Sunday, December 22, 2013

B-to-B Web Marketing Should Help Sales People Sell

An effective B-to-B website is a salesperson's friend.

Successful B-to-B internet marketing is not only focused on search engine tactics, lead generation, and branding. Effective internet marketing also provides tangible aide and support to the business development team. A good B-to-B website should help open those proverbial closed doors and open the minds of valuable prospective clients.

A recent success underlines the importance of why supporting your sales team with good web marketing will pay strong dividends. An admirably persistent senior business development professional with decades of successful industry experience wrote the following sales report regarding a strategic key account target opportunity:

An Effective B-to-B Website Helps The Sales Process. 
"I've been trying to contact this prospective client for a while and I finally got a meeting with him. The contact explained that he typically does not meet with vendors of our size, but thought that this particular contract was warranted of some research as I continued to leave messages and emails."

"The contact went on line prior to our meeting and researched our website and was impressed with what he saw…"you guys could obviously handle the work".

"The contact has put us on the bid list and we should expect the bid package shortly."

How did internet marketing help bring about this important sales step? By helping to inform and educate the prospective client about our company, at his own time and choosing.

The website acted as a strong verification and validation of our company's capabilities and expertise, helping convince this important contact that our company offers the right products, expertise, and services his company needs. His research into our website convinced him that we were a vendor worthy of consideration, and helped our business development representative "close the deal" by putting our company into their coveted bidder's list.

For successful web marketing, "Content is King". This approach helps your sales team. Good content can be used at all the multiple stages of the sales process, from early research to validation, verification, and call-to-action. Having intelligent, precise, concise, content is key to technical B-to-B success. Like a good sales brochure, effective website content acts as an educational sales tool, helping the client navigate from the initial discovery & research phases to sale and post-sale follow-up.

How does one ensure web content is helping their sales team? Listen to the sales team, ask questions. Get feedback. Go out and meet clients. Walk in the shoes of your business development team. Mingle with clients and prospective clients at trade shows, conferences, and other events. Track industry news. Take an interest, roll up your sleeves, and get involved. Don't be remote.

Along with quality lead generation, helping salespeople close sales should be a top priority for B-to-B marketeers. Sales people are one of the main spark plugs which make a company engine run. Having been a successful B-to-B industrial salesperson myself for many years has greatly influenced my approach to marketing.

If marketing doesn't help sales people, it won't help the rest of the company very much, either.

Good marketing succeeds on the ground, in the trenches, and is viewed as a valuable resource business development people want to use. So be useful!

Give Your Sales Teams What They Crave This Valentine's Day - Good Leads.