What should your B2B company do when you receive inbound leads? People have found your website and expressed interest in your company, but they are not ready to buy. You don’t know how qualified they are nor do you know their level of interest.
Should you have a sales development rep call them? Should you send them an email? Invite them to a free trial of your software?
To answer the question, let’s look at a specific example. Here’s my experience of how Peter O’Donoghue responds to inbound leads. Peter sells products and consulting on the topic of B2B sales prospecting, so we should expect his response to be thorough and effective.
It started when I read an article that Peter contributed to HubSpot. I liked what he had to say about cold emails, so I went to his site and gave up my email address in exchange for his white paper. I read the white paper and then followed a link in the white paper to learn more about Peter’s work. There I responded to an invitation to attend his webinar.
Here is the sequence of emails that I received when I signed up for the webinar. Over the course of two days I received eleven emails from Peter, before and after the webinar.
Let’s look at how Peter’s actions meet the criteria of a sales production system.
- He adds value to the buyer at each stage. First a thought-provoking article, followed by a white paper and then a webinar. In exchange for my time and my attention, Peter provided new and useful information about sales prospecting that made me want to learn more.
- He employed standard practices that are repeatable and measurable. In this case the standard practices were email sequences.
Please don’t get the impression that this production system was simply a series of mechanical events. Since the purpose of a sales production system is to move buyers forward on their journey, each step in Peter’s system motivates the buyer to move forward. He uses a variety of psychological triggers and incentives. These include the social proof, incentives, scarcity, and discounting.
Peter O’Donoghue has created a good example of how to create a B2B sales production system that is aligned with buyers at each stage and converts them into customers.