How to Smoothly Transition Online Content Leads to your Sales Staff

Good content marketing guides consumers to identify what their problem is and then leads them to the ideal solution to fix it — one that you provide. Here are some ways to set up your online leads so your sales team can convert them to customers smoothly. The further down your marketing funnel each resource belongs, the more information you should ask for. Get Sales in the Door With an Offer People don’t respond well to sales people contacting them out of the blue. Other offers that can help get your sales meeting the lead are: free trials, personalized solution plans, consultations, product demonstrations, and more. In this situation, it’s important that anybody in the business who interact with leads knows the basics of how to sell. This is especially important if it takes your sales team a long time to close sales. In some industries, sales can take months to close, and you can’t have your lead’s only contact with your business being a sales person. Instead of just giving up on leads that aren’t ready to buy, they need to be re-entered into your marketing funnel. Do this by making sure sales and marketing works closely together, that marketing does a good job setting up sales when it comes to contacting leads, and that sales has the information necessary to sell well.

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Content marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing in today’s online world. Consumers enjoy the ability to research a solution for a product in a no-pressure environment. Good content marketing guides consumers to identify what their problem is and then leads them to the ideal solution to fix it — one that you provide.

The problem is, for many solutions, there is information that the average consumer might not understand without technical knowledge. For example, they know that something is broken with their sink and garbage disposal, but without the technical knowledge of a plumber, they can’t identify what it is. No amount of content can exactly diagnose what is wrong without them taking apart the sink to investigate.

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For many businesses, that means at some point, they need to transition their online leads to a sales person. Yet, if you are employing content marketing, it might feel awkward to push leads into talking to your sales staff. Generally, people have a poor opinion of sales people, viewing them as pushy, aggressive, and annoying. Here are some ways to set up your online leads so your sales team can convert them to customers smoothly.

Get Information From the Lead

Before going into a sales call, make sure your sales staff has all the info they need to be successful. If you only provide your sales staff a name and phone number, it’s basically them running in blind.

In order to gather that information, block some resources behind walls that require personal information. These resources can be white papers, eBooks, case studies, calculators, or anything that is incredibly valuable to your consumers. In exchange for this information, require leads to tell you things like: full name, phone number, email address, their employer (if you sell B2B services), address, why they are interested in the information, and more. The further down your marketing funnel each resource belongs, the more information you should ask for. Generally, online activity is all anonymous, but if you can get their information, you can start to track their progress.

This information can be invaluable to your sales team, as they can flesh out what kind of lead they have. If somebody is signing up for several resources very quickly, it might indicate they are very interested and need to be contacted right away. It can also impact what tactics they use in the sales pitch depending on things like gender, buying influence, and overall knowledge.

Get Sales in the Door With an Offer

People don’t respond well to sales people contacting them out of the blue. Often, they’ll respond with hostility and distrust, making the job of the sales person that much harder. Unless they specifically requested a sales person to contact them, they won’t see much value in the interaction.

Instead of just leaving your sales to the wolves, give your leads an offer that can get your sales in the door. A prime example of this is a free quote or estimate….

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