Give Your Sales Team Leverage by Integrating SEO and Social in Their Strategies
Any business that hopes to sell products and services needs skilled sales representatives who can bring the merchandise to the customers’ attention and encourage them to make a final purchase. Before, sales reps used to pitch personally to consumers in the malls, over the phone, and even at the doorstep of their very prospects. However, interruption marketing is declining in favor of inbound marketing. Now that the Internet has become the most convenient avenue for commerce, sales reps also have to adjust and follow where the customers are.
Sales reps might be shifting to online mediums, but they will basically still be dealing with people. This is the reason why for businesses and companies with huge investments on their online operations, plain SEO will not cut it if they want to achieve higher ROIs. If there’s a third-party SEO company involved, it may be a good idea to have the SEOs work closely with the sales department too; both parties will benefit from this. After all the salesmen are the ones who know your customer more intimately than others. This way, your business can borrow SEO principles into standard sales promotions, and bring the expert touch of a sales rep on generic SEO strategies.
Useful Skills for Sales Reps
Ideally, sales reps are able to write satisfactory website content because they are basically just delivering a sales pitch except that this time, they are doing it through writing. It’s only normal for them to be skittish about writing at first, especially if they were never experienced writers to begin with. However, if you let them go through training, they will soon learn how to make their written content just as convincing and effective as their person-to-person sales talk. With regular practice, pretty soon they will be more comfortable writing effective sales copies.
Encourage your sales representatives to produce content on a regular basis. Even if they only write one each per week, you will still have a good number of new content to publish. Make them realize their considerable advantage over third-party writers:
- they can anticipate questions.
- they know what the assets of the products/services they are writing about are.
- they know what the best ways to present them to potential customers are.
Your online marketing may have a higher chance of success if your sales reps can supplement their proficiency in sales with content writing principles. That includes being creative in coming up with unique-sounding topics and headings, inserting vital (and pertinent) keywords and phrases in the content, and reference relevant and useful content from trustworthy websites, among others.
Social media management
Integrating social online activity in your sales department makes so much sense. Sales people always go where the customers are; in this day and age, many of them are hanging out in social media networks. That’s what made the transition of social media as a place for socialization into a medium for sales progress rather smoothly, if you think about it.
Facebook gained millions of subscribers and became an ideal place for rallying customers and forming communities, businesses began creating their own fan pages. When Twitter became the one of the most referenced sources of real-time information and updates, businesses also took advantage of it and used it to propel their marketing campaigns worldwide. You can do the same for your business too. Just like with content generation, your sales reps’ experience in dealing with people personally will be an advantage.
Social media is also a very ideal venue for sales people to do what they do best. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social networks can help bring them closer to their target market.
The environment and set-up in social media sites will make it possible for your sales reps to develop a more cordial, casual, and personal relationship with your customers. Regular interaction with loyal and interested customers also gives businesses the opportunity to get into their customers’ heads and find out what they want, what makes them willingly part with their money, and what the things they expect from your business are.
Here’s a piece of advice: remember that in social media networks, people prefer straightforward, casual messages. Beating around the bush will only bring attention to the fact that you’re delivering a sales pitch. Even online, people don’t like sales pitches unless if they are purposefully looking to purchase an item or pay for a service. However, if these “pitch” posts suddenly springs up on their news/updates feed, it becomes annoying and people will not want to read them. Sales reps need to learn to balance their aggressive sales behavior with how they’d normally behave if it were their personal social media account.
Blogger Outreach/Online Marketing
Blogger outreach should be easier for sales reps because they will be communicating directly with bloggers for the possibility of sharing great content and advertisements on their blogs. The difference is they’ll be doing this via emails instead of speaking to the prospect personally.
However, we also have to acknowledge that things are quite different in online outreach. Your sales reps need to be extra careful about their words because a single offensive line or request that shouldn’t have been made can drive bloggers to ignore your emails. For instance, asking a blogger to schedule a chat meeting instead of simply providing a sample of your content or the URL of your website may land your email in the “later” file.
Provide training for your sales reps so that they can effectively engage with bloggers, industry leaders, and the customers themselves. Let them learn email writing tips and strategies to get immediate responses. They need to get the hang of monitoring readers’ comments and replying to those that merit replies.
Just because you’re integrating SEO in your sales doesn’t mean that you forget the traditional SOPs already. It’s still important, for example, to send your sales representatives to conventions, expos and tradeshows. There’s so much they can learn from events like these: up-and-coming strategies for online marketing, trends in your industry, and a ton of new information from fellow entrepreneurs and online marketing experts. Most importantly, your sales reps can introduce your business to key industry players and carry out the first steps of outreach.
It’s a matter of utilizing what works for your business, and implementing modern strategies for those that don’t anymore.