- Posted by Steve Gruber
- On March 20, 2018
- 0 Comments
In today’s market for any firm undertaking a B2B sales effort, particularly a startup, you have to be “sales ready”. What I mean by this is that you can’t simply have a product or service for sale with a poorly designed website, little or no marketing or sales collateral and no social media effort. Remember, the first place prospects are going to look for you is on the web and through social media. If your web platform and social presence is not solid, consistent and up to date, it will weigh negatively on their perception of you, regardless of how good your product is.
You should not start to proactively sell unless you are ready to roll on all fronts: you need to be putting a marketing effort forth alongside your sales effort in order to effectively support your sale. If you launch your sales effort and do not have the proper marketing supports in place, you will lose prospects and do yourself more harm than good.
So, to be ‘sales ready’, here are a few of the core items you need to consider:
Your website does not need to be amazing but it has to be solid. It should have a current design, be responsive for mobile browsers, have calls to action, links to your social media accounts, and include appropriate pages about your product/service, the team, a contact page, and any resources such as blogs or a whitepaper.
I find many startups don’t put bios of the core team members on their website. In reality, it is these people’s backgrounds that can really make or break a prospect’s interest. Why? In a start-up, most times there is no track record of a product’s success so believing in and trusting the founders or leaders of the company is incredibly important. Their story about why they developed the solution can greatly resonate with prospects. Who doesn’t like a good origin story: it doesn’t have to be from the Marvel or DC universe to be good.
Also make sure your website has a number of calls to action. These can be simple form requests when some downloads a whitepaper or they can be more intuitive like a pop up by Aiva Labs that asks the visitor to input their email address based on them viewing or searching for specific information.
Content marketing plan – even if it is limited
Having fresh content on your site in the form of blogs, whitepapers, video blogs etc…all help to support the sales process. Prospects want to know that you are engaged with their space and your solution is relevant to them. Your content marketing effort not only helps improve your search engine reach, but also shows prospects your knowledge of the industry. The key here is to be consistent so that visitors return for the same high quality information!
Part of your outbound sales and marketing efforts should also be some form of a drip campaign. You want to stay top of mind with prospects and customers, and always look for sales and upsell triggers. A drip campaign could include very specific product based emails you send out at certain times of the year plus a monthly or quarterly e-newsletter.
We always recommend some basic sales collateral. This could include a 1 pager or something similar. The messaging you are using on your website, social platforms and in your sales material should all be consistent and drive at your core message. We are big believers in focusing content on business pains and benefits vs technical product features. In most cases companies are purchasing something to alleviate a business pain, vs just for the tech.
Build your sales deck but keep it short and sweet – no more than 10 to 12 slides plus any appendix slides to support the main ones if you need them. Zero in on your relevant points and don’t put too much text in. Tell stories through the presentation where possible. It can be your own story about who you are, what you do, the value you bring and even more importantly the value you are bringing to your clients.
If you’re looking for tips on how to improve your B2B sales lead generation efforts or are considering outsourcing your B2B sales and marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us. For great insight into startup sales and marketing, feel free to sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Twitter.