I see it everywhere I go, Salespeople complaining that marketing doesn't give them what they need to sell. I do digital marketing consulting for technology companies, so I probably see it more often than some of you; Therfore, I realize it is more universal than the exception to the rule.
But I will say this, in many cases, the Salespeople are right. What they are getting from marketing is not very helpful. Messaging above all, should tell a prospect which of his or her pain points our solutions will solve and why we solve it better than our competitors do.
I go on prospective client websites and more often than not, it takes me a long time to figure out what they do. In fact, I often have to have a face-to-face conversation with someone before I can understand where they are in the market and then spend a couple of hours on my own to figure out why they are better than the competition.
That isn't right. I should be able to jump on their website and find out exactly what they are selling at a glance and why I should buy it from them and not their competitors. This is called their market "positioning". It shouldn't be a secret that has to be unpeeled like an onion. It should be boldly out there, so prospects can make a decision quickly about whether they are interested enough to keep reading, right?
With people searching for solutions to their problems on the internet, you want to come to the top of a search when they type in keywords to google.
That means, you have to blog a lot with that keyword they will use just to draw them to your site and come up to the top of this search. You not only need to blog, but you need to share those blog articles via social media to get "likes", "tweets" and "shares" because that is another parameter the search engines use to rank your site higher for those search terms than your competitors.
When the prospect finally comes to your website, you need to tell them exactly what you can do for them by describing their problem, and why you solve it better than anyone else. Often companies miss the mark with some vague message about features and benefits that doesn't let prospects know what they do so prospects can't tell if they have the right solution for their problems. Worse, sometimes companies use vague generalities that don't offer any kind of clue at all.
A good rule of thumb is, the more specific you are with your messaging, the higher level of comprehension in your prospects mind if you are a good fit for solving their problem or not.
If prospects can't tell you are going to help them solve their problem, they will give you about 15 seconds before they hit the back arrow to get back to their original search and click the next URL that came up in their search.
You wouldn't believe the high percentage of companies that don't make it clear how they can help and why they do it better than the competiton. Even your branding and tag line should say this very concisely.
That is why the huge IPO is few and far between. Huge IPOs happen not only because compay products solve a real need, it is also because their adoption rate is high; Their adoption rate is high because their messaging is very clear. When marketing does a good job with messaging, demand generation, and lead generation, Sales will have a huge amount of qualified leads, so they can close significantly more business.
This clear messaging should carry on throughout all of your marketing obviously.
I believe in inbound marketing, which is better than interrupt marketing or shotgunning to try to find the needle in the haystack of who might be interested in your product or service. Inbound is drawing people to your site when they are looking for you. But I'm not a purist.
I will send out well-written letters to a qualified target audience such as the right title and type of company that would probably benefit from our solutions. But again, I make sure my messaging gets to the point quickly, and tells them why they should be interested in the first few seconds.
There are a number of methods for doing this, people have written books on the subject, such as "Very Important Top Officer" aka VITO letters. VITO Letters say to put a quote from your CEO/CTO or the prospects CEO/CTO in big bold letters on top. I've used this method, and like it, but what I want to emphasize is, that quote should include exactly how you solve the customers problem and why you solve it better than anyone else. If they don't have that problem, they will trash it, but if they do, they will read on.
Next the supporting bullets should hit them with real meat, what I mean by that is: supporting evidence as to why you do it better very briefly such as:
1) Which problem you solve and how you do it
2) Other named customers in their vertical that have benefitted from your solutions
3) Return on Investment (ROI) Justification link to a 3rd-party writeup that has proven how your solution will save them money instead of costing them money
5) Possibly Supply Chain Partners proving you have the "whole product" solution is available supporting what you claim you can do for them
Wrap up with the date and time the salesperson will call to follow up with them for further conversations.
This wrap up will usually get some sort of response, such as, "I'm not available at that time, but am available at this time" or "go pound sand, I don't want it or need it because I use your competitors product".
Either way, the customer is now aware of your solution to their problem and you are closer to knowing if this is a good prospect or not.
I like to use the salesperson's contact info and have the email come from the salesperson responsible for their territory and any replies go to them so they can manage the account and they can see exactly what was sent and response from the customer. I often get the target list from the Salesperson themselves since only they know who they want to call and how many they can call in a reasonable amount of time. I usually recommend they not email more than 200 people at a time.
I also include an educational offer to download something that will further educate them on exactly how we solve their pain points such as an ebook, kit, video, or webinar.
The offer will have a graphic depicting exactly what they will get and again reference their pain point. The landing page behind the offer button will ask for their contact info, so we start lead scoring on them when they fill it out and know they are interested. By educating them further, we are bringing them down the sales funnel thereby making it easier for sales to do their job of closing the business.
Gartner stated this year that 85% of Sales will be done by Software by the year 2015 and this is what they are talking about.
Messaging on the landing page where they fill out the form will be brief giving them bullets again on how we solve their pain points.
I hope this article has demonstrated that messaging should be very clear at describing how you can solve prospect pain points and should be consistant throughout your marketing. And I hope it demonstrates how Marketing can help make Sales more successful at closing business.
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