales and marketing for nearly a decade, with a focus on B2B selling. Today, as CEO of the remote Lead Generation Agency, SalesHive, he has seen the value of several sales strategies that many executives underestimate.
Sales strategy #1: Never rely on a single channel to generate leads
Businesses using only one channel to find remote B2B sales leads are short-changing themselves. There are many avenues to drive leads, both inbound and outbound, each providing different benefits.
In terms of inbound lead generation, it’s hard to beat guest posting. A recent survey by Aira reveals that 42% of digital marketers rely on this strategy to build links. “Guest posting is underused, but it works,” says Burnett. “Well-written guest posts optimize your company’s SEO and present you as a thought leader to a whole new audience.”
While these strategies are time tested, outreach practices are still evolving even further, like video. YouTube is the second-largest search engine on the web, and 90% of marketers say video is the best way to repurpose B2B content. “If companies aren’t repurposing the content they use on other channels into informative videos, they’re missing out on obvious opportunities,” Burnett says.
Although many companies see a large portion of their leads come from inbound, it’s crucial for businesses to still maintain a strong outbound presence to keep driving new opportunities in the event that inbound channels dry up. “Many people today think that cold-calling is dead, but we’ve seen quite the opposite,” says Burnett. “Roughly 60% of the leads we generate for clients come from cold calling.”
Sales strategy #2: Hire well, not often
Hiring and retaining a top-notch sales team has a massive impact on revenue. “With so much riding on each hire, we have to make our interviewing and onboarding processes top priority,” Burnett observes. “We try to interview at least five candidates before we an open position. Also, we loop in at least three senior staff on interviews to ensure diverse perspectives.”
When assessing candidates to bring on, companies can’t afford to make decisions based on gut feelings. Instead, they need to nail down a list of objective criteria that will drive success, such as experience and areas of expertise, as well as their ability to be coached.
“Define it. Knowing exactly what you hope to get with each new hire helps you find the right people,” explains Burnett. “Make sure to include a list of your requirements in your job listings and communicate those with recruiters along with everyone involved in the hiring proces.”
Sales strategy #3: Your website reflects your business
One study found that 94% of first impressions relate to a company’s web page design. “Your website introduces people to your brand,” says Burnett. “Potential customers learn a lot about you from the first few seconds on your homepage.”
Visually appealing websites are a must. One survey reveals that 38% of people stop engaging with websites they find unattractive. “Walls of text are overwhelming,” suggests Burnett. “Integrate high-quality photos, videos, or graphics, but don’t overload with them or they will become distracting”
As mobile traffic increases, optimizing web design has become critical for B2B lead generation. In fact, one report found that 91% of B2B buyer searches happen on mobile devices. Responsive, captivating design ensures adaptation to smaller screens. Companies need to offer mobile-based buyers the same experience desktop users enjoy.
Buyers browse faster than ever, so one of the most crucial tips for boosting internet sales is ensuring that web pages load quickly. Slow-to-load sites cost $2.6 billion in lost revenue each year. “It’s easy to discover your website’s load time,” Burnett says. “Just input your URL into Google PageSpeed Insights to find out how quickly your site loads, and how you can make it even faster.”
Sales strategy #4: Focus on the customer’s success over your own
“Improving your sales comes from a concerted focus on customer success,” Burnett remarks. “When your customers succeed, you will succeed right along with them.”
To ensure customers’ success as they use products and services, businesses need to conduct ongoing research into why customers purchase them, how they are using them, and how they feel about them. Knowing what customers need, and how to ensure those needs are met, should be at the core for most — if not all — decisions a business makes. Companies with satisfied and successful customers have both a loyal base and a steady stream of incoming referrals.
Sales strategy #5: Use data for decision-making and funnel optimization
A data-driven sales strategy enables businesses to attract better leads. “You can’t afford to advertise to everyone,” says Burnett. “Focusing on the prospects who are most likely to convert maximizes ad spend and leads to success.”
Companies can avoid wasting resources by surveying their audience’s needs, goals, and current problems. When that data is compiled, companies will be able to create personalized content for their target audience and place it where it will make the most impact.
“Your sales reps are the ones talking to your customers,” comments Burnett. “Talk to them. They are the ones who know what people are looking for. And share any data you collect to keep the rest of your team up to date with any marketing changes.”
Remote sales are the new normal, and B2B selling strategies need to adjust with this shift. The companies that utilize multiple channels, hire quality sales teams, optimize their websites, focus on their customers’ success, and make data-driven decisions will find themselves ahead of the competition.
For more tips on remote sales in the post-pandemic world, readers can visit SalesHive.
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