By Nana Rodaki
The ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty means it’s more important than ever for technology vendors to have a healthy sales pipeline and convert as many leads as possible. Engaging with customers and prospects on a human level is always a real deal-maker. We all know that ‘people buy from people’, but how can communications play a role in empowering better sales conversations?
Sales teams commonly adopt account-based marketing (ABM) approaches. Aligning communications activity with ABM can make a huge business impact, empowering sales when engaging with priority customers and prospects and increasing deals. Meaningful, targeted communications demonstrating a strong understanding of customer challenges and opportunities will provide sales teams with more excuses to reach out to prospects. Ultimately, compelling content and well-thought-out comms help to build awareness, nurture sales pipelines, and lower the barriers to a prospect saying ‘yes’.
The Platform approach is simple: we identify what your sales targets care about and the context of effective sales conversations. Then we empower sales teams through content and communications activity that will support them throughout the sales cycle.
We have a tried and tested 5-step approach that can be tailored to your specific audience to help you generate (and close) more sales leads.
1. Define your objectives
A successful strategy requires clear objectives: What are your overall business goals? What specific accounts are your sales teams looking to engage with? What has been working well so far, and what challenges do sales teams face in their conversations?
Once you have completed the groundwork and set your objectives, it’s easier to decide on the tactics that will help deliver on them and enable you to close more deals.
2. Know your audience and what makes them tick
The next step is to understand your audience and the different customer personas your sales teams want to engage with: who are they? What are they interested in, and what are their pain points? What’s the state of the market, and what are their competitors saying?
This step will help you identify the key conversation starters and themes for content and lay the foundations for the phase of implementing the comms strategy that drives your ABM activity.
3. Create the conversation starters
Creating content that drives real-world conversations means putting the product to one side and demonstrating a clear understanding of a customer’s challenges. This approach gives sales teams an extra edge to open conversations and close deals.
Imagine your customer coming across a high-value piece of content like a report or vision paper that explores one or more of the key challenges they are facing. Demonstrating deep understanding and providing actionable insight can set you apart from your competitors and have a substantial and immediate impact on sales conversations.
4. Boost your visibility
Once the previous steps have been completed and you have compelling customer-focused content up your sleeve, it’s time to showcase your thought leadership and customer success to your targeted accounts. A well-orchestrated and targeted media relations strategy can position you as an authoritative industry voice and get you coverage on the right media platforms that get you in front of your targeted audiences.
Analyst relations can also give you another route to your targeted customers. Industry analysts speak with technology buyers every day, providing consultancy across their tech buying lifecycle. A strategic approach to analyst engagement can define how potential customers see you and your product portfolio and can also enable you to benefit from analyst feedback on market trends, competitor activity, and input on market strategy (read Platform’s ‘Why analyst relations is pivotal to business success’ report to find out more).
Similarly, you can leverage insightful content on social media to craft a successful social influencer campaign that creates connections and engagement with targeted customers on topics that are front of mind for them. Speaking opportunities, awards, and industry events will also enable you to demonstrate innovation, boost market awareness, and unlock customer case studies.
5. Track and learn
Sales and business priorities evolve, so the comms strategy should be fine-tuned to support sales on an ongoing basis. Being in regular contact with your sales teams will ensure you remain fully up to date with the latest customer conversations and priorities, and you have your finger on the market pulse. After all, it all boils down to staying relevant.
Ensuring your communications strategy supports your sales teams can have a big impact on your business success. A carefully considered and planned comms campaign creates more customer touchpoints to showcase deep industry expertise, customer understanding, and craft the human connections that will help you stand out from the crowd.
Drop us a line to discuss how we can help you use comms to boost your ABM activity at email@example.com