Sales and marketing should be like two peas in a pod, however, more often than not it feels as though we are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Sellers always have the end goal in mind and are sometimes under the illusion that their job is simply about closing business. Whereas marketers, on the other hand, are more inclined to focus on educating and nurturing the prospect through the process.
While it’s true that salespeople will most often deal with prospects in the final stages of the buying funnel - sellers can learn a lot from thinking like a marketer and using some of these basic concepts to their advantage in order to improve and increase sales.
Takeaway #1: Strategize
Marketers don’t create campaigns on a whim; they carefully plan with a tailored message that highlights the brand and speaks to the audience.
How should people think of us when they hear our company’s name?
These questions provide the insights needed to help create messaging that truly reflects the brand and serves the people who buy from it.
As a seller you can put these questions to use by first answering them from the perspective of your company to develop the bigger picture. Then you can further tailor your answers to expand and establish your personal brand as a salesperson.
How is what you’re selling helping the people that are buying it? How are you helping them?
It’s probably to make their lives easier in some way, but how? Is it to keep them organized, comfortable, educate them, or solve some other problem? Knowing why they’re looking for whatever you’re selling will help you position it properly.
It will also help narrow down the groups or buyer personas you should be selling to. Targeting people who are facing challenges your product or service solves will help increase the quality of your prospects and will give you a better understanding of the questions you should be asking to uncover their needs.
Are you actually providing value to your prospects or are you simply pushing your own agenda?
Approaching sales with a marketer’s mindset will help the sales process be more about actually attracting, educating, and converting instead of closing, closing, closing.
How should your product or service make people feel? How do you want your prospects to feel?
Emotion is a powerful motivator. Will your offering make someone feel empowered, happy, creative, healthy, etc.? Knowing how someone should feel when they think of your product or service will help you appeal to those senses.
One way you can do this is by being prepared to share stories about the success of previous buyers who were enthusiastic about their investment. Relaying these types of stories puts your product into perspective for the prospect and makes it that much more valuable.
Aspiring to make all of your prospects feel understood, listened to, and important should be your goal. This will enhance your personal brand by building trust and credibility as well as, communicate your willingness to better serve them.
What’s the first thing a prospect would think of when they hear your company’s name? What do they think of me?
Is it: fun, useful, affordable, etc.? What does your brand portray?
Knowing how people view your company is important. If it’s positive - what can you do to reinforce that? If it’s negative - what can you do to transform that judgement?
In sales your reputation counts for a lot and it shouldn’t scare off prospects. Being overly aggressive and pushy isn’t the way to go - but rather, you want to be perceived as helpful, thoughtful, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic.
Thinking about these questions and their answers provides an awareness of what you should be portraying about your company and personal brand each day. It provides the story - a background for everything you do.
Takeaway #2: Analyze
When marketers have a solid foundation for their brand story and their buyer personas, they start creating campaigns around those, but it’s not as simple as coming up with an idea and running with it.
Any marketer worth their salt is ready to pivot and make changes as data streams in.
Sellers sometimes get too caught up in anecdotes and don’t recognize the reality in the facts. To be truly effective, you need to keep track of what you’re doing in a systematic way.
Looking at the numbers and the data behind your selling process and approach will be the only realistic way of determining what’s working and what isn’t.
One size fits all isn’t a concept that marketers endorse. Personalization is what it’s all about. Understanding the nuanced differences between buyer personas and what appeals to them, in addition to, where in the sales funnel they are, allows for an individualized experience.
Seeing each prospect as an opportunity to customize the buying experience and making them feel extra special by focusing on their specific pain-points, gives sellers a competitive edge.
It adds that ‘little something’ to the buying process making the chances of closing a sale increase significantly.
Marketing and sales are ultimately trying to reach the same goal and they really can work towards being two peas in a pod by sharing a similar mentality and working together to strategize, analyze, and customize.
Incorporating these fundamental marketing principles into your sales approach will breathe new life into your sales approach and broaden your point-of-view.
Have you tried to incorporate any of these or other marketing ideas into your sales approach?
Anna is the Learning and Technology Coordinator for Digital Media Training, Inc. (DMTraining.) DMTTraining is a corporation providing sales skills and digital media sales training for media and non-media companies. To learn more about Anna, DMT, and their services, visit their website here.
Published on July 14, 2015
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