Create customers through CRM sales pipeline

Matea Janton

Product Account Manager

Degordian product sales team is successfully facing the challenges in the sales paths! Use their tips&tricks to improve sales of digital product or services using CRM sales pipeline.

Selling is as easy as kicking a football; anyone can do it, but doing it well takes hard work and practice” Jo Owen, ‘How to sell’

It’s really one of my favourite sales quotes because it sums up the main rules of sales – hard work, experience and persistence. I would also add – a well defined procedure, sales scenario and a tool that meets all your needs.

In Degordian, we have an account sales team, responsible for relations with agency clients, and products sales team, responsible for sales of Socialpuzzle Facebook apps and Mediatoolkit, digital media monitoring tool. Main focus of products sales team is on selling digital products, so we rely on CRM sales pipeline process.

What is actually a sales pipeline and how it helps with acquisition of new customers? What are the challenges in the sales path and which tips & tricks you can use to solve or avoid them?

CRM sales pipeline

Some call it a “sales funnel”, but it’s actually more of a pipeline than a funnel. In a funnel, water automatically falls down due to gravity. However, in sales funnels, opportunites do not automatically fall down. A sales person needs to “push” opportunities forward, hence the pipeline..

In general, sales pipeline is an approach to sales based on the steps from initial contact to closing sales. Also, it can reveal which percentage of potential clients go through the process and actually become our buyers. We have chosen Pipedrive CRM system, because it has a “Pipeline” approach, where stages of a sales process are managed by a sales rep.

At Degordian, we use two sales cycles for selling Degordian products: cold calling (completely new potential customers) and calling registered users (ones who already know about our product). Both types of sales are followed by email communication which helps closing the deal.

Cold calling

It’s not easy to present a product or a service to a person who is not even familiar with a concept of a service you are offering. A lot of times salespeople have to educate their target audience before they explain the features and benefits of the product. So, in general, cold leads are prospective customers that were not contacted before.

How to start a cold call?

Since our team is offering a digital product, generic Facebook apps, after the initial introduction, we are asking clients about their Facebook Page goals – is it stronger interaction with fans, increase in number of fans or just doing something fun and different from the competitors? Also, we ask them if they’ve already used a product/service similar to ours (such as photo contest, quiz, Instagram tab…) . In that way, we can see the level of client’s knowledge about the topic, and therefore adjust the sales pitch.

Sales pipeline for cold calling

It’s easier for a client to understand the benefits of service or product when we explain how our apps work on a real example or case study of our existing client from the same industry. Then, we offer them a specific suggestion for their campaign, a theme that could be interesting for their fans. For example, if a potential client owns a restaurant, he might be interested in using an Instagram tab in which guests can see photos of the food and ambient. During the holidays, such as Christmas time, a theme for a campaign could be a Facebook quiz with fun facts about Christmas meals and cakes around the world. That kind of approach requires more time for preparation, but the client sees that we put a lot of effort and that we care about their business results. This approach can be used if you are selling any other kind of online products or services.

Calling registered users

The other type of users are those who are already familiar with our product because they either used Facebook applications or came to the tool via Facebook and Google campaigns, PR articles, newsletters etc. Since you already invested time and budget in those users, don’t miss a chance to close the sale through phone call(s)! So, rather than making cold calls, you attract the users to the sales process with various marketing activities. Only then can you make the “First call”.

Degordian products have a free trial period so every user can visit the tool before they buy the licence. When users are active in our tool, we are asking for their phone number and contacting them when they are “hot leads”. That way we can help them with setup, creative ideas and questions about the tool. Also, we are asking them about their needs, expectations and desires. If they are not aware of their problem, the goal is to find it and present it to the potential client to help him improve sales. If we know their problem, we can offer a feature of our tool that will solve their problem.

For example, if a client has a Facebook Page for a restaurant on which only strictly informative status updates are posted (such as info about daily menus), he’s often not aware that the reach is very low (2 – 6%) if they are not investing in Facebook ads. If they become aware that this low reach is really a problem they are more willing to listen to potential solution that we are offering. A great solution could be a fun application that will be played and shared among friends, and that will increase reach and popularity of the brand.

Sales pipeline for the users who are already familiar with the product

After the first call comes the setup, or preparation of the creative idea for Facebook app based campaign. The next phase is sales presentation – sales rep highlights all the features of the product, benefits, and offering a meeting, Skype call or a proposal. Don’t be afraid that your users won’t be happy about your call – you are here to help them and our experience has shown that the reactions to this kind of calls are very positive :)

Email communication

After the initial call, make sure to send a follow up email to the potential client and don’t forget to tag links for tracking activities so that you can later see who has clicked on your website. After a couple of days, call the person back and ask if they have received your email, what did they think about your idea, and propose a meeting if possible, as face-to-face meetings are always better than telephone or online communication. If they say they have a lot of projects going on at the moment, and no time for a meeting, offer them a setup – complete service with a little bit higher price, but they don’t have to put their time of effort in the project.

Sometimes your leads won’t go through the whole process and will be lost in one of the stages. But, those who come to “Qualified lead” stage are the ones who have a great potential for closing the deal.

Degordian sales tips&tricks

So, to sum up this sales story, here are key advice and tips & tricks to improve your sales of digital products or services!

  • Ask your registered users for the phone number, but give them a reason why – they’ll get a personal assistant who will help them with account setup/creative ideas or simply with discovering the best product for their needs.
  • Give your product a human touch – call them when they are surfing and exploring your tool, when they are “hot”. Even if they did not give you the number, track their activity in your tool (with software like Intercom) so you can send them a chat message and help them out.
  • When you are selling an online product/software that requires customers time for setup, offer them a complete service – you can do a setup for your potential customer, save his time and therefore sell more – sell a product + sell your setup.
  • If you are making cold calls, be as simple as possible. Ask them about their goals, but be aware that the clients often do not know their goals, so try to find them together. Give them a concrete campaign idea, connect it to upcoming holidays such as Valentine’s day.
  • And don’t forget to track everything – utm email links, or use some useful tool or extension like Sidekick, to get notified when someone opens your sales email, or clicks on the link for more info about products/pricing. When you know who opened your email, you know how to prepare for your follow up call.

If you have any questions regarding this topic, or just want to learn something new or share your knowledge, feel free to contacts us at info@degordian.com.

We wish you a lot of happy customers! :)

Author

Matea Janton

Product Account Manager

A sales lover that belly dances like an Algerian princess. Loved cats even before the internet, recently learned how to sew and believes that selling is as easy as kicking a football; anyone can do it, but doing it well takes hard work and practice!

All stories by Matea

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