The challenges of chasing leads and building pipelines in today’s business environment sometimes make me wonder why I ever chose sales as a career—we all follow up on company-generated leads and contact existing customers. Sometimes we even resort to cold calls. For each call, we carefully and conscientiously record the date, time, person we tried to contact, and the outcome of the call in our company CRM system. A quick review confirms our feeling that, all too often, we’ve only managed to connect with a voice-activated system and/or voice mail. It can get so bad that the human contact of having an administrative assistant screen our calls can be gratifying. The common theme is the damned difficult time we have getting access to decision makers.
It doesn’t seem all that long ago that we could contact decision makers by calling early or late, or meeting them over lunch. It used to be easier to build relationships with administrative assistants, and convince them to set up a time to talk with their boss. Now, we’re as likely to get voice mail for the assistant as we are for the decision maker. We send out daily news bits via email to prospects only to have them blocked by SPAM filters. Even calls into our corporate customer database are either automatically sent to voicemail, or barraged by issues they are experiencing with customer support at Corporate.
Ironically, while voicemail, SPAM filters, and number blockers are all technologies designed to keep sales people distracting their potential buyers, how many of us rely on those same technologies to filter our calls and emails and keep ourselves focused on selling activity? There are many technologies that drive a more efficient office and at the same time, make it more difficult for a salesperson to be effective. Your sales organization has probably designed a wall around your decision makers to keep them focused on the demanding business of selling.
It is astonishing how we isolate ourselves from salespeople, and still complain when we can’t reach someone we want to sell to.
All that is on top of other challenges like restrictions on travel and in-person meetings, and of course, the need to understand the issues, pains, and goals our customers and prospects face. To survive and thrive in today’s selling environment, we have to seek out and effectively use innovative techniques and technologies to overcome all of these challenges.
In short, when the world makes it hard for us to reach out to decision makers, we have to get the decision makers to come to us. But how?
One great way to attract decision makers and get them to talk to you is by deploying a cloud-based ROI calculator on your company website. We all know that the best prospect is one who is motivated to buy. Buyers reach that point when they realize they have a problem that is intolerably painful or expensive. We call that a tipping point. When cost or revenue impacts of an approaching tipping point reach the upper limits of discomfort, buyers start looking for solutions that offer credible potential to dial down the costs, mitigate risks, and improve revenue streams. When that prospect is a match for your products, your marketing and SEO tools will lead them to your website, where they can use your ROI calculator to see for themselves the value your solution offers for their specific needs.
VisualizeROI’s cloud-based ROI calculator integrates with Salesforce and marketing automation systems. The data your prospect enters becomes the starting point for building a strong relationship through the full discovery, qualification, presentation, proposal, and closing cycle.
In short, cloud-based ROI calculators drive traffic to your website, and bring buyers to you as a pre-qualified lead.
About the Author
Michael Nick is Vice President of Growth and Strategy for VisualizeROI. He has published several bestselling books including ROI Selling, Why Johnny Can’t Sell, and Amazon’s top 10 Business book, The Key to the C-Suite. He has been mentioned and published in Selling Power, The Huffington Post, Sales & Marketing Magazine, and featured in Top Sales World magazine. Michael was named for four straight years in a row as one of the Top 50 “Most Influential” People in Sales and Marketing in the World by TSW. In addition, Michael ranks in the top 50 Top Sales Gurus from Sales Guru.