Securing customer meetings, whether to demo your product or meet with decision makers, is one of the first critical steps towards closing a deal. However, with changed B2B buyers, getting that customer meeting can feel more elusive than ever.

Here are 7 simple tips that can help you proactively drive more customer meetings:

1. Get a referral from an existing customer.

According to Joanne Black, referral selling can help shorten your sales process, lower sales costs, and convert prospects into clients more than half of the time. Ask existing customers if they’re willing to provide referrals. As you finalize deals, include a referral request as part of your closing process. Remember, sales is built on relationships. If you build trusted partnerships with your customers, they are your best resource for new business.

2. Leverage analytics.

Engagement analytics help you uncover the interest level of your prospect. By measuring the level and type of activities, you know what’s needed to get to a customer meeting and can set a repeatable process for your team.

3. Use automation to nurture leads and speed the process.

Analytics help you by measuring what’s needed to get to the customer meeting – combine that with automation and it will help you get there faster. Data shows that a multi-touch strategy is key to getting a customer connect. With automation, you can speed customer nurturing with scheduled email and calling tasks. Nurtured leads can increase sales opportunities up to 20%, according to Demand Gen Report. With advanced automation, sales teams can speed processes yet still have the control to personalize the process for more efficient and effective nurturing.

4. Focus on the business problem not product features.

Of Forrester’s four seller archetypes, only the sales ‘consultant’ is poised for future growth. According to Forrester, consultants operate more strategically and are astute at pinpointing buyer problems – sometimes even before the buyers themselves. How can your team become more like consultants? Reps must focus on selling a solution that addresses the business problem. Selling product features doesn’t create long-term value for the buyer. Just as important, sales leaders should encourage and strive to instill a sales culture where sales reps become motivated by customer success.

5. Engage with prospects in multiple ways.

Integrate a combination of touch points in your outreach. Don’t rely solely on email to try to set up a meeting. Sales teams that use a combination of email, phone, and social media outreach are more effective. Be sure your team leaves voicemails as well.

6. Do your homework so the discussion is relevant.

As your team engages with prospects, be sure that the engagement is meaningful and offers something of value. Do reps understand prospect pain points? Do reps understand how to personalize their outreach to the buyer? If you don’t have insight into a prospect’s interests or interest level, use buyer-side analytics to help increase your understanding. Advanced technology can help reveal what areas interest prospects the most, so your team can personalize outreach.

7. Ask for the meeting.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Don’t wait around for the customer to ask you – close all of your prospect interactions with a specific call to action. Also, pay attention to the language that you’re using – in emails and on voicemail. What sounds better to you: “I hope to hear from you soon” or “Are you available for a quick phone call tomorrow or early next week”?

Customer meetings are essential to close more deals and increase your chances to make quota. Make sure your team understands everything that needs to be done to make them happen faster and more frequently – and avoid missing any opportunity.

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