In today’s cluttered world of advertising and social media message bombardment, buyers are seeking personal connection. As the leader of your company’s growth vision, hopefully you have a marketing plan along with a sales strategy. Most companies have some sort of marketing effort. They want the brand to stand for something. However, it can’t stop there.
Your salespeople need to take ownership of their own personal marketing plan as well. While we want them supporting the company brand, each individual on your team will be more successful if they take some ownership in their own personal brand as well. It is easy to get wrapped up in the belief that a robust marketing effort on behalf of the company will enhance the salesperson’s individual success. Now, granted, marketing to increase brand awareness and marketing campaigns to increase interest regarding a particular product or service should increase leads, it is a mistake to let that be the end of the marketing plan.
Encourage your salespeople to have a personal marketing plan to go along with their selling efforts. For instance, salespeople need to be thoughtful about how they use LinkedIn. Encourage them to have a well thought-out plan for their page and the image they want to portray. Also help them to understand the power of using the network they create on LinkedIn and the ability to be at a virtual networking event 24/7.
It doesn’t just stop with LinkedIn, though. They need to be thoughtful about the personal brand they are creating. Do they send personal notes to people they read about in publications? Do they reach out with genuine inquisitiveness, with a goal to connect personally? The superstar salespeople not only are precise and measured in their execution of the appropriate behaviors but they also do not completely rely on the company for marketing support. They market their own personal brand to make more intimate connections with prospects and referral sources.
Rather than just relying on mass emails or on emails created through marketing software automation, the best salespeople personalize how they connect with potential buyers. Nobody wants to feel like they are receiving an automated marketing message, especially in the B2B world, so the smart salespeople spend extra time personalizing everything. The way to create value and differentiate your brand is really through the individuals that personalize the experience.
As part of an accountability plan that you establish with each of your salespeople, it might be a good idea to have them establish goals associated with their personal marketing plans. How much time will they spend on LinkedIn per week or how many connections will they add per week? Additionally, how many blog articles and white papers will they publish in a month or quarter? Just like every other goal, their personal marketing goals need to be measurable. Help your salespeople understand the value of contributing to the marketing efforts and they will feel empowered to own the growth plan more.
Read more about leveraging social media for sales goals in our post on Sales 2.0, here.
For motivation on getting your sales team on board with trying new technologies, read our post "Are You Nudging Your Sales Reps Appropriately Regarding Use of Technology?"