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The B2B Sales Experience: Reps Need To Do Their Homework

B2B Marketing

Good salespeople are out there. They are the ones who do their homework, understand the prospect, and actually listen. They are the ones who deliver the best b2b sales experience to the right customers.

But they don’t seem to be the ones calling me.

The ones calling me are the one who not only have no idea who I am, but they say things like “enterprise solutions” about five seconds after I answer the phone. Solutions to WHAT, exactly? And I’m not alone. A client recently lamented about how much time gets wasted with bad sales calls. Another friend with a new position at a large, well-known company said he couldn’t believe the crazy calls he’s getting.

The B2B Sales Experience: Reps Need To Do Their Homework image B2BSales 600px

Business development is a difficult job.

It’s not easy to make calls to strangers. But that’s no excuse. It’s time to expect more from those making these calls.

My company, 360Connext, and I both have a fairly decent social media presence. Our web site is out there, too. It would take about 10 seconds to look these up and determine if we are even remotely close to the bulls eye of the target market. Lately, however, I’ve been receiving calls about tools to better manage my call center (don’t have one, never have); enterprise IT department overhead (what IT department?) and my favorite – someone pitched me to hire a customer service speaker for my organization. If I needed one, I’m pretty sure I’d hire me first.

I know where these b2b salespeople are getting my information.

It’s my mistake for attending or presenting at conferences or joining professional membership organizations. They got the list! And that’s all they needed to start calling. I believe as a presenter, attendee or member on a list, we should expect our information will be respected.

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Have you ever bought anything from the hard-driving, never-comes-up-for-air sales pitch? I sure haven’t. (Click to Tweet this!) The B2B sales experience is still about people. If I don’t feel you care one iota about me, then I’ll find someone who does.

Here is a quick list of ways salespeople could provide a better B2B sales experience with this type of calling:

  1. Look up the prospect first. The Internet is full of good stuff like company web sites, LinkedIn profiles, and Twitter feeds. Find out if this prospect is who you think they are. If not, move along. Fish where the fish are.
  2. Ask yourself, what problem are you solving? Before launching into your pitch, find out if your prospect feels that pain.
  3. Respect that it’s an intrusion. Don’t launch into a five minute speech the minute the phone is answered.
  4. LISTEN. Ask questions.
  5. Customize the follow up email. Add a detail or two about the conversation and for goodness sake, spell the names correctly! Triple check if you need to.

None of these ideas are new or even very savvy. There are many experts in sales who may advise differently. My lens, though, is about how to have fewer ruined days. If salespeople respected the process and the person a bit more, I’d bet we’d all have better days. Don’t you think it’s time to ditch the cold call and create relationships instead?

This post was written for, and a version originally appeared on SpinSucks.

Image credit: Solarbotics via Creative Commons

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