It’s not a secret that the business environment has changed dramatically for the last few decades.
The usage of internet, mobile and social networks is impacting every field in our life.
Companies are adopting new marketing strategies to gain business in the virtual world so it would translate into customer’s engagement and revenues in the real world.
As a business company targeting B2B market we try to provide accurate definitions to our marketing and sales team with regards to the area of their responsibilities. While doing that, sometime it seems like there are overlapping areas; I personally prefer defining those unclear boundaries as – “utilizing marketing resources in your sales department to leverage both teams’ performances”
Related Resources from B2C
» Free Webcast: Strategic Thinking: Social Media + Social Business Strategy
Let’s take a look at the main concern of an online B2B marketing team; obviously, their main challenge is generating enough qualified leads for the sales team so the REPs would convert them into customers. But marketing challenges do not end there. Marketing activities should reflect the company strategy and positioning; for example, if the company wishes to have the reputation of the professionals in their field, it’s the marketing teams that need to create and execute a plan that would achieve this goal.
Join forces with the company inside sales team and utilizing them as a channel, would help the marketing team in the execution plan.
By adopting few rules of mutual work, marketing could help the sales team becoming more engaged to the company messaging, knowledgeable with the professional content created by marketing, create a “trusted advisor” professional reputation and be an active part of lead nurturing process by keeping continues relationship with their contacts.
As social media is one of the major channels that is being used by the marketing to spread the company messages; encourage your sales REPs to leverage their present in the social networks.
Creating a professional profile
Professional Profile- as the marketing team holds content writing resources; help your sales REP with creating a captivating professional profile in the social networks. The profile should include a summary about how can they help their customers.
According to webmarketing report of 2012 covering over 500 US marketers (marketingland.com) Linkedin is the major lead sources for B2B with 44% of marketers who confirmed they generated leads through this channel, Facebook follows closely with 39%, Twitter at 30% and Google+ with 7%.
Decent Photo- ensure the profile includes a nice picture of the sales REP, if it doesn’t, allocate a day to take pictures of all the team. Picture makes the profile much more personal.
Professional groups recommendation
Map relevant professional groups that your sales REP should be members of.
Make sure that the groups you choose are the ones that your potential customers are there.
Ongoing network contacts maintenance
Advice your sales REP to invite every lead/person that they are in touch with- to connect them in the social network.
Although you track all leads in your CRM or maybe with your marketing automation system, the fact that the sales REPs will leverage their circle of contacts also via the social channel will contribute their reputation with potential customers that will get the impression of an active, sharing and involved sales persona.
Ongoing network posting & content sharing
Advice your sales REP to invest 20 minute a day reviewing group’s discussions.
Encourage them to post or comment something at least once a week.
Each company’s posts & blogs should be also shared by each and every sales REP with their professional network. A personal comment would help as well.
To summarize, even if your marketing strategy is based solely on inbound traffic, marketers should keep in mind that the company’s sales people could be an important squad of their leads nurturing process.
Joining forces of marketing and sales will contribute the marketing to spread content virally and will assist your sales team to keep a continues conversation with their potential audience.
Sharing professional information by the sales team will contribute not only to the sales REP contacts that will get relevant, interesting information, but also to the company in its effort to build an active sales team that would eventually become trusted by the customer.