Our sister publication, the LeadG2 blog, posts regularly about how to align sales and marketing for maximum results. Today, we're featuring the most popular sales strategy posts from LeadG2.
Most salespeople are pretty good at selling their products and services. They are usually proficient on sales calls—engaging prospects, discovering underlying needs they can address, and suggesting ideas and solutions that could improve a customer’s business. Companies invest significant dollars in training and systems to help their salespeople move the sales process ahead in a professional manner (and the should). But, there is one part of the sales sequence that often prevents salespeople from delivering their quotas, and that is the ability to get an appointment with a key decision maker in the first place. You’ve heard it said about many aspects of life thatbeing there is the most important thing. That certainly applies to selling.
Why Appointments Are So Tough to Get
I have been consulting sales organizations for over 30 years now, and when you spend time with professional salespeople they will tell you that securing quality appointments is the biggest challenge they face. It’s always been a challenge, but it’s getting worse. Decision makers are busier than ever, they can get most of the information they want about your product and your competitors’ products online, and they have a host of human and electronic gate keepers to keep salespeople out.
You probably do the same thing, by the way, in your personal life. When is the last time you took a call or responded to an email from a salesperson and said, “Sure, come in and see me. I’d love to learn more about your product?” My guess is you dodged that salesperson because you suspected the value he or she might bring did not match the investment of time you would have to make to hear him or her out. And, that is the problem nearly all professional salespeople face.
For your content to resonate with your audience and get a response, they have to be able to identify with it. They have to feel that it applies to them. If your content is generic or sounds like it’s written to someone else, your prospects will keep clicking through the Internet.
How can you come up with content that not only matches who your target prospect is, but also where he or she is in the buyer’s journey? That’s what we’re going to dig into in this post.
You Need Content For Each Buyer Persona
Buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal clients. They describe demographics such as age and gender, as well as psychographics such as goals, fears, and how they perceive the problem you solve.
Personas help you understand your prospects better, and make it easier for you to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups. You may have one or two personas, or several, depending on how many market segments you’re targeting.
“Cultivating” by definition is a farming term that refers to delicately taking care of a crop until it reaches its full potential. When we discuss the term cultivate in relation to lead generation and business development, we are focusing on the activities that move a prospect from being “just another lead” on their personalized buyer’s journey to becoming a customer. You can also use the sales term “nurture”.
Effective Nurturing Techniques
Before we discuss several of the most common effective techniques, it's important to remember that the buying cycle has changed from the linear sales funnel where prospects moved in an identical manner from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel, thereby becoming a customer. Today’s B2B buying cycle is less of a linear path and more of a personalized buyer journey with multiple touch points and influencers.
Because of this change, it has become increasingly difficult to nurture leads the same way that was common in the past. We have listed the four lead nurturing techniques we recommend most, and will discuss each in detail.
Today more and more businesses are enhancing their online presence with a blog. Marketers are discovering that a blog is great way to keep their websites fresh, continually attract new visitors, and generate new sales leads. However, you probably won’t see a significant and sustained increase in traffic by just adding a blog to your website. And even if you do, the visitors that you attract may not necessarily be ideal prospects for your business. Blogging, in and of itself, is not the solution to all your marketing objectives. An effective blog requires a well-thought-out content strategy and disciplined execution. The subject matter of the content that you write and publish does matter. It’s the content that dictates the success of your blog.
Success Depends On Targeted Content
Don’t take your blog content lightly. Develop a content calendar that outlines future blog topics, assigns authors for each article, and establishes firm deadlines. The first step in developing your content calendar is getting your Sales and Marketing teams together to brainstorm blog topic ideas. Share the following 11 recommendations with your team to kick-start the discussion and establishes boundaries for the brainstorm.