As you've started to work from home, you may have noticed most of your calls are going into voicemail. It's frustrating, no doubt. However, there are other ways and channels that can...and should be used. Right now, prospects can be on-site at work, working from home, or a combination of the two. Being thoughtful on when to contact, as well as clear on your message is more important now...than ever.
#1) Contact As Soon As Possible
The sooner you contact a prospect after acquiring him or her as a sales lead, such as the website, campaign or from SalesLeads' Project Reports, the greater your chance of getting a response. Far too many B2B sales reps neglect to contact their sales leads or prospects in a timely manner. They may wait days, weeks or even months after acquiring a prospect's name and phone number. By that time, the prospect may have forgotten about your company, or perhaps the buyer has selected another vendor from which to purchase. One way to hold yourself accountable, is to date each time you've reached out to connect.
#2) Look for the Prospect's Direct Phone Number
If a sales lead hasn't responded to your initial sales message and you're unable to reach him or her by phone, try searching for the prospect's direct phone number if your calling from something other than a Project Report from SalesLeads. Many B2B buyers give out their business's phone number when submitting lead forms. If you call a prospect's office, you'd normally get a receptionist or other "gatekeeper" on the line. Now, you may just go directly to a general voicemail, or the sales leads voicemail. Try to find the prospect's direct phone number to increase your chance of getting a response. Assuming you know the prospect's name and business for which he or she works, you can check LinkedIn to see if the prospect's direct number is listed, or try to connect with them.
If none of these result in what you need, then use the SalesLeads' Target Account Sales Intelligence. This will allow you to look up the company name, and download the right person or persons to contact. You'll get the name, title, address, direct phone number and email address. The email address will certainly prove useful right now.
#3) Create a Sense of Urgency
You can often entice prospects to respond to your sales messages by creating a sense of urgency. Whether you're trying to sell a product or a service, you can create a sense of urgency by explaining to the sales lead how your product or service can help them through these challenging times, or when this clears up, you need to be ready. You can offer the prospect a limited-time discount. If the prospect can save 10% or 20% by ordering within the next 48 hours, for example, he or she may decide to make a purchase. Remember, make it a 'must have' and not just a 'nice to have'.
#4) Get Personal
Creating personalized sales messages can have a positive impact on your response rates. Prospects or sales leads are more likely to respond if they sense of a personal connection to your messages. Regarding email, for instance, research shows that personalized sales messages generate up to twice as many responses, on average, than generic and non-personalized sales messages. Again, let them know how your product or service can help them through this difficult time.
#5) Use Multiple Communication Channels
Rather than relying on a single communication channel, phone call, email or LinkedIn, consider using multiple channels to engage and interact with sales leads. Have you networked (by phone) with partners, complimentary products / services companies to find out if they know the contact you want to reach, and have them make the introduction. Are they active with an association, or on the board of the association? Are they a guest speaker where you can attend the same conference. These are some ideas to consider and hopefully has sparked additional channels to try.
#6) Contact Other Decision-Makers
When all else fails, try contacting other decision-makers at the sales lead or prospect's business. Even if the prospect isn't responding to your sales messages, someone else at his or her business may. The only way you'll know is by contacting other decision-makers and try. That new contact just may be the recommender you're looking for.
#7) Reinforce Value Proposition
Value proposition is arguably the most important element of an effective sales message. It conveys the benefits of your B2B company's products or services. Without a clear and meaningful value proposition, prospects are unlikely to respond to your sales messages. Regardless of which channels you use to communicate with a prospect, reinforce the value proposition and how it applies to the business environment today.
#8) Use an Alternative Email Address
Another way to deal with unresponsive prospects is to use a different email address. If a prospect isn't responding to your emails, for example, you may be sending them to the wrong address. By using a different email address -- one that's checked more frequently by the prospect -- you'll have a better chance of getting a response.
#9) Showcase Your B2B Company's Expertise
You must present your B2B company as an expert in its respective field. Failure to do so will only discourage prospects from replying to your sales message. Showcasing your B2B company's expertise gives prospects greater confidence in its products or services. And with greater confidence comes increased engagement. If prospects are confident in your B2B company's products or services, they'll likely respond to your sales messages to get the ball rolling.