In this episode of Inkyma’s Marketing Strategies, How Marketing Tactics Can Support Your Sales Team, Audrey is going to walk you through how Marketing Tactics and Business development teams are two sides of the same coin and why you need both for maximum business growth.
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How Marketing Tactics Can Support Your Sales Team Transcript
If you have a sales team, or business development team, you still need a robust marketing plan in place. Many business owners and executives that I talk to think that they just need a sales team, or they need marketing, but the reality is, is that you need both in order to really grow a business. So in this episode, I’m going to walk you through how marketing tactics and business development teams are two sides of the same coin. They’re not competing with each other, and you really need both to maximize your business growth.
So, let’s start off by talking about what business development or sales team is and what they do, and why they’re awesome because I do think that they’re awesome. So business development, or sales team, is when a business hires a person, or people, to generate leads and then close those leads to become customers for the business. This is really common for B2B companies, but it’s actually also used in some higher-end products and services that sell to consumers, like solar panels, roofing, home building, and a bunch of other areas. So, business development teams and salespeople are really not exclusive to the B2B world. So, business development is a really great way to generate business for the company. These sales teams can be part of networking groups. They can spend a lot of time building their power referral teams, or people that would refer to them a lot, building those relationships, and then finding those great leads and then closing them.
So, not only can they work to reach new customers, but they can service existing customers as well and get those customers to actually buy more. If you didn’t listen to episodes 30 or 31, where I talk about the importance of revenue coming from existing customers, go back and listen in to those episodes, and you’ll understand why this is super important for steady and ongoing business growth. So having a sales, or a business development team, it’s great, it’s awesome. They can bring in new business, but wouldn’t it be even better if you could get them to generate even more business just by creating marketing campaigns and tactics that actually support them and what they do, and also push leads their way? That would be cool, wouldn’t it? And this is where marketing becomes a support service, or works symbiotically with business development and how they can work hand in hand.
You’re listening to Marketing Strategies and I’m Audrey Kerchner. And we’re talking about how marketing tactics can help your sales team thrive and bring in more business.
A marketing plan designed to support your business development, not only provides more leads for your company, for the business development team, which they’re actually going to love a lot. Salespeople are always trying to figure out where the leads are going to come from, who they can talk to. And so if they’ve got some needs coming in that they can then respond to, it just makes their life a little bit easier, especially if they’re a hundred percent or partial commission base. Again, they just, they love the fact that this can help them talk to more people and close more sales, because for them it’s not so much about the leads, it’s about the sales closing, which really is what it’s all about anyway, but you got to talk to people to close sales.
Another thing that marketing can do is it can actually automate some more of the tedious work that goes into sales and sales development. So I hear the question out there, why automate things I’m already paying them to do? So first thing’s first, automation is cheaper than human labor by far. The other thing is, is it’s consistent. It will start and end when you tell it to, it does not take vacation time, and it does not take sick time. So, why not free up the human from these tasks that they probably don’t want to do anyway, because that repetitiveness is really tough on the mental part of the sales process. Get that all automated and allow them to spend more time actually doing the things only humans can do, which is talk to other people, have a conversation, answer questions in-depth, build relationships. And then the automation can hand off people to the humans when they’re ready to talk to humans is really the way that works.
So the automation is never going to close the deal. It’s going to warm people up enough to get them to the point where they’re clicking on, yes, I’d like to have a sales representative contact me. So now that we’ve talked about a couple of things that, how marketing can help the sales team, let’s talk about specific tactics that you can create for your business with some examples, to help them close leads, find more leads, all that good stuff. So first tactic, hands down is general awareness marketing. If you look at any large company that has a sales force, and the best example and the one I am most familiar with is the pharmaceutical industry. They do outbound marketing, we’ve all seen pharmaceutical marketing add some form or fashion, but where their real bread and butter lies is in with their sales teams. They spend a lot of money and time training salespeople to talk to doctors, nurses, hospital staffs, but the reason that they do the general awareness in the marketing is that familiarity breeds trust.
