For approaching a decade, the principle of “real time” has been abundant in the marketplace. It’s gone from a revolutionary thought to the standard pace of business… and things aren’t slowing down. So many of the small businesses we talk to are trying to increase the turn time of order processing and provide transparent feedback to clients on their order status, but they can’t seem to connect the dots for “real time” in their client acquisition & on-boarding strategy.
Quite simply, your traditional means of communication at the onset of forming new relationships with prospects simply aren’t as effective as they used to be. What used to be “fast” just isn’t fast enough anymore. To put an even finer point on it, Yellow Lab Partners believes that the breakdown isn’t speed, it’s who controls the sales process. If your prospects can’t create and control their own world within your firm, they’ll go somewhere they can.
Here’s a real world sales cycle run-down from a recent B2B client:
- A prospect sent an email through our client’s website with a vague set of details about what they were looking for… a few various specifications, and a question of approximate budget. Sounds pretty standard right?
- Within an hour, a company sales rep replied with a standard email, asking to either:
- Jump on a phone call, providing them with a suggestion of open days on their calendar
- Clarify a few questions via email to be able to better answer their questions on cost
Sound familiar? This is probably the single most “standard” failure of a web-based sales processes. We come across it most often in a company that invested in an inbound digital strategy in the last 5 years. The responding sales person will say “I replied within an hour, and stayed in contact with the client”… and that’s true… but was the entire process effective? Yellow Lab Partners would challenge that this was a doomed process from the start.
So what do we recommend doing differently? How about giving full control of the client’s schedule to the client? We suggest giving full transparency to the client on ways and times to connect. Instead of working on scheduling, we free your team up to focus on relationships. What if your company offered functionality that:
- allowed that prospect to ask a question right now on the web, and connect with a person… not email an inbox
- gave clients an option to see openings in your digital calendars and book their own meetings with you based on real time availability
- provided these options at all levels of communication… from website, to email, to mobile platforms
We could eliminate several back-and-forth emails and calls. We all love that compelling game of “voicemail tag” trying to narrow down meeting dates and project details, but let’s get straight to what works for your clients. We could spend less time on process tasks, and instead focus on building fundamental trust with that prospective client.
For some companies with enterprise level budgets, these tools have been in place for years. But you don’t have to have a huge budget to make it happen in your business. There are an abundance of options on the market, scalable to all sizes of business. The challenge now is identifying which platform, and how most successfully to adopt it.
If you can afford a website, you can afford the tools to automate your sales processes. Give us a ring and let’s talk it through.