An average salesperson spends more than two-thirds of their time dealing with non-revenue generating activities, which means that they can dedicate only 33% of their weekly schedule to their prospects and selling.
Being in this business for more than 15 years, we at Autoklose have had our fair share of these challenges, which actually prompted us to create our automation platform and help all of you out there do your job.
Now, let’s address 5 major pain points salespeople face and offer some solutions to them.
1. Lead Generation
Finding new leads for your business and turning them into customers is a complicated process, especially in the B2B industry, in which people often have a hard time identifying a problem and finding the right solution.
The thing is that you need to educate them before you can even start pitching.
However, you can’t just start sending your email campaigns and newsletters to random email addresses that you’ve come across on the internet.
That’s the part that everybody knows, but where can a new startup find contact information about their potential customers and inform them that there’s a product or service they might be interested in?
The problem with email addresses
Many sales reps and small businesses resort to buying lists on the internet which is the worst possible scenario.
These lists are usually full of incomplete, outdated, and generally bad information, which means that your delivery and open rates will plunge, not to mention that this is a surefire way to be declared a spammer and get blacklisted by your ISP.
Namely, ISPs are using defunct or dormant email addresses as honeypots for capturing shady marketers who flood their recipients’ inboxes with useless and invaluable emails.
So, these generic lists will only pollute your CRM with all that dirty data.
Ok, so we’ve established that this practice is a big no-no, which leaves you clueless as to where to find the good, reliable data which will help you find fresh, quality leads and grow your business.
Autoklose comes with an interesting feature – DataUnlimited.
It’s actually a huge database, packed with millions of clean, relevant B2B data which you can use for your lead generation efforts. Every single contact we provide has been verified both manually and with the help of our sophisticated proprietary technology.
In addition to using our sales intelligence feature, you can also:
- Run campaigns using your existing contacts
- Import .CSV files with contact information
- Add contacts manually.
DataUnlimited is also super useful when it comes to segmenting your contact lists because you can apply different filters and pick the location, position, seniority level, and industry. There are advanced filters too, so you can refine your search and find exactly the profiles you want for your email campaigns.
As a result, you can create, segment, and tailor your campaigns to different audiences and segments, thus making your outreach more relevant and effective.
A word of advice – keeping your database clean and eliminating stale leads from your CRM is a must for successful campaigns.
Our Autoverify feature allows you to validate your emails before sending your outreach, thus ensuring high deliverability and domain authority.
- Don’t buy leads on the internet
- Clean your list regularly
- Remove stale leads from your CRM
- Use Autoklose Sales Intelligence
2. Getting a Response
The first issue on our list of common issues faced by sales reps has been successfully solved.
But that’s just the beginning of your sales cycle, and if you want to actually land more clients and make more sales, you need to roll up your sleeves and get your prospects to actually open your email, read it, and preferably take action.
Or, if we’re talking about cold calling, to hook your prospect before they say they’re not interested, get your message across successfully, and book a meeting with them.
The recipe for this is pretty straightforward.
- a carefully crafted, compelling offer,
- an effectively communicated unique selling proposition (USP),
- a catchy subject line,
- a CTA your prospects can’t help but click.
Basically, you need to offer your potential customers something of value.
This can be a useful blog post which is addressing their issues, a helpful industry report, a how-to video showing them a helpful procedure, a discount or free trial, or anything that they might find appealing.
So, you need to understand your target audience and know what makes them tick if you want them to press that CTA button in your email.
These four ingredients can be difficult to mix properly, so we can exactly say that this is a piece of cake.
Just imagine how many companies out there are trying to find their way to your prospects’ inboxes, which means that you’ll need to do your best to stand out from that crowd.
How to craft an irresistible subject line
A proper subject line holds the key to capturing your recipients’ attention, and we’ve already discussed what constitutes a catchy and compelling subject line.
To put it in a nutshell, we’ll quote Shakespeare and his “Brevity is the soul of wit.”
And one more thing – subject lines formulated as questions perform better than those in the form of a statement.
How to come up with the effective email copy
As for the body of your email, it’s also important to be concise and to the point. Remember, your prospects are busy professionals and they don’t have time to read novels.
Here are a couple of tips for coming up with the high-converting email copy:
- Use a conversation tone
- Include only one offer
- Make it prospect-centric
- Talk about benefits and not features
- Make a difference.
How to create a compelling CTA
We’ve already mentioned that you need a CTA which will be striking both in terms of wording as well as its visual appeal.
Another disclaimer: don’t use more than one offer and CTA per email. That is, unless you want to confuse your prospects.
To optimize your CTAs, do the following:
- Use imperatives
- Leverage power words
- Tell your recipients why they should click
- Include numbers
- Tap into urgency and scarcity
- Make it stand out in your email
- Don’t hesitate to use negativity.
However, sometimes we’re in a hurry or simply can’t find the right words, let alone think of a witty and gripping subject line.
Autoklose provides access to a number of premade, high-converting sales email sequence templates suitable for different business situations.
Each of these templates can be customized to suit your recipients and combined into entire campaigns with as many follow-ups as you want.
Cold calling your prospects is still an effective way to reach your potential customers.
But, the average buyer has changed and you can’t simply grab your phone, introduce yourself, and expect them to listen to your pitch.
You need an entirely different approach.
After you’ve collected your contact information, it’s time to:
- Do your research
- Create scripts
- Embrace rejection.
Certain tips for email outreach also apply in this case, which means that you should keep your contact database clean, have a strong unique selling proposition, and focus on benefits.
