How do you make your pre-sales activities more effective?
- Utilize analytics
- Marketing assistance
- Digital customer experience
- Integration across departments
In B2B sales, a lot of work goes into closing a deal. The final presentation usually gets all the glory, but the truth is that a ton of work goes into every sale over a long period of time before the final decision is made. Most of the time, company-specific innovations such as sales force automation and tailor-made preparations aren’t really made known to the clientele, but their importance is way beyond just simple planning.
Pre-sales activities, the steps you take that eventually lead to closing a sale, have a massive effect on the customer experience. It also has the potential to create deep business relationships and the likelihood that customers will recommend you to others.
Businesses, big or small, can convert up to 50% more leads into sales by optimizing their pre-sales processes. Here are some of the most important pre-sales activities that will help you close the deal:
In B2B sales, the length of a sales cycle can be anywhere from one month to six months, or even a year, depending on the product and the industry. With the time it takes to nurture and convert a lead, one of the best ways to help you close a higher percentage of deals is to target better leads. This is where analytics come into play.
Advanced analytics allow businesses to create higher quality leads that are more likely to convert, by using techniques such as micro-market targeting and propensity modeling along with the effectiveness of sales engineering. The time of investing half a year into a prospect that never had any intention of signing is over.
Analytics can also be used to enhance churn prediction modeling, telling businesses which current clients are unlikely to renew at an early enough stage that corrective action can be taken to keep them.
Hopefully, this sounds like an obvious point, but many organizations are so segmented that marketing and pre-sales/inside sales have very little interaction. The marketing department can provide valuable market research into customer insights and follow it up with sales enablement content to help close the deal.
Marketing also has graphic designers that every sales team should be taking advantage of.
According to the Boston Consulting Group, in the next five years, digital marketing will become the most important way B2B companies interact with customers.
This means overtaking the sales force out in the field, and other more traditional marketing channels.
Digital Customer Experience
The time has come to go digital. According to research by Forrester, 92% of B2B customers use Amazon to research work purchases, with 82% actually making work purchases using the service. Customers expect to be able to gather information and make purchases online, even in a B2B setting.
Digital sales greatly enhance the customer experience, reducing or removing several tedious processes altogether. For example, why would a company take the time to write and submit an RFP for a new office security system and then wait for a response when they could go online, check boxes for the features they want, input the number of doors and windows, and get an immediate quote? This technology is available, and customers are coming to expect it. Other iterations of this unique digital sales engineering make for extremely personal and smooth customer experience.
Also, of note from the Forrester study, B2B customers that purchase digitally spend more money are more likely to renew, are more likely to try new products, and cost less to support. This makes digitizing and automatic certain aspects of the sales process a worthwhile investment.
Integration Across Departments
Finally, the key to the three points above is the integration of information and communication across departments. One great way of doing so is by incorporating sales force automation and creating an interlinked network across the whole business from there. By seamlessly linking departments together with sales and customer data, organizations can finally get a comprehensive and accurate view of each and every customer.
Through integration, your organization can produce meaningful, actionable analytics and allow sales and marketing to work together to produce the right type of content, for the right decision maker, at the right moment in the sales process.
There’s more to sales and marketing than intricate sales pitches and final demos. Most of the work can be found straight from the get-go with all of the preparations and teamplay that happens before the pitches happen.
Consensus Enterprises enables companies to do just that, by personalizing video and documents so that each stakeholder at your potential customer's organization learns about your products and solutions in the most relevant and compelling way.
Only Consensus can help you discover and engage the entire buying group by uncovering what is important and gathering the analytics prove it. Contact us to request a demo and learn more about how we can set your sales team up for success today.