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Sales and business development techniques from a marketer

As a marketer, I know sales and business development professionals are imperative to a company’s success. And they lean on marketing for a variety of resources. I’ve been a Marketing Manager and Director that has supported business development during my entire career, and I always understood that was a top goal for my role.

The Marketing Department strives to capture qualified leads and prospects. It also works to retain customers. Thus, I have completed countless product demonstrations, created sales plans, managed customer/account support and engagement, etc., in order to provide Sales with opportunities.

Luckily, Marketing can “set it and forget it” using automation to meet some goals. Sales teams aren’t always as lucky, but they do benefit from what Marketing builds.

Efficient and effective sales support: that is key.


14 tips and tricks from a marketer to support sales

  1. Understand your market. How else do you know what templates, automated workflows, resources, content, downloads and so forth to build that will entice prospects further through the funnel?
  2. Create a mission and plan BUT break it up into specific and measurable goals. You can’t take the entire world on all at once.
  3. Prioritize!!! What projects are quick wins? Which will be most effective? What does your employer or your personal business need right now? Speak to your sales representatives to learn where their pain points are.
  4. If you have a sales team, build tools to ease their process. Remember: you need to train Sales on what you need, in order to support them. Marketing can build the most intricate automated workflows out there, but if you need certain lead status updates or triggers that sales people don’t understand to make the automation work, it won’t and that was a waste of time/resources. Understand, you can’t make anyone do what you need them to, so use automation as best you can to make the process after implementation and going live easy (AND WORK) for everyone.
  5. Convince prospects they need your product. Maybe they don’t even know they do. Checklists, misconceptions lists, lessons and so forth may make a lead realize they need what you’re selling … or at least speak to you. At that point, you can continue the conversation and move them towards the next funnel milestone.
  6. Customer service is king! We’ve all heard the saying and it’s true.
  7. Customize! No one lead or prospect is the same. Speak to their specific needs. Ask questions unique to their situation.
  8. Be human. Don’t speak at prospects. Personally, I’ve found when doing email campaigns, the ones that work best are the personal letters that look like you wrote it specifically to that person, not a beautifully designed marketing email.
  9. Be responsible, good or bad.
  10. Ask for help when needed. Get input from members of your team and other departments. Ask what their needs are. What would help their process?
  11. Be willing to change your perspective and learn from mistakes.
  12. Don’t spin your wheels. If you need help or don’t agree a project or task will accomplish the desired goal, say so! Don’t waste vital time. There are only 24 hours in a day and you do need to sleep at some point.
  13. Enjoy your job, your projects, your mission.
  14. Listen. Customers will tell you what they need and you need to respond appropriately, whether with unique and customizable templates, certain resources, and so forth. Lead are unique individuals and will benefit from responses tailored to them (this is where smart content and pre-written snippets are valuable). Make your prospect or current customer feel valued with this strategy.

7 additional tips from Dale Carnegie

  1. Arouse an “eager want.” 
  2. Use names. 
  3. Avoid arguments.
  4. If appropriate, apologize. 
  5. Let customers sell to themselves.
  6. Ask what’s in it for customers. 
  7. Dramatize your ideas. 

The bottom line

Ultimately, a sales transaction is a conversation between two people — whether in person, on the phone, or online. One person wants to buy; the other wants to sell. The conversation is the bridge that makes it all happen. Dale Carnegie said the secret to success was being interested in other people. Now you know it, too. (9 Sales Tips)

Research, make things as simple as possible for everyone, trust your gut.

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