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4 Ways to Get B2B Prospects to Engage in Sales Conversations


Getting More Results from Inbound Marketing Leads

Your marketing team has embraced inbound marketing. They are creating content with calls-to-action (CTAs), blogging and working on improving SEO results. Search engine rankings are improving for desirable keywords. Your sales lead generation results are improving, although you can always use more leads. But, the sales team is having difficulty getting prospects to be responsive to lead follow up phone calls to engage in sales conversations. So, what can you do about it? How can you get prospects to engage in sales conversations?

Be Relevant

When you call your prospect, I’m sure you know that your competitors are also calling her. Consider that your prospect is very busy. She probably works a 10 hour (or more) day filled with meetings and hundreds of emails. She has a boss who is breathing down her neck on her deliverables. Sound familiar? When you leave a message for her, be brief and show empathy for her situation. Consider leaving a series of short messages spread across days that string together in a story that address her pain points, each one being a continuation of the other. This approach will set you apart and may eventually produce a return call.

Call The Boss

You’ve always been taught to call high in an organization. While calling your prospect’s boss can be risky, it depends on your approach. If you do it to get around your prospect, you will very likely alienate her. Instead, speak highly of your prospect to her boss. Give her credit for her evaluation process and the criteria she has set in place to select a vendor. Then, suggest that you look forward to achieving their business objectives under the wisdom and leadership of your prospect. Be sure to mention her name several times in a very flattering way. She may return your call to thank you for your support or the promotion you helped her get.

Mine Her LinkedIn Profile

If your prospect is on LinkedIn, mine her profile to gain insight into her background and professional interests. Observe her career path. You may know something about her previous employers. Discover which groups she belongs to so that you can learn more about her professional interests. Maybe she has listed events which she has attended, or books she has read as listed on her Amazon Reading List. If her company has a company profile on Linked in, become a follower of the company to get their updates. Often the insights you can gain about someone on LinkedIn can be a goldmine of information for online lead generation and follow up. You may even learn that you have shared connections on LinkedIn who may help you get the open door to that sales conversation you’ve been trying to get. Wisely use the insights you have gained from her LinkedIn profile to personalize your messages (via phone and email).

Leverage Someone Else

Whether through LinkedIn, or through other means, find someone else whom you can befriend to help you get on her calendar. Sometimes it’s a subordinate to your prospect, especially if you’re trying to reach a C level or Director level person. Often a subordinate will give you insights into her schedule and her priorities. You may learn that your product or service is not a priority and maybe you’re wasting your time trying to reach her. Or, you may learn the priority is still high, but she is busy on a big deadline. Show respect for that deadline in a message that illustrates you’ve done your homework and that you respect her priorities. But, by staying in touch appropriately, you will earn her respect.

These four tips may help you get a return call from sales prospects. But, in the long run, the most effective way to reach qualified sales prospects is by producing sales leads with sales ready prospects. People that are ready to have a sales conversation are the most desirable. Focus your inbound marketing strategies on ways to create website sales leads from prospects interested in talking with you today.

15 thoughts on “4 Ways to Get B2B Prospects to Engage in Sales Conversations”

  1. Bernie, IMO three of these are good advice but I disagree about calling the boss. It's the extremely rare subordinate that can get past that ingrained taboo. Not saying it can't work but so in the remote as to be non-viable. Enjoyed the read.

    1. Craig,
      No doubt calling the boss can be risky. I wouldn't leave a voicemail. I would only try to reach him/her live. It can backfire, but sometimes you have nothing to lose if you can't reach the person who initiated contact with you. Either way, it's a gamble that can pay off or backfire.

      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Bernie,
    LinkedIn can provide a wealth of information, and a huge opportunity to connect with leads in real terms far beyond the name and email address provided for a download. It's a solid stepping stone towards a sales conversion.
    Nice post, thanks for sharing!

    1. James,
      It's obvious you understand the power of LinkedIn. Hope you're "mining for gold" in LinkedIn every day!
      Bernie Borges

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