Sales Prospecting in 2021: What should you expect
Who thought the well thought effective sales prospecting strategies will get uprooted at the beginning of 2020?
It was a hard year. It changed all corners of life and touched almost every part of businesses including sales, marketing, and prospecting.
2021 is going to bring more changes. With consumer behavior shifting at a rapid rate, it’s difficult to predict how things will turn in the future.
But if 2020 was a year of never-heard-before happenings, it was also a game-changer. Slowly and steadily, businesses started adapting to the new world and realized it was not impossible to move ahead even in times of crisis.
According to what 2020 taught us, here’s what we are expecting in Sales prospecting in 2021:
1. All decisions will be governed by real-time data.
It is no secret that a big part of sales teams prioritizes data over gut feeling. And why not?
Data not only helps us gain a deeper knowledge of your customers’ preferences and buying habits, but it also makes follow-ups easier and relevant.
According to a report by the Salesforce “State of Sales”, almost two-thirds of a sales team finds leads based on data analysis more effective than leads based on mere gut feeling.
When all your decisions are governed by real-time data, you will find an increase in the number of potential prospects turning into customers.
2020 made us witness huge alterations in consumer behavior. They prefer to search for everything online before making a sale. When the option to get bombarded with all the information they need is just a click away, the option to read through a generic email doesn’t seem so compelling.
If you expect your sales game to roar in 2021, focus on Customization and Relevance. It will help teams to provide extraordinary service to their customers by –
● Adding a personalized touch to your follow-ups.
● Showcasing real-time benefits of your offerings
2. Automation and website intelligence is the way ahead.
At the beginning of 2020, no one thought that most businesses have to go online to survive.
As it’s all about taking the advantage of the technology now, sales prospecting will shift vastly across automation and website intelligence.
According to EY, around 41% of companies have shifted to automation acceleration to cope up with the current situation.
Prospect automation and investing in a business website is no longer a luxury now, it’s a necessity.
You are prepared to enter the post-crisis world only after bringing the diverse website intelligence to use. If you want to know your customer’s on-site behavior, Reverse IP tracking is your thing. Apart from doing that, it also
- identifies your potential customers or website visitors,
- lays out a huge number of leads that make their way to the top of your pipeline,
- gathers and submits large amounts of data.
3. Real-time response culture will now be mainstream.
We as consumers are accustomed to immediate responses.
Right now, consumers no longer spend minutes waiting for a customer care executive to pick up their calls, they prefer chatbots that don’t take more than a few seconds to respond.
We expect next day delivery and constant updates.
Your B2B buyers are the same and to follow-up, a company needs to adopt the culture of real-time response.
When firms contact potential customers within 1-hour of their inquiry, they are more likely to qualify the lead than the others.
Let’s show you the exact number. According to the Harvard Business Review, such firms are 7 times more likely to qualify a lead than the ones who take more than 1 hour to contact and 60 times more likely than those who take more than 24 hrs.
In 2021, more and more companies will make real-time response culture mainstream. You must adapt accordingly if you don’t want your competitors to take over.
4. Balancing online and offline sales with agility.
According to Forrester, around 17% of B2B sales will amount to B2B e-commerce sales by the year 2023.
Customer buying habits are shifting. Online buying and selling were present even before the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020. People were making online purchase decisions before the crisis as well, but the pandemic made a sudden enlarged shift from offline buying to online buying.
To meet the demands of digitally inclined buyers of 2021, there should be relevant social media platforms to engage the new audience.
To move forward in 2021, companies should know the perfect balance to manage between online and offline sales with agility.
Your team should be prepared to come up with new selling points to pitch the new market. It should have convenient measures to serve remote buyers.
5. Technology and automation dominated prospecting.
The year 2020 has taken a huge leap in the terms of technology and artificial intelligence.
With time, the consumers have started accepting online services and technology with open hands and business organizations must follow through.
When it comes to sales prospecting in 2021, using the right technology can change the game.
Build a solid pipeline and improve your prospecting with the help of SaaS. Other than that, you can also use tools to help generate leads, nurture them effectively, and ultimately helps you SELL.
Plus, with automation slowly entering every aspect of businesses, it’s becoming increasingly important for you to pick up the right tools and invest in them. That is if you don’t wish to lag.
6. Chatbots will no more be a luxury, it will be a necessity
Chatbots have been in trend for quite some time now.
But hands-down it is one of the most valuable resource for both sales and service departments.
The quick-response to the commonly asked questions and guiding them to the right resource can reduce considerable strain from human-reps. Further, chatbots also acts as a greate masquerade for the times your real-life rp aren’t available.
Experts are expecting Chatbots to become mainstream from 2021 onwards.
It’s primarily because even though humans can answer all yoru questions in detail, consumers don’t really need them for basic information like delivery status, product availability and shipping information.
7. Empathy will be an absolute-must among all salespeople
Empathy has always been prioritized in sales processes but after the crisis has hit our doors, it has become vital.
WIth businesses running short of revenue and prospects hoping for cost-cuts, empathy is the only that can help you thrive. You need to “really” care and make the prospects believe that you are on their team.
Salespeople must now be aware of all the challenges the prospects are facing and present them viable solutions for it. Alongside you must also explain the suspected damage that is hovering on teh organization if the problems are left unresolved. But make sure, you do all this wit empathy, not sympathy. That’s the real game changer.
So, are you ready?
Sales prospecting in 2021 will be different from the old classic methods. But does that mean less revenue and a weaker pipeline?
Yes, if you are still following the old ways of selling and wish to stick to it. But if you realize the importance of change and know that the post-crisis world is nowhere similar to the pre-Covid world, new opportunities are already knocking at your door.
Go attend them!
And, if you are finding it difficult to find your place in this “new” normal, contact us today and we will do the rest!