When sales prospecting gets harder who do you blame? The marketing people will point to the sales people and the sales people will point to the marketing people.
Salespeople do need marketing help and marketing people do need sales people. But what else could be going on here? In a recent LinkedIN discussion we find some answers.
In the VAR Talk group, salespeople and sales managers are talking about prospecting for new clients. Specifically, Tom Baker of Partner Pro Services asks the question:
“Why is sales prospecting so much harder than it used to be and are there solutions for this situation?”
This question initiated a dialogue around the challenges of prospecting and whether there is a need for more data driven sales solutions or the need for more people-power to help with the prospecting process.
A few folks mentioned that prospecting has actually gotten easier because they are able to fully research their prospects. Others feel it is getting harder.
The challenge in understanding this problem and possible solutions, is that you need to look at the bigger picture to see what may be going on here. When things are going wrong, is it only the salesperson that is failing? Or, could it be a bigger problem with the way the organization presents itself to the world?
I took a closer look at two organizations that commented on this LinkedIN discussion. I looked at the organization of a person who is not having much difficulty, and compared it to the one who was. My hypothesis was that the type and quality of the content on the websites of each organization would be a telling tale, and I was right.
One organization was regularly posting to their Twitter account, and had some strong relevant content connected to their website. The other organization, had nothing more than a “tombstone”, a static website with a little information about what the company did, but didn’t have any clear link to relevant content. Guess which company was getting better prospecting results?
Why does this matter? The old adage that a good salesperson can sell anything is not true anymore. Consumers are now getting an impression about you before they even hear the pitch. Good prospects are researching you just as much as you are researching them.
So the lesson in all of this is to make sure your blog, newsletter and social media content put your best foot forward. Make sure the online and offline versions of your messaging are the same. The sales people need to tell the marketing people what they are saying, and the marketing people can tell them how to say it and make sure offline and online content shares the same core message. It is this partnership that can turn around your prospecting – and make everyone’s job a lot easier.
Feel free to share your thoughts on the LinkedIN group? Or, comment on our blog.