ZoomInfo:What are some of the new mechanisms that can help b2b sales and marketing executives work more effectively on direct-marketing campaigns?
Snider: The three biggest mechanisms that come to mind are databases, CRM systems to manage the data and one-to-one campaigns that can be executed from the usage of the database. As for the databases, you can integrate an internal customer list with a CRM system to send out timely touch points. The messages can be targeted based on past purchases, and other market intelligence, thus giving it a one-to-one correspondence. Several firms provide a platform for automating this process, otherwise known as “trigger-based” communications. And, the communication can be sent across a multitude of media (mail, fax, e-mail, mobile). As for external lists, there are a several credible list owners who offer highly segmented lists for unlimited yearly usage. It’s cost effective and it allows the sales force to integrate it into their desktop CRM platform.
ZoomInfo: What can sales and marketing executives do to improve overall sales performance?
Snider: Marketing messages need to be aligned with the sales pitches that are made in the field. Since the sales reps are in direct contact with the customer/prospect, they know exactly what the prospect is looking for. Therefore, they should be brought into the fold when crafting the “sales” message. It would also be beneficial if some marketing folks went out into the trenches occasionally and talked directly to the customers/prospects. So, with fine-tuned marketing messages aimed right at the prospects’ real needs, sales performance will improve.
ZoomInfo: How can sales execs play a more prominent role in e-marketing and Web-site development?
Snider: They can provide testimonials, customer references, videos, which there are lots of excellent uses for, and applications on how a product works. The topics and subjects [associated with products and services] are important for sales to tell marketing so marketing knows what kind of content to put into the tools. If a car has the wrong gas, it won’t run as well as it should. The Web site is a great tool to showcase how the company’s products/services have helped their customers, and this information can be easily obtained from the sales force.
ZoomInfo: What do you think are the benefits of using social media as a sales tool?
Snider: You can slice and dice different components of social media. From a pure sales perspective, you’ll find a lot of smart salespeople getting involved in discussion groups and getting new leads from doing that. I don’t see too many salespeople writing blogs, but if you do start a blog you should be talking in a space that’s pertinent to your profession, building your credibility [as a sales rep] and becoming an authority. The biggest benefit of being active in the social media world is that you can become the “go-to-person” in your field. However, you must put in the time and your content/interactions must be well received.
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