A successful traveling salesperson wields the ability to take in their surroundings and use contextual clues to glean what they can about each prospect they interact with.
Using these clues, the salesperson then tailors their sales presentation to each prospective customer’s particular wants and needs. If all goes according to plan, by the end of the visit, the consumer wonders how they’ve lived so long without this salesperson’s product.
Ultimately, door-to-door sales representatives and marketers have the same goal—to understand each prospect’s wants, needs, and pain points in order to sell them a product.
In today’s blog post, we explore the different lessons marketers can learn from door-to-door salespeople to better nurture leads through the sales funnel. Let’s get into it!
1. Identify your target audience.
First things first, you must identify your target audience. Successful traveling salespeople don’t just knock on each and every door they encounter. They know that, as important as it is, their sales pitch is only as good as the audience.
A wise salesperson puts in a good deal of legwork well before they start working their legs. They do their homework, find their audience, and make a plan because, to quote Yogi Berra, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.”
The same goes for marketers. Your presentation is only as good as your audience. Once upon a time, salespeople chose neighborhoods based on their target audience profile and common knowledge of the area. Some might equate the process to a type of analog segmentation.
Today, technology provides a wide range of demographic, firmographic, and technographic profiling resources to find audience segments. Use the resources available to develop buyer personas. Then, create your strategy around the details and behaviors outlined within your buyer persona profiles. Knowing your target audience not only saves valuable time and resources but also increases the chance of conversion.
2. Collect information about your target audience.
Simply creating buyer personas is not enough. In order to truly connect with potential buyers, you must continue to collect information with each interaction you have with a prospect. Door-to-door salespeople continue to collect information about their prospects from the moment they set eyes on their target.
They notice the landscaping, the décor, the personal touches around a living room, etc. Each tidbit speaks to the prospect’s personality and behaviors. Every piece factors into the presentation and odds of making the sale.
For the marketer, information collection comes in the form of prospect engagement and behavioral data.
- How did the prospect get to your site?
- Did the prospect enter through social media?
- Can you tap into their social media profile information?
- Did they sign up for your newsletter?
- Did they open an email you sent them?
- If so, did they click through to any specific content?
- What types of behavior did each prospect engage in on your site?
- How long were they on your site? Were they looking at anything in particular?
- Did they put anything in their cart?
- When and where did they bounce? Site analytics and user data offer insight that can be used to better appeal to your prospects, gauge their interest, and appropriately guide them through the sales funnel, towards a conversion.
3. Create and distribute personalized follow-up content.
As a door-to-door salesperson personalizes their sales pitch based on information provided by the prospect, marketers must personalize lead follow-up in order to move each prospect to the next stage of the buying cycle. Research shows the appeal for personalization is high, with 80% of survey respondents indicating they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences and 90% indicating that they find personalization appealing (source).
Marketers leverage target audience and segmentation strategy to catch a prospect’s eye, but, the real connection comes from personalized content and engagement. Amazon is a prime example of successful personalized marketing in the digital sphere.
When a returning customer signs into Amazon, he or she gets a “Welcome Back” message along with sales messaging, personalized recommendations, and highly targeted suggestions. Most customers have come to expect this level of personalization. But, in order to provide such an experience, you must have an accurate understanding of each visitor’s true needs and interests.
4. Automate the process for a streamlined, modern approach.
Imagine doing door-to-door sales without a car, a computer, or a cell phone—it would likely be a slow, arduous process fraught with mistakes and errors.
Similarly, lead nurturing requires marketers to have access to the right information in the right place at the right time. Enter marketing automation. With the right tools, you can automate follow-up responses based on the depth and breadth of each user interaction in addition to standard reaction mechanisms, landing page triggers, and calls-to-action.
Automation tools do the heavy lifting. They organize many moving parts and data points to help with multi-channel lead nurturing. Successful multi-channel lead nurturing takes into account direct sales outreach, along with marketing activity, dynamic website content, social media interaction, and paid remarketing/re-targeting.
When technology automates lead nurturing, marketers have more time to create personalized content and well, market.
Final Thoughts about Lead Nurturing
As with door-to-door sales, lead nurturing can be frustrating at times, especially if you don’t have the right personnel, workflows, or technology at your disposal. But, rather than giving up, take it back to the basics and think about the four steps mentioned in today’s blog post.
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Melissa Reinke is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com. She is a storyteller, editor, writer, and all-around word nerd extraordinaire. She spends her days managing web content and her nights unwinding in myriad creative ways.