Part of the challenge of B2B sales and lead generation is that sometimes the right solution doesn’t work the first time you try it.
When a roadblock appears, you need to troubleshoot the root of the problem so that you don’t inadvertently dismiss a valuable tool or strategy.
Fortunately, your sales efforts come equipped with an effective troubleshooting tool: your detailed buyer personas.
Here are three frustrating sales problems you can prevent or solve by tapping into your buyer personas.
1. Lengthy inquiry calls with no progress in sight
Inquiry calls are exciting because they represent the possibility for new business. But if you’re getting lots of calls with no ultimate sale, or experiencing sales cycles that are incredibly long, there’s something missing between your sales pitch and the customer’s buying decision: you aren't providing attractive educational opportunities to each persona.
Solve this problem:
The more you know about your prospects, the better you can focus your content to meet their needs and position your company as a specialist.
Start by getting even more specific with your buyer personas and evaluating the conversations you have on the phone. We sometimes record phone calls and play them back to evaluate how well a sales person relates to the buyer on the other end.
The key to good inbound selling is listening. "Leaning forward" and listening closely to what buyers say, then documenting those in your buyer personas can help you identify trends you can use to better relate to and identify with prospects.
Focus first on listening, and if you find yourself talking for more than a few minutes, stop and ask a question to encourage them to talk about their situation.
Use your buyer personas to create articles that you can send prospects in recap emails after the phone call. Track your email opens to see how serious they are. If they open your recap email and click the link, you might be advancing the sale.
2. Tire kickers who waste your time with sales calls
Price shoppers will always show up in your lead generation efforts. They tend to use the web to do research and lurk in the shadows, but sometimes you’ll come across one who isn’t afraid to reach out and engage your sales team.
Solve this problem:
There are two strategies that can help you deal with tire kickers.
First, you may want to take the time to create a buyer persona specifically for the tire kicker that describes their behavior and helps you understand what drives their price needs. Depending on the results, you may want to list pricing or a general statement about pricing on your website or within the sales process itself. Another alternative would be to have a price guide that's ready to go but not shown on your website. You can send this to the tire kicker when they call.
Second, use helpful website content, PDFs, and guides to help educate the customer on the value of what you offer. Because information on pricing and other questions they may have are on your website, you may spend less time with them on the phone. You may be also be able to convince them to pay a premium for your product or service.
3. Declining web traffic and lead quality
Web traffic and lead quality are great indicators of the quality of your content and website. When you’re checking your web analytics and see that your website traffic declining, or if you get leads that never call you back (or no leads at all), you've got a problem.
Solve this problem:
Go back to the drawing board to get into the mindset of each buyer persona. Consider which words each customer would use to find your company and target your content and on-page SEO accordingly.
You may also want to read your website's key pages again. Does the homepage have to much company-focused, "we" content? Do you talk about the buyer's situations and focus on their problems, or is it all about your company?
Combine this insight into an overall effort to make sure your website copy is benefit-driven and customer focused. For example, if your company typically sells to an equipment manager inside a manufacturing facility, your website copy and lead generation offers should focus around the specific challenges that this person will face, such as navigating the procurement/purchasing process, lowering risk or minimizing downtime.
If your buyer personas are out of date, the rest of your sales strategy is out of date, too. Use updated, detailed buyer personas to help you avoid these three frustrating B2B sales problems.