Real-Time Sales Explained: What’s the Point and How Does it Drive B2B Sales?
December 29, 2020 8 min. read
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Imagine you open Instagram and see your crush’s story, which says, “Going to the movies tonight…Who wants to join?” It was posted an hour ago. You already doubt your chances (not without reason), but hurry to reply, “I’d love to!”. More than likely, your crush will respond, “Sorry, I’ve found someone to accompany me” or “Oh, I changed my plans for tonight.” You wish you’d have replied to the story right after it was posted. Unfortunately, you missed the moment, and your crush will enjoy the evening with someone else. Damn…
This same principle goes for today’s customers: if you don’t react to a prospect’s needs on time, you lose.
In the highly competitive B2B market where businesses have to balance the needs of various parties (including teams, employees, customers, etc.) this is even more the case. If businesses need a certain tool or service that will make them closer to success – they need it at that very moment. This is an opportunity for B2B salespeople to be at the right place at the right time and have great chances to win the business of a customer. Here the real-time sales come.
Tomorrow May Be Too Late: Real-Time Sales
Today, B2B customers expect to get the solutions they need immediately. In a traditional sales context, however, this sense of immediacy is nowhere to be found. Traditionally, as soon as sales teams have an understanding of your target customer (what kind of company it is, the number of employees, etc.), they start to build a strategy, collect leads, and eventually make contact. Sometimes this kind of strategy is effective, but only sometimes.
If you only rely on basic company info, hoping that your target prospects are simply waiting for an offer from you, you are unlikely to achieve anything. This is because your message is probably irrelevant at that moment. Even if the companies fit your ICP perfectly, they may have already satisfied their needs or found an alternative solution. Thus, you have to know about what your customers need at this very second. Does basic company info help you with that? No.
As a result, you can’t rely exclusively on static data. Needs are driven by changes – and you have to follow those changes. That’s why it’s important to perform in real-time, tracking company-related changes instantly, in order to tailor your offerings to them. This approach is called real-time sales.
How To Catch The Perfect Moment: Buying Signals
The sales world is much trickier than Instagram. In sales, companies do not make such explicitly clear appeals as your crush may on her Insta story. Sometimes leads may request your services themselves, but this happens rarely. However, hints do constantly appear on the web, which can indicate how likely companies are to be interested in a certain product or service.
These are the buying signals: the data on trackable changes on the web, which can help you determine when customer interest is highest. These signals may be inbound or outbound. Inbound data consists of info on the decision makers showing interest in your product and services themselves – their activity on your website, their engagement with your company, and competitors.
The outbound data, on the other hand, are the events that do not directly relate to your company but still signal that the prospect may be interested. Some examples of outbound data include information about a company raising new funds, a CEO visiting a conference, a new CMO being hired, relevant posts on social media, etc.
Tracking the triggers that will push you in real time helps you understand decision makers’ needs and interests. Salespeople have to master this skill in order to fully grasp these trigger events.
How to Stay Aware 24/7: AI is Here For You
To stay posted on your crush’s news, Instagram has given you the option to get notifications about the account you are interested in. A new post? You’ll find out about it right after it’s published.
In sales, you don’t have such an option. Or do you? As for the inbound signals, you can easily monitor your website and get all the statistics needed. You may also search for the company news on the web, looking through the decision makers’ accounts. But this is enormously time-consuming, making staying quick and relevant impossible.
Fortunately, there are AI-driven tools that can help to scan the web and identify information that signals a prospect is likely to be interested in your products or services. The algorithms do the research for you and notify you in real time.
This is how Signum.ai solutions work: Our algorithms crawl over 1.5 billion open web sources and company profiles, as well as decision makers’ accounts, to find valuable info which signals that a prospect may need you right now. These include the posts liked, new achievements and funds raised, new vacancies posted, etc.
As a result, you become instantly aware of any changes related to the company and stay posted on trigger events that can help you to react quickly and get a data-driven reason to reach out to your prospects.
Relevance is the Key to Success
The essential thing in a real-time sales approach is that it’s not only about speed but also relevancy. These variables are closely connected but not identical. If you are the first one who reaches out to a prospect, but your offer is irrelevant, you’ll be the first one who gets a refusal, too.
Salespeople need to track real-time data so that they can perform quickly and stay relevant. They identify trigger events to know when to contact a prospect and also how to tailor your message to them in the best way.
Thus, sales reps have to get the right content ready, and it’s important to prepare the tailored content pieces for each trigger event. Did a company get new funding? Congratulate them on such an achievement! Searching for a new team lead? Wish them luck and suggest new tools that can help them to hit the ground running.
This is crucial to develop a creative and eye-catching message or email that will make the prospect feel special. This preparatory work has to be done for each trigger event at full volume. Having a flawless cadence with your workflow will help you to keep a good pace and stay relevant.
To Sum it Up
In our fast-paced world, traditional sales methods don’t work. The world is changing at lightning speed, so do customers’ needs. Sales reps face a triple challenge – they have to be aware of changes instantly, react to them quickly, and make their offering as relevant as possible.
This is exactly what the real-time sales approach is about. By tracking changes on the web and catching the signals of prospects being interested, salespeople can reach out to specific customers with a data-driven offering.
There are dozens of tools that help to implement real-time sales easily and at all stages. These include identifying signals on the web, creating tailored content pieces, setting and running automated outreach, and more. Luckily, you don’t need to use multiple tools and switch from one to another. All you need is the Signum.ai toolkit 😉
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