Marketers use written words to draw in prospects, gain trust, and establish relationships—something they’ve been able to continue to do with direct mail and digital marketing throughout this COVID-affected season.
But what about sales reps? The days of face-to-face meetings over a conference table full of bagels is on hold, and it’s harder than ever for sales reps to get in the door when many workforces are now working from home.
But for many businesses and industries, an active sales force is just as important as an active marketing team. So how, in a world where sales folks can no longer just “drop in,” can marketers help sales folks survive?
Sell your sales team.
If you think that sounds strange, you’re not alone. After all, if your company is like many, your sales team and your marketing team barely work with one another much less for one another. And yet…
Allison Woodbury, Content Marketer for business-to-business marketing agency Precision Marketing Group, underscored the importance of joint efforts between the two groups in her March 18, 2019, blog article, “9 Stats That Will Make Sales & Marketing Alignment a Permanent Priority.” In it, Woodbury reports that “only 12% of B2B buyers want to meet in person with a sales rep; and 71% start their process with an unbranded search.” In other words, when customers are in the initial researching phase, they don’t want to be bothered by live conversations.
However, Woodbury also reports that “95% of buyers buy from someone who gave them content at each stage of the Buyer's Journey.”
What does that mean? Introducing your sales team to your prospects earlier in the process than at the sale makes those prospects far more likely to convert.
Bottom line? Your company benefits the most when the marketing and sales teams work together.
Sreeraman Thiagarajan, in his April 11, 2020, article for The Economic Times, suggests that sales professionals share “success stories of how your other customers are finding success with your product/solutions.”
How can you do that? Give your sales team a face in your marketing. Incorporate photos of sales reps next to calls-to-action on your website. Include contact information and words of wisdom from your sales force in emails, newsletters, and Facebook posts. Reference specific reps in letters, brochures, renewal notices. You get the picture.
Your sales team may not have the reach and access it had to prospects and customers pre-COVID, but your marketing team still does. Use those campaigns and activities to give your sales team a new “in.”