The gap between sales and marketing is narrowing every day. As the two align more closely in metrics and goals, sales techniques will become more applicable to marketing and vice versa. Here are some techniques from the marketer’s toolbox you can apply to improve your own sales process – enjoy!
1. Test like a scientist
Not sure if you should use a longer or shorter subject line? Do prospects respond better to reassurance or urgency? There are tons of contradictory best practices to follow when conducting outreach. The best way to come up with an effective outreach process is to do split testing, commonly known as A/B testing. The name comes from randomly testing a version A and version B and seeing which one performs better.
The difficulty of A/B testing for sales is that the best tests come from only varying one thing. Some things that are worth testing are:
- Subject line
- Collateral shared with prospect
- Greeting when you call someone
- Time of day when you reach out
There are tools available to help with A/B testing, but you don’t need to get too fancy. Simply figure out what you want to test, create the two versions and record the results. If you’re using a sales automation tool, you can create two versions of an outreach email and keep tabs on the open and click through rates as success metrics. For a phone call, see which of your methods results in prospects going through to the next step. And once you’ve figured out an effective workflow, revisit your tests every few months to continually refine your process.
2. Diversify your outreach channels
If there’s one thing marketers love, it’s fresh digital channels. A new channel means a network of people who are active and receptive to content delivered through that channel. Translated to sales talk, this means cultivating relationships through more channels than the classic email and telephone. There are social networks, message boards, public chat streams, and more in which sales reps can coexist with their prospects. Working different digital channels can be invaluable, because you have the opportunity to connect with thought leaders and prospects on their own terms.
Just like with marketing, it is important to be consistent with your interactions. The idea is to become a mini thought leader in your active channels. For LinkedIn, share thoughtful insights and be opinionated on interesting questions. On Quora, answer thoughtfully and encourage conversation. Be creative and on the lookout for new communities that pop up. It’s easier to become a leader in a growing community like closingcall.io rather than trying to penetrate an established giant.
3. Add pretty pictures
Humans love visuals. It is easier to pass along a message when there are pictures included. Graphical summaries are quick to read and easy to understand. Be creative and include pictures whenever possible.
If someone is asking for numerical evidence, don’t just send numbers over. Create a graph in Excel; pie charts and bar graphs are the easiest to digest. Write a short summary to complement the graph and explain what you are showing. Bold the important numbers on the graph and in your summary, make sure the crucial pieces of evidence aren’t buried under the color.
If a prospect is asking for information related to a process, create a diagram for them. This can be anything from the setup process of your solution to how success is measured within the product. You should also include screenshots of your product whenever relevant. If you can walk someone through the steps while they have easy access to a graphical version, your conversations will be clearer and your prospects more engaged.
About the Author
Michael is the marketing manager at Datanyze. He's a beat boxing legend (check YouTube).More Content by Michael Wang