B2B Marketing that Energizes Your Sales Team
"Marketing doesn't understand what we do."
"Oh, great. Here's another thing from Marketing that doesn't relate to our business."
Ouch, comments like that from sales teams really sting.
When it comes to B2B Marketing for Engineers, there is nothing more Marketing Departments want than to empower their sales teams, to give them better-qualified leads that turn into opportunities and close faster. But it's true that Marketing and Sales Departments are not silos working separately. Any marketing initiative that drives sales produces the best results when the two departments work together.
Creating B2B Engineering Marketing and Sales Tools
You can't just say your product is "better" than competitors and "the best." No one will make a decision based on that, and no purchasing department or team will approve that. Salespeople need to give the information to back up their products, so they need powerful, comparative sales tools that don't just say what your product does but says what your product does BETTER.
Imagine your sales team is talking to a qualified lead, asking how your product "GloboFusion" can solve their problem. As a marketer, how can you arm your sales rep with tools that show how GloboFusion will work for them better than any other option?
- Datasheets – The exact temperature, materials, features, capabilities, certifications, warranty or other performance data.
- Case study – What challenge did a customer have that NO OTHER COMPANY could solve? What did GloboFusion offer? Stats showing differences in energy usage, maintenance, shut-down reduction, manufacturing costs and more are particularly helpful.
- Testimonials – Dealing with a skeptical prospect? How about showing them direct video testimonials where a GloboFusion customer speaks as a first-hand reference, with their name and company front and center, in a video describing their experience?
- Videos – Some of our clients' most popular sales tools are videos. Why? YouTube search is particularly popular with technical buyers today as a way to find and learn about new products and technologies. When your video is found on YouTube, it's a powerful way to quickly and visually answer questions, engage, and explain your product in a "how-to way."
- Infographics – Many prospects are spatial (visual) learners, so you can't just rely on written blogs or white papers to create interest. Infographics are a fun and engaging way to retell your story.
- Calculators – These are great tools to show the results prospects will get with your product. Say GloboFusion cuts energy costs by 25%. Show it in a calculator! Let the prospect input their data and see how much they could save.
Another Argument for Investing in Sales Tools
Face time is becoming more and more difficult for salespeople to obtain. Studies show that most of the sales process is actually completed online before a prospect ever reaches out to your sales team. They're visiting your website, sorting through social media posts, and searching on YouTube, as mentioned previously. Your digital content needs to be sales-ready, able to carry the day to inform and persuade on its own.
This is particularly true for decision-makers in their 20s and 30s, who, as a work cohort, prefer to do most, if not all, of their buying process without ever having to talk to someone! This group also relies heavily on testimonials as they're accustomed to doing with consumer goods purchases.
B2B Cold Calls and Prospecting – Let's Get Qualified Sales Leads
Do some of you still have that team of junior sales assistants making prospecting cold calls? Oh, never mind. That went out the window after people stopped answering their phones.
Lead generation is necessary for any company's business growth, but your sales team has no time for it – and they hate to do it. That's okay; marketing has it covered.
Here are some creative ways we are using to bring in qualified leads.
Lead prospecting platforms. These aren't the lists you used to purchase or mystical Glengarry Glen Ross leads. These are verified phone numbers, email addresses, and prospect titles that fit your ideal customer profile. When you pull the titles, industries or companies you've sold to, marketers can use these as search criteria for building new prospect databases.
Remember, while they may be qualified to "market" to, they are not qualified to "sell" to. Let marketing do its nurturing magic to get these leads ready to talk to a sales consultant.
- LinkedIn prospecting. We love this one because it's so successful. When we directly contact the titles of prospects and industries you're targeting, we find those initial connections on LinkedIn can quickly turn into conversations and then opportunities.
There are other ways marketers use to generate and qualify leads. Gated content or content offers like webinars or white papers where prospects have to enter their contact information are great ways to ensure leads are genuinely interested in your company. We also can install AI chatbots to provide the information a prospect is asking for from your library of guides, data sheets, blogs, white papers and web pages. Visitors can quickly get information without combing the site (which they may not have the patience to do).
Keeping B2B Engineering MQLs Warm
Sometimes, a prospect tells the salesperson they're not quite ready or "not right now." But while someone who fits your target may not be a buyer today, they may be a buyer in 6 months. That happens only if you keep in touch with them.
Develop the lead handling systems to ensure that early-stage prospects and Marketing Qualified Leads are entered into your email database for nurturing and keep-in-touch email campaigns. Train the sales team to add reminder triggers to their Salesforce/CRM records.
It's marketing's job to keep working with those MQLs to turn them into Sales Qualified Leads. Email marketing is always your cheapest marketing avenue and one of the most effective because you're communicating with prospects who have already shown interest in your products.
Attracting the Right B2B Industrial Prospects
Remember when we noted earlier that marketing and sales can't be two silos that work separately? We've discussed how sales need marketing. Now, let's discuss how marketing needs sales. After all, leads are only as good as they are relevant and qualified, so marketing needs feedback from sales about what prospects are saying and asking about.
- Prospect pain points. Sales consultants are on the front line, and marketers need to hear about conversations and pain points. The more that information is shared, the more pointed, persuasive and specific marketing writing then becomes.
- What tools are prospects asking for? Are prospects asking for datasheets? Explainer videos? Testimonials? Listen for information from prospects about how they found you and how they're researching products so marketers can create materials and campaigns that match.
This input is critically important to incorporate throughout digital marketing campaigns, including PPC, email, video, content and social media messaging.
Here's a great story. A sales rep recently asked his marketing director for case studies since he heard prospects have requested them on various occasions. He knew this would be an ideal method for showing how his product could solve unique challenges – a more powerful way not just to SAY you have a good solution and SHOW it. The two worked together to create a series of industry-specific case histories, putting a new group of powerful sales tools in front of customers that were used to position the company as a far better solution than competitors.
Salespeople need better sales tools, and marketers are only too eager to provide them! By working together as a single team rather than in parallel, the marketing and sales team can build better programs that close more leads in less time. Contact us to get started on creating the marketing programs to empower your sales team.