Wouldn’t it be great if your salesperson can walk up to someone and say, hey, I work with this company. And they look at them and go, oh yeah, I know who they are. That instantly, right there, especially if they have a good thought process, or good experience for that company, jumps you up on the trust factor. So this is an example of ads just being out there, running, doing their thing already supports your business development team. So let’s talk about general awareness type of ads. I’m talking about TV ads, if you’re bigger, radio ads, digital ads, and then if you don’t have the money to do big television spots, or your audience does not watch television, YouTube ads. Those five-second spots before, during and at the end of a YouTube video are really, really effective in getting that mental retention because you’re seeing something that’s moving.
Print journal ads. If you’re selling B2B, putting ads in journals where your customers open and read and participate, blog articles, so they can do searching. This is all good ways to get your brand out there and your message out there. So again, when that salesperson introduces themselves, they go, oh yeah, I know who you are. I’ve seen that company. And this can actually be the difference for them to get an appointment, or not to get an appointment with the person, or someone in that company standing in front of them. So now let’s talk about the next category, and I call it lead generation, doing lead generation for the business development team. So you’re going to create ads like we talked about before, and you’re going to put on your website lead magnets, or what I like to call high value downloads. And what it is, is it’s not costly to create. It’s not something you got to pay for over and over again. It is highly valuable to your target audience.
So, we’re talking about things like checklists, white papers, templates they can use, something that in the context of what you sell is valuable to the person that’s going to become a lead so that they actually become self-selecting. They’ve just self-selected into your campaign or whatever, because they really want what you have. Something that is up and coming and not quite used all that often. So I like to point this out is, in addition to checklists and white papers and the templates, is you can use calculator apps of some kind and, or video-based educational content that is given to them for free to help support whatever it is they’re doing to get to where then they can purchase your services. So let’s look at a couple of examples.
So I’m going to start with a commercial contractor, and let’s say a commercial contractor who bids on work quite often puts a lead magnet or a high-value download out there that is an RFP template for outfitting a building. Let’s say it could either be a food store, a mini-mart, a shoe store, or a dental office, whatever is their sweet spot. And then the RFP could be one of those things where they get a word template, they put their logo on it and they get to send it out. And this is a great tool because if someone downloads that RFP, they’re obviously thinking about hiring a contractor. And then by having your name associated with something that saves them time and money for not having to create it makes it really, really useful for them. And then a lot of times, because you provided it, they’ll actually look to include you, or at least reach out and talk to your company about providing the service. So RFP templates, anything big and time consuming that they can utilize as a tool is really, really great.
Another one that I like to use as an example is in-home senior healthcare companies. So, what you can provide here is an online evaluation tool. And it can either be a simple document that gets downloaded, or it can be converted into an app where they fill everything out and they’re given a score. What’s nice about something like this is when someone’s trying to figure out, if they’re not a healthcare professional, and they’re trying to figure out if their loved one, or someone that they know needs to start having in-home care at the right time? Because the senior maybe not wanting someone to come in their home, really reticent, pushing back. And so it’s this push-pull, having something that’s definitive data that says, yes, it’s time. No, you have a little bit more time, can be invaluable.
So, You can take an app, put the questions in, and then have them give you their email address so that the PDF results can be sent to them, or it can just be a form that they print and fill out, so that at least they have more information. And then you can put helpful things on there like talk to your family’s doctor about the results on this form to find out if it’s the right time for your loved one to have in-home care. And this automatically qualifies whomever, it’s the person in charge that has to make decisions because they’re the one that’s filling it out.
So, the next area of tactics that I want to talk about are sales funnels. I personally love sales funnels. I think there is so much you can do with sales funnels to help support your business, and the business development team. So a sales funnel is a series of emails, text messages, or phone calls, or any combination of those things that are automated and set up sequentially to get someone from not being even aware to signing up to talk to someone, or being slightly aware. Where they fit into that schedule depends on the actual sales funnel. But you can go from no awareness whatsoever to being ready to buy. So the sales funnel can actually be triggered by the lead magnet. So if you put a lead magnet out there and the person downloads the lead magnet, gives you their email, telephone number, address, whatever you’re asking for, it can automatically send them into the sales funnel.
