Today as the Arkansas Razorbacks get ready to play in the College World Series there is one thing I know for sure: the more at bats they get, the higher chance they will get on base and score runs.
Whether you are a business owner, sales manager, or sales rep, you need to be involved in as many deals as possible if you want to hit your goals. In sales, you want to make the short list of vendors under consideration. If you make that list, at least you have an “at bat.”
Here’s the challenge: the way buyers make their short list of potential vendors has changed. If you don’t recognize this, you will miss out on many opportunities for net-new businesses.
Forester Research revealed that 62% of B2B buyers create their short lists without talking to a sales rep.
The implications for organizations that sell to business are staggering. If your company and sales reps are not active online you could severely hamper your growth.
Business Owners and Managers: Your Website Is Crucial If You Want More At-Bats
Can you be found online?
If you don’t show up on page one of Google in the markets you serve for the products and services you sell, you don’t exist in the mind of the buyer making their shortlist.
Who is your competition?
Throw out your assumption of who your biggest competitors are. Instead, look at the top results in Google. In the eyes of your buyers, these are the players.
How does your website stack up against the competition?
Pull up each of your competitor’s websites. How do you stack up:
- Do you look professional or dated?
- Do you offer helpful information or is your website kind of shallow when it comes to content? When the millenial influencer whose boss has asked them to research the options comes to your website, do they get educated over the next 30 minutes or do they leave after reading the 10 pages on your website?
- Can your prospects find case studies or references?
- Do you have an active social presence? That digital native doing research will also check your social channels.
- Are there helpful buyers guides and special reports?
- Do you get notifications of what companies come to your website?
- Do you offer helpful tools like instant chat to answer their questions?
- Is there current information on your products?
If you want to make the short list your website needs to be on the list of your top priorities. It needs to be fed with a constant stream of new articles and continuously improved.
Sales Reps: Your Social Profile Cannot Be an Afterthought
Not long ago a sales rep shared a story with me that should make all B2B reps pay attention. This rep had worked for years to get a first-in appointment with a large prospect. Finally, he secured a c-level meeting.
As he was getting ready the night before the meeting, an email came in from the prospect:
I know we have a meeting tomorrow but we’re really busy around here with some initiatives. Also, I looked at your LinkedIn profile and it doesn’t look like you have much to offer our company. I’m cancelling our appointment. Best wishes.
KREDIBLE.com reported that 55% of B2B buyers admitted to vetting a rep out of a deal based what the did (or did not) find online about them.
Sales reps, here are a few tough questions:
- Would you take a meeting with yourself based on what’s on your LinkedIn profile?
- Do you look like you could add value?
- Do you look credible with references from current clients?
- Are you visible on social with regular posts and comments putting you top-of-mind with your buyers?
It's no wonder that sales reps who embrace social outperform their non-social peers by 72%!
Like it or not, buyers have changed. If you want to get on thier shortlists, you need to play by their rules. Managers and business owners, invest in continually improving your website. Sales reps, get active on social channels.
All of this will result in more “at bats”. The net result of this will be more sales!