4 MIN. READ
Many people (even some reps themselves) cling to the cliché of a salesperson with a foot in the door desperately trying to get a meeting. That view is a principal misconception about prospecting.In fact, a survey by the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research thoroughly debunked it and other sales myths.
B2B sales professionals face a raft of obstacles and challenges, from the prospecting stage to pitching a proposal to closing a deal. But it's important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to common presumptions in B2B sales. Keep moving forward with these 21 eye-opening sales & prospecting statistics!
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After canvassing 488 buyers and 489 sellers, RAIN found that 71% of buyers want to hear how you can improve their business. When attempting to solve their problems, they’ll invite you 62% of the time. Only 2% of prospects are inclined to avoid contact with reps entirely.
Your prospects will communicate with you if you can get their attention, and your best bet may be by email. Eight out of 10 buyers connect with reps sending electronic messages. That’s a remarkable correlation to the 78% of representatives who employ email.
Web-based connections can also yield fruit. Prospecting reaches sellers 21% of the time on LinkedIn and 18% on other social media.
Phone conversations are another effective method to connect with buyers. (Text and voicemail aren’t as productive as a live call, but 21% of prospects will respond to these as well.) Half of all buyers and 70% of reps prefer phone conversations.
Residents of the C-suite are even more amenable to picking up the receiver. Calling a vice president gives you a great start on getting your message across. Concentrate on financial issues - top executives will accept a call relating to a return on investment (ROI) 75% of the time.
Directors and managers also show enthusiasm for ROI discussions, at 64% and 59% respectively. Particularly for equipment purchases, an impressive ROI is a winning pitch.
Health and safety conditions permitting, industry events can also be a prospecting bonanza. Potential contacts will communicate with sellers 34% of the time at those venues.
Video is a potent attention grabber too. Once you have eyeballs on the screen, your message explains why your product or service is vital. According to data gathered by Alexa, a whopping 90% of customers report that video influences buying decisions.
With the tsunami of data bombarding us every day, you might assume that buyers would be overwhelmed by research. Surprisingly though, 69% welcome new information impacting their business. Descriptions of your capabilities run a close second at 67%. Your ability to customize solutions to their precise needs is equally crucial.
When reps reach out, 82% of buyers will take the meeting. Now what? You may be tempted to concentrate on forging a personal bond with prospects, but RAIN’s data shows that isn’t what makes the connection. In 75% of prospecting, your success hinges on whether buyers need what you're selling. It’s your job to convince them they do.
Money also matters. For 64% of buyers, having the budget for your product or service is second only to needing it. Addressing a decision-maker is essential - the top of the command chain may have more ability to obtain funding when convinced the expenditure is worthwhile.
How well did you reach your prospects? Unfortunately, most buyers (about 58%) don’t think sales meetings have much value. To change their minds, you needed to do a few things:
• 96% of your audience want you to make them focus on the value you bring to their operation.
• 93% want you to collaborate with them.
• 92% hope for new insights and perspectives from you.
Reps make the most conversions when they have as many minds to change as possible. That means striving for a high volume of meetings. It’s a lot easier to catch fish in a well-stocked pond.
Rejection is a part of life though, especially for a sales rep. But it can lend valuable discernment. Figuring out what prompted a "no," can turn your next encounter into a "yes." Consider these questions:
• Did your competitor offer something you didn’t? Can you add it in next time around?
• Did the buyer leave the door open for a return visit?
• If the company you called on can’t use your product, can they tell you who might?
Discovering the answers will pour prospects into your sales pipeline. When you come down to it, that pipeline is the best indicator of whether you’ve hit your prospecting targets or missed your marks. These research-informed techniques and data can improve your aim.
To succeed in your prospecting goals, you need to know who to talk to. Contacting the wrong executive can quickly turn into a lost opportunity. With a live database of 400,000 U.S. manufacturers, IndustrySelect gives you the ability to research company and contact profiles and build a list of prospects, making your job much easier and more reliable. Contact us today to learn more.