This post is a continuation of an analysis we did with our own clients after working with them to fill their sales teams’ calendar by delivering quality sales opportunities consistently.
Because keeping your sales pipeline full is one thing… closing the deal is another. What does it really take and why are businesses unable to close?
- What the Industry Standard is
- What percentage of prospects actually become clients
- What some of the main reasons are that B2B companies don’t close deals
- And 10 reasons we’ve identified from working our own clients to help them close more deals
Why Quality B2B Sales Appointments Might Not Convert – 8 More Reasons
Today, we’ll add eight more reasons for you to consider and address with your sales teams.
1. Forcing us to send out messaging we already know won’t perform in spite of our recommendations.
I’ll be blunt, when you hire an expert to do a job, it’s because you trust them as an expert. Usually that’s the case anyway. When you hire a lead generation and sales development company to deliver prospects, you should trust that they know what they’re doing and that they can deliver.
IF you do not have that type of trust with them, and you find yourself telling them how to do their job…
- Ask to see previous results and case studies from other clients.
- Ask to understand why their system works (one they probably have tested to death over the years) and why they stick to it.
- Ask any questions you have to alleviate concerns
- And trust that the people you’re working with have your back. They don’t want to waste your money any more than you do.
If the agency you’ve hired won’t do that and if they don’t approach your relationship with them as a partnership, maybe they’re not a good choice and don’t deserve your trust. However, any agency that keeps clients for the long term and continually delivers results, should be allowed to perform – and prove – their expertise. In other words: trust your agency.
2. Not providing feedback on conversations you’re having with prospects we deliver
If we deliver the appointments, and you don’t close them, we can’t know exactly how valuable or not your conversations are with the current prospects we’re sending. Providing us feedback on the type of prospect, on the questions they have, and on their pain points, and what their looking for goes miles in helping us help you.
That’s because we need to know who your best prospects are and the more you can tell us about them – and about the conversations you have with the prospects we deliver, the more we can adjust our marketing and messaging to deliver better results.
3. Not showing up to scheduled meetings with your account manager to go over results and provide updates
This is a big one, and one I don’t really understand. As mentioned before – as your partner we are entirely invested in your success. We come prepared to meetings, anxious to share current results and updates and to hear feedback from you, but if you don’t show, there’s really not much we can do to help.
It leaves us working blind and unable to adjust as needed in order to achieve even better results for you. Talk to us, keep communication open, and reschedule if you can’t make a meeting with us.
4. Thinking ROI works like a magic slot machine where you put some money in, pull a lever, and more money comes out the other side
Wouldn’t that be great?!
I wish it worked that way. ROI is actually a careful balance in optimizing campaigns that sometimes take some time to achieve. It doesn’t always come right out of the gate (or slot machine).
In all cases, we don’t accept clients who we believe we would NOT be able to achieve an ROI for. For the ones we do work with, we implement a system that’s been proven to work and that delivers an ROI in most cases.
Another point to remember is that the leads we deliver are essentially out of our hands when your sales team speaks with them. We don’t have control over the close at that point. Following the tips on our generating sales opportunities at scale blog and in our content will definitely help in elevating your conversion rate (and hence you ROI).
5. Saying, “I don’t have time to talk to these leads”
Two ways to look at this – you have a good growth problem… or you have a bad problem.
I say that tongue in cheek, but seriously, it’s a good problem when you’re getting so many great appointments that you need to expand your sales team. That’s a growth problem you want to have – and we can help you get to that point.
If it’s a bad problem, it tells me that you really don’t have a system in place to speak to your prospects and follow-up with them.
Or, maybe it could mean that you don’t really need more clients at this time. Whatever the reason behind saying this, as your partners in lead generation crime, we need to know in order to adapt our campaigns to deliver what you really need.
6. Sending out call links instead of picking up the phone and making the calls when leads come through
When prospects step in the door, it’s a prime opportunity you need to take advantage of ASAP. That is no joke. This is called “Speed to Lead” and studies have shown that companies who respond to interested prospects within just FIVE minutes of the prospect showing interest improves the odds of having a conversation by 100X.
Now, reality will take hold here. Not every company has the means to respond so quickly, but there’s an argument to be made for talking to your prospects as soon as possible. Sending out call links instead of just picking up the phone and making the call when the leads come through only puts the conversation on hold – and also makes you less relevant to the prospect the longer they have to wait.
When you finally do talk to them, they may have spoken with somebody else, they might have forgotten which of the many vendors they’re looking at that you are, they may have moved on. As a rule, ALWAYS talk to your prospects as soon as you possibly can. Sending out call links isn’t the best way to do that.
7. Trying to be efficient instead of effective in closing deals with your prospects
Sales is about relationships. Can’t say this enough. Think about your relationships and what it’s taken to develop them.
When applied to sales, you can start a relationship over email but you’re not going to solidify it. Email is good for confirming your appointment “We still good for 2pm?” or to stay top of mind, “Hey, peep this article.”
It’s not good to discuss major points of discussion via email. Think about Facebook… I’m sure you’ve had the urge once or twice to post something political. And what happens in most cases? It kinda just goes crazy. There are misunderstandings and there’s really no resolution. That’s why most people just don’t do it. You don’t want to do that in sales either.
Use email to start a relationship or even to help nurture, but don’t use it as a crutch to rely on when it comes to closing deals because it’s quicker and easier than getting on the phone. It just doesn’t work that way.
8. Thinking you can close an outbound lead in one call without any plan or experience selling to strangers.
OK. This is a big one. Two points here:
First of all, selling to somebody who doesn’t know you is NOT like selling to somebody who is a referral.
A referral coming in trusts the recommendation of the person who referred them. This is a benefit to you because the conversation is already further along than with a cold lead. Just remember the difference between them.
Also, when you have an outbound marketing channel in place, the purpose of that channel is to get enough “buy-in” from a prospect to just START the sales process. It’s NOT to get them to show up to the call with a credit card in hand. That’s not what marketing does, especially not for high level B2B sales.
If someone is gonna buy something that’s $20k, $50k, or $100k, you can’t just send three emails and expect somebody to show up with that credit card ready to buy. That’s where your sales team comes in with the experience and the methodology (or the sales theory) to get them prepared to buy. Marketing’s job is just to get them to show up to the call.
To take it a step further… BECAUSE they’re not gonna show up with a credit card in hand, here’s where the system and the theory come into play about how to handle these calls.
Second, what is your sales methodology? If you think you’re just gonna pitch people on features and benefits and have them buy…
Well, that’s what every salesperson does.
What you have to do is become a master of communication and figure out:
- What does this person need?
- What is their pain point?
- What are they trying to solve?
- And what are they trying to achieve?
You’re gonna get this info by taking time through questioning your sales system and that starts with really digging into who the prospect is.
This needs to happen way before you sell.
Otherwise, if all the sudden someone is looking for vendors or a particular service, they understand that, “I see that this person offers one solution in this area and it’ll cost us $50k” but if all the sudden they show up on a call and the salesperson they’re talking to is like hard pitch, it’s like “Man, you don’t even know anything about me, my conversation, my company, what I need… your recommendations are way off base.”
So you have to be able to hang with somebody to get to know them. Know their business, know their trials, know their problems, know what it is they’re trying to achieve.
Pitching comes later.
I hope this has been a helpful list of items to consider when it comes to closing deals. At LinkedSelling, we help businesses keep their pipelines full, but we don’t close for you. We’ve found that clients who address this list of 18 reasons have the highest closing rates and the most success in getting quality prospects to begin with.
If you’d like to see how we can partner with you to compliment your sales team and help keep their pipeline full of quality leads, let’s talk.