You don’t have to wait around for leads to come rolling in from your marketing team. These six techniques will help you leverage the content that the marketing team has already produced to help you get prospects into your pipeline and advance them in the sales process.
1) Exploit existing lead nurturing campaigns
This is perhaps the lowest-hanging piece of fruit. Ask Marketing how visitors who convert on a key ebooks or webinars get nurtured. This achieves two things:
You’ll know the timing of the campaign and their follow-up calls-to-action. Then, you can track how your contacts respond. When one of your prospects bites on a follow-up CTA, it’s probably a good time for a follow-up call.
If some of your active prospects have already opted in for your company’s content, add them to that lead nurturing campaign.
2) Create your own nurturing campaign
Forrester reports that 74% of buyers conduct more than half of their purchasing research online before engaging with salespeople. This is an incredible opportunity for you: Your prospects are going to be educating themselves, and your marketing team has built quality content that will help your prospects educate themselves. You can provide quite a bit of value to your prospects simply by sending them informative pieces of content.
Your marketing team has worked hard to get personas right, and hopefully they have injected your company’s story and perspective into each piece of content. Use this well-crafted and focused content to connect with your eventual buyers to become a helpful authority.
So how do you create your own nurturing campaign? Create a standard outreach sequence that serves up content answering your prospects’ most common questions. This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate — just a quick series of email notes that include comments on the content you’re sending, and a link. If you are using the HubSpot Sales Chrome extension (And if you’re not, why aren’t you? It’s free!), you’ll know when your prospect has opened the email and if they clicked on the link that you have sent them.
3) Curate content for your target accounts
Your prospects are getting inundated with posts and videos and emails regularly. To stand out from the information overload, pick out the week’s most interesting and impactful content. Start with your company’s blog, add posts from other highly valued and trafficked sites in the industry, sprinkle in a rare gem here and there, top it off with a more loosely related news item, and what you have is a one-of-a-kind newsletter.
If you are not building your own mailing list, you should. With that list you will be able to consistently reach out to your network with valuable and helpful information. It gives you an opportunity to reinforce the story your company is telling, but also build up your own personal brand as a provider of the helpful and an expert in the field.
4) Add a valuable piece of content to your email signature
It amazes me how many reps miss this one. It is so simple to do, and while the conversion rate might not be spectacular it really only takes one quality conversion to make a difference. This is especially true if you consider the first three suggestions above here.
Have a webinar coming up? A compelling ebook offer that is converting at a high clip? A blog post that really nails the company story? Add it to your signature. No further explanation required here — in fact, I’d suggest you stop reading right now and add something to your signature.
5) Organize case studies that work best for you
This step is one that is better oriented to the middle of the sales process. Make no mistake — your prospects are risk adverse. There are degrees of risk aversion of course, but at the end of the day they want to know that they are not putting themselves out there before anyone else. When they see that the solution you are pitching has had success, they’ll feel more comfortable considering how to capture that same success.
This is easily done if your company already has strong customer advocacy programs in place. If your company doesn’t have testimonials or case studies at the ready, you should at least be intimately familiar with which customers have seen what success.
The great news here is you don’t need dozens of customer success stories — you only really need one or two that powerfully communicate the way the customer saw success. Know where these case studies can be found, the summary of each, and the specific value they describe.
6) Create your own customer advocacy process
Customer advocacy is not something that should only be left to Marketing or Customer Service. You were the first person to build a deep relationship with the client or customer. Therefore, you need to curate your own references you can use as you work on the next deal in your sales pipeline.
It’s really sales 101 to maintain relationships with your customers long after the sale. And while your marketing team will make broader work of a possible case study or success story from that customer, it is up to you to tap a customer into a referral source. By leveraging the case study format your marketing team has developed, you can quickly create powerful and personalized reference materials that you can use in your sales cycle.
7) Publish your own content
Your marketing team won’t let you publish to your blog? Turn to LinkedIn or Medium. Your prospects are most certainly going to check out your Linked profile, so have your perspective ready for them when they get there. Take time to publish stories form your sales travels in this simple formula:
- The status quo of a prospect.
- The conflict they faced.
- The resolution you helped them find to address the problem.
The posts don’t have to be long or elaborately written. They just have to tell the story. Use well traveled posts from your company’s blog to add color to the story that you develop.
What marketing techniques do you think sales should leverage? Let us know in the comments below.