7 Ways To Kick Start B2B Sales Teams

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Posted: February 10, 2011 | Sales

B2B sales forces have multiple challenges to contend with in today’s digital marketplace.  Lead generation now requires an understanding of new channels and changing buyer behavior.

Because sales has changed so drastically – with the buyer driving the decision making process, teams have to tap into ever expanding opportunities to meet consumers in all stages of the sales process.

To invigorate your sales efforts, try these 7 ways to kick-start your sales team:

  1. Align with marketing – Get your sales department on the same page with marketing when defining what your company’s ideal leads look like.  Better communication between departments, means less leads left sitting on the table because they were marked as ‘not a fit’.  More collaboration also leads to improved revenue forecasting because sales can get a more complete picture of prospects yet to enter the sales funnel during forecasted periods.
  2. Use automation – Take advantage of the newest software that streamlines sales processes.  Everything from instant notification when prospects are clicking on your landing page, to alerts when they open their targeted emails will keep your sales force ready for real time interaction with leads.
  3. Utilize Sales 2.0 – The dynamics of sales continue to evolve and within the Sales 2.0 arena, there are new and better ways to fine-tune the entire sales process from lead generation through sales conversion.  Sales 2.0 shows when leads are ready for sales, allows sales to interact with potential customers via technology such as social media and makes it easier for sales to pass back leads to marketing for better lead nurturing and scoring.
  4. Optimize your website – Improve your website effectiveness through landing page software that creates pages with clear messages, content that motivates prospects to act, and contextual language that clearly relates to your ad copy.  Tap the sales teams for prospect hot buttons or consistent questions so marketing can create landing pages that compel the prospect and provide more engaged leads.
  5. Track your efforts – Using software that helps tracks leads through the sales process and report back to both the sales and marketing team about average time-to-close and conversion rates.  Doing so will help everyone understand the current situation and what part they play in adjusting for better results.
  6. Leverage Social Networks – Allow your sales team to use social networks throughout the day to connect with target audiences, answer questions popping up in conversations and ultimately understand the prospect better.According to a recent Forrester survey, 57% of shoppers use recommendations in the decision making process.  By including satisfied customer comments on your various social network profiles and landing pages, you offer shoppers the number one tool they like to use right off the bat.
  7. Stay Educated – Ensure your sales team is subscribed to industry (or even company) blogs so that they understand the changing industry landscape.  Having the information delivered directly via email or an RSS feed reduces the time it takes to search for valuable content.  Encourage sales people to bookmark industry studies, case studies so when they are speaking to a very savvy prospect they can cite industry statistics.  To stay ahead of the crowd, sales professionals have to stay engaged with company messaging, marketing initiatives and industry information.

Whether your sales force is spread over wide geographical areas or housed in one central location, knowing how to motivate and spread enthusiasm across the board is key.

When you offer sales people new ways to be informed and efficient, you’ll find them more prepared to take their performance and your ROI to the next level.

To learn more about lead generation in 2011 and it impacts your revenue cycle, subscribe to the Modern B2B marketing Blog RSS feed or follow Marketo on Twitter.

Maria specializes in Inbound Marketing for Marketo, leading efforts in adoption of social media channels for brand awareness and demand generation. She has worked in marketing for over ten years, and specifically in online marketing including social media, search marketing, and lead generation and nurturing for the past six.

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7 Ways To Kick Start B2B Sales Teams

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