It's no secret that industrial buyers are more difficult to convert, on average, than consumers. Statistics show that it takes up to 18 calls to even reach an industrial prospect. And once you've made the initial contact with a prospect, you must then convert him or her into a customer. With that said, you'll want to avoid making these mistakes when nurturing industrial through your sales funnel.
Not Focusing on Your Product's or Service's Value
As an independent sales rep, selling requires conveying the value of a product or service to a prospect. If an industrial prospect believes the cost of a product or service is greater than its utility, it's doubtful he or she will buy it. Therefore, you should emphasize the value of your product or service when nurturing industrial prospects through the sales funnel. You obviously want to gain the prospect's trust, but this is only useful if the prospect perceives your company's industrial product or service as being valuable and worth the cost. Providing prospects with case studies and testimonials from past industrial customers is a great way to show the value of your product or service. Depending on what exactly you sell, you may be able to offer the prospect a free trial, test patch, or a customer site visit.
Sending the Same Generic Messages to All Your Industrial Prospects
You can use a template when creating emails and other messages for prospects, but you shouldn't send all prospects the same message. Numerous studies have shown that personalized sales messages have higher conversion rates than generic messages. Generic messages are often viewed as nothing more than spam, so many industrial prospects delete or discard them without giving second thought. To prevent this from happening to your company's sales messages, invest the time and energy into creating custom, personalized messages that include relevant information about the industrial prospect.
Call Multiple Times
You can't expect all B2B prospects to answer the phone during your initial call. Industrial audiences include plant manager, warehouse manager, maintenance manager or operations manager, so they are usually busy doing their own work. As a result, you may have to call them multiple times just to reach them. According to Capterra, industrial independent reps have an 81% chance of reaching a prospect when calling them at least three times. When calling a prospect at least six times, this number increases to 93%. Keep track of how many times you've called a prospect, and aim for at least a half-dozen "initial" follow-up calls.
Not Using Email
Are you using email to nurture prospects through your sales funnel? If not, you should. According to Statista, email is the preferred communication channel among industrial buyers. 81% of industrial buyers prefer receiving emails over other types of communications. In comparison, phone calls come in second place, with 58% of industrial buyers preferring to receive calls from B2B companies.
Waiting Too Long for Follow Ups
Time is of the essence when following up with industrial prospects. The longer you wait as an independent sales rep, the lower your chance of scoring a sale. It's just that simple. Research shows that B2B companies experience the greatest success when following up with prospects within five minutes of acquiring them as a lead. In other words, you should reach out to prospects -- either by phone, email, direct mail or other channels -- no longer than five minutes after you've obtained their contact information.
It's the same thing when calling the identified projects from SalesLeads. As soon as we identify a project, you’ll get an email notification. We suggest calling them right away so you can have the best chance of setting an appointment with the right contacts we supply. To make your efforts go faster, you’ll receive the direct phone number and email address so you can touch them in two ways right away. Try a couple of industrial project leads now!
Contacting Industrial Prospects at the Wrong Time
Although it's best to contact prospects as soon as you acquire them as a lead, as an independent sales rep, you'll want to follow up with prospects thereafter. When contacting industrial prospects during these follow-ups, however, be conscious of the day and time. Studies have shown that industrial prospects are most likely to answer the phone and read emails when contacted during the early morning and afternoon hours of the workweek. You can still experiment with different times, such as 6:30 a.m. and the weekend, but you'll probably experience a higher conversion rate when contacting prospects during the early morning and afternoon of the workweek.
Overlooking the Buying Stages
There are different stages of the buying process, and it's important that independent sales reps consider the stage in which a prospect is currently in. For example, a prospect in the "decision" stage is when he or she is deciding whether to buy the products or services you represent. Prior to this stage, however, a prospect may be in the "awareness" stage where he or she is searching for a solution to a specific problem. By acknowledging prospects' buying stage, you can create a better sales message that help nurture industrial prospects through your sales funnel.
Automation is a great way to improve your sales productivity. However, it's not something that you should overdo. If you automate all your communications with prospects, you won't create a strong, personal connection with your audience. And without a strong connection, you'll struggle to nurture them through your sales funnel and further add-on sales. If you're going to use automation, keep it limited and don't forget to personalize your messages (even if they are automated).