“Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it’s bobsled time!”
If you grew up in the 1980s or 1990s, you probably shouted “Jamaica!” in your head after reading that sentence, remembering the escapades of the first Jamaican bobsled team in the movie Cool Runnings.
Here’s the thing about a bobsledding race: If you’re doing it right, your speed continues to accelerate throughout the race until you’re flying around the track’s curves toward the end.
Sales funnels can follow the same process. If you have the right pieces in place, you can accelerate your funnel flow and close deals faster and more successfully.
Often those “right pieces” for a sales team include working with a managed sales team, an external support group that can serve to give your sales bobsled a little extra lift. Working with an outsourced team has multiple benefits when it comes to moving inquiries and prospects into qualified sales leads.
In the loosely-based-on-a-true-story movie, the bobsled team members are recruited because of one skill they have in common: speed.
Speed counts when it comes to converting inquiries to leads as well. Research shows those who make callbacks within an hour are seven times more likely to have a meaningful conversation with a decision-maker.
Many buyers want to see how technology works during their first interactions. Your managed sales team can quickly make the appropriate outbound calls and have those conversations, allowing your in-house team to focus their efforts on being ready with high-energy, information-rich demos and technical resources.
For the bobsled team, the key to the race is the push-off, the moment when the team comes together to exert their force and launch with a cohesive thrust. If the team is not in sync, they run the risk of wobbling and losing momentum.
In the sales world, a similar, coordinated push is crucial to keeping prospects moving forward in the funnel. Your outsourced sales team can ensure useful, accurate information is available at the prospect’s fingertips.
Having content that provides answers for potential buyers is one of the best ways to create a unified front. Content, including information that can be shared through emails and social selling, gives them information they need in order to make a decision.
According to research by data analytics firm Databox, content marketing is by far the most successful resource for generating B2B leads. And, 52% of buyers in a recent survey viewed 8+ pieces of content from the vendor prior to making a purchasing decision.
By working with your outsourced sales team to distribute good content, you’re helping to tell a story about how your business works for clients – how you solve problems and create success.
One of the biggest issues in follow-ups is team members feeling they do not have enough information available to properly communicate. However, with your managed sales team’s content writer and training manager working together, you’ll be able to make sure everyone’s on the same page and moving forward together.
One comical montage in Cool Runnings features the team’s prep work, including sitting in a bathtub to approximate the feeling of the sled and memorizing the course. The team repetitively practices each “turn” so they can be prepared to keep their sled’s momentum going strong.
Anticipating your potential buyer’s needs and objections is one of the best ways to move them through the funnel faster, because any time a proverbial curve occurs, you’ll have an answer and proper guidance on moving forward.
In order to prepare yourself, you need a good understanding of your buyer’s mindset. Building that understanding comes down to data analysis and buyer persona creation.
Through data analysis, your managed sales team can take raw information about your efforts and transform it into actionable insights.
Every interaction and transaction leaves a trail of data breadcrumbs you can follow. Without data analysis, you’re casting a net blindly; with a plan for data analysis in place, you can find the prospects with the highest propensity to be in-market and determine which efforts are most successful in pushing them down the funnel.
Follow the data to determine where buyers might be falling out of the funnel, or where they hesitate in decision-making.
For example, if funnel analysis shows that you’re generating prospects via social selling, your managed sales team can direct resources there. If you see clients dropping out in the discovery phase, your team can work to craft compelling messaging that anticipates their concerns and keeps them moving forward.
If data analytics is head work, buyer personas involve a little more heart and humanity. Personas are built around data, but they are packaged in a way that makes you think about the real person behind the data, so you can plan to transact business in ways that work for them.
If you’re thinking about an amorphous being on the other side of the phone, it’s a little harder to be specific than if you’re thinking about Connie the CEO or Mark the IT Manager.
By working with personas, your managed sales team can begin to see patterns and anticipate the questions or objections that may come up from your prospects. They can generate content that speaks directly to those questions, whether it’s prepping their outbound calling team or sending a successful case study on a similar topic through a social selling message.
Data analytics comes into play here as well, because specific data points and statistics can be used to move your prospect forward. If you see a majority of potential buyers are concerned with technology integration, for example, information can be prepared and at the ready.
Uncovering common issues and mitigating concerns makes it easier to keep your leads moving toward a positive decision, because you’re building their trust and proving your worthiness at the same time. And, according to growth marketing expert Sujan Patel, “When people know that you care about and anticipate their needs, they’ll reward you with their wallets.
The energy and enthusiasm of the Jamaican bobsled team is infectious, with almost everyone at the Olympics cheering their squad’s run. Although the movie ends on a heartbreaking note, the team is able to build on the enthusiasm they created to generate ongoing success.
However, they probably couldn’t have returned to the Olympics without a crowd behind them – the fundraising friends and family in Jamaica, the raving commentators on the news coverage. They needed a full arsenal of support to keep moving forward.
When it comes to moving prospects down the funnel, it’s important to have a crowd that’s united in bringing you success.Your managed sales team members work in tandem to keep leads moving forward.
Sales chat team members are the first line of defense (or offense, actually) when it comes to finding and moving leads forward. From there, your managed sales team can give your efforts a focus and direction, including determining the proper cadence for follow-up and doing ongoing Q&A to ensure that your messages are resonating with your prospects.
Sales, like bobsled racing, is about a combination of speed and intelligence. Working with a managed sales team is a great way to add both to your team, and ensure your prospects continue moving down your pipeline, pushing you toward gold-medal levels of success.
When it comes to sales success, do you have any foolproof secrets to moving the needle faster with clients? Feel free to share them in the comments below.