If we’re being totally honest, sales has not been enough of a focus at Upperscore. That’s due to a lack of hands to do all the work. It’s no excuse, it’s just the way it is.
So, to get us back on track and learn some tricks that will help us generate a nice pipeline and close more deals, I decided to join the Hubspot Pipeline Generation Bootcamp. I learned some really valuable things, and had fun along the way. Here are my 5 key insights. Some I already knew but somehow neglected, others were new to me.
I had personally never heard of a vision board before. Right after the first session, I created mine, and had my wife make one of her own too.
We all instinctively know that if you want to succeed in business, you need motivation and focus. Creating a vision board of what I want to achieve in life has really helped in the motivation department.
Was I not motivated before? Of course I was! But that vision board really amplifies motivation and allows you to regularly focus on those goals whenever you need it. And for someone who dreads calling leads, it really helps to look at that vision board. A vision board may seem like no big deal, but this very practical tip made a big difference already for me personally.
Whenever I did sales calls before, I was so focused on the other person, my questions to him or her and how to handle potential replies. I just forgot to smile, even though I already know that people notice that stuff, even on the phone. Another thing is to take things easy: introduce yourself and take pauses in the conversation. A pause give the other person the chance to digest what you just said, and to respond.
If you’re nervous about a sales call, you tend to keep on talking to avoid awkward silences. But that really doesn’t work. The bootcamp gave us the opportunity to practice these small things with different people. An advantage of an online bootcamp is you get to watch yourself while you have your sales call, so you can check whether you’re smiling or not. Being aware of it is a good step forward.
Standing up also helps you sound better to the other person, which I didn’t know. No more sitting calls for me from now on.
Nobody wants to cold call potential customers. It’s hard! And no lead likes being cold called. Whenever you do get a cold call, you know within 5 seconds.
So, make it a warm call instead. You do that by spending some time researching the other person and their business. There is a lot of information available on the internet. You’d be surprised what you can find just by googling for half an hour. LinkedIn and the company website are of course great sources of information. They are good starting points to dig a bit deeper.
What we also found helpful, is setting up a few google alerts. It sends you daily or weekly emails with news about any chosen topic, which you can then use as a trigger to make your call. And the most obvious one: use conversions on your channels as a trigger to call them up.
We all know those sales people that are so eager to close a deal, they would say or do anything to make it happen. And they forget to listen.
A much better approach is to always try to help the person you’re calling. That starts with some research like we already mentioned, and then trying to understand what exactly it is they need help with. You can’t hear or understand anything if you are constantly talking yourself, right?
Now don’t fall into the trap of wanting their business too much. If you genuinely feel like your company is not the right one to help them, then don’t sell to them. Instead, you can point them to someone else in your network that is better at whatever they need help with. That way you are still helping out. And even though it doesn’t generate any revenue in the short term, they may return for other services, because they will remember you genuinely helped them out before.
You may also want to consider using video as a prospection tool. With a bit of research you can create short and highly personalized video’s in which you can reach out to prospects to offer your help. Just highlight 2 or 3 ways you can help them grow their business and propose to have a short video chat about it. If you genuinely try to help and your research is good, they will appreciate your outreach and schedule a video call with you.
The advantage of video is you get to redo it if you’re not satisfied, and your prospect can watch it whenever they feel like, so it will be less intrusive. Just keep it short and sweet so you don’t bore them. I have been using Vidyard to create video’s, and so far I really like the tool. You can use any website as a background (I use the prospects website or profile). and you can edit thumbnails to it as well.
Of course I’m not a perfect sales man after these 6 sessions. But I do feel like I know a lot better what I’m doing. Practice makes perfect, and that’s what these bootcamps were all about. And I don’t mean just the role plays: it also motivated me to do a lot more actual sales calls. Sure, there is still room for improvement. But the progress is real AND significant. So if you happen to get an invitation to the next bootcamp, don’t hesitate and register! If you need a role play partner, contact us.
Your company needs leads to build a pipeline and to generate sales. But how do you go about generating more leads than before? Read all about it in our Lead Generation Guide.