Technology will continue to evolve and develop, and buyers will continue to use the latest tools and online platforms to communicate, learn and buy.
You can use technology to build a prospect database and get prospects coming to you – reducing your reliance on selling techniques such as cold calling to communicate with prospective buyers.
And, here’s the challenge…
Using the internet as a lead generation tool has traditionally been the remit of the marketing department. The role of sales has been to follow up on leads generated by marketing. The success of sales professionals has traditionally been measured by the number of calls or sales visits made.
Technology is changing the rules. Today, sales professionals have far more control over how they and their products or services are marketed – and marketing departments now need to align themselves with sales. The two need to work as a team so that they can work smarter, address the evolving challenges of the marketplace and ultimately drive increased sales results.Some modern day, forward thinking sales organisations (very few at this stage) have already altered how they measure activity and have mutual sales and marketing KPI’s and objectives.
SO HOW DO YOU USE THE POWER OF THE INTERNET TO BUILD A DATABASE OF WARM PROSPECTS?
Here are 3 fundamental online strategies (regardless of industry or sector)
1. Target Market. Do you specialise in your customer’s market or sector? Today’s customers are sceptical; they fear making a wrong decision and they prefer to work with specialists rather than generalists. They LOVE working with experts – it means they don’t have to think as much! There is some nice research to back this up: in a TED Talk posted in 20111, Noreena Hertz talked about the role of expertise in society. She said that brain scan measurements showed people’s brainwaves flatline when they listened to an expert. This means that if customers perceive you as an expert, their brain will literally switch off, and they will perceive what you are saying as being completely right. They put their brain and subsequently their decision making totally in your hands. If you specialise or have expertise in a particular market or industry then shout it from the hilltops, but do it online. Go to your selected websites or online forums and share what you know.
2. Messaging. The days of simply putting loads of product or service information online are over. This behaviour is known as ‘feature dumping’; it’s seller-centric messaging and not what today’s customer wants to see. The message needs to change from being seller-centric to customer-centric and include the two things today’s customers want to see: VALUE and RESULTS.
3. Multimedia communication methods. Technological advancements mean today’s buyer doesn’t need to engage directly with a salesperson until they choose to. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t use multimedia platforms such as videos, webinars, social media and blogs as a way to build a better online relationship with your prospects. Encourage them indirectly to come offline and engage with you. But remember, the vast array of multimedia platforms on offer can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to know which platform to choose. That confusion has forced lots of sales organisations to jump on the latest online bandwagon, only to end up disappointed with the results they achieve. To select the right media platforms, start with the ones that your target market use and respond to.The media platforms you select to use to engage and connect with your prospective buyer are heavily dependent on your target market and the platforms they use. Some target markets will have a heavier reliance on LinkedIn, for instance, while some may use YouTube or Twitter.
We hope this gives you a flavour of how to tackle this area. There is much more in our book The Natural Sales Evolution. Call us now on 0207 043 1582 to get your FREE copy!