How can sales leverage marketing’s content to improve the sales cycle?
One answer is relatively simple and somewhat critical.
We have been on this kick for a while now how the sales process is changing and that people in the B2B and B2C worlds do so much more education online before they ever speak with a sales person. This is a marketing issue.
And, it is going to put all kinds of pressure on marketing folks to perform well and get information out on the Internet to drive up demand and bring home qualified leads.
But, what can sales do to leverage marketing as this happens?
Are there any activities for sales people to do on a daily basis to help improve their own production?
Here are three:
- Do a LinkedIn search for the types of folks that you want to sell to. For example, we target “content marketers”, “copywriters” and “marketing communications” folks for our training programs. Start adding those contacts to your network. As you do, LinkedIn will continue to suggest more of those types to you. This makes it even easier to continue to add more. Now, you are building a great list of contacts in your target market.
- See what Groups these folks belong to, and start contributing thoughts around issues that are being posed online. This also allows you to see what is of interest at the moment and to start to build up your own credibility rather than just peddling stuff.
- Coordinate with marketing to develop content that you can contribute to the groups and on your individual profile. This works great if you can grab blog posts, short videos, etc. that really help speak to the problems that your target audience is having. Over time, your contributions add up. Shares happen. You get known as a resident expert. Finally, leverage your contacts through warm introductions, InMail touches, etc. to speak on a personalized basis to your now, captured audience.
A special note: if you can create calls to action that are embedded into your posts that offer some lead magnet (like an infographic), you can really boost your engagement. We like to ask for their email address in exchange for the download. Then, we automatically add them to a MailChimp list based upon our criteria (downloaded this, subscribed to that) for future engagement. When our content team publishes the next cool article, post or whatever, we can send it on to our audience proactively and personally. “Hey, I thought of you when I read this.”
People like getting information that solves problems.
Your objective is to associate your own personal brand, as your company’s ambassador and resident thought leader, with solving the problems that your prospects are having.
It is a process, and your marketing folks should be more than willing to help out because the quality of the leads generated will be superior to anything outbound marketing can do. And, your sales cycles and close rates will improve a lot.
Let us know if you have any questions. Email us at email@example.com.