Selling cannabis products or services to plant-touching companies is anything but easy. In fact, the most common way B2B businesses try to get in front of other businesses is through trade shows, social media or a cold call.
The problem with these methods in the cannabis industry specifically is that multiple licenses are issued daily across the US and the world, leaving good fit prospects to find solutions on their own time when they need it (not just when you need them to buy). And, while license holder information is technically public on individual state websites, relevant directories and platforms like CannabizMedia, chances are your company is not the ONLY one reaching out to them. With the ever-increasing competition and the less and less effective traditional sales approach, it can be twice as hard to find and connect with decision makers.
In fact, 40% of salespeople say prospecting is the most challenging part of the process, followed by closing (36%) and qualifying (22%). On average it takes about 18 calls to connect with a buyer. Then, you still need to qualify them to turn them into business leads.
Contacting a prospect at the right time is crucial. When you reach out to a prospect based on a trigger event, it increases conversion rates by 400%.
In this article, I’ll provide examples of 10 different ways you can leverage new information and how to track opportunities so you can improve your outreach skills and close more deals.
1) New Executives
Follow C-suite executives on Linkedin and other social media channels to be notified when someone updates their employment status, changes their title or switches companies. New hires are more likely to purchase B2B products or services to prove their worthiness and expertise.
How to track: Google alerts, social media, press releases
Keyword tip: [company/industry] hires
2) New Job Role
Go on cannabis job boards to look up new positions. Keep track of individuals who get promoted within a company and reach out to see if your product or service will help them be more efficient in their new role.
3) Company Expansion
B2B businesses who are killing it in the cannabis industry will most likely brag about it. Maybe they're opening up a second location or expanding into new territories. If a company is growing, they might be interested in your products or services.
How to track: Press releases, Google alerts, local news websites
Keyword tip: [company/industry] expands
4) New Product or Service Announcement
When a company introduces a new product or service, they usually make an announcement about it. This means they are exploring new territories and might be more open to how your product or service might help.
How to track: Google alerts, Press releases, industry news, social media
Keyword tip: [company/industry] announces
5) Major Competitive Move
Competition in cannabis is fierce right now. Keep an eye out for any activity that falls outside of a product launch. This could be a new marketing campaign, print advertisement, customer win or leadership change. When one business makes a move others in the same niche aren't too far behind.
How to track: Google alerts, press releases, industry news, social media
6) Mergers & Acquisitions
Whether it's a merger or an acquisition, both are moves that often require a company to restructure leadership and reorganize internal operations. Because the cannabis industry is growing like wildfire, this a golden opportunity. Just do a little bit of research before reaching out and position your product or service in a way that can benefit both parties.
Keyword tip: [company/industry] merges, [company/industry] acquires
7) Bad Quarter/Good Quarter
Companies usually issue a press release highlighting the contents of the 10-Q. It'll contain a few paragraphs of information, a statement from executives, and an outline some of the key elements of interest to investors, including revenue, net income, cash flow, earnings per share and dividends. When you analyze this information, you can determine if a company is growing or if they look like they need help. Either way, it's a good reason to reach out.
Keyword tip: [company/industry] profits, [company/industry] loses
8) Additional Funding/IPO
A LOT of businesses in cannabis need capital to sustain and grow their business. When they get new funding, it usually means they have extra capital to spend, thus offering opportunities for B2B sales reps. You should contact companies to see if they are interested in your products or services.
How to track: Google alerts, industry news, press releases
Keyword tip: [company/industry] secures, [company/industry] raises
9) Event Announcement
B2B businesses will often post about conferences they'll be at or announce upcoming workshops and webinars. This is a perfect opportunity to meet up with them in person and start building a relationship. Even if you don't attend, mention it on a call. It'll show whoever you're speaking with that you do your research.
How to track: Google alerts, press releases, social media, Eventhi
10) Email Opens
The best time to reach out to a prospect is when you're on the top of their mind. If a prospect you're pursuing opens your email once, twice or multiple times, you'll gain insight as to what their level of engagement is with you.
How to track: Hubspot Sales
Trigger events are key to getting decision makers to listen to you. Without a sound bite that resonates you might open a call with something that sounds like this “Hi, Mr. Prospect, my name is [name] from [company], let me tell you about my product or service” When instead, you could open with something that sounds a little more personal such as “Hi Mr. Prospect, I know I’m calling unexpectedly. Would you mind if I took a small step back and told you the reason for my call?” Usually, people are polite and will say yes.
Then, you can start the conversation with a few lines that sound like this “ I came across your company while I was [how you found them] and noticed [something relevant]. Congratulations on (for example) raising 10 million in your 2nd round of funding. That’s quite an accomplishment.
A soft opening like this will help build a personal connection and make it much easier for the prospect to continue the conversation.