Once upon a time, in a world right outside your front door, sales reps would come knocking to try to sell you some product you were never going to use.
Flash forward to today and sales reps are no longer succeeding by interrupting their prospects with messages that get lost in the noise of their lives.
If you’re thinking about how to nail your numbers in 2014, you need to make it so your prospects are calling and chasing you, not the other way around.
It really comes down to four words: Add value with content.
That's what I'm making clear to my sales force at Moontoast. Because these days, particularly in the tech industry, sales reps need to establish credibility. We need to be seen as a source of valuable information, a credible resource, or an expert in our field. In other words, we have to go beyond our defined sales role.
Let’s look at an example.
How One Sales Rep Won Home Depot With Inbound Sales
When I was working at a previous company, Home Depot was a prospect stuck in our pipeline. Try as he might, our poor sales rep (we’ll call him Tony) just couldn’t get anything to move.
Then Tony had an idea. Our company had data around Home Depot’s online performance. So, Tony took a play from the inbound methodology and wrote up a blog post about that data. The post ended up getting attention from the CMO, who then wanted to hear more insight about his business from this blogger.
To the rep's surprise, that post turned into an inbound lead, which translated into a closed deal and, ultimately, a recurring client relationship -- all because Tony stepped outside of his role and added value by having something interesting to say.
Sales Experience is the Real Key to Success
Tony had no real background in writing or blogging, but he did have a lot of experience as a sales rep. And that’s really all you need too.
Whether it’s writing a blog, hosting a webinar, publishing a whitepaper, recording a podcast, or even just dropping helpful insight into an email, creating content that can establish credibility will be your winning strategy in 2014.
One thing to keep in mind as we enter the new year: While Tony was lucky enough to see this one blog post turn into a closed deal, you’ll likely need to work on building up your content (and your reputation) to see success.
With that, let’s move the conversation from this case study example to you: Have you seen content work in your sales process? How are you establishing credibility? Feel free to share below.
Originally published Dec 23, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated December 06 2016