Salespeople are an expensive commodity and one which needs to be used appropriately. Salespeople are constantly asking their manager and their marketing team for leads. I have a lot of sympathy with that view. Asking a salesperson to “hit the phones” making cold calls is inefficient, out of date and a very expensive use of their time.
Let me ask you to imagine you had a salesman in your team who worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They communicated 100% effectively with all potential customers in their language. They answered all their questions irrespective of how irrelevant their enquiry might seem. You might think that would be too good to be true. Well it’s not! That person exists today and it’s your marketing team!
Effective marketing delivers quality leads right into the salesman’s inbox. I do not mean “requests for more information”, I mean relevant contacts in suitable organisations who have already engaged with your company and at least know the following:
• Are aware of your business and your solutions
• Understand the problems they have and what is possible in terms of solutions
• Know what you can do for them
• Know your track record and your capability.
In this new world this expectation creates two issues: one for the salesperson and one for marketing.
The serious challenge for marketing is the need to have nurtured the lead to such an extent that they arrive ready to engage with the salesman. This means that the marketing process must create Curiosity, enable Education and satisfy the Thirst for Knowledge in interested prospects. This will enable the salesman to engage with these organisations as they commence the Project Definition phase having positioned your business as a creditable and capable potential supplier.
The challenge for sales is if the opportunity already knows about your business, your solutions and your track record then they do not need a company presentation. So the salesman needs to start the engagement with as much knowledge of the prospect's business as they have of theirs. This means that before they grab the phone to make that first call there is the need for some serious research and preparation. Furthermore, when the engagement really starts it needs to start focusing on the customer, their business issues and the aims and goals of their Buying Project.
The company presentation is now a thing of the past - click to read the bulletin 'No One's Interested In Your Company'.
Marketing therefore need the right collateral and activities to deliver quality leads to the business.