5 Rules for Nurturing High-Stakes Prospects

November 4, 2015 Shayla Price

High-stakes prospects want value, that's it.

Especially for SaaS companies, your future customers weigh product costs heavily. However, a great customer service experience - from the prospecting and nurture phase to purchase - can sway clients in your favor.

No matter how you define high-stakes clients—brand loyal consumers, recurring visitors, or even long-time influencers—these customers crave beneficial relationships.

To build those relationships, give your sales team a voice. Equip your reps with the tools to nurture prospects through the buyer’s journey.

Research shows that exceptional lead nurturing companies generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost.

Prepare your sales team to serve your clients’ needs. Here are five rules to follow when nurturing high-stakes prospects:

1. Speak Their Language

What are you saying to your prospect? How are you phrasing the sales message so that your prospect understands?

To cater to a potential client’s needs, sales reps must speak their language. This involves learning the lingo and becoming an external extension of the team.

For example, survey your current customers to learn key terms. This research should uncover accurate information to quickly connect with new buyers.

Collaborate with your marketing team to create sales materials that resonate with the customer. White papers and other content can “help you frame your product or service as a better fit.”

But don’t fall victim to watering down your message with a bunch of filler words. If you do, your company becomes generic and won’t stand out from competitors.

Here are a few words you should avoid:

Words to avoid

Image Source: 25 Words to Avoid in Your Next Sales Pitch by Alyssa Rimmer New Breed Marketing

Create scripts integrating the high-stakes buyers’ industry-specific language. Using their own terms will trigger familiarity and grab their attention quickly.

For easy access, let sales reps jot down notes in your CRM tool. The sales manager also may want to develop a shared online document to keep an updated list of keywords.

2. Show Results

High-stakes prospects are eager to know if your SaaS product will produce results. And not just any outcome. Clients want their specific problems solved.

To find the best results, prospects will engage in comparison shopping. They will scour the Internet reading thousands of pages about various product features. Some may even reach out for product demos.

Offer overwhelming proof of results to stop prospects from comparing.

Case studies and testimonials are the best methods to show actual proof. Let previous buyers explain their product and customer service experiences. Supply at least four or five examples, so potential clients have a chance to relate to one.

Incorporating video into your case studies also adds a personal touch. The image below shows how Datanyze practices this strategy.

Datanyze example

In the end, a great salesperson will link the prospect’s needs to a product solution.

ProTip: To avoid presenting material to a customer’s outdated concerns, begin your sales presentation by asking, “Has anything changed since we last met?”

3. Personalize The Experience

With access to more data, today’s buyers can research products on their own. A Corporate Executive Board study “revealed that 57% of a typical purchase decision is made before a customer even talks to a supplier.”

Lead nurturing involves establishing credibility before the prospect is even ready to talk. Therefore, sales reps will need to personalize the relationship-building experience.

Try complimenting potential clients. Here’s an example of how a Yesware sales rep “cited workforce expansion specifics to personalize his congratulatory email to a prospect.”

personalize prospecting emails example

Image Source: How to Personalize Emails Using (Sincere) Praise by Walter Bridgial Yesware

The goal is to compel SaaS prospects to move further down the funnel.

Sales and marketing teams should work together to examine data from customer profiles to highlight pain points. Integrating the customer profile into your sales strategy helps your team deliver a customized message.

Help your sales reps make nurturing effortless. Instead of reinventing the sales script for every prospect, create a template that only requires your team to tailor the message to each client.

As a result, your brand won’t sound like a robot. Plus, prospects receive individualized customer service from an actual human.

Arm your sales team with the information they need to close deals. Then, let the rep sell.

4. Seek Feedback

McKinsey found that 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. So, ask high-stakes prospects about their experiences to gain more insight.

Discover what drives their satisfaction and how they perceive your competitors. Then, actually act on their suggestions.

To receive useful customer feedback, don’t rely on surveys. Instead, create a culture where your sales reps are always listening and implementing the advice.

Encourage your sales reps to ask prospects customer-focused questions, like:

  • Are your current needs being met?
  • What’s the #1 issue you want solved today?
  • How can I help you exceed your goals?

Then, at a team meeting, your reps can discuss how to address these concerns. Solutions may involve conducting an additional product demo or setting up a call with the prospect’s senior management.

"If you handle it right, the dialog between you and your customers can become the lifeline of your business,” says Whitney Wood, managing partner of the Phelon Group.

“To establish and maintain a healthy flow, customer feedback must result in change your customers can see. Change is the most powerful currency to reward vocal and consultative customers."

Moreover, monitor customer behavior. Observe what your SaaS customers are doing and draw conclusions from their actions. Using tools like Datanyze will help your sales reps gain valuable customer intelligence.

5. Offer Value

Incomparable value is key to a successful sales outreach.

Sending irrelevant product information will lose the prospect’s interest. Similarly, providing too much data may disregard the customer’s requests.

Maggie Georgieva, product manager at HubSpot, writes that “it will distance them and make them think you aren’t a good fit, and that’s a hard ditch to dig out of when you have no insight into what happened.”

Avoid the awkward silence from prospects. Acquire intel to shape your outbound messaging.

Rather than call to “check in,” provide some value. B2B sales expert, Jill Konrath, suggests re-emphasizing the business value.

Konrath offers this script example:

Pat, in our previous conversation you mentioned how important it was to get going on this soon so you could realize the savings (eliminate redundancies, drive incremental growth) that you need by year end. Let’s set up a time to talk so we can get you moving forward.

Also, train your reps to be agile when selling. Sticking to scripts all the time can turn people away. So, let your team assimilate to different sales situations. Give them the flexibility to prioritize the customer’s solution over selling points.

Go beyond the first impression. Customers don’t just purchase your products. They also want to benefit from your expertise. Therefore, if a prospect requests advice, be available and willing to offer guidance.

Furthermore, establish credibility with selfless content. Share an unrelated article, website, or video. Find something that will genuinely help your prospect that doesn’t involve your company.

Take Ownership

Empower your sales team to own the lead nurturing process. High-stakes prospects won’t shy away from your prices if you offer excellent customer service.

When offering value, use the language of the SaaS client. Then, personalize the sales experience with their feedback.

Go above and beyond. Let Datanyze help your team build better relationships.

Featured Image Source: Dinner Table Eating Food Meal Restaurant Plates by stokpic CC0 Pixabay

About the Author

Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology and social responsibility. Connect with her on Twitter: @shaylaprice

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