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Sales velocity: Increasing the number of sales opportunities

Sales velocity series: Part 3 of 4

Every rep wants to increase the number of sales opportunities, but it’s vital to focus on quality over quantity. 

Volume is only an effective part of improving sales velocity if the opportunities are good quality and well-nurtured. It’s not enough to have a huge list of prospects – those prospects need to be ready to talk and likely to buy. 

In this article, you’ll learn how to create the right messaging, build credibility from the first outreach and make better use of your LinkedIn profile.

This article is part of our wider content series on boosting sales velocity. Visit the other articles here:

1. Talk the prospect’s language 

Prospects get a huge number of unsolicited, cold sales approaches, so they can spot a generic message from a mile off. 

Generic approaches waste everyone’s time. What you should be doing is capturing prospects’ attention and building credibility from the very first contact.

Start by tailoring your outreach. Think about what the person cares about most in their role – what are the specific challenges that you could help with? This shows you speak their language and gives you a compelling reason for getting in touch.

Go through the same process with each customer persona. Get to know their goals, challenges and what’s important to them right now. You’ll have a much better response rate, rather than making them feel like just a number.

2. Qualify out rather than in

Increasing sales velocity isn’t just about the volume of leads. It has to be the right kind of opportunities; deals that are mutually valuable for you and the client.

That means getting rid of the scattergun approach. You need to really understand the people you want to go after.

A heaped pipeline of hundreds of different prospects might feel good. But if those prospects aren’t in a position where they’re likely to buy, it’s another waste of time.

Here’s how to identify who’s in the right place to buy from you:

  • Work out what your most valued clients have in common – the ones who spend the most and spend regularly. 
  • Consider their characteristics and then group them into client types, or Ideal Client Profiles (ICPs). 
  • Create a set of qualification questions for each part of the buying process. Remember, your aim is to qualify out, not to qualify in. 

This process will leave you with a shorter list of stronger prospects, rather than hundreds who are never going to convert. 

3. Get your messaging right 

It’s hard to get past the first hurdle where prospects see your contact as another spam message. To create the right opportunities, you need to articulate why a client should speak to you in the first place. 

A common mistake is to think you’re selling a product. At this point in the sales cycle, all you’re selling is the value of the prospect giving you five or 10 minutes of their time.

Why should they talk to you? What can you offer that will help them specifically? Adopt this way of thinking and you can build value into the very first conversation.

4.  Be a social extrovert

When a prospect is deciding whether to connect, trust is a deciding factor. The easiest way to build credibility online? Put time and effort into your LinkedIn profile.

Having a social strategy is a great way to increase sales opportunities. It doesn’t need to take hours – 15 minutes every day will make all the difference. Here are a few places to start:

  • Show you know what you’re talking about. Share information that’s valuable; which teaches new ideas that lead to your solution
  • Post about the latest industry news or trends
  • Have conversations. Respond to people who comment, tag in prospects that you think will be interested and take time to comment on their posts

5. Embrace sequencing

For clients, it takes on average eight outreaches to connect. Most salespeople give up within two. That doesn’t mean that sending eight emails will have the right impact. It won’t – it’s boring and frustrating.

What you need to embrace here is the idea of sequencing. This is all about mixing it up with messages that are multi platform and multi touch. For example:

  • LinkedIn messages and replies to posts
  • Videos
  • Emails
  • Phone calls
  • Ghost calls (calling but not leaving a message)

6. Develop and execute a process

Growing your number of opportunities takes time. Be strategic about how much effort you apply and when you apply it. 

None of the advice above will work unless it’s put into a process that’s habitual and structured.

Organise your day into chunks, doing outreach methodically at a specific time. Make an effort to send the right volume of emails and sequences. Then, measure the results to ensure your hard work is ultimately helping to increase meetings.

Remember, this is about reaching the right people at the right time with tailored contact. There will always be ways to make your approach more efficient, so keep learning what works and refining your process.

Learn more about boosting your sales velocity

Want to find out more about how you can increase sales velocity in your organisation? We’re experts in driving measurable sales impact through training, coaching and consultancy. Get in touch with us here.

Don’t just take our word for it – read our Clarion case study where we saw a 33% growth in sales velocity YoY with our training. You can find all our testimonials and case studies here.

Download our free Sales Velocity How To Guide here.

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