The very first email in that sales funnel can be, thank you here’s your download, or thank you here are your results. So for more about details on what to put in the sales funnel, how to get everything to work and that sort of thing, go listen to episode 19. I talk all about it and I share what you should put in each email along the way. So how this is helpful and that hopefully your business team will get really excited, is that when a biz dev person makes contact with someone, they probably struggle, or they have to create a formula of following up without constantly asking, are you ready to do a business with me? They need to do other things. Be helpful, provide educational material, answer questions.
And so that’s really what the sales funnel’s going to do, is it’s, so in an example is, is six to eight emails with different messages designed to get them to take different actions? You can give them educational pieces along the way. You can show them testimonials, or even, better video testimonials from existing customers for social proof. You can answer commonly asked questions, or handle objections without them even having to object. And then also help shift that paradigm for them. And this is all done automated. And each one will have a call to action where it can either be monitored by the salesperson or the person can click a button to have a salesperson call them, just a button that says yes, call me. And then a notification gets sent out to the salesperson to then generate the call. And then they don’t have to do all that work and follow-up, they can go out, be talking to other people while we’re warming these people up in the email, the sales funnel queue.
You can also throw some other things in there, like text messages, you can send an email and then a day later and say, hey, did you get our email? If not click here because I sent you some really great educational information. So, that’s how the two can work together. So let’s go through an example. Let’s say you’re an IT support company and you have two different lines of services. You do system installations. You put in computer, you put in wiring, you put in servers, and then you also provide ongoing support for your own equipment, or for someone else’s. So a company has all this equipment and they need to someone come in and support it, do upgrades, updates, all that good stuff.
So in this scenario, you actually should have two different sales funnels with two different lead magnets. So for system installation, an RFP template to hire and then something in there also to evaluate the right company would be a great high value download. Then you could put those folks that actually say, yes, I want this download. Here’s my email. You can send them a series of seven emails that talk to them about how to hire the right company, the type of things they should be looking for, send them testimonials from your exist customers, handle objections. And then anywhere along the way, always have call to action buttons, not just language, but buttons to where, hey, click here, and we will have one of our experts call you to answer any questions you may have.
So, on the ongoing support side, what might be really great there for a lead magnet is actually a calculated, help them evaluate the cost of migrating their existing system to a new support company, because that’s usually the hard part or the sticking point, is there’s a cost associated with it and there’s time going from one company to another. And so in this hypothetical calendar, they can put in total number of employees, total units, type of things that need to be in the support system, and at least get a general range. If you’re not comfortable putting a number in there, totally fine, but put a range. It’s going to take you X number of weeks, or months to migrate. And then the cost of migration’s going to be this. And then contact us to learn, to get actual numbers, our experts would be willing to talk to you, but if they don’t click on something there, in that first email, send them through a similar type of funnel.
You can give them articles about the right time to migrate, again, testimonials from customers that you have migrated saying things like, we wish we would’ve done this sooner, we’re so happy. And again, call to action all the way. Now, who gets what when those notification buttons are triggered, or to see, to actually go into the system and then actually and see who is interacting with what? You can set it up by a salesperson. One funnel can go to one salesperson, the other can go to someone else. Maybe you break things up by region or territory. So if X, Y, Z person is in the Northeast, they get assigned to John Smith, but if they’re in the Southwest, they get assigned to Jane. And then other triggers can be put in place to notify them that, hey, a potential lead that would be yours is actually going through this system right now. So there are many, many different things to do.
