How to Convert Cold Meetings Into B2B Sales Wins
If a baseball player were to succeed 42 percent of the time he ventured to home plate, we would laud him as a true wonder, as only eight players have accomplished that feat in a single season, and none has reached that mark as his career average. In the sales world, though, triumphing at that rate would likely give individuals cause to pause and re-evaluate their pitches. A recent RAIN Group Center for Sales Research study addressed such track records in authoring “5 Sales Prospecting Myths Debunked,” with three scribes noting that buyers find 58 percent of sales meetings of no value to the fulfillment of their needs.
That statistic from the entity, which has eight offices and which tabs itself “a global sales training and performance improvement company that unleashes sales potential by delivering transformational experiences for our clients,” comes from the fifth myth (try saying that 10 or even five times fast): cold meetings don’t convert to sales wins. Building on the refutation of their findings’ lead myth—that buyers don’t want to hear from sellers—Mike Schultz, Jason Murray and Gord Smith set out to see if factors the seller can control influenced purchase decisions, concluding that they do, “to an extraordinary extent." Like with the quartet of preceding perceptions about the buyer-seller relationship, they offer a bar graph explanation of what influences purchase decisions, and the results leave zero room for misinterpretation and ample opportunity to thrive.
The bottom line? Converting cold meetings into sales comes down to value. “Focus on value they could deliver me” led the five listed points with a 96 percent moderately/very/extremely influential reaction. This makes evident, as the trio asserts, that “value converts to sales,” but the writers bluntly declare that “sellers aren’t delivering,” offering the 58 percent note as a sobering reflection of B2B sellers' need to improve. How, though, can they prove their value to a potential client or sustain their relationships with trusting consumers? If we look at the fourth myth, we can see the answer is pretty apparent, as the authors state that, “According to buyers, insight and capabilities capture their attention,” and not that providing research and customized content to prospects will go a long way toward influencing the purchasing decision.
We all know that believing in one’s business strategy will help establishments resonate with the masses, but the reverberation becomes louder if a campaign’s overseers recognize that they cannot make blanket statements with no concrete value. No matter a buyer’s designation as a high roller—with those in the executive suite especially receptive to content “customized to their specific situation and financial justifications with strong return on investment cases”—or a burgeoning entity, RAIN Group's personnel contends that prospecting efforts must be devoid of myths and heavy on appreciation for these statistics and others. With every business looking to keep its head way above water, the opinions from the study’s 488 buyers should help sellers be more fluid in their approaches, quests to set up meetings and aspiration to make said gatherings yield great connections.
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