Are you feeding your pipeline?
A sales pipeline is like a conveyor belt of work in progress with a requirement to churn out a completed output at the end. It is made up of deals that you are working on at various stages of completion. Moving stuff along the pipeline one thing. This is about feeding that pipeline.
I’m not a salesperson. I haven’t been trained as one nor do I like the idea of selling or being sold to. I’d rather learn about the product and buy when I am good and ready. I prefer the brand to simply be there, on-demand, letting me consider and decide at my convenience. In fact, I do not take kindly to salespeople who interrupt and insist. So how do I generate leads to put in that pipeline?
Quick answer be human and always help.
It was a pleasant surprise specially back then to find out there was actually an approach to helping people buy rather focusing on the sale. For the rest of the blog take note that when we say sell, we mean helping people to buy.
I did need to learn how to sell AND how to do that in an inbound way. And if anyone can teach me to do that the HubSpot Sales Pipeline Generation Bootcamp seemed like the best bet. Sales + the HubSpot way.
And at the end of 8 weeks, below are the things that stood out for me.
I’ll start this short and sweet. It’s about helping. Always be in the right mindset. This does not mean going the extra mile for each and every person. This simply focus on how to add value to another person's life. And as a person who knows better, you simply have to balance the kind value you can give sustainably. Because when you provide something worthwhile, people will give value back. And when you find a mutual fit, when you offer the value that someone is more than happy to pay, that's when you make a sale.
What about those who did not buy? You just added value to the planet by making another person more knowledgeable on how to move forward. As someone said often you just make a friend. Not a bad deal.
Vision to Motivate
As if that was not enough motivation, come up with a vision board. I see this as a relic of tradition or maybe something more primordial. Give your lizard brain a bone to chew on.
Before you can connect, surprise, empathize or inspire, you have to get an idea of how to do that with your prospect. Start with LinkedIn to learn more about your prospect, their company, their industry. Look at points of connection with genuine curiosity. Let that inspire you to formulate questions that will build rapport.
Review the website and social media account and identify not only how they interact but also how they use tactics and tools you can give feedback on:
- Offers and lead capture
- Blogging frequency, topic clusters, keywords
- SEO best practices
- Social Media choice, frequency, delivery, links, etc
- Conversational tools
- Website security (i.e. SSL) and speed
- Mobile responsiveness
Talk to the Lizard (brain)
Being human involves getting in touch with our inner lizard. Connecting with the lizard brain is a good way to capture attention. Surprise, empathize, inspire, connect. When talking to a prospect, engage the lizard brain long enough for you to shift into a conversation with the rational brain.
When it’s your own lizard brain, the vision board talks to you and reminds you of what’s important to you.
Riches in the niches
Declare your niche, your specialty. A hyper-focused positioning statement helps. You and your prospect identify each other as a good fit easier, faster. By being clear on who you help, we can filter leads and focus on those that will likely close. By being clear on what you can help with, people who need help know who to get it from. Save everyone in the conversation time and learn whether there is a need to explore further.
This does not mean you can’t solve other problems. You can about other things you can do once you start the conversation. But while you are prospecting, a clear position statement is a great starting point.
Make the call
In fact make 500 practice calls. Then get on 500 more with real contacts. Whether its practice or its the real thing, just do it. Make the calls, send the email, do the video, leave the voice message.
As you do more, it becomes easier and easier for you and more and more natural for your contact. According to the boot camp mentors, by the time you've done 500 calls, you would’ve seen or heard it all.
Practice on role-plays with your Lion Partner Partners , with family, with friends. Get real with the not-so-good-fit prospects. Go for the win with the good-fit ones. Do it.
Done it? Keep on doing it. Do at least 4 calls, 4 voice messages, 4 emails or video emails, 4 social media messages, over 12 days for each client. In case you missed it: do it for each client. Schedule this if you don't have automation. Use the sequence tools if you have it on your HubSpot Subscription plan.
Remember, doing 4 to 6 shows professional persistence. After that, the you get diminishing returns
Think like a partner
You should have a bit of insight into what concerns your prospect. Walk in their shoes. Use that to ask the most relevant question and draw out what matters to them. Find the pain, the goal, the challenge that you can talk about further. Get on that call and be ready with an empathetic ear.
Customers don't want being sold to. They are not here to help you hit your quota. They want to solve a problem, their problem. The best way to help is to understand the problem better than the customer. After that, to be a partner with a solution. Don't sell. Help people buy.
These are a few of the things that are top of mind. There’s a lot more but that’s it for now. I'll revisit and add more.
The HubSpot Sales Pipeline Boot camp was time well spent. It's so worth it. It so worth it, I did it twice. Join it if you get a chance.
Whats with lion and sales
That's for another blog.
This is how I started my journey to learning sales.