Prospecting is one of the key activities of the B2B Sales professional. Accept or not, in most businesses, prospecting is undergoing major change with the penetration of internet and social media.

Any B2B sales person, who has been in the industry will realize the way Buyers are slowing taking control of the sales process and traditional methods of cold calling, sending cold e-mails are no more yielding the desired the results?

The penetration of internet has changed the game. Today, buyers are at much more advantageous than what they used to be earlier. 

When I mean advantageous, it is to do with the choice the buyers have with respect to competitors, access to information about products or service. And buyers are using these advantages to do a lot more pre-work before they engage in sales. In a nutshell, most buyers are not in a hurry to meet sales people. 

These market dynamics are changing the overall buying process. Most buyers prefer to work on their own time and at own pace. They cannot be pushed for sales. This is the reason cold calling success rate is going so low and is becoming extremely hard!

And businesses are becoming more complex and if your buyers are large businesses, there is no single point of decision making. It involves multi levels of decision making.

Also, generally the first point of contact which is procurement managers, today know about competition and are trained to analyze various vendors for their offerings.

All in all, the internet has really given the buyers much more of contro in the way they make the purchases and work with vendors and suppliers. 

Now not all is lost for sales professionals. The way the internet has enabled the buyer to become better in his job, the same advantages are available for sales professionals also.

Only thing is sales professionals need to come out of their traditional prospecting mindset to take advantage of and adapt to the new buying process of B2B buyers. Instead of earlier transaction based selling, the sales professionals must learn to provide value to buyers at each stage.

This requires as first understanding the buyers challenges and positiongg to address the same right from prospecting stage.

3 challenges B2B buyers are facing in today’s world

1.    First and foremost is, sales people must understand that, though buyers have lots more information and access to competitors, not all buyers are good at deciding whom to choose. With more information, many buyers need help in decisions. This is a role smart sales professionals can fill in helping buyers make good decision!

2.    Secondly, to avoid being overwhelmed with choices, buyers are increasingly going with strong references and seek authority. And to save time from shortlisting the vendors with long process, many buyers prefer to work with a small set of suppliers. Sales professionals must learn to build authority to get noticed.

3.    Finally, many Buyer’s don’t have the necessary skills to judge who is the genuine, trustworty sales professional, and this is where a genuine sales professional can make a difference by learning to build trust .

Gaining trust and authority of prospects

To help the buyers from the challenges he is facing, the sales professionals must elevate and present himself in a way which is of Trust, Authority and Guide. 

For this, the major mistake we see in many of the sales professionals starts with their LinkedIn profile. It fails on the No #1 rule of the prospecting, that is getting the attention of the prospect.

Most of the profiles are not optimized for creating trust, authority among their prospects.

4 Questions every profile must tell,

  1. Who are you?
  2. Who is your prospect?
  3. What problem of the prospect you solve?
  4. What results, unique differentiation you/your product/company provides over others.

Instead, most profiles are limited to mentioning “Name | Title | Company Name”.  To start with sales professionals must modify the profile headline as below,

A good format to consider:

Name [title] | We help [Avatar] [Benefit][How]

Ex, if you are working for XYZ corporation which is into smart sensor devices, it can be said – Vijay Sales Engineer | We help logistics businesses to reduce their freight cost by up 30% using our latest smart sensor devices.

As you can see, writing this kind of title helps not only address your prospects clearlu but also communicate benefits and how you differentiate in a concise way.

Of course, this is just 1 of the tool of social selling. Download our free report on “Ultimate Guide to Social Selling for B2B Sales Professionals, Consultants, Entrepreneurs to start master social selling and get tons of prospects.

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