As Chief Sales Officers (CSOs) and sales leaders, it is important to stay attuned to the changing landscape of B2B sales and proactively adapt your strategies. In the digital age, it is essential to focus on leading selling efforts, rather than leading sellers themselves. To do this, you need to shift away from traditional sales channels and towards digital channels, where data and analytics drive sales decisions.
To successfully navigate this shift and increase conversion rates, it is essential to know key trends and implement best practices for lead follow-up. In this blog, we outline the trends shaping the future of B2B sales and provide practical tips and tools to help you optimize your lead follow-up efforts in 2023.
Key B2B Sales Trends in 2023
Increased reliance on digital channels: As more B2B sales interactions occur online, it is important to prioritize digital channels in your lead follow-up efforts. This may include using email, social media, and other online platforms to reach out to leads and provide them with the information and resources they need.
The growing importance of data and analytics: With the increase in data generation from digital sales interactions, it is essential to have a system in place for capturing, organizing, and analyzing this data. This can help you better understand customer behavior and identify opportunities for improvement in your lead follow-up process.
Increased skepticism of sales claims: B2B buyers, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, are becoming more skeptical of claims made by sales reps. This trend highlights the importance of providing accurate, relevant, and valuable information to leads in your follow-up efforts, rather than relying on empty promises or over-the-top sales tactics.
9 Lead Follow-Up Best Practices
As the B2B landscape continues to evolve, it is important for sales organizations to stay ahead of the curve and leverage best practices for lead follow-up. By leveraging data, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI), companies can maximize their conversion rates and increase revenue. In this section, we will outline key best practices that can help you optimize your lead follow-up efforts in 2023.
1. Define Clear Qualified Lead Criteria
Ensure that all sales reps have a clear understanding of the criteria for a qualified lead. Using a definition like BANT (budget, authority, need, timeframe) or ANUM (authority, need, urgency, money) can help ensure that sales development reps (SDRs) are focusing on the most promising leads.
2. Establish a Clear Handoff Process
A well-defined process for handoff from SDRs to service teams can help ensure that follow-up is timely and effective. Establishing a process for documenting customer interactions and passing on information to the service team can help reduce sales cycles and improve lead conversion.
3. Adhere to Service-Level Agreements (SLAs)
Ensuring that sales reps accept and take ownership of qualified leads in a timely manner is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the sales process and driving better results. Establish SLAs that provide a clear timeline for follow-up on leads and hold sales reps accountable.
4. Create an Omnichannel Touch Pattern
No buyer's journey is limited to one channel of communication. To effectively reach and engage potential customers, use an omnichannel approach that includes a variety of channels, such as email, phone, social media like LinkedIn, and in-person meetings.
5. Include Engagement in Lead Qualification Criteria
One of the most common mistakes B2B organizations make is focusing equally on all leads. Instead, include the engagement factor in lead qualification criteria and prioritize high-value and closer-to-purchase leads to avoid wasting resources on leads that are simply browsing.
6. Supplement Lead Follow-Up with Relevant Content
Providing quality and relevant content can not only increase the effectiveness of an outbound sales strategy but can also differentiate your product from competitors. Use content to educate prospects, and consider creating personalized content based on their interests and needs.
7. Adopt Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Strategies
ABM involves targeting specific, high-value accounts and tailoring marketing efforts specifically to them. This can be a particularly effective approach for B2B organizations, allowing for a more personalized and targeted approach to lead follow-up.
8. Monitor and Refine Lead Follow-Up Strategies
Analyzing lead follow-up performance on a regular basis can reveal opportunities for improvement. Use data to identify the most effective channels and approaches for engaging leads, as well as areas where additional resources may be needed. This can help ensure that sales reps are focusing their efforts in the right places and optimizing lead follow-up strategies for maximum success.
9. Use Sales Gamification to Motivate SDRs
Sales gamification and competition can be effective techniques for motivating and engaging sales development reps (SDRs). By using tools like UPonent sales gamification app, you can create a fun and competitive environment for your SDRs, while also providing them with insights and analytics to help track their progress and identify areas for improvement.
This can help improve SDR performance and drive better results for your organization. Additionally, incorporating sales gamification into your lead follow-up efforts can help keep your SDRs motivated and engaged, leading to more effective and efficient follow up efforts.
The future of B2B sales is digital and data-driven. By creating a clear and effective lead follow-up strategy and leveraging best practices, sales organizations can increase their conversions and improve the customer experience. And to stay ahead of the curve, it is essential for CSOs and sales leaders to embrace new technologies and approaches, including lead routing automation tools like Distributely.
Distributely is a lead routing automation app built on top of HubSpot CRM. The HubSpot-certified app can automate many of the monotonous tasks involved in lead routing, allowing sales reps on high-growth teams to focus on more important activities like closing deals. Don't miss out on the opportunity to get a free trial of Distributely and see for yourself the benefits it can bring to your sales team.
Beth is a Senior Manager of Revenue Operations at New Breed and specializes in optimizing how processes and platforms support revenue growth.