Legacy sales methods vs modern sales methods. Which comes out on top?
Today’ B2B buyer has all the power. For many B2B sales executives, admitting you do not have the control is a hard pill to swallow.
Modern buyers are good at tuning out of interruptions. Think about this for yourself. When was the last time you were caught by a cold call? How many unsolicited emails do you open and read?
Modern buyers find their own information. For every competitive space, there is a product or review site out there. For even the smallest and most granular of industries, interests, or areas of specialisation, there are many active online groups and forums.
When modern buyers buy, they do it on their own timeline and terms. Think With Google note that today's business buyers do not contact suppliers directly until 57% of the purchase process is complete.
WE ARE ALL MODERN BUYERS
The above statistic shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone because we are all modern buyers. Yet most sales teams are trying to sell modern buyers with a legacy sales process.
A legacy sales method is geared around the way salespeople sell, instead of how buyers buy. A legacy sales process is based on seller actions, such as qualifying, demoing and closing.
In the legacy sales process, legacy salespeople typically prospect buyers researching their particular product, in their specific sales territory. Legacy salespeople connect by mass calling and emailing the same generic message to all their prospects. Legacy salespeople repeatedly try to connect with brute force and a generic message.
Generic is the keyword here – to qualify and close. Legacy salespeople use the same generic demo, with the same generic examples and case studies – not typically pertinent to the prospect.
Legacy salespeople are focused on speed – trying to qualify and close prospects as quickly as possible so they can hit their quota for the month. But, as we know, these legacy sales tactics are just not effective.
HOW HAVE SALES TEAMS RESPONDED?
We’ve seen sales teams try to find ways to increase their chances by finding more people, sending more emails and making more cold calls. They’ve tried to find tools that will help them… and there are lots of these tools out there.
Finding ways to do more of the same thing faster doesn’t necessarily yield better results. It doesn’t even yield more of the same results. It seems logical that finding a way to scale up something that you know can work, would hopefully scale up your results.
If sending a thousand emails a month is just barely helping you generate ten deals, it’s tempting to think that sending 10,000 emails a month would result in 100 deals. But that’s rarely how it works.
There is a problem with all of the tools out there – they are trying to help you find new ways to do the same thing faster. They aren’t looking at the big picture.
Transforming your approach to put the buyer’s needs before your own is the first step to addressing this problem. There are many possible answers to this, but we think it’s important to go back to that buyer, to their needs, to put their needs first in the sales process.
So what’s the inverse of a legacy sales process?
THE INBOUND SALES PROCESS
An inbound sales process is focused on the buyer’s actions rather than the salesperson’s process. The next step of the process doesn’t happen until progress is instigated by the buyer.
Salespeople start with inbound interest using context. Context about who that buyer is, context about that buyer’s interests, their needs, their wants, etc. Buyer and seller data is captured automatically. Coaching and pipeline monitoring happen in real-time.
Where does all of that context come from? In an inbound sales process, it’s captured automatically, in real time, which we will illustrate in just a moment. As your prospect navigates through your site, as your team corresponds with them, it’s all collected, organised, and presented back to the rep when they need it.
This is also hugely useful because it makes coaching your team that much easier. Managers and salespeople can sit down, drill in together, and talk through some recent examples of how a rep responded to a certain signal from the prospect. It’s much more formulaic.
INSTEAD OF PROSPECTING OFF DEMOGRAPHICS AND DIGGING AROUND ON LINKEDIN…
The ideal scenario is that sales teams are kept busy calling into inbound leads. Think about what would happen if your salespeople did not have to spend time prospecting and could dive right into qualified leads.
HubSpot has a tool within their HubSpot Sales platform that identifies prospects showing the right signs. It provides the information into the number of visitors to your website and the page views. These people are explicitly showing signs of interest in your company.
Then, you can instantly look into hints regarding their needs and what they are interested in. Mary, for example, visited the services or contact page one hour ago. It seems like a great opportunity to reach out now you have something specific to talk about, rather than a generic message. Inbound sales allows your sales reps to reach out to interested visitors, so visitors can learn and buy on their own terms.
HubSpot Sales Messages, which is part of the HubSpot Sales Pro Suite allows you to get in touch with interested prospects who are already on your website. Messages puts on a friendly face and an easy way to get help or book a meeting on your services, products or pricing page, or any other part of your site.
Remember, the visitor has complete control to respond to the chat, so if they are ready or have questions, they can instantly connect with a salesperson. This gives the visitor control over the interaction, making them feel like the experience is on their terms.
INSTEAD OF BLASTING OUT THOUSANDS OF UNTARGETED MESSAGES IN HOPES OF A FEW WORTHY REPLIES…
Instead of throwing generic messages and hoping the message resonates with one or two people, we can help you easily tailor messages to your prospects based on what they are showing you they are interested in.
We can also allow the modern buyer to pick a time to connect that works for them, putting the ball in their court and making it easy to connect with a salesperson during a time and date that works for them.
Instead of running a generic sales process with the goal of closing as quickly as possible, we can set up a way for you to cater content to your prospects. Because, really, what is worse than receiving content that you really do not care about?
We can set up ways for your sales team to see what the prospect is interested in so they can personalise their next interaction with them accordingly. And with the activity stream, you can get all of the latest information on your prospects in real-time, so you can call them to follow up instantly.
CONSIDER IF INBOUND WORKS FOR YOU
Lost sales productivity and wasted marketing budget costs companies around $1 trillion a year. 71% of salespeople say they spend too much time on data entry which isn't really productive for those salespeople.
To improve this productivity, consider inbound as a means for generating qualified leads and sales conversations. Inbound marketing and sales is highly suited for the science and technology sectors and could transform the way you make sales in the future.