So, the next one, and I mentioned it at the beginning, is following up with existing customers. I provide a lot of thoughtful ideas in those two episodes, 30 and 31s, about all the different things you can do, but I want to touch base on some of them here. Reminder emails are great, especially if you have time-sensitive, or seasonal-sensitive things. So it could be an annual checkup for equipment, computer systems, sprinkler systems, turn on services, turn off services. You can have these set up automatically. And they go out to a specific group of people with a call to action for a paid service as a reminder, especially if they’re already signed up for a complimentary service.
Now, this doesn’t have to be an email. You can automate text messages to go out. You can automate phone calls to go out. Although phone calls are really tough right now, because we’re all getting inundated with so much spam that unless they have you in their system, they’re going to totally ignore the call, at least a text message will give a glance to. So I would stick with text or email unless you know folks are going to have your number saved in their phone system.
And then any follow-up that happens from that can go directly to the sales team, which is beautiful. So not only are you supporting them with brand new lead generation, you’re also supporting them with reoccurring follow-up to existing customers as well. And they actually may give you ideas on, hey, I would love to have a follow-up system for this, I’d love to have a follow-up system for that. Your higher producing business development at people will actually probably give you clues as to what they want and what they don’t want to make them more productive and to be able to earn more.
So, let’s talk about an example, sprinkler system company. This is a really good one because every spring they have to flush the lines and turn the sprinkler system on. And every fall into winter, they have to flush the system and winterize it. And let’s say in this example, the sprinkler system company does other things aside from sprinkler installation and system processing, let’s say they do lawn maintenance care, because it’s a really nice dovetail service to help them make extra money, and maybe they do snow shoveling too. So, they’re going to set up an email system where they email out to all their existing sprinkler customers that, hey, it’s time to turn on, or turn off the system. And then they put in a link to a calendar that they’ve set up where based on their location, they’re given two to three different dates where they can schedule a day to have someone come, morning or afternoon. You can make them really nice big blocks.
Actually what your salespeople, or what your internal people would do on the phone anyway, but it just saves everybody time, with phone calls and return phone calls, they schedule their time and then you can have a follow-up text message that says, you’re scheduled on this date. We’re going to send follow-up scheduled messages the day before just to make sure. And then if you do that first one as an email, you can actually send other things within that email saying, it’s time to schedule your sprinkler, but we also wanted to let you know that we have lawn care services. Are you interested in hearing more about our lawn care services? Click here and our lawn care specialist will give you a call. So it’s allowing you to upsell while you’re trying to schedule the maintenance that they’ve already set up for. And then the turnoff email could have things in there about snow removal if that’s big in your area, or other winter-specific things, maybe it’s fertilizing in the winter.
So, that’s a really great way to just boost your revenue, get more people into the schedule, get them on the calendar without having your team have to do all this follow-up work versus just going out and doing the work. And then anybody who’s interested in those things the sales team can follow up on as well. And then one of the last areas, which I think are a little bit underrated, is holiday greetings and birthday cards. So if you’re going to the trouble to set up marketing and automation, and doing all of this stuff, and you happen to collect for whatever reason, birth dates from your clients, send out the cards. And you may be doing it anyway, but rather than having someone in your office, or the sales team do their own cards, I’m sure they buy a box and because I receive tons of them every year. And I do appreciate them, but I’m like, man, they got to go through and they got to sign all of these, that can be automated as a marketing tactic and tool.
You can do, if you like doing digital cards, you could do that through your CRM system, like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, and have that all sent out. If you like doing physical cards, there are systems out there like Mailbox Power, that will actually customize your card, put all the signatures in there, and send to whom you want. And the wonderful thing is, is that everybody can get a how holiday greeting card. And then if you have birthdays, those can go out based on the person’s birth date that’s sitting in the system. What a nice surprise that would be, but you can send gifts too.
So here’s an example. Let’s say you’re a roofing company. And every year you send holiday cards out to all of your clients from the last 15 years, because you know at some point they’re going to need a roof again, and you want to stay top of mind. But for anybody that you did a roof for this year, you could do this two ways. Anybody that you did a roof for this year, you can send them a small gift, or based on the database of when you did the roof, if it’s 10 or 12 years old, you send them a gift, getting them primed to get their roof redone again.