Now, let’s discuss ways of optimizing your cold calling.
How to do your research
Knowing as much as possible about the person you call will allow you to build rapport and capture their attention.
LinkedIn, Facebook, and their company website are goldmines of valuable information, so make sure to take notes while you’re browsing.
Check out what your prospect posted and whether they wrote a piece of content. You can use such details as an ice-breaker when starting a conversation with them.
How to create scripts
Although some sales reps aren’t exactly big on scripting, this approach keeps your conversation on the right track. Scripting will keep your message focused and concise.
Another important reason why scripts are so valuable is that it allows you to replicate your most successful outreach.
VanillaSoft’s logical-branch scripting will help you adapt when your conversation takes another course, sound natural, and be prepared to respond to any objections your prospect might have. By taking advantage of this feature, you’ll have dynamic messaging across your entire sales cycle.
How to come to terms with rejection
No matter how well you prepare for your calls and what tools you use, it’s very likely that some prospects will say no.
But it’s important to not take this personally. And understand that this will happen again.
Another way to overcome this unpleasant situation is to ask your prospect why. This way, you’ll know if there’s something you can do to change your pitch next time.
Finally, don’t think of this as a final answer. Maybe your prospect’s situation will change in the future, so tell them that you’ll reach out again after a certain period. Using this little trick, you will practically announce your next call.
- Research your prospects
- Prepare thoroughly for your calls
- Create a well-thought-out offer and USP
- Use automation tools.
3. Following Up
Stats say that the sweet spot for getting a response from your prospect is situated between the 5th and 7th attempt.
And yet, many sales reps (44% according to some surveys) give up only one follow-up.
This means that you need to be persistent if you want to hear that “yes” eventually.
But, persistent doesn’t always mean pushy and aggressive.
Finding the balance is tricky, but hey, if they don’t tell you “Call me or email me one more time and I’m getting a restraining order!” you’re good to go. Also, people who don’t unsubscribe practically give you their blessing to keep on sending your offers and newsletters.
So, what stops you?
That complicated process of identifying who replied, who unsubscribed, and when you sent your previous follow-up.
Yes, that can be a problem because you don’t want to send the same email twice, or contact that person who threatened you with a restraining order again. Try Autoklose Time-Saving Tools!
Our smart algorithm keeps tabs on every email you send, and it prevents the above-mentioned disasters, which means that you can be sure that you’ve sent a follow-up only to those who didn’t reply.
Nurturing your prospects has never been easier, as you can set your campaigns in advance and tweak them in real time by adding or removing contacts, pausing them, and restarting finished campaigns.
This last functionality is great if you identified a winning campaign, and instead of creating it all over again, you can simply restart it by adding contacts.
The campaign will keep its structure, meaning that predefined time intervals for follow-ups won’t be changed.
- Be persistent
- Use tech to your advantage
- Structure your follow up
- Build a winning cadence.
4. Smarketing Alignment
This is a problem that many companies encounter, and since it’s a huge time-waster it leads to productivity issues, missed opportunities, and financial loss.
If these two departments aren’t on the same page, then you can expect that marketing will send half-baked and poor-quality leads to sales.
But before you even start engaging with your prospects, it’s important to understand that not every one of them carries the same weight in the sense that unless you know who decision-makers are, you might as well be barking up the wrong tree and wooing a contact which isn’t authorized to put a signature on your offer and seal the deal.
With this information, it’s much easier to do additional research and tailor the outreach which will put you on their radar and give you a chance to show what you got.
With real-time analytics, you can always plan your next move and improve your campaigns.
Precise and reliable KPIs will allow you to monitor the performance of your campaigns and keep an eye on all the members of your team and the effectiveness of their efforts.
OK, yes, you can spy on them from your dashboard, if you want to put it that way, and make any necessary changes – add or remove team members, intervene and tweak their campaigns, or lend them a hand.
- Keep your sales and marketing teams on the same page
- Help them stay connected using the right tools
- Encourage them to communicate regularly and share insights
5. Too Much Administrative Work
Sales reps have to deal with way too many administrative tasks.
This means that they’re up to their ears in paperwork.
So, instead of focusing on their high-level work such as prospecting and nurturing potential customers, they waste hours inputting data and creating reports.
Here are some of the most time-consuming administrative tasks.
Even when they’re trying to schedule a meeting with prospects, they have to engage in an endless game of email ping pong.
But, all this doesn’t have to be like that as there are tools that can help sales reps delegate non-essential tasks to different tools and automate them.
For example, instead of waiting for your prospects’ reply about a meeting, you can simply leverage our Calendly integration. In other words, you can add a link to your calendar to your email or signature, and ask your prospect to pick a date that suits them, and book a time slot.
Staff meetings are yet another productivity killer.
If your sales reps (and other employees, for that matter) have to attend a lot of meetings unselectively, it will drain their energy and prevent them from focusing on their job.
This issue can be solved by inviting only essential employees that will benefit from the meeting and that can add value to it.
Think about whose presence is crucial for every meeting you plan and inform all the others about the decisions and outcomes in an email.
Also, refrain from organizing “meetings that could have been emails.”
- Automate as much administrative work as possible
- Help your sales team improve their productivity
- Slash the number of unnecessary meetings
- Plan every meeting in detail and invite only those who need to attend it.
When we combine all these useful features and functionalities, it’s safe to say that you will easily overcome one more common pain point which plagues our profession – a long and sluggish sales cycle. Combine these tips and tools to speed it up and make your life easier.