Step 1. Build a solid sales infrastructure
Recently, Mr. Stacy Gentile of Invigra and Jeff Linton of Act-On Software presented The Blueprint for Sales and Marketing Success, a webinar packed with so much information that we wanted to share it more widely. The webinar, and this series of posts, covers these points:
- Build a Solid Sales Infrastructure
- Know Your Targets & Have a Good List
- Understand Lead Scoring
- Content Marketing
- Don’t Sit Around & Wait (pick up the phone)
The webinar begins with a review of the current situation: Buying patterns are changing; sales cycles and longer and buyers don’t engage with sales until later in the process. 40% of inside sales reps are under quota. The numbers below are from the 2012 Demand Gen Report B2B buyer satisfaction survey:
- 67% of buyers are using more resources to research options
- 48% spending more time researching (including 20% spending more time on social media)
- 38% report involving more people in the buying process
- Nearly 56% of buyers report low levels of satisfaction with the buying process
Particularly for the small and mid-sized business (generally with revenue of $5-50 million), there are challenges with adapting to the new trends that buyers are setting. You need tools and techniques that let you see digital footprints and identify buying behavior, then communicate with potential buyers in an organized process. It takes the right combination of strategy and content, supported by technology, to pull it off. The webinar walks you through the five steps of building a blueprint for sales and marketing success, using a marketing automation platform to help you manage processes and reporting.
- Your sales infrastructure is composed of seven key pieces. At the core of everything, you need a CRM system that lets sales management, sales people, your lead generation team, and marketing all see the same information.
- Know who your market is, and have good, targeted lists. (More on that in another post.)
- Have a way to gather sales intelligence, so that you can get smarter about what those people on your targeted lists are doing.
- Marketing automation.
- You need light and heavy content. “Light” is your high-volume, low density stuff blog posts, social media. “Heavy” is the more intellectually inclined, such as white papers, case studies, webinars, videos.
- You need a platform to push that content out. Typically it’s through social media, blogging and email campaigns.
- Once someone is interested, you’re probably going to do some kind of web conference with them.
As Stacy notes, “I can’t remember the last time I jumped on a plane to do a presentation.” It’s all done through telephone calls and web conferencing now. The rest of the infrastructure helps find the buyer, supports online engagement as it develops, and allows lead scoring and nurturing…all technological capabilities that simply carry out your well-crafted plan.
Watch The Blueprint for Sales and Marketing Success, and stay tuned for Step 2, Know Your Targets and Have a Good List, next week.
Mr. Stacy Gentile is the President of Invigra, a fully integrated B2B Lead Generation company that helps organizations fill the top of their sales funnel with three primary services: Sales Infrastructure Improvement, Content Marketing and Outbound Sales Calls.