How to turn prospects into customers
Trying to turn prospects into customers can often be a frustrating process. You can spend weeks, even months, working on a B2B prospect only to have them back out of the sale at the very end. Making matters worse, research by Sales Insight Labs shows that 50% of all prospects aren’t even a good fit for your product or service to begin with.
But don't give up just yet.
This guide will provide you with proven methods of turning prospects into customers and improving your prospect conversion process.
What is prospecting in sales?
Prospecting in sales is identifying and reaching out to leads that have been through the qualification process in hopes of turning them into potential customers (prospects). It’s an important process in the sales funnel that generates business and expands the existing customer base.
In the past, sales prospecting used to be about making calls and sending emails all day, but thanks to digital platforms, volume alone is no longer enough. Your communication with your prospect must also be highly-relevant, authentic, and often educational.
Top 6 strategies for converting prospects into customers
Prospective clients need to be "nurtured" before they can become loyal customers and you get a win. Here are six ways to keep them engaged as they move through the sales process:
Know your prospects
It's a good idea to do a quick online search on your prospects and see if they have any public social media accounts. These pages can be a gold mine of information on their company's current situation or what solutions they are looking for at the moment. Engaging prospects on these platforms is also a great way to convert them into clients.
(A word of advice: If you’re taking the social media route, use LinkedIn. It has three times the conversation rate compared to other platforms, according to HubSpot.)
You’ll also need this information for the discovery call, the first real point of contact between you and the prospect. To prepare for these meetings, have some insight into their company structure, decision-makers, and gatekeepers. Map out relevant buyer personas to better understand their buying journey and try to meet them at whatever step they’re at.
Want a short sales cycle? Do a proper discovery process. Customers are far more likely to buy from someone who clearly knows their pain points.
Use referrals and social proof
The B2B business is all about referrals and social proof. More than 50% of B2B buyers seek feedback from business partners and peers who have used a product or service before. And according to Podium, almost all of them read third-party reviews.
Getting referred by someone the prospect already knows establishes a trust triangle and communicates your brand value without you even lifting a finger to make a call. Case studies and testimonials can also provide examples of how previous customers benefited from your service. Ensure to include key performance indicators (KPIs), such as return on investment data or site traffic numbers.
Analyze your competition
Keep an eye on your industry competitors. Notice what they’re good and bad at. Do they have a streamlined prospecting process? Does their product lack certain features?
Use this knowledge to stand out from the crowd. Improve your product/service, set competitive pricing, and have excellent customer service. Industry benchmark figures go a long way toward swaying customers to your side.
Show product demos early
B2B clients want to see demos as soon as possible. And why shouldn’t they? The lack of a product demo or video can be a major friction point in their buying process that can make or break a deal.
If the thought of creating and maintaining a separate demo environment gives you headaches, Demostack has you covered. Simply use our demo experience platform to create risk-free lightweight demo environments that can be personalized for each prospective client. Personalization and speed will help you close more deals.
Get a perfect clone of your product that highlights features and helps prospects understand how it solves their pain points. These leave-behind sandboxes can also be shared with absentee buying group members to capitalize on the momentum from your demo presentation.
Discover how one of the leading digital analytics companies scaled its demo operation with Demostack.
Be data-driven and use insights to improve engagement
Recording and organizing data can help you understand what tactics worked or failed. Your organization can use this information to optimize future campaigns and build buyer enablement content (graphs or infographics) that wins prospects over.
You should also perform A/B testing on content, calls to action (CTAs), blog titles, and social media posts to see what generates better conversion. A prospect engaged throughout the sales pitch is much more likely to become a client.
Follow up often but establish deadlines
A HubSpot report found 51% of buyers think timely responses make their experience more positive. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Buyers are people too, and nobody likes to be left without answers. Stay available on all communication channels but remember to always:
- Re-emphasize key takeaways and how you solve buyer pain points.
- Add clear CTAs to follow-up messages.
- Establish a deadline for the buyer to respond. People are more likely to respond if the door is closing. If there is no response by then, it's better to move on to another prospect.
Make your prospect conversion process easier with Demostack
Imagine an interactive demo environment that doesn’t have embarrassing bugs, doesn’t accidentally reveal confidential information and doesn’t require solution engineers to accompany sales reps in every call.
That’s the dream our customers are living right now. Try Demostack and level up your product storytelling to turn prospects into customers faster.
What is the key reason prospects become customers?
Prospects can be price-conscious, but the value they receive is the most crucial factor in their decision-making. If you can help them solve a pain point, they will consider your product worth the cost.
What are some prospecting methods?
Prospecting methods include:
- Email: Reaching out through email.
- Content marketing efforts: Educating prospects through shareable content, including blog posts, white papers, and case studies.
- Referrals: Acquiring recommendations for your product from previous or current customers.
- Networking: Finding prospects by expanding your professional and social network.
- Warm calling: Reaching out to a prospect who has already shown interest in your product or service.
- Social selling: Building a social media presence to generate more leads.