How to increase the closing rate on your outbound leads
Every prospect goes through different stages before deciding on a purchase. In B2B, there is no such thing as an impulse buy! Your prospects go through a process allowing them to learn first about their need, and second about the corresponding solution, before they decide to buy. In order to maximise the closing rate, it is essential that your salespeople learn to adapt their pitch to their prospects’ buying journey.
First, we will look at the purchasing journey of B2B prospects, before studying how to maximise the closing rate according to this journey.
The purchasing journey of B2B prospects
This buying journey can be broken down into 5 stages describing the process experienced by the prospect: unaware, problem aware, solution aware, product aware and most aware. In order to help you increase your closing rate thanks to the purchasing journey, we will approach these stages as simply as possible, taking example of a smoker who stops smoking.
“I like being a smoker, it’s a social thing, and it helps me relax.”
In the unaware stage, the prospect is not conscious of their problem or need. They don’t understand why the topic you are dealing with is important and don’t see how it could apply to their situation.
“Sure, I know that smoking is bad for me, but…”
In the problem aware stage, the prospect begin to realise that they have a problem or need. They may be looking for information resources to understand their problem, but not yet looking for a solution.
“I should really stop smoking, but how?”
In the solution aware stage, the prospect begins to pay serious attention to the problem. They have clearly defined and named the problem, and begin to look for approaches and methods to address it.
“I’m looking for the best way to stop smoking.”
In the product aware stage, the prospect has made a decision to solve their problem. They are looking for the most suitable solution and have a clear idea of what they want. He will therefore compile a list of existing solutions and compare them with his specifications before making a final purchase decision.
“I’m quitting smoking. I signed up for a course to leave me no choice.”
In the most aware stage, the prospect takes action. They have found the right solution, understand the features, benefits and price, and are ready to make the sale.
Increase the closing rate on your outbound leads using the purchasing journey
In order to match this process experienced by all prospects, it is important to adapt your pitch to the corresponding stage. Inbound and outbound leads come into contact with you at two very different stages of their buying journey.
An inbound prospect usually meets you when they are already in stage 4 of their buying journey. They are aware of their problem or need and are actively looking for a solution. In order to improve their closing rate, your sales representatives have to show the prospect that your solution is the most suitable for their problem, just as a technical consultant would do.
However, when your BDR first made contact with your outbound prospect, he was probably in stage 1 of his buying journey. He is either not yet aware of his need or has no desire to address it at this time. So, at the time that they reach your sales team, they are only in stage 3: they have just become aware of their need and are just beginning a research process. They are not quite ready to change yet!
To successfully close these outbound leads and increase their closing rate, your salesperson should not make the following two mistakes: presenting your solution at the first meeting, and expecting the prospect to come with a specific project, or even a clear awareness of their need. As the prospect is still in the unaware phase, it is up to the salesperson to make them aware of their need and to transform this need into a project.
To maximize your closing rate on your outbound leads, your sales representative must learn to educate the prospects. To build interest, you need to ask the right questions, get the prospects talking, and listen to them to help them become aware of their need. It is also essential to prove the importance of this need, and that the potential cost and risk of doing nothing is far greater than that of your solution, thus leading your prospects until the closing of the deal.
To achieve growth through business development and increase your closing rate, it is not enough to have BDRs. Your sales representatives must be real salesmen: they must be able to understand your prospects, convince them, and initiate the change.
Want to achieve the same results and boost your own closing rate? Write to our CEO Ephraïm Bismuth to find out how to adapt the business development model to your company!
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