- Inside Sales on Steroids
A couple of decades ago the role of the inside sales rep was to converse on the phone with prospects and customers. That was it.
Today, they are not limited to the phone and the job has become multifaceted. Inside salespeople complement their phone conversations by using personal emails, social media and sharing educational content. Also, the phone is not their only human-to-human communication tool. They also give demonstrations and presentations on web conferencing tools such as GoToMeeting and WebEx.
Not only has the means by which reps reach out to customers changed but also what they know about them. And that enables them to work more efficiently and effectively.
Marketing automation enables companies to amass information on a prospect’s interests as well as their level of interest. To learn even more about individuals and buying teams, reps can research on LinkedIn and other social channels.
Also, customer relationship management (CRM) technology keeps data organized and helps manage workflows for the reps. Through queue-based routing, reps receive the best leads automatically, ensuring no delays in follow-up. Thus, technology enables reps to time their outreach and tailor their messaging while also saving time. For the prospect, the communication is more personal and relevant than in the past.
Finally, because prospects can gather much of the information they need about a product online, inside sales reps are now more focused on digging deep into the prospects’ needs, creating a customized solution, and differentiating it from competitive offerings.
- Trade Shows and Events
Despite all the rallying calls to web marketing, trade shows and other in-person events persist. Research from the Content Marketing Institute shows 68 percent of B2B marketers use in-person events in their marketing. Why? Because they work. Thirty-six percent say these functions are critical to their content marketing success.
Events, however, cannot be successful unless they are complemented with other sales and marketing techniques that increase engagement before, during and after the event.
Your marketing team should send emails to promote the event and invite participants and promote your participation on social media. Your inside salespeople must contact high profile prospects and customers to discuss their interests and highlight how they can benefit from attending. While on the phone, they should set up appointments at the event with your reps.
Once you’re at the event, don’t let data fall by the wayside. Before you go, decide on what information you need to add to your CRM system. While in the old days contact information sufficed, today you need more to keep up with buyers’ expectations. Customers don’t want to explain their problems and goals more than once. So make sure you have an easy way to capture relevant information that will enable your reps to follow up as easily and powerfully as possible.
Finally, just because you spent a lot of money and talked to people in person, it doesn’t mean that sales will materialize immediately following the event. So be ready with your post-event nurturing program, which may involve content, email marketing, social media and online conference calls.
Blending the traditional sales and marketing techniques with tactics enabled by technology can increase your success. Just like decades ago, winning at marketing and sales is all about having the right mix of tactics that complement each other. It empowers you to attract prospects and convert them into customers efficiently and successfully.
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