Lead management requires an efficient sales strategy to win all potential customers. In this episode of Sales Secrets, I’ll be talking to Brandon Bornancin from Seamless AI about which is better in lead management — working hard or working smart. Read on to find out more.
In this article:
- Prospecting and Artificial Intelligence
Lead Management: Which is Better — Working Hard Or Working Smart?
Brandon Bornancin is the CEO and founder of Seamless AI, which helps companies automate their prospecting efforts. They specialize in using big data and artificial intelligence to boost a company’s performance.
Prospecting and Artificial Intelligence
To begin the discussion, I asked Brandon this important question about lead management — Is it better to work smarter or work harder?
Brandon quickly replied, “My recommendation is doing both.”
We dived into where we both agree. It’s very important to find ways to prioritize certain accounts.
First, you have to find the right accounts and contacts. Then, you have to engage with them.
Nowadays, we can achieve better pipeline management through artificial intelligence. AI helps us comb through big data to understand our customers’ behavior more comprehensively.
Using Inside Sales’ data set, we dove into millions of data points and tried to figure out if — are salespeople focusing on people that can actually buy from them?
And to our surprise, the data science team came back with these statistics — 99.5% of their time is spent on prospects that don’t close. This means that companies are spending the majority of their time on people that can’t or won’t actually buy from them.
In this episode, Brandon shares five tips on how to improve lead management and contact.
Prospecting Definition: The first step in sales development where sales professionals identify potential customers.
1. Follow the Money
Bornacin’s first recommendation to working hard and smart is to follow the money.
The first step is to analyze where most of your sales come from. This will be your niche.
Look at your contacts and the types of accounts that are making you the most money.
You also have to look at all your current sales data along with your sales forecast. This will show you the demographics of the clients that give you the highest ROI.
When you already have all the answers, you can already start planning how to you’re going to make money.
2. Pick the Niche and Get Rich
Bornacin shares, “When you’re thinking about getting a niche and getting rich with the accounts, you have to decide, Am I going to go after multiple industries or one industry?
Multiple employee sizes or one employee size? Multiple technologies, one technology size?”
I have this wonderful analogy from my mentor about picking a niche during lead management. Choosing a niche is very similar to how a tree grows.
When a tree grows, what it does is it sends out hundreds of roots to try to find a water source. And once one of the roots find a water source, the other roots actually shrivel up.
And that one root that found the water becomes your taproot. It gives the tree enough strength to actually start growing.
But remember, the tree will not start growing until you find that taproot.
You can have 10 industries you want to go after, but at the end of the day, looking at the data you have, there may be just one industry you need to prioritize. This industry may have companies with just one employee or one revenue size that can drive the most money for you.
I also asked Bornacin this question – What if you’re trying to sell entirely different services to the same industry, does that count as a niche for lead management?
He explained that yes, in lead management, you could sell multiple services to one niche. He also expounded that what is great about picking a niche is being able to be very specific about the needs and wants of that niche.
3. Get the Messaging Right
The third takeaway is to use an effective persona-based sales strategy during lead management. Going into persona-based niches allows you to develop the right pitches.
It also allows you to learn how to deliver the right messages to execute your outbound prospecting approach.
Do we take one channel to one knee strike? Or do we try to broaden the messaging channels we use and go?
The answer is pretty simple. When you pick a niche, you can use different channels to target your persona.
Cold calling is not dead. Email isn’t dead.
You have to find a channel that works best for you.
These channels can be specific to the persona and account niche all at once. All the messaging is so laser focused that it’s like you are using a sniper to go after the niche.
Otherwise, if you try to go broad, you’re going to have 70 different ads or 70 different email scripts targeted at different personas that are generic and don’t resonate to anyone.
Bornacin also extends his discussion by using a sniper rifle as a metaphor for picking a specific niche.
He said, “The only way to hunt with a sniper rifle is to pick a niche and get rich. This is because you can hunt as many new customers as possible using the same ammunition that you load previously.
If you go hunting, do you want to go where there’s the one animal or do you want to go where there are 70 animals?
They’re in a herd. The niches are the herd.”
A specific niche is where all of your most profitable prospects are together in one area. This will help you leverage niche messaging with all the channels.
4. See Who to Prioritize
According to Bornacin, we have to know how to prioritize sales functions.
This concept shouldn’t just be applied during lead management, but also, during the whole process of pipeline management.
Sales professionals can either sell using the top-down or bottom-up approach.
And, just like what the data scientists at Inside Sales recommend – use the data to guide you on how to follow the money during lead management.
If you know that 80% of the deals first start with the SDRs, who take it to the CEO, then follow that route and go bottom-up.
If the data says you have to do top-down, sell to the VP first. That VP will influence the rest of the team to try all your software and to demo the product and services.
Go after the niche to get to the money the fastest. And then once you reach that persona that influences the organization, your buying cycle will work the angles.
5. Follow an Engagement Strategy
An engagement strategy mainly requires a business to find a channel that works for every persona.
It’s about thinking about a multichannel game plan to consistently connect with your customers. Find a channel that works and use it to deliver the right message to the right person.
Artificial intelligence is also one of the biggest tools that you can use.
Say you have 500 people. Typically, you’re going to start with the top 50.
But with artificial intelligence and technology, you can narrow down your list down to 200 people using fewer resources.
Formulating an engagement strategy also takes into account how many touches you need to make per client.
By looking at millions of data points, you can learn that you should typically be going for seven total touches per play. That means you’ll connect with a client for a total of seven times over about a 10-day period.
And most importantly, when you engage with clients, think about your purpose. Think about your list and the value you’re giving.
At the end of the day, you have to balance working hard and smart to get the results you want. There is no one sales strategy that will guarantee seven-digit figures for everyone.
Find that niche to get rich. Develop your channel and always engage.
Hopefully, through these tips, you can market your brand and crush your quota.
How do you work hard and work smart? Share your tips below!