How Marketing Can Help Sales Teams During Tough Times

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Key Takeaways:

• The most important thing for businesses is to extend the cash-runway. So as a marketer you have to get in battle mode and leave behind some of the long-term strategic initiatives and focus on short-term wins.

• Replace your in-person trade show/conference leads with leads from virtual events.

• Partner with other complementary companies (targeting a similar audience) in your space to be involved with your event. Leverage their network to drive attendance and increase reach.

• Continue to explore further content collaboration (webinars, blogs, etc.) with those companies.

• Shift focus from top-of-funnel marketing content away to more middle/bottom-of-funnel content to help your sales team in their outbound prospecting efforts.

• Be empathetic towards your sales team.

• Take part in daily sales standups to understand what they are hearing from the market and adapt quickly.

• Enable the field sales reps to better sell in this environment.

How a SaaS CEO is Dealing With The Economic Change

Step up your communication. From upping your Slack game, to checking-in with every member of your team asking them what they need to be set up properly.

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Key Takeaways:

Being relaxed with not having a full day’s worth of work.
• Some days the energy will be low and that’s OK.
• Be flexible with hours of work, let them deal with personal/family issues first.

Being super transparent with the team about the key business metrics (runway, funding, etc.).

Their entire year was based on going to conferences.
• So they had to quickly adapt their marketing strategy pivot to attending and sponsoring Virtual Events being held by other companies.
• Also doubling down on Outbound Marketing and Sales campaigns.

Prospecting Advice from Outsourced Sales Development Leader

Adjust the messaging for all your marketing campaigns.

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Key Takeaways:

When reaching out, acknowledge the changes they have to deal with in their current job and address the following:
• For example if you are selling an Account Software to the Head of Finance or CFO, they are not thinking about getting their taxes in, but rather about adjusting budgets, looking for financing options, etc.
• Acknowledge that and share any valuable insights you might have around the new responsibilities they might have.

Still ask for the meeting if it makes sense.
• Don’t just stop asking for a meeting if you think you can provide value.

Leverage the phone as a channel for your outbound.
• More decision makers are picking up the phone than ever.

Expert Opinions in Your Sales Prospecting

People want to focus on how to keep their business running strong and not how to do better sales and marketing – so address your message accordingly.

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Key Takeaways

It’s time to Stop, Pause and Pivot your Prospecting Strategies:
• STOP your automated templated emails for 2019 and early 2020
• PAUSE to create a framework for new messaging
• PIVOT towards a new sector or emerging market with opportunities

The Keep-It-Honest Framework for Messaging:
• Lead your outreach with subject line “Seeking Advice/Feedback”
• Ask them how they are doing and adapting their strategies
• Be honest about your current situation and how you are currently adapting.
• Share your insights on what you are seeing in the market
• End your message with “Hang tough” not “Cheers”

Follow up with 4/5 decision makers within your existing opportunities (middle funnel leads) with content that they find valuable to help them run their business:
• It could be a survey you conducted
• It could be your summary/thoughts of an executive brief prepared by an Research Firm
• It could be something you noticed about this account or their industry in general

Sales Prospecting in the Time of a Global Pandemic

What can I say, these are strange times indeed. Over 20% of the world is in complete lockdown and we’re seeing unprecedented difficult times, personally and for businesses, all over the globe.

We have prided ourselves in helping B2B technology companies find in-market customers and grow their business, and today, we’re wondering how we can keep doing so with sincerity and authenticity.

After speaking to our customers,prospects and seeing discussions online in various sales forums, we decided to seek advice from one of the smartest minds in B2B Sales – John Barrows. John was kind enough to give me specific pointers on the Do’s and Don’ts of Sales Prospecting and we composed a couple examples of sales prospecting emails and recorded the process! Below I have outlined the key points that were discussed.

P.S. The full video link is below – it is 8 minutes of highly actionable content for sales prospecting, I highly recommend checking it out.

1. Give a Sh!t

Truth is there is NO “right” way to do sales prospecting right now, other than taking a pause and thinking through the lense of empathy and caring for your prospects.

2. Stop All Your Templated Messages

With the advent of Sales Engagement platforms – the empathy towards who we are reaching out has taken a back-seat over activity and results. Now is the time to flip it over. First thing you need to do is pause all your automated and generic template sequences/cadences. This does NOT mean you should stop prospecting – just not the generic templated ones.

3. Do NOT Fake Empathy

Don’t leverage coronavirus or the current situation to make an irrelevant connection to your solution. Nothing is going to kill your chances of having that meeting with the prospect than your fake empathy or your lame attempt to connect work-from-home or Coronavirus to your solution.

4. Go Deep on Research Before Prospecting

Just knowing the company or the prospect fits your ideal customer profile is not going to cut it now. Go 2-3 levels deep in your research before reaching out to anyone.

• Where are they located. For example New York and the tri-state area is massively impacted right now, so I’d stay away from reaching out to anyone from that region.
• Consider who your prospect sells to before reaching out. If the prospect sells to industries that have been massively impacted (i.e retail, travel, hospitality, etc.), I’d refrain from reaching out right now.
• Do some research on the recent company news. Did they have to lay-off a big part of their team? Are they publicly talking about going on cash-conservation mode? I’d probably not reach out to them right out.

5. Add Value

I know everyone talks about adding value when prospecting, but it’s more important now than ever. No I don’t mean sharing a blog/white-paper/case-study you’d published 5-months ago. Think hard about what your target market is most worried about and make a collection of free resources that you can share, expecting nothing in return. Another idea is get 5 of your customers on a panel and get them talking about how they are overcoming the challenges – record it, document it and then share it with your prospects.

6. Scenario A: A Survey Software (legitimate connection)

Hi Sarah,

Hope you and your family are healthy going through this.

I was going through your Twitter/LinkedIn Feed and noticed you implemented a work from home policy to deal with Covid-19. Love how you and your team is keeping the internal communication going while working remote.

I wanted to reach out to you because as the Head of Human Resource with a team of 200+ all working remote – it must be pretty tough to get a sense of the team morale.

<<Your Product Pitch relating to the Employee Morale problem + Offer/CTA>>

Thanks,

Tukan

7. Scenario B: IT Infrastructure Solution (no direct connection)

Hi Sarah,

Hope you and your family are healthy going through this.

We are working with several other companies that are going through similar challenges as you and we interviewed 5 Head of ITs discussing their strategy – thought I’d share the video with you.

Best,

Tukan

8. Scenario C: JBarrows Selling Sales Training Services to a Prospect

N.B LeadSift picked an intent trigger from F5 networks as a prospect for John and shared some context around them hosting a webinar around threat awareness (link to webinar). This is how John decided to craft an email to the Sales Exec at F5.

Hi Sarah,

Noticed you are doing a Webinar about Threat Awareness and how your audience should pay attention to OWASP Top 10 threats.

I am working other sales teams right now to show them how to take this type of content and add some context to it for them to share with their audience so that they can add value in their engagement. I’d love to have a conversation with you about this.

Let me know if you have some time this week for a quick chat?

Thanks,

John

Key Takeaways (TLDR):

• Give a shit about the prospects you are reaching out to
• Stop all your automated generic emails
• Stop Faking Empathy
• Do deeper research about the company and how they are doing right now before reaching out
• Add value and context in your outreach

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