So, each one can be set up and signed by their salesperson too. You can have multiple queues set up, regardless if it’s a physical product being sent out, or a digital one. And again, it keeps them focused on the task of the follow-up. If someone calls in and says, thanks for the card, that’s where you want the human being to interact and go, oh, you’re welcome. Did you get the gift? Because they can look in the database to see who got the gift plus the card. And then it stays top of mind. These have amazing sticky quality to them. It’s so simple, but they’re really, really effective because you get warm and fuzzy when you open the card, and then because your branding and logo are on that, hopefully, it’s on there, that feeling just gets translated to the company, especially if they had a great interaction when they did use your service.
So, hopefully, I have convinced you that regardless if you’re doing marketing, or you’re doing business development, you need marketing if you’re doing business development, just to keep things earning as much as possible to maximize it. So now I want to talk to you about taking action, because this information, it’s all well and good, but if you’re not taking action, then it’s not going to do you any good. So the first thing, and if you’ve listened to any of my podcasts, I always start here, know your goals for your business. What type of growth are you trying to achieve in what product category? Don’t put together a whole marketing plan for an area you don’t have a great sales rep in, or someone you’re getting ready to replace, or anything like that. Really think this through. Then I want, based on that, what you’re going to do, create your tactics that you want to implement.
Like I said before, include these business development people, especially your top producers, because they’re going to want whatever you’ve got to get them more commission. And if you’re taking small things off their plates and pushing more people towards them, they’re really going to like this. And then once you’ve decided on the tactics and you’ve implemented everything, and you’ve got it ready to go, make sure all of your salespeople are trained really, really well out on how this is going to work. The last thing you want to do is pitch leads at people and they don’t know what to do with them. They get an email saying, hey, so and so is in your sales funnel. That should excite them. You need to train them so that they know that that is an exciting thing that’s happening. Then once you get them all trained and things are running, make sure you’re reviewing your data.
Know how many leads are coming in, who they’re going to, how they’ve followed up with them because this is how you’re going to be able to tell whether it’s worked, it’s not working, and that’s not good or bad, working, not working, not good or bad. It’s okay. If this is working, great, how do I do more of it? If this isn’t working, how do I adjust it, fix it, change it, figure out why it’s not, so that I get it to work? And then once you’ve got things moving well, you don’t stop looking at your data, because things change. The environment changes, society changes. If COVID has taught us nothing, it tells us that society will dictate change, and we as business owners and executives have to react to those, not only with our product and service but how we talk about our product and service.
So, a final thought that I have for you is that this is an advanced concept, but many companies that do use business development and sales teams, you’re already in the advanced concept world, having a business development team is not easy. So you’re already into advanced selling methods. So since you’ve already invested your time and money into developing a sales team, hire a marketing agency to do your marketing strategy, to help you decide on tactics and have them implement them for you. It’s going to get done quicker and sooner so that you can see the results even faster.
Here at Inkyma, we like to give back to the business community. I provide a free 45-minute market consultation to any business owner, or executive at a company, regardless if you’re looking for a marketing company or not. Maybe you just want to talk about business development. I’m totally okay with that. Just go to my website, inkyma.com, that’s I-N-K-Y-M-A.com. And click on the upper right-hand corner, there’s a schedule, a marketing evaluation button, pick your time and we are on the calendar to talk about whatever you want to talk about. Maybe you just have a quick question and you just want an email answer. No worries. Scroll all the way to the bottom of any page, fill out the contact form. And actually, I will personally get back to you.
I hope you found this episode helpful, inspiring, educational. If so, please share it. I’m sure there are other business owners out there that have the same questions you do. And the whole purpose of this podcast is to educate business owners and help each other grow and thrive in the business community. Thanks so much for listening, and have an amazing day.