If you’re leading a sales team in the life sciences and biotech industries, it’s essential to recognize that your reps will often be the first connection your potential customers make with your company. This is true whether you’re staffed with an inside sales team, an outside sales team, or both. Each of your sales reps has both the honor and the challenge of creating an incredible impression that sets the tone for the entire customer experience.
Engaging with decision-makers is an enormous responsibility for your reps. They have to connect, instill trust, and deliver value in the first interaction. But, hey, no pressure, right? So it begs the question, how can you ensure that happens? We’ll review the three most important actions you can take to ensure your sales team puts their best face forward.
1. Train your sales team extensively on your company
If your reps have more questions than answers, they will fail to gain your prospects’ interest and trust from the start. When your reps connect to potential decision-makers, they need to be your frontline brand ambassadors. They can only do that if they can articulate and represent your company’s values. Great reps can sell nearly anything, but without extensive training, they will struggle to reflect the language of your prospects and convey confidence. In-depth training should include:
- Your industry
- Market size and global perspective
- Competitors and their offerings
- Your products and services
- Breadth of offering
- Purpose, features, and customer benefits
- Differentiation and value vs. competitive offerings
- Your mission and ethos
- What you stand for
- What you aspire to
- Why what you do is necessary
2. Provide your sales reps the means to conduct deep account and prospect research
So once your reps know your company, they need to get to know your target life science organizations and prospects. Assuming your team has developed their ideal customer profile and a list of companies they want to reach out to, they’ll need to understand those companies—divisions, product/service offerings, and scientific research and drug programs. They also need to pinpoint the people at those companies to connect with.
According to Alyssa Merwin, VP of Sales Solutions at LinkedIn, “reliable data and up-to-date insights can make—or break—sales success.” Alyssa, we hear you. We consistently see teams transform their prospecting results by leveraging highly-specific insights and timing signals that let reps know when to reach out. Adopting an account-based approach allows your team to use these insights with their ideal customers to make an immediate, positive impression.
If getting reliable data and up-to-date insights is the goal, then what are the means? How do you consistently, reproducibly arm your sales team with this information? Many teams rely on ad hoc methods and the genius of individual reps. Even though brilliant people often get brilliant results, supporting the whole team elevates the function and its contribution to company success. It also creates the means by which both your reps and your customers win.
In addition to reviewing company websites and following organizations on social media, there are solutions you can provide your team to study your target organizations and prospects:
- Cross-industry contact databases
Here your team will find the people associated with your target organizations. These B2B prospecting solutions allow search by industry, company, job title, and more. These are a simple way to get email addresses for many of your target prospects, but they won’t provide a lot of insights into your prospects’ specific activities.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Your sales reps won’t likely get contact information here, but they’ll be able to search people by the company they work for and assemble a list of high-value prospects by job title and sometimes division. They can see what they’re posting about, liking, and following and evaluate their professional history, education, interests, and job responsibilities. Because the content is populated by its users, LinkedIn insights are limited by the details provided by your prospects.
- Fully-integrated industry-specific intelligence solution
Purpose-built for commercial teams targeting pharma and research organizations, this AI solution analyzes millions of pieces of biomedical and business evidence to provide insights about any relevant organization and its people. Combining press releases, publications, research and drug program data, conference abstracts, and numerous other sources, it provides insights about your prospects, specific to the companies and programs they’re involved with.
See how Amplion amps up your sales prospecting. Automatically.
3. Enable your sales team to generate customized outreach
Your sales team will likely be leveraging multiple channels for outreach, but no matter the medium, they must make a connection to your prospects to be successful. They’ll need a methodology to combine what you taught them about your company and what they’ve discovered about your prospects to create messaging that resonates.
Personalization is fine, but your reps should not mistake it for customization. Using a prospect’s name in email outreach can help connect, but it is no substitute for messages and conversations that make prospects feel that you understand their needs.
Your sales team needs the right tools, incentives, and imperatives to leverage your in-depth contact research to make an impact with customers from the start:
- Automated outreach software
These tools are pretty standard for sales teams, but automation that allows sales reps to use templates by audience—with the ability to customize by prospect—reduces effort. Your team can’t do it all and do it well so they will need the efficiencies offered by these solutions. Automation creates more time in the day.
- Video and screen recorder software
Video doesn’t create customization, but combining a customized message with a (virtual) face-to-face engagement can make a connection between your reps and prospects. Since we know that up to 90% of communication is nonverbal, video allows your reps to directly share their personality and professionalism, as well as your company’s ethos.
- Arm your team with value
Your team has made an effort to find valuable prospects, and they need to provide value to those prospects from the beginning. It is imperative to provide your team with meaningful content to share with your target customers, which helps reps articulate the value of your products and services.
- Incentivize quality over quantity
All prospects are not created equal. Quality leads convert more often and faster, so encouraging your team to take the time to generate carefully-crafted, personal messages based on their contact research is key. It will improve their response rates and conversions. It may also help keep your team motivated, as it offers an opportunity for them to learn, be creative, and use their unique talents.
Setting up your entire sales team to put their best face forward requires commitment and extra effort, but the upsides are so huge it’s a no-brainer. Teaching your sales reps about your company gives them confidence in connecting. Creating a team culture of excellence in customized outreach will help your prospects feel understood and improve your bottom line. But for your reps, it will also enhance their day-to-day experience and improve their job satisfaction. And who better to build trust and rapport with your soon-to-be customers than happy brand evangelists?