Selling is a difficult job! People won’t just come and buy products/services from you unless you have a strong brand presence and a loyal customer base. And reaching this level takes a lot of effort and time! In other words, you need to rely on marketing to help people know about your products and services and establish an awareness of how these products can help them. It’s easy to crack the deal with some, tough with few, and nearly impossible with certain few. And this category of ‘certain few’ is what we call the ‘unsellables’. Whatever the reason, it’s nearly impossible to get them to buy your products or services. So, it’s better you identify them early and move onto prospective customers. Bottom line – “Stop selling to the unsellables!”
Here’s a story of Peter, a sales executive who recently joined ‘ABC’ company. This was his first job and he was thrilled about his position as sales personnel. Every time, he would start his pitch with an unbelievably optimistic attitude that his customers will surely buy the products but only to get disappointed. He tried everything in his might to convince the customers but it hardly worked! This would happen many times and as time passed – Peter would mentally check out in between a sales conversation and lose hope – the moment he realized the customer is not going to buy. In fact, this affected him so badly that he began to doubt his skills and his caliber as a sales executive.
Now, can you guess what could have gone wrong? The only thing that Peter failed to realize that he was actually trying to sell to the unsellables. He had his heart in the right place but his energy was channelized to a place that was bound to bring him disappointments. He needed a change of plan, a change of strategy – one that could save time and his mental energy! What he needed was an intent-based selling approach.
What is intent-based selling and why should you adopt it?
A successful sales professional will tell you that your job is not to persuade the inexperienced or uninformed buyer to make a sale. They do not trust you anyway and have a variety of information sources at their fingertips. The ideal thing would be to stop selling to the unsellables. And start personalizing and optimizing the customer’s journey to your product through their choices. How do you do it?
Answer: Intent data
With the ever-rising expectations across the buyer’s journey, understanding your audience is critical. It’s also key to serving them the right content at the right time. The intent-based approach involves marketing a product or a service based on the prospect’s intent to make a purchase decision, demonstrated by their actions and behavior.
Intent data makes it easy to see and listen to the customer. For instance, it tells you:
- What your customers want
- What they are looking for and what product/service they are more likely to purchase
All you need to do is to interpret the signals that they are sending and deliver the product that your customer has in mind as quickly as possible.
How intent-based marketing and selling approach can help you?
The intent-based marketing and selling approach takes a detailed approach. It looks at specific products, keywords, problems, and solutions the buyer is currently researching online. This process takes many forms, but the new data-driven approach uses data captured by third-party websites to provide information on the specific topics a buyer is currently researching. This data will help your sales team to align their products/services with the business problem a potential buyer is facing. And how your product/service can be the solution to that problem.
This data is extremely useful especially for the B2B marketers who need to sell products/services to powerful decision-makers. In other words, a business doesn’t make the decision to purchase. Individuals inside that organization do, and they are the decision-makers. So, it’s a good approach to treat decision-makers as your target when it comes to attracting their intention and creating purchase intent. Because they are the ones going through the customer’s journey, and the customer to whom you are targeting.
Drive sales with intent data and stop selling to the unsellables
Be practical! Instead of wasting time and effort trying to convert the unsellables, focus your energy on the people willing to buy. The key to sales is building a relationship. Building a relationship with someone who’s totally unsellable can be a waste of time and effort. Focus your attention on building relationships with the right customers and potential customers. No doubt it’s a challenging task but it is not impossible! Stop selling to the unsellables. And take the opportunities in front of you, differentiate between the potential customers and the unsellables. And spend the majority of your energy on those potential customers. This is where intent data can help you identify your potential buyers with greater chances of saying ‘yes.’
Intent-based marketing allows you to focus your marketing and sales efforts on specific goals. Instead of casting wide nets, you concentrate your resources only on prospects with a high chance of a conversion. This approach also reduces the overall campaign cost and boosts ROI. This is because your prospects are already past the awareness stage and approaching contemplation or decision. So, you basically skip the initial steps of the buyer’s journey and fast forward to the conversion stage!