How B2B sales is like playing a computer game


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Presentation given by Will Bagnall to UCL students completing a masters in entrepreneurship on 10/6/2014.

Covers outbound sales processes for B2B sales.

Published in: Sales, Technology, Business
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  • Thanks for sharing. Outbound prospecting is so important for a more predictable sales process. We're currently using a sales prospecting tool called which grabs us the professional email address of our prospects in real-time, and also allows us to reach out to them using the internally built email automation tool. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else uses this system?
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How B2B sales is like playing a computer game

  1. 1. How to turn B2B Sales in to a computer game
  2. 2. Strategise - Use different tools and characters within the game at each level, with our end goal of completing the game i.e. closing a sale - Common misconception - hiring sales staff will increase sales - WRONG - Traditional sales processes have developed - the focus has shifted to the development of “sales opportunities” - More time spent on “prospecting” - traditional sales people are terrible at this
  3. 3. Create a Sales Machine - Fully integrated structured system - For a start-up the main selling responsibility should fall to the founder - know your product/service better than anyone - learn how to sell your product/service from the inside - access to golden market intelligence (product/service always needs tweaking) - essential for growth - founder should be involved equally as much in production as in sales
  4. 4. Ingredients of a Sale 1. A Compelling proposition 2. Sales Opportunity - the most tricky part 3. Hustling 4. Critical Sales Conversation
  5. 5. Inbound Marketing 1) Referrals 2) Free Tools/Trials 3) SEO 4) Blogging 5) Email Newsletters 6) Webinars 7) PPC 8) Affiliate Marketing 9) Social
  6. 6. Outbound Marketing - Cold Emailing: “contacting someone who doesn’t know you and isn’t expecting your call” - Don’t need high marketing budget - Extremely targeted - Measurable - Integrated in to the business easily in-house - you can’t just cold call nowadays in the traditional form and expect to make sales. .
  7. 7. Build Process - a process for getting quality incoming leads & filter out unqualified opportunities: 1) Define ideal target profile 2) Ad target accounts 3) Find Contact details 4) Send cold emails 5) Work responses 6) Call conversations 7) Demos/ appointments 8) New opportunities 9) Close deals Preparation stage Prospecting Sales Cycle
  8. 8. Find Ideal Customer - Find ideal customer profile - spend time doing this - define which companies are your top 5-10% of customers - those most likely to purchase your product/service for the most revenue - develop focused lists based on tight criteriaeg. No. of employees in co.? Industries receptive? Marketing budget? Solution in place? Financial status? Values/People? In-house person? Current system?
  9. 9. Build Your List - Start finding contact details for your ideal customers - Can purchase contact database sources: One Source, Jigsaw, Inside View, Zoom Info, Data Salad or - Build your own list - use an elancer - If no access to database or no contact details - use Reportive (free gmail plug-in), Sales Loft (Linkedin plug-in) - Need to find email of decision maker - usually C-Level
  10. 10. “Cold Calling (Emailing) 2.0” - concept developed by Aaron Ross, author of “Predictable Revenue” - goal of every cold email should be to: 1) Find who is the best person to contact i.e. the decision maker or 2) To establish best time to call THINK RESEARCH CALLS (emails), NOT COLD CALLS (emails)
  11. 11. Be Honest - Don’t start selling yet, the aim is to find out about the company & whether they’re a potential fit - keep emails short and sweet and be specific - Text based and not fancy html - State simply and clearly why you’re reaching out - Make email easy to read on smart phone - Offer credibility - examples of people you work with - Ask for one simple call to action - Avoid common spam trigger words like “free”, “opportunity”, “click here”
  12. 12. Example EmailHi FIRSTNAME I am writing in the hopes of finding the appropriate person who handles COMPANYNAMES marketing. PersonX, PersonY and PersonZ have also been contacted - if it makes sense to talk, let me know how your calendar looks. SUSO Digital specialise in digital marketing for Tech Startups & E-Commerce sites through SEO, App Mktg and Reputation Mgmt and typically improve organic Google traffic by 99% whilst increasing sales by 62%! It’d be great to have a chat about COMPANYNAMES next steps for marketing your product/service and provide you with some free consultation for how we will be able to improve traffic to your site/ your download numbers. If you are the appropriate person to speak with, what does your calendar look like? If not, who do you recommend I talk to? Thanks Matthew Barnes Sales Executive SUSO Digital +447732157343 Tileyard Studios, Tileyard Road, Kings Cross, London, N7 9AH Title Header - “Appropriate Person”
  13. 13. Refining The Process Use CRM/Analytics to track success (Yesware, Marketo, Salesforce, Mailchimp, Aweber) : 1) Email response rates 2) Emails companies respond to & why 3) Who is responding 4) Who became qualified opportunity & why 5) Constantly Refine - A/B test Eventually - you can automate areas of the process Hustling/ Sales Development
  14. 14. Tracking Success - Aim for 50-100 emails a day, 5-10 responses - including positive, negative, & neutral - Send messages before 9am or after 5pm and avoid Mondays & Fridays (schedule using Boomerang) - Assess open rate, click through rates, unsubscribe rates & bounce rates - Average reply rate is 7-9% - averages vary by industry - Don’t give up on an initial “No” - find out why
  15. 15. Yesware Dashboard
  16. 16. Can-Spam Compliance - Allowed to send unsolicited emails so long as: 1) Subject Header not misleading 2) Have valid physical address in email 3) Include “opt-out” for future communications
  17. 17. Best Practice Briefing - the scheduled call - phone/skype/go-to meeting/join-me - should be initially done by founder (“critical sales conversation”) - learn more about organisation, let them do most of the talking - here you can “sell the dream” - help prospect create vision of dream solution which will solve their problems
  18. 18. Ask The Right Questions - Typical call: 1) Intro. about our company 2) Discuss prospects business situation 3) Probe prospects needs 4) Position solution to meet those needs 5) Handle Objections 6) Arrange next steps - Questions to ask: 1) How are you organised? 2) How does your process work? 3) What are your challenges? 4) Tried and failed with other solutions?
  19. 19. Pull Selling vs Push Selling - Don’t push the prospect - it can kill a sale & also end up with customers who aren’t a long term fit - danger of using traditional commission based structure around sales - Need dedicated members of the sales team, each given specific roles eg. “Sales Development Team” - dedicated to prospecting & lead qualification “Account Executive” (founder’s role) - work relationships & close - Give credibility to your offer - always give examples, don’t just tell them, show them eg. give free trials
  20. 20. Solution Design Workshop - After “best practice briefing” call, 2nd call is much more granular & specific - Discuss exactly what you will do for them - Go to their office, go and meet them, perform a tutorial or webinar - make it a unique experience where they learn a lot - in some industries you can charge for this - Create a professional document, mentioning everything discussed - a formal proposal (only send proposals to prospects ready to receive them) - Show how you will execute the solution
  21. 21. Case Study: HyperQuality - Seattle based contact center quality assurance solution provider - Finding it hard to generate quality leads through inbound marketing, 1-2 inbound “qualified” leads per month - Embraced new way of prospecting & outbound sales - Within 90 days, the pipeline tripled (part time prospecting work done by one person)
  22. 22. Completing the Game - Gaining 1 sale is just getting to the next level of the computer game - To complete the game in full, the aim (through constant testing/refining) is to create a: 1) Standard Procedure for generating sales 2) Standard Procedure for Processing 3) Sales Machine that will lead to Predictable Revenue for your business
  23. 23. Thanks Will Bagnall - Head of Business Development at SUSO Digital -