Contrary to popular ‘tech’ belief…the B2B sales person will ALWAYS be needed.
To hear the way B2B tech people talk on the internet, you’d be forgiven for thinking that B2B salespeople are becoming irrelevant.
As businesses embrace exciting new technologies and automate more of their buyer journey, less and less attention is paid to the human element of sales.
But here’s the thing: you could be feeding the highest quality data through the sharpest technology to produce the most compelling creative – and it still wouldn’t be enough to replace the impact of a properly effective sales team.
Yes: buyers now often spend as little as 5% of their time meeting with salespeople. And yes: automated processes can make the buyer journey far more efficient and impactful. But 79% of buyers still say that it’s critical to meet with a trusted salesperson, and that sort of trust can only truly exist between actual human beings.
This is why lead nurture can never be wholly outsourced to technology:
It has to be embodied and delivered by a skilled team of salespeople who are able to reinforce the sense of genuine care that your lead nurture is designed to generate.
The problem is most sales teams don’t know how or why they should be ‘nurturing’ their leads. They are incentivised to sell – and that’s exactly what they do. This helps explain why lead nurture has been systematically undervalued by so many businesses, and why so many B2B buyers find their buyer journeys have become increasingly difficult.
The answer is simple: educate your sales team on the nurture process. They need to understand not just how lead nurture works and why it’s important, but how their process should evolve alongside a more comprehensive lead nurturing strategy.
Here are three ways teaching your sales team about lead nurture will improve your B2B sales process:
1. Your team will focus more on nurture
Often, salespeople don’t focus on nurture simply because it does not appear to benefit them personally. They are judged by the volume of deals they cement, and that means they inevitably want to try and close a sale whenever they have the chance.
Educating them about how and why nurture works – and the fact that it ultimately results in more sales – will help combat this. And combating it is important. Because if your sales team isn’t on board with your lead nurturing efforts, they will almost invariably not be effective.
One powerful way to convince salespeople to invest more energy is to show them how it benefits them. But don’t just focus on the net results it will help them achieve; nurture can also make their job far easier and more enjoyable, as they can engage more personally and emotionally with leads rather than constantly pushing them towards the next phase of the funnel.
2. Your processes will be better connected
As you introduce more automation in order to scale nurture efforts, it’s vital to ensure your processes remain in-sync and a single view of the buyer is maintained. Because a seamless sales experience is not just about co-ordinating your efforts – it’s also about creating a consistent understanding of the prospect’s psychology.
Your salespeople need to know what kind of communications the prospect they are talking to has been receiving, both to avoid wasting time repeating information and to effectively gauge what will be most persuasive at this point in their buyer journey.
Educating your sales team about lead nurture is a key part of this. It will allow them to keep up with the increasingly complex and detailed engagement your brand has with individual leads. And it will help them tailor their efforts to specific levels of nurturing – ultimately creating a positive feedback loop where your nurture efforts become more and more effective.
3. Your salespeople will have more creative input
We’ve already established the importance of combining data and creativity. But it’s easy to overlook the fact that one of your best sources of data about your leads is the salespeople who directly deal with them.
If your sales team understands the role of nurture, they will take more care to report back insights they pick up from interactions with leads. Comments or talking points which might otherwise only ever be used directly by the individual salesperson become useful information to base further nurturing efforts on.
Ultimately, this will help you tailor your content and adverts to specific pain points, so that your leads feel you are addressing them personally and your messaging is more persuasive.
Ampli are building 21st century nurture strategies for some of the UK’s most respected b2b brands. If you want to understand how we can support your business – get in touch today. www.ampli.co.uk