Your sales and marketing activities need to help you increase the impact on your customers and on the market. But how to organise this? Seven major tips are given below:
1. Use buyer personas
In B2B, salespeople need to use buyer personas to develop a perfect understanding of the daily life of their contacts: what are their responsibilities and challenges, what are they looking for, is something happening in the branch of industry in which they are active? This information enables any seller to assess perfectly his ability to increase the impact on his customers.
2. No transparent sales techniques
You can train your salespeople all you want, but in the end, people buy from people. You should therefore refrain from any imposed techniques during a sales meeting, as this will cause you to lose your impact on the customer. He notices when you try to pull tricks and is no longer fooled by them.
You need to have a positive intention to really help the customer. Do not think of targets or products you would like to sell, but step into your customer’s shoes, assist him and facilitate the purchasing process. Your mindset and corporate culture play an important role in this.
3. Support your sales in customer facing
We frequently talk about creating marketing materials, but this does not suffice anymore. Customer-facing support – sales enablement – is at least equally important nowadays. Marketing needs to ensure that salespeople have sufficient information and means at their disposal to assist the customers, to approach them in the right manner and to start an interesting conversation.
Detailed buyer personas, briefings on the segment in which the customer is active, battle cards, demo scripts, ROI calculators and so forth. All aids which enable salespeople to perform better. If the sales staff see that the marketing department makes efforts to optimise the sales process together with them, they will actually use the supplied documents and tools.
4. Compete by demonstrating the impact on the customer
Building confidence and engaging in conversations that are useful to the client are the key to success in the age of the customer. Focus your message on the impact the customer will experience by working with you. Avoid the pitfall of making comparisons with competitors and/or discussing the advantages of your products versus competitive products.
5. Provide content in a smart manner
Some companies are overwhelmed by the quantity of marketing materials they need to create for different market segments and the different stages in the purchasing process (buyer’s journey). The entire company indeed has to make an effort to create an atmosphere in which all staff make a contribution to the development of content tools. Fortunately there are ways to reduce the required amount of content.
Within this scope, it is important to take into account the maturity of your product on the market. In case of very mature and well-known products or services, it is sufficient to develop attention grabbers and tools for the end of the purchasing cycle as the customer will not have any contact with salespeople at the start of his journey anyway. In addition, you can engage a third party to provide relevant content. Relevant to your target audience with a link to your business, but not directly from your business.
6. Establish a lead qualification process
If we look what happens with the different leads supplied to companies, it is possible to say that the sales department does not follow up on those leads from a general marketing perspective. However, from a sales department perspective, you can say that those leads were of insufficiently high quality. So you have to establish a lead qualification process that is used and understood by all. Marketing needs to apply efficient lead nurturing techniques to ensure that all leads receive enough relevant information so that they are ready when they are approached by the sales department.
This is the only way to feed sales and to keep sales costs under control. A good example of reinforcing the bond with the salesperson without their involvement is the development of nurturing tracks which automatically send relevant information to the customer from the e-mail address of the seller in question.
7. High-quality and clear data
Do yourself a favour and take care that your CRM system does not contain too many fields and data, but ensure that your salespeople can actually get something out of it. Make sure that all information about all stages of the entire buyer’s journey is available. Develop your CRM system in such a manner that it really helps your salespeople.