1. “We sent out an email but didn’t hear back from anyone.”
Just because it hasn’t worked yet doesn’t mean it won’t work at all. Despite the fact that email spam is one of the most hated aspects of the marketing space, it remains one of the most effective communication platforms for B2B sales.
The trick is honing your message to be something the recipient actually wants to read.
Easier said than done. But put yourself in their shoes: do they want to hear some pushy sales pitch or product update from your company? Or would they rather hear about a new insight you discovered, or learn about one of the challenges your company solves for their customers?
Here’s a good gut check: will they miss you if you’re gone? I certainly won’t miss a Sears coupon sales email if they forget to send me one next week. However, if one day goes by and I don’t hear from Seth Godin, I start to wonder if he’s okay.
Your customers need you and your expertise. Start to draw them in with insights and leave the sales pitches for later on after you’ve captured their attention.
2. “We purchased this tool that promised all kinds of results, but we haven’t seen any yet.”
Unfortunately, tools don’t also come with an employee to put it to good use for your company. That means it’s up to your team to understand how that tool will help you get to your goals more efficiently.
We often hear that people have purchased HubSpot or Pardot to help them with marketing automation, lead scoring, and measuring their efforts more closely. And these tools do that very well if the right inputs are in place.
In order to be able to take advantage of this tool, you first have to tell the tool what content to send to which buyers when they trigger a specific task. Put more simply, the tool helps you organize your activities – it doesn’t create your work for you or tell you how to organize it.
If you’ve already purchased a tool, or are thinking about it, it pays to first think about the journey your buyers to go on to learn about your products. We go into more detail about that in this free guide.
3. “Should we be blogging, or creating content? I’m not sure that will help us…”
Short answer: yes. Long answer: yes, and here’s why. In the B2B world, sales cycles are often long and drawn out because the buyer has a lot of questions, is considering a lot of different variables, and will ultimately be making a big investment with you.
Content is an opportunity to answer all of their questions before they contact you. Which is a great strategy considering, 70% of buyers have made a purchase decision by the time they contact you for the first time.
The buyer’s journey is different today because they like to educate themselves online first, prior to contacting you. Initially they’re seeking content as an explanation to their questions. They’re not ready for a product lineup or sales pitch. The more insights you provide, the better off you’ll be. Online research is also more convenient to the buyer because it’s on their terms, when they want to see it.
Lastly, this content is a great tool for your sales reps to leverage when they’re working with a prospect. Content is the gift that keeps on giving – once you create it, it never goes away. You’ll only have to answer that question once because you can refer all questions to their respective piece of content. (Last we checked, sales’ biggest desire of marketing was useful content and information.)
4. “How do we get more swings at the plate? We currently rely on word-of-mouth referrals.”
This is a loaded question, but it’s what’s at the core of all our partner engagements. What we’ve come to discover is that most companies are trying things here and there, but nothing seems to work too well.
Getting more swings at the plate means that your marketing efforts are driving folks directly into the hands of your sales reps. When was the last time these two teams sat down together to discuss how marketing can help generate leads for sales? When was the last time sales shared with marketing the key questions they’re always asked, which turns out would be great pieces of content to have?
Ask yourself these questions:
• What are your buyers trying to accomplish? (their goals)
• Why haven’t they achieved this yet? (their pain points)
• How does my company help them achieve what’s previously been unattainable for them?
Your responses to these questions, as well as any question you’ve ever been asked by a buyer, are great pieces of content that will help marketing and sales work better together.
If you’re looking for a starting point, taking inventory is a great place to begin. Try our 2-minute self-assessment to see where the opportunities are for you.