Selling without the hard-sell

Selling without the Hard-Sell: The Critical Role of Sales in ABM

Selling without the hard-sell

Sales Insights Can Help Shape Strategy 

Every interaction your sales team has with a prospect can reveal insights that help shape ABM strategy. Yet, this is only possible if you make it easy and routine for sales teams to identify and share golden nuggets of information with marketing teams, who can decide how best to utilise them.

So how can your company ensure that key sales information that could support and influence content creation doesn’t slip through the cracks?

By following Ambition ABM’s three Golden Rules for sales insight.

  1. Communication is Key

It sounds like a no brainer, but the biggest challenge with aligning sales and marketing teams for many companies, is effective communication.

Exchanging a few words by the water cooler isn’t an effective strategy for bringing sales and marketing together in collaboration: in fact, it’s not a strategy at all!

As business leaders, we must provide a structured approach to communication between teams that provides focal points and regular opportunities to share relevant information.

Within this approach, sales and marketing teams must agree what constitutes insightful sales information, and should meet at least once a week, if not more often, to share this data along with discussing potential content themes, so that sales staff know what to look out for in their daily interactions with potential buyers.

It’s also good practice to view phone-calls, in-person conversations and social media engagement with prospects as shared property, creating an open dialogue that allows marketing teams to pick up on valuable insights that salespeople might have missed.

It’s this kind of collaborative approach, in which everyone works together towards the common goal of client-centric, personalised content, that forms the basis of successful ABM, and should become standard practice for your organisation.

  1. Visit Your Sales Archives

Sales insights that shape ABM content don’t have to happen in the here and now to be useful and relevant. When planning and implementing strategy for your ABM campaigns, revisiting historical sales data and combing through it carefully can uncover information that builds the foundation of your content.

Your organisation is rich with materials that can be repurposed for new audiences, so instead of reinventing the wheel when it comes to crafting ABM approaches, look over existing sales presentations, case studies, power points, and even old photos with a fresh perspective and find inspiration to re-create impactful content for different audiences.

Asking your sales team about existing issues in the buyer journey and common problems they come up against when dealing with clients is also a useful way to plan content that genuinely addresses real-world problems for prospective buyers. In this respect, the knowledge and experience of your sales team is gold dust, so make sure it’s not an untapped resource.

  1. Use Sales Insights Appropriately

While it’s important to feed sales data into your ABM content, it’s also crucial to keep your target audience at the heart of everything you produce. Content that’s too ‘sales-focused’ goes against the core values of the ABM approach, which rejects the hard-sell in favour of a more soft and stealthy courtship, cultivating key prospects over long periods of time.

It’s safer to mention your brand and product in decision stage pieces when potential buyers are already engaged with your content and have built trust with your company, rather than pushing your offer at an early stage (a technique of traditional marketing that’s counter-productive to a more considered, intelligent ABM approach).

Sales insights should be used carefully and sparingly to help position your sales team as trusted sources of information for buyers, rather than dodgy dealers with a strong-arm approach. When used effectively, sales data and information can help you develop a confident and distinct tone of voice and take an authoritative position when producing content that’s personalised to address the pain points of prospects.

Remember. ABM content should resonate, inform, inspire and educate organically, nurturing prospects who will warm gradually to your proposition.

To find out more about how we can help you align your sales and marketing teams better to deliver more effective ABM strategies, then get in contact with us today.

 

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