Three tips to making the difficult B2B sales calls

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It’s easy to do the enjoyable sales calls. But sometimes the more difficult calls -- such as to resolve customer problems -- are needed to boost sales results. Here are tips to make this easier for …

It’s easy to do the enjoyable sales calls. But sometimes the more difficult calls -- such as to resolve customer problems -- are needed to boost sales results. Here are tips to make this easier for your sales operations.

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  • 1. Three tips to making the difficult B2B sales callsHow sales managers, sales operations can help reps engage in the difficult conversations …
  • 2. It’s easy to do the enjoyable things.But sometimes the more difficult things are needed to boost sales results.
  • 3. Such as resolving customer problems.Problems with a customer don’t go awayunless the customer goes away.
  • 4. What can you do when you don’t want that to happen
  • 5. Here’s three tips from our experience. (We improve sales performance via predictive analytics, sales databases and CRM.)
  • 6. To make difficult sales conversationseasier for sales reps …
  • 7. Tip 1.Mix up the servings
  • 8. Segment your customer portfolio based on buying cycle. Ensure that sales reps call on all segments in some proportion that reflects both gains in immediate sales and long-term relationship. Use your CRM system to set up call blocks that are driven by analytics, to ensureconsistent actions across the entire sales force.
  • 9. Tip 2.Demonstrate the loss from not making the call
  • 10. You don’t want to leave money on the table. Your salespeople DEFINITELYdon’t want to leave money on the table…
  • 11. … so define a customer segment to call first (Tip 1).
    • Then identify actual sales revenue from sales calls made previously to a similar customer segment.
    • 12. Use this revenue figure to establish a per-customer baseline of incremental sales generated.
    • 13. Multiply this figure by number of customers in your “to call first” segment.
    • 14. Use this to show sales reps how much revenue may be lost by not calling.
    • 15. You can also extend this lost revenue estimate into a longer time horizon, showing revenue lost from what would have been future repeat purchases.
  • This “revenue lost” approach usually gets attention.
  • 16. Tip 3.Remove the responsibility
  • 17. Give reps a time limit or maximum number of attempts to make calls to priority customers identified by analytics …
  • 18. For example: You’re running a campaign to reach out to lapsed customers. This is often a difficult conversation – the rep knows the customer was a great customer at one time, the rep did not keep track and call proactively, and the customer moved to a different supplier …
  • 19. By removing this account from the rep’s portfolio, you can move the account into a nurturing program, give it to newer reps who are more hungry, or other approaches for a fresh start.
  • 20. Yes it can be fun to take customersto ballgames. This is common with high-value customers. But we’ll leave you with this thought …
  • 21. … when treated as a defensive strategy to keep a failing account, we have found that this socializing approach can actually backfire. In one analysis, after the event, most customers subsequently curtailed further or reduced spend to zero with the company. We were very puzzled – could this fun outing actually be a catalyst to losing the account? Because most likely, the difficult conversation to square with the customer upfront did not happen.
  • 22. Just like the old proverb, “a stitch in time saves nine,” there is a right time for these necessary conversations. Predictive analytics can help detect patterns that identify when that first stitch is required before the relationship is torn beyond salvage.
  • 23. Brought to you by:Predictive analytics for salesLead gen, call timing, cross and upsell, customer nurturing and much more.www.valgen.comwww.valgen.com/blog