With only a few hours remaining in the quarter, sales teams are frantically calling, emailing, texting and employing miscellaneous acts of heroics to get deals done. It’s a scramble that all of us in B-to-B have witnessed, and one that we've at one point or another committed to never doing again. However, all too often the pattern repeats itself, and sales teams dial and email everyone in CRM to find and land that “flier” deal to make the quarter.
Don’t call everyone. It doesn’t work, and it’s a waste of time.
Buyers are sharing precious insights with every opened email, view of a shared presentation or proposal and even forwarding the proposed contract. These digital signals identify which deals are active and provide a tremendous first cut at prioritizing which buyers to call first and which deals have a shot at coming in to close the quarter.
Even deals once written off as “dead” hold value. In past couple of days, we saw a buyer in a deal we thought was lost begin to interact with a TinderBox sales proposal. The buyer returned to products and pricing pages, so our sales team reached out, provided insight, and it looks like we’re going to earn the business this quarter. It’s a great win, and a solid validation that prioritizing engagement is more about the buyer than the salesperson.
Here are three ways to ensure you connect with the right buyers first:
1. Listen to buyers. The highest potential buyers are identifying themselves through every online interaction. Use engagement information and analytics from marketing automation systems like Pardot, Marketo and Eloqua, along with sales technologies like TinderBox and Yesware to make it easy to identify the digital signals buyers send when they interact with content like sales proposals and contracts.
2. Prioritize the most engaged buyers. It’s important to remember that a buyer is more often a group of people rather than a single decision maker. Prioritize calls and emails to accounts where buyers are actively reviewing, forwarding and revisiting the contract. Even better – prioritize follow up to accounts where those with authority to sign a contract are actively engaged.
3. Make it easier to say "yes." Every second counts for both you and your buyer. Use esignature technologies like DocuSign in your contracts and make it easy for prospects to sign from any device, anywhere. Making the signature process digital also reduces the chance for errors and keeps CRM updated with every acceptance.
Prioritizing the right buyer at the right time is essential to make the final sprint to close the quarter a success. Understanding where buyers are in their journey, how they’re engaging and what’s most important to them, gives sales teams the information they need to prioritize the deals most likely to close. While technology has advanced to make identifying and acting upon digital insights possible, they’re only signals. It’s the sales professional that ultimately gets deals done and makes a successful quarter possible.