Growing the business is at the forefront of every business leader’s mind, particularly if it is your own business or you the director of marketing. Knowing the industry, you know that sales has changed and the sales tools that were once deemed effective are now becoming rapidly obsolete. So what are the sales tools of tomorrow and how can we use them today?
Aim to Help…Online!
Content creation is one of the new methods of marketing and a precursor to sales. Before, being a sales person meant that you were the person who told people what the best option was. Sales can still do this, but the reality is that the buyer is practically as informed as you are about what you are purchasing. This is all possible because of the internet. Buyers do their homework now, because it is easy and convenient to do so.
How does this affect you? You get to be the person that helps informs them! By aiming to help and offering free advice, you are becoming a thought leader on the subject that they are researching within your field. In regards to content marketers, Michael Brenner stated, “[c]ommit to differentiating yourself by how helpful your content is going to be” (@BrennerMichael | source). Getting into the position of a helpful thought leader can only help you. Besides, people like and are drawn to helpful people.
In the days of cold calling, the qualification was done on the first call or later. Now, it is possible to size that lead up before sales is even made aware of their existence. So if the lead is qualified before the sales team is notified, then how is this a sales tool? Well, traditionally, marketing would “target” a demographic and the prospects from that demographic were further qualified by sales. However, because we can now qualify them before sales contacts them, it is still something that the sales team would have had to do manually. So, it saves time for sales, allowing reps to focus on more pressing issues.
Saving time for the sales team means that more conversations can be had with more qualified prospects that are closer to the end of the buyer’s journey. Ultimately, this allows reps to make more money for the company and grow the business. In the future, the ability to refine the automated qualification process and maximize its effectiveness will become a competitive advantage for companies that do this well.
Reaching Them When They Are Ready
Along the same lines as contacting qualified leads, it is important to also reach them when they are ready. More specifically, it is important to wait to begin serious conversations about your products or services. Once the customer has became a lead on your website, it is still okay to send them a message, but not a pitch! “Hello Jack, I just wanted to say thank you for downloading [eBook Title]. I just wanted to offer to answer any questions you may have about the book or [your industry]. Feel free to reach out anytime! Have a great day!”
This conversational feeling to the dialog opens the door for a no-pressure consultative sales process. It goes directly back to being helpful! Growing your business in the past was about helping, that hasn’t changed. Only the methods have really changed.
Outlining these 3 concepts are actually outlining the heart of the inbound methodology; Attract, Convert, Close, & Delight. It is about taking strangers on your website and turning them into customers who promote your business, because your service level is that excellent. Click to learn more about inbound marketing.