Are You Lowering Your Hunter Instinct?

I’m having more discussions recently with b2b sales people about how they have no time to find new business opportunities.

Personally, I find this an excuse used often since most sales managers – who have no time – can relate to the lack of time for doing anything else. Thus, the sales managers accept this excuse as a real reason.

Well, again, I feel it is an excuse. An excuse that can limit our sales growth and if you are currently losing a number of customers due to downsizing, mergers, acquisitions, or worst to bankruptcy, then you will have a even larger issue very soon. You will be unable to hit your numbers and people will notice.

So, what should you be doing?

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The Real Five Reasons for an Ideal Prospect

We all know the most important aspect of our b2b sales world is to continuously find fully qualified or highly motivated prospects. Without these new comers to our world, then real sales growth becomes very difficult.

And, you have probably heard about having an ideal customer profile to use as a guide when looking for prospects or truly targeted accounts.

While the ideal customer profile is a good tool and is very useful in determining who you should invest your time and energy with for your future sales growth, there are five other factors that truly make a difference in determining a real ideal prospect.

So what are these five reason someone can be labeled an ideal prospect? Here are the five reasons…

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Real Networking to Grow Your Business

Okay, first I enjoy networking at the core level which is all about being with other people and learning new and important information about people, old relationships and some limited corporate gossip.

Second, it helped build my business back in the 80’s and 90’s. Yet, those were different times and it was a lot simpler to make real business relationships while doing “community level” networking.

And, finally, it was a real opportunity to get introduced to other people in an organization through your new contact. In fact, this was a time when people actually answered their phone calls or returned your phone calls within 24 hours. How I loved those times in b2b sales.

Today, the business world is different, particularly if you are selling to larger organizations or even the aggressive mid-sized businesses within your local market. So, what has changed and how can you do better this year. There are three areas you must watch.

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B2B Sales Qualifying is ALL about Needs

Had an interesting discussion with a sales manager last week concerning how to truly qualify a prospect. The sales manager wanted to discuss all the financial issues and demographics of prospects. I listened and asked a few questions, then asked about the role of needs in qualifying a prospect.

Our discussion got a little slower after that question as the sales manager began to think about the role of need in the qualifying process. He began to see just how important needs are in determining a real prospect.

Let’s look into this real life concept and connect a few dots.

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Segment or Rank both Customers and Prospects for B2B Sales Success

I get a very questions from B2B Sales people about the ranking of accounts including prospects. This is a fundamental exercise for B2B sales people and it is based off the Ideal Customer Profile. Every existing account and prospect should be classified or ranked according to some standard. The standard is determined by either the company or the sales person.

Here’s how it works. You refer to the Ideal Customer Profile and review what the best customers traits. What sales level do they attain every year, quarter or month. How often do they purchase? Is it daily, weekly, monthly or once a year? How many product lines or SKUs do they purchase? These are simple analysis that every sales person should know well.

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