Today’s marketers are blogging, Tweeting, Slideshare-ing and utilizing every type of new technology, but sales hasn’t quite kept up with the pace of change. While making calls and booking meetings remains an integral part of the sales process, there are other techniques your team can use to better connect with prospects. Sales managers don’t like to admit it, but their reps could learn a little something from the marketing team.
Sales would do well to learn from marketing and borrow some skills on how they can improve their engagement with prospects.
Personalize Your Selling
Marketing is all about creating content that is focused and targeted to the company’s ideal customer. So why isn’t your sales team personalizing their pitches as well? With a quick Google search and a few minutes of research about a prospect, it’s easy to personalize every call they make. Don’t let them get away with reading from the same generalized sales script on every call – set expectations that each call should be a little different than the last. If marketing can do it, so can you.
Be Seen as an Expert
Instead of aggressively tracking down new sales prospects, your team can get prospects to come to you for help and expertise using smart content. Savvy buyers do a significant amount of research before they ever get on the phone with a member of your sales team. Your company can get on their radar by having sales reps write occasional blog posts on their area of expertise. Then, when a prospect Googles your company and reads a blog written by a rep, they’ll see your sales team as experts who can help solve their pain points. It can be time consuming, but it’s worth it since this helps build trust before you ever engage with prospects on the phone.
While marketing has embraced all facets of social media – from Twitter to Google+ – sales doesn’t always want to get its hands dirty. As a sales manager, you may think there’s no value in your reps becoming active users of any social media besides LinkedIn, but it’s just not true. Some of the biggest names in sales – people like Mark Roberge and Trish Bertuzzi – have built their reputations on Twitter or Tumblr, as well as on LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to have your team promote blogs, eBooks and other content online where customers can find it and engage with it. Social Media is just digital networking, which everyone can agree is valuable.
Find the Right Prospects
Marketing is always looking to find the most qualified leads – people that have a need for your product and could potentially buy it. But don’t let marketing do all of that work for you. Sales reps can also put in the effort to cultivate new relationships with potential customers. Reps will be surprised who they may encounter on Twitter or other social media platforms. An informal conversation online could lead to a more formal phone call about your product in the future. Give your team permission to be proactive and find new customers wherever they can.
Don’t Give Up
Adopting marketing tactics is not an instant-gratification plan. If your team Tweets or posts a blog and doesn’t see any traction after a few weeks, that doesn’t mean your efforts have failed. Ask any marketer and you’ll find out that it takes a while to see a return from these types of content marketing and social media efforts. But once it starts working, you’ll see a real return on investment. Keep trying and in the long run, your sales team’s reputation will improve, your sales calls will generate more positive conversations, and you will close more deals overall.
Sales and marketing may not always get along, but we can certainly learn from each other. Your sales team could benefit from adopting a few marketing tactics, including social media and blogging. It may seem like it’s outside of your team’s job description, but taking a few tips from marketing can be surprisingly effective for sales.