By Maria Geokezas, Vice President of Client Services at Heinz Marketing
The work we do as sellers and marketers is hard — it’s getting harder every day. And that was before the pandemic. This crisis intensified what we all saw coming – declining account engagement, lower lead quality and volume, more complex decision-making processes, ineffective channels, an overwhelming amount of content and messages.
Account Engagement with Fewer Options.
Since the pandemic hit, business leaders are asking themselves (and us) “Now what do we do?”. Their most productive source of leads has disappeared. Their teams are dispersed and disoriented. And they are facing increasing pressure to replace that lost lead volume, refill their pipelines fast. Channels that used to drive a significant portion of business are gone. Salespeople can’t visit prospects and clients to build relationships. Conferences and other large-scale events that were used to meeting new buyers and cement relationships with current customers have disappeared.
The truth is, our world has changed; from the goods and services people choose to purchase, to the activities they want to engage in — both as business people as well as in their personal lives. Incremental changes to the way we sell and market aren’t going to make up for the lost channels or inability to reach and engage with people.
Marketers and sellers want an easy answer. They want something they can immediately use to turn the lead flow spigot back on. The truth is there is no easy answer.
Engaging Accounts Requires a Bold Move.
Enter “No Forms. No Spam. No Cold Calls. The next generation of account-based sales and marketing”, the new book from Latané Conant, CMO of 6sense. The book details how Latané led her company to put buyers and their experience at the core of everything they do. She termed this initiative: Project Bold Moves.
One of the key foundational elements of Project Bold Moves (and ours as well – see our recent blog post on customer experience ) is that when you improve employee experience, you simultaneously transform the customer experience.
“Success has everything to do with how we empower, engage, and care for both our employees and our customers.”
She points out how current revenue generation best practices do nothing to improve customer or employee experiences. Instead, these best practices put up a wall between potential customers and their ability to learn more about a company, which sets off all sorts of conflicts.
Think about it, whenever a potential customer wants to learn something about your company, they are greeted by a form, unwanted emails and unsolicited cold calls. All the while, we as marketers and sellers keep doing more of the same to keep numbers up. We get caught in this vicious cycle of more content, more emails, more cold calls, which garners less engagement from buyers, which triggers even more content, emails and cold calls. Layer in the uncertainty of a pandemic, and there are considerable obstacles to overcome.
Make Your Bold Move to Get Accounts Engaged.
Even if you don’t have the AI technology to execute a Bold Move strategy like Latané did at 6sense, prioritizing employee and customer experience provides a fresh perspective on revenue generation.
The keys to successful revenue generation are universal; these are not new learnings. Here at Heinz Marketing, we have been consulting, training and coaching our clients on these strategies for many years.
- Give employees the tools and latitude to get to know the buyer, understand their pains and the journey they are on.
- Make your employees the experts on their buyers. Gather and build real insights about your buyers and their businesses.
- Allow employees to meet their buyers where they are in their decision-making process with the right content, offers and messages.
- Measure what matters and realize your high-value actions like downloading an ebook or scanning a badge at an event don’t necessarily mean the buyer is ready for a sales conversation.
These strategies may not be new, but they do have further implications. They give permission to try something new — something bold — to move your business forward. I encourage any demand gen professional to take a more in-depth, critical look at how they run their business to identify ways to improve.
Now’s the right time to give it a try. Dive into the free download of chapter 1: “A New Era of Sales and Marketing“ and get inspired to make your bold move.
Full disclosure: 6sense is a client of Heinz Marketing.