February 23, 2016
We’d like to think of the buyers’ journey as if our prospect was behind the wheel of a high-dollar sports car cruising an empty highway – fast speed, fresh asphalt, clear signs. In reality the buyers’ journey is often more synonymous to traveling in a budget midsize along a meandering road, chock full of distractions, potholes and bottlenecks.
Enter the inbound sales and marketing team, whose job is to identify and repair transportation issues – essentially becoming the road crew for your buyers’ journey.
Below are 12 road issues we often see our clients face. Your inbound sales and marketing team should anticipate and solve these issues for your buyer.
1. Ease entry onto the road
Provide low-barriers to entry for new drivers, such as lead forms with few required fields. Use data insights to prioritize which drivers’ speed straight to sales, and which should journey for longer until they are ready to engage.
2. Keep drivers’ attention focused on the road
Stay top-of-mind and aid progress along the journey through educational content. Use data insights to provide relevant content in context of where they are on the road, what car they are driving, and other signs that allow you to customize your offers.
3. Fix potholes
Road hazards such as a poorly designed website, generic messaging, and shallow content can cause great harm to the journey. Identify and fix these potholes!
4. Avoid abrupt change in pavement
When it is time for sales to engage, the “handoff” should be seamless to the driver. Abrupt changes such as conflicting messages, repetitive questions, and generally poor quality communications can harm trust and shift the journey down to a lower gear.
5. Don’t scare drivers off of the road
Your technically-oriented drivers are famously known for the high degree and amount of independent education before engaging with sales. An overly aggressive sales person, who engages too soon or without a consultative “helping” attitude may deter your prospect from traveling further down the road.
6. Offer crisp painted lines and way signs
Once sales begins to engage, make information and next steps as clear as possible. This includes detailed summaries of the call and next steps with timing.
7. Offer a qualified “mechanic” if the driver needs expert advice
Technical selling is quite tricky – the ideal sales person has enough expertise to be credible and add value. They also know when to bring in a specialist for deeply technical questions, without losing trust or authority.
8. When the driver asks for a little snack, don’t sell them the 9-course meal
By asking LOTS of questions, perhaps using the traditional BANT format (budget, authority, need, timeline) or a similar script, along with exploratory discussion, sales should be equipped and have permission to craft a compelling offer. Redefining needs (“but aren’t you going to be driving for awhile?”) or upselling (“don’t you want pie with that?”) are all great tactics to consider.
Listen, and then collaborate on the right solution.
9. Keep their gas tank full
One of the worst things a salesperson can do is let the gas tank run dry on the opportunity, small or large.
By not following up in a timely manner, with accurate, relevant information, you are basically sending a message that you do not respect the drivers’ precious time they are spending on your road. A CRM system, such as the HubSpot CRM, can set you up for success with tasks, reminders, and a home for all communication notes.
10. Entice them from leaving for another highway
During your exploration, seek to understand competitive threats and signs of how you need to position your solution against them. Think of ways to surprise and delight your driver, helping you to stand out and demonstrating your desire to win their business in a relevant way. A branded car air freshener perhaps?
11. Listen for honking horns
Most of your drivers will give some kind of indication if things are not going well. Look for these signs – ideally they will be obvious “horns,” but in other instances you’ll have more subtle indications that something is amiss. This is the time to dig in with more questions and helpful solutions. You may need an audience with passengers to overcome objections, take a different approach to messaging your solution, or adjust price or timeline.
12. Measure road performance
How does the road crew know where the biggest problems are? And whether their road repairs are working?
Use effective pipeline management techniques, such as defining lead stages, setting/monitoring conversion metrics, and instilling clear sales and marketing accountability.
What are your top challenges when selling to prospects? How do you find information before making a business purchase? If you happen to be a sales professional who wants your voice heard, take HubSpot’s survey today. Make an impact by spending only a few minutes.
Need help developing and training your Buyers’ Journey Road Crew? Check out TREW's B2B Sales Enablement services!