Demand Creation for The Complex Sale (2.0)

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Demand Creation in a Complex Sale 2.0 world can be summed up in one word: touches. We don’t know how our prospects want to be communicated with so we cast as wide of a net as possible. We also don’t know what message will resonate so we offer many. We don’t know when our prospects are ready to hear from us so our outreach is constant. The techniques that are available to us will not replace the telephone as the primary means of communication – it will enhance it.  Sellers don’t want to make a cold call as much as buyers don’t want to take them. We want buyers to tell us when the right time to contact them will be.

The Complex Sale uses an e-mail aggregator called Manticore Technology to communicate en mass with our clients and prospects. There are other aggregators available with great integration into Salesforce.com such as Eloqua. When used correctly, these tools place a cookie on the recipients computer that will then track what the recipient did with the e-mail you sent them and where they go on your website. I can’t express how efficient I have seen sales forces become by allowing the prospects themselves to express their level of interest in your service. Inside of Salesforce.com, we have created a marketing activities tab that allows me to see who was on our website and what pages they were on. Their activity is tracked at the contact record.

Forward-thinking salespeople also use the litany of tools available on LinkedIn. My LinkedIn profile is a virtual billboard about my accomplishments, people who network with and recommend me. LinkedIn allows you to view up to three degrees of separation to see the mutual contacts you have with your connections. It also allows you to communicate with your network individually or one-off. There are a number of applications one can add to their profile that raises awareness about what you are reading, shared presentations, polls, and personal blogs. LinkedIn also allows its members to form and become members of other liked-minded groups. The Complex Sale, Inc. has created its own group called the R.A.D.A.R. alumni association.  Our members are updated via e-mail on group discussions, shared best practices, news links, job openings, and Complex Sale points of interest.

Today’s buyer needs to hear from you before they need your solution. WebEx and Gotomeeting.com are both great tools to share thought leadership via a webinar or recreate a podcast. We also have created a company blog entitled the Sales Page to stay top of mind and a Twitter account for those that prefer communication in that median. For social-media to be effective it must be relevant and consistent. One must be willing to connect and follow people that connect and follow you. If you want people to comment on your blog you must comment on theirs.  

Jill Konrath in her best selling book, Selling to Big Companies, coined the phrase, “use the news.” What she is referring to is allowing your prospects to tell you when they are ready to buy. Organizations offer press releases about new appointments, quarterly earnings, partnerships, new initiatives, and many other reasons in an effort to generate positive public relations and investor interest. Lead411 offers daily e-mail showcasing trigger events on selected companies by using spider technology. Savvy sales people take this information to be the first knock on the door to help facilitate these enterprise-level issues.

Google allows its users to create a personalized home page to consolidate social networking sites and RSS feeds of industry content, all placed on one page. The Google reader feature allows for centrally located content to be catalogued under various headings without having to go directly to a variety of news, industry, or trade websites. The Google finance feature shows up to the minute stock price of your publicly traded clients and prospects.  I recommend setting the personalized Google page (called iGoogle) as your home page to be notified of “trigger events” every time you log onto the web.

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