Most modern buyers will find your company without the assistance of a salesperson. As we first noted in our post An Overview of the Path of B2B Buyers, 72% of active buyers search Google using basic keywords and phrases, and 96% will visit your website first BEFORE reaching out to sales. That being said, business-to-business sales is still a people-to-people business, and your sales team must have the tools and resources needed to increase conversion rates. Without sales support, your company will have more difficulty keeping the sales funnel full.
Unifying Your Sales & Marketing
To increase lead generation, your sales and marketing teams must get in the face of non-active buyers and attract, educate and motivate them. They must also convert the buy-ready leads. And they must do these things TOGETHER. The disconnect that occurs when sales and marketing departments operate within their own bubbles and fail to communicate results in missed sales opportunities.
If you previously read our post, 10 Questions Sales & Marketing Execs Should Know About Today’s B2B Buyers, you may recall a couple of questions relevant to the sales support topic. If not, you’re about to get freebie answers to our quiz. First, the average salesperson makes just two attempts to reach a prospect. Second, 70% of the buyer’s journey can be complete before a prospective buyer reaches out to sales. What is the significance of these two facts? Whether they want to admit it or not, salespeople need help. The buying cycle is typically longer in the B2B sector, which means salespeople instinctively spend more time following up, answering questions and providing details to warmer leads. This results in neglect of cold leads. Not to mention, today’s buyers — like the ones that found your company without the help of a salesperson — are digital consumers that are NOT as reliant on the traditional sales process.
Marketing needs to provide sales support by generating additional leads, engaging and nurturing them and feeding the hot ones to the sales team to close. Business owners want to see the sales department increase revenue and the marketing department provide positive ROI. Collaboration between the two departments benefits all parties.
Sales Support Solutions
Marketing provides a variety of sales support solutions. They include design and print of pieces like sell sheets, postcards and business cards. On the digital side, you have the company website, SEO, email blasts and social media ads. And don’t forget corporate wearables, promotional products and tradeshow hardware. The right combination of these things (backed by a strong marketing strategy) can be used to grab the attention of prospective buyers, help them learn about the benefits of your products/services and convert them into customers.
One of the best sales support solutions available today is marketing automation. You’ve probably heard of it, but in case you aren’t familiar, marketing automation is a software platform that helps companies automate marketing and sales engagement to generate more leads, close more deals and better measure marketing success. Marketing automation promotes efficiency by optimizing leads as they make their way through their individual buyer’s journeys.
We like to refer to marketing automation as “the salesperson that never sleeps.” It maintains consistent contact with leads (or current customers) as part of programs like top of mind awareness, ongoing nurturing and upsell/cross-sell. Then, when someone is ready to buy, the platform notifies a salesperson to step in and finalize the sale.
We have covered marketing automation in depth in previous posts. Get a more detailed overview, or learn the specifics of how automation can help you attract leads, interact with prospects and grow loyalty.
Consider Utilizing a Marketing Agency
Marketing agencies provide sales support in many ways. They bring a fresh perspective to your marketing and sales strategies, offer experienced and diverse skillsets and can assist as much or as little as you deem necessary. In one of our recent posts, we compared hiring an in-house marketing person vs. hiring an agency. Give it a read if you’re looking for a way to jolt your marketing efforts.
At Adventure Marketing Solutions, we provide these tools and resources to help our clients increase conversions:
- Market Intelligence Reports – Provide your reps with a deeper insight and understanding of the buyers reaching out to them through call prep questions, executive insights, trends, challenges and more.
- Persona Creation – Gives them the validated engagement guide which tells your sales reps the goals, values sought and most important purchasing factors of their buy-ready leads.
- Buyer’s Journey Mapping – Gives your reps insight into the needs, goals and content preferences as a buyer gets close to making a decision.
We can also provide:
- Design & Production of Collateral & Brochures
- Professional PowerPoint Presentations
- Branded Garments
- Promotional Products & Giveaway Items
- Marketing Automation (Loyalty & Upsell/Cross-Sell Programs)
Have additional questions about sales support or want to learn even more? Call us at 815.431.1000 or submit this form to contact us.