Monday, October 28, 2013

Create Easy Paths For Risk Averse Sales Reps

Top tier sales reps continually stretch their comfort zones.  They gain confidence by enhancing their professional and technical skills.  They focus on expanding their horizontal and vertical contacts within their accounts.  They smartly approach new prospects in unfamiliar industries and territories. They represent their entire product line and are always searching for new applications. They create and tell Success Stories that prove how customers enjoy significant results by overcoming challenges through the solutions they provide. 

Mid-tier reps risk daily disappointment from their status quo strategy.  Instead, they should expand their comfort zones to smoothly navigate an uncontrollable sea of customers, competition, economy and their own companies.

An integrated sales and marketing leadership team can make it emotionally easier for these safety seekers by cuing them into areas where top performers have blazed a path for them.  They can tailor these ideas to their own style, which enables originality and authenticity.

At a minimum, mid-tier reps should retell success stories of top performers as they develop confidence and skills to develop their own.  This content will expand their horizons and they will find it less risky to look for similar opportunities and apply similar solutions because others have blazed the path for them.

Build a portfolio of online press releases and success stories fit for the moment.  Make this part of ongoing sales training and an agenda item during all sales meetings.  Online Press Releases reveal why a customer or partner has selected your company.  Success Stories prove that you delivered on your promise. Video Testimonials make the story real.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Manage Your Next Trade Show Like a Marketing Campaign

The Goal Is For The Right People To Plan To Spend Quality Time With You
As you plan for your next trade show, treat this investment of money, manpower and resources just like you do for any important marketing campaign.   Review the campaign plan to ensure that it will earn an ROI that is commensurate with company marketing investment guidelines.

Determine The Results That You Need To Achieve

  • Which sales opportunities can you move closer to Win status?
  • How many new leads make the event worthwhile?
  • Renew acquaintances with customers, prospects and partners and attract new ones

A Pre-Event Campaign Strategy Is Essential
Rather than hoping that people will visit your booth, your goal should be for your targets to attend your keynote presentation and to schedule a 15-minute time slot at your booth with one of your associates.

  • Develop the Message that appeals to your target audience so they will plan on visiting your booth.
  • Write an Article and Advertise in your industry trade journal one issue before the show
  • Tailor a Media Kit for the event press conference
  • Issue online Press Releases before and after the event
  • Booth staff should be trained ambassadors
  • Your CRM system should be online in your booth

Market The Event To Your CRM Database
Let contacts know you'll be there, what you'll be doing, your booth number and how to schedule a booth calendar time slot with you.  Send personal invitations to a select number of VIPs.
  • Promote your event through email invitations and landing pages with content that highlights trends, facilitates idea exchange and showcases your theme.
  • Registration through online forms
  • Measure results through online reports
  • PURL Postcards direct contacts [for whom you don't have email addresses] to personalized landing pages where they can opt-in to receive an email invitation.
Be More Than "Just Noticed" So Visitors Are Happy That They Made Time For You
Give a keynote presentation at the event in a subject matter theme forum.  Free running booth presentations and pre-scheduled audience style demonstrations enable visitors to self-qualify prior to requesting a 1on1 meeting.  Booth staff catch guests by surprise having pre-learned about them. Offer something of value related to your conversation.
  • Collateral and Handouts
  • Success Stories
  • Product Sell Sheets
  • Give away e.g. company branded flash drive with collateral information stored on it