FirstRain understands sales. Who should I be calling today? What should I say to attract their attention? Is my team prepared for that meeting? Are we all on the same page? How is my competition doing? What are they pitching? How do I intersect the value proposition with my customer’s needs? These are the questions that run through your mind every day. We got answers.
FirstRain gives you exactly the key information you need when you need it. Find new opportunities, develop and maintain key relationships with your customers, and ultimately close more deals.
Walk through a day in the life of a salesperson and gain a real-time understanding of the powerful information at your fingertips as a FirstRain user.
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This is part 3 of a 4-part series addressing how Personal Business Analytics help our customers respond to the emerging mega-trends set forth by McKinsey on the Salesforce blog.
B2C-inspired customer expectations With the proliferation of mobile in consumers’ everyday lives, as well as increased expectation of BYOD workplaces, both B2B employees and customers are coming to expect the same level of personalization that they get as consumers. In order to meet these B2C-inspired consumer expectations, “sales leaders need to develop frictionless and personalized models to connect with the customer across any channel.”
The need to understand how to really connect with your customers has led to the rise of CRM and enterprise collaboration platforms, but employees tend to resist change in their existing workflows—which can result not only in stagnating customer relationships but also in slowing sales cycles. The answer is to place intelligent guidance right where sales already lives, while providing value-based information stickiness in the tools you need them to use. This can be done with very specific, granular insights based on their role, product lines they sell, regions they cover, industry focus and market and competitor relationships.
Connecting with your customer anywhere, anytime is a priority—and as our FirstRain usage stats show across some of the biggest global sales organizations, mobile is the fastest growing platform to connect sellers with buyers’ needs. But for many organizations, gathering the customer intelligence needed to turn the sales team into customer experts is time-consuming. They are simply unable to create very personal experiences with basic sales intelligence tools they may have previously invested in, many of which don’t even have native mobile apps. Consumers today have access to almost everything they need on their mobile devices, from banking to finding their next date, so consumer expectations now mean having the same experience when it comes to customer intelligence. They want their phone to help them build better relationships with their customers so they can win more deals; so, when selecting a tool to match the needs of these sellers, consider:
Drop us a note if you’d like to learn more about enabling your sales teams with frictionless and personalized views that help them connect with your customers.
This is part 2 of a 4-part series addressing how Personal Business Analytics help our customers respond to the emerging mega-trends set forth by McKinsey on the Salesforce blog.
Today, shifting buyer demographics are forcing companies to change their go-to-market strategies. For example, they must reflect the new buying behaviors that are emerging as millennials outnumber Gen-Xers and as cities in emerging economies contain the majority of new urban consumers globally. These shifts are leading simultaneously to more granular geographic opportunities and new but shared global behaviors. In order to be competitive moving forward, companies will need to develop strategies and philosophies that are flexible to meet both sets of needs.
These shifts are why FirstRain customers are leveraging personal business analytics to help their sales teams stay on top of the trends that are happening in their customers’ target markets—down to spending patterns. They need to know what’s top of mind for the consumers their own customers are targeting—is it security, ease of use, cost—and monitor those things based on how their own solutions can provide value down the line. What we are seeing more and more is that business professionals need a very dialed-in view of their customers’ customer, down to the micro-segment they are targeting. Getting specifics is difficult due to the amount of information available on the web today.
Using analytics to see emerging trends while they are still in their nascent stages is nothing new to large B2B companies, but when it’s delivered with intelligent guidance to sales so they know exactly what to do next, all sizes of company can develop a go-to-market strategy that is agile and responsive. And when they are the first to see what’s coming and adjust accordingly, they will always be one step ahead of the competition.
This is part 1 of a 4-part series addressing how Personal Business Analytics help our customers respond to the emerging mega-trends set forth by McKinsey on the Salesforce blog.
Highly-networked super buyers
According to McKinsey, new technologies are making gathering information—and processing it—easy and cheap, resulting in a community of “super-user” buyers, who interact with and influence each other by learning from each others’ challenges and solutions. In an age where social media is prevalent and options for whatever products you need are easy to find—74% of B2B decision makers are using LinkedIn for business reasons, while 42% use Twitter—sales leaders today need to deeply understand context, provide relevant answers to customers’ questions, and shape their customers’ thinking in order to improve the quality and frequency of customer engagements – and win.
So how can sales leaders achieve the same information experience that buyers have, but from the seller’s point-of-view? Only with powerful tools that scan the entire web for sales-driving insights can they become “super-sellers” and trusted advisors in the eyes of their buyers. It’s clear that without targeted, role-based enterprise tools, the noise and information overload from consumer-grade solutions is just too much. As many of our customer success stories demonstrate, having a dynamic, 360-degree view of customers helps sellers in verticals like technology and communications understand exactly what their own customers’ challenges are—along with WHOM and HOW they should engage. Reaching B2B decision-makers is not an easy task, so when you get there you must be well-equipped to strengthen those relationships with meaningful conversations that both teach and influence their buying decisions.
Whether a sales team needs to know about Data Center adoption trends, government regulations, or changing industry buying practices, getting the right breadth and depth of content and insights about their customers is the first step to adding value for these highly-networked super buyers.
Ask yourself: in order to go head-to-head with these new super buyers, are your sales teams easily able to:
If the majority of them are not, tell us why!
Much of the time, your first contact with a prospect will be through email. However, sending out shoddy messages that appear mass-produced and untailored to the specific business can wreak havoc on your sales productivity. You have to treat each email like it’s a conversation, because that’s how your prospect will be thinking about it. Sending out a generic template just won’t cut it.
For instance, a typical email may tout the company, talk about your services and end with a call-to-action. This could literally be sent out to anyone, and probably is. Instead, you need to do a better job of targeting it.
Sympathize With Your Prospect
In Inc., sales expert Geoffrey James notes that if you think about how your emails look from the customer’s perspective, it may start to make more sense as to why leads aren’t biting. Most likely, they’re asking, “what does this have to do with me?” They may be wondering why you are reaching out to them at all, and they may even be truly annoyed that you wasted their time with spam. In each case, you’ve all but lost your prospect before you’ve begun.
Prioritize Customer Research
It may seem like a no-brainer, but you need to do some work figuring out who your prospect is before shooting off an email. Once again, a cursory look at their homepage probably won’t be enough. You want is to exceed their expectations, not barely meet them—so you need to dig deeper. Customer intelligence analytics allow you to not only see what your customer has been doing, but what’s going on in their marketplace.
How to Use Sales Insights to Write Messages
Generally, prospects are more likely to respond when a message is relevant to their interests. This means it’s best to contact someone who has been looking around your site. You should not only mention their presence on your page, but exactly what they looked at. However, intelligence gives you the details that can make a cold email work. For instance, it enables you to see trigger events that create new product needs. According to HubSpot, events like this can be an excellent way to open an email.
Now that you have a better idea of their industry, and what it takes to excel in this environment, you will have a much easier time getting into the client’s perspective and understanding what will compel them to respond to your email. Keep things simple. James suggests that you give examples, not just of businesses you’ve worked with, but what you’ve done for them. Even better, align this small pitch to their specific market niche.
Another tip HubSpot offers is that with the first email, you’re really looking for a response, not a sale. Try to establish yourself as a trustworthy source who cares about the outcome of their company rather than going after the pitch right away.
When you take the time to understand your customers, you can write messages that they really respond to.