Legacy Louis Takes on the B2B Tech Market – A Sales Parable

By Lizette Louw - September 21, 2016

Meet Legacy Louis of MilanSolutions, a Cloud ERP vendor for SME’s. As co-owner of the company Louis fulfils many roles, including heading up the sales and marketing departments.          

The company’s five-year objective is to grow the business to enterprise level. For this purpose, Louis has hired an elect team of super salespeople, chosen for their determination, tech-savviness and persuasiveness. The MilanSolutions’ sales team can sell ice to a Laplander.

To equip his team for success Louis purchased prospect lists as well as a list of his competitors’ clients. The game plan for Q1 and Q2 is simple but powerful:

  1. The sales team would reach out to all the names on the lists via email and cold calling with a compelling pitch on how MilanSolutions could solve their operational challenges.
  2. The marketing department would execute a paid advertising campaign across social channels to generate new leads, which they would pass on to Sales.
  3. Prospects who agreed to a meeting would be presented with MilanSolution’s slide deck that details a list of the benefits of Cloud based ERP systems and two SME specific case studies.

Legacy Louis is confident that his expert Sales and Marketing teams are geared for growing the business to the next level.

The Challenges of Reaching Modern Buyers

A year down the line, Louis has to face the MilanSolutions board to report on sales and marketing ROI. Despite the significant investment in recruiting top-notch sales and marketing employees and unprecedented campaign expenses, they have barely generated enough new business to keep the doors open.

The struggles of connecting with their prospects have been manifold:

  • The average sales development rep made 52 calls daily, and yet took them about 18 dials to connect with a single buyer.
  • The team was 4.2X more likely to get an appointment if they had a personal connection with a buyer, yet 99% of the names on their lists were those of strangers.
  • Like 61% of B2B marketers, MilanSolutions’ marketing team sent all leads directly to Sale. Only 27% of those leads were qualified.
  • 50% of the legitimate leads were interested but not ready to buy yet. Like 65% of B2B marketers, they had not established a lead nurturing process. This meant that the team had no way of guiding buyers to progress along their decision-making journey.
  • Leads responded to within 5 minutes were 100x more likely to be qualified but by the time the marketing team had passed on a lead, the prospect had already forgotten that they’d made an inquiry. Like an estimated 95% of marketing teams, they did not take advantage of a full-featured marketing automation solution
  • At the end of the day, 79% of marketing leads never converted into sales.

(Based on Lead nurturing statistics via HubSpot)

Louis has to come to grips with the reality that all legacy sales people have to face sooner or later:

Legacy sales tactics are wholly inadequate for establishing a connection with the modern buyer. 

Legacy Louis - Adapt or Die

The harsh reality for sales managers like Legacy Louis is that modern prospects have no need for sales reps unless they offer them more than what they can find on their own with the help of the Internet.

Stay tuned for the next part of this blog where we’ll delve into how the buying process has been transformed, and why your sales process should be aligned to match today’s empowered buyer.

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