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Prospecting is going to become a hot topic as it becomes harder to move a sale over the line. Economists are expecting a full-blown recession to hit in the first part of 2023, and while the labor market is still strong, inflation is rising and budgets are tightening by the minute. It’s going to take a lot of work to close deals, but they can still happen with strategic legwork. It will take stamina from the sales producer, and a clear-cut prospecting strategy.
Prospecting is part of a broader sales process that can carry a sales team through market changes. Moreover, sales teams that use a smart prospecting methodology will have more meetings and create more opportunities in a down market than competing providers. That makes a recession a nice opportunity to carve out market share.
The phone can play a role in any organization’s prospecting strategy and it can especially help to keep prospecting results strong through the economic downshift.
Don't Fear The Phone
Conflicting information exists about prospecting techniques, and some of it is simply noise. Marketers know that salespeople don’t like prospecting as much as other parts of their job, and this opens an opportunity for them to sell solutions that allegedly alleviate prospecting anxiety whether or not the prospecting technique actually works. Sales involve a multitude of tactics. Email and “social selling” can nurture sales relationships in the right context. But the phone is still the quickest way to converse with a prospect. In a down economy, the phone can be a highly effective tool for producers to deliver the sales message and secure a meeting.
Beware of adopting a no-phone strategy. Shortcuts that eliminate phone calls are often catering to the fear among salespeople. The phone is critical for a successful new business sales attack both historically and today. It’s working better than ever now because with the rise of email and social media, selling via the phone technique is underutilized. Prospects get numerous automated emails and LinkedIn messages but significantly fewer phone calls. Salespeople that pick up the phone in today’s market show the prospect that they’re important to them. If the call is well planned, the producer can speak to the prospect’s unique problem and personalize their communication from the onset of the relationship.
With practice, producers can shake off the fear of the phone call. It’s not dangerous. No one’s going to get hurt. A good sales coach will tell you that it’s all about the producer’s attitude and mindset. Producers need to believe that the phone works, believe in the solution, and believe in themselves as communicators. Sales coaching can be a highly effective tool that prepares producers to rock their phone game. Sales coaches specializing in phone prospecting are available through TaskHuman’s mobile coaching platform. They have improved success rates for producers in highly competitive industries and they can be available on-demand or scheduled around the producer’s peak selling hours and busy life.
A sales coach can prep individually with an account executive before they embark on prospecting for the day to strengthen their mindset. When the producer picks up the phone, they’ll know why they’re working so hard to talk to the prospect. They’ll know their goal is to help the customer win. They’re calling to try to help them win. You’re not calling to bug them. You’re calling to rescue them.
As the work of sales demands more grit in the coming years, sales teams won’t be able to rely on inbound marketing tactics alone. Inbound efforts will need to power the outbound work that also must be done. And the phone can act as a rock booster to up producers’ ability to create new opportunities. Why wait for the brunt of a recession to hit? Now is a great time to invest time and effort in improving phone selling skills.
Sales managers are deploying TaskHuman’s sales coaching support to their teams as part of a full-scale training and development effort that leverages the experience of sales experts from leading industries and their ability to nurture producers in a 1:1 capacity. Improved phone skills and much more are available at the touch of a button. Schedule a demo to see how TaskHuman’s sales coaching support prepares sales teams for success in a recession period and beyond.
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