I just had the most unexpected phone conversation with a new business prospect. My head is still spinning. Here’s the story…
Each week I set aside time to dial marketers who I have yet to meet. I quickly introduce Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) and, since I am calling unannounced, attempt to schedule an initial phone conversation at a later date.
Yesterday, the North American field marketing lead at a global technology products company picked up her line. We chatted for a minute and agreed to compare calendars via Email. Then, she hit me with a surprise.
“Hey, while I have you on the phone. You are in sales. Tell me, what does my sales team not share with me when it comes to their expectations of marketing?”
Imagine that! Rather than simply rushing me off, this marketer viewed the conversation as an opportunity to gather insight and intelligence to help her be more successful. I was happy to oblige.
- A comprehensive view of a prospect helps me initiate a dialogue. Provide me intelligence based on the prospect’s digital footprint and social engagement. How are they engaging with content? Where do they interact? By understanding areas of possible need, my rate of success in securing a first meeting will skyrocket.
- Sales cycles have gaps in time. Help me fill them. I don’t want to contact a prospect to just “follow up.” Develop thought leadership oriented content I can use to maintain a dialogue when they are not ready to buy.
- Steer me away from unproductive activities. I want to attend events…organize Webinars…sponsor conferences. Help me understand if these tactics are misguided and will fail to reach the right audience.
- And perhaps most important…
That’s when I stopped. The line remained quiet for a good 10 seconds. You could practically feel the anticipation.
“Well?”, she finally asked.
I will tell you during our introductory call, I explained. That’s because the goal of each step in the sales process is simply to reach the next step.
What is my final (and most important) expectation of marketing? Look for an update to this blog post in the next few days.
What is my last “sales guy” expectation of marketing? Help me develop a voice on social media.
Sales reps identify and qualify more leads when they are actively engaged in social networks, especially LinkedIn. Unfortunately, many refrain from social engagement because they are unclear of how to do it in a disciplined and a professional way. This is an area where marketers can help.