Article by Matrix Marketing
With all the changes taking place in South Africa, the POPI Act being a noticeable one which has started to come into play, and many executives saying that traditional methods for finding new sales opportunities not seeming to work as well as they used to. Where do you find yourself?
At the rate that the web is taking over our lives, buying power really does rest with the online user.
According to Social Times, 81% of buyers will first browse the web to find out more about the products and services they are interested in before they make a purchase. Do you do the same?
What does this mean for businesses?
We all love to buy things but hate being sold to
The world is fast moving towards a more inbound marketing approach and away from an outbound marketing. The following diagrams show the components of inbound and outbound marketing, and what we believe is the sweet spot.
Outbound marketing sees sellers proactively approaching potential clients while inbound marketing leads to customers approaching you.
The advantages of inbound marketing far outweigh those of outbound marketing. Inbound marketing’s processes are far more comfortable and natural.
The sweet spot is where outbound and inbound marketing meet. It’s all about identifying a particular group of decision makers, connecting with them and offering them something of value in order to start building relationships.
For example, imagine selling a human resources (HR) software package to companies that employ 100 people or more. You would identify HR directors that work at companies with 100 employees or more, connect with them, and help them solve a particular issue using helpful information and tools.
So is this an example of outbound or inbound marketing?
For me, this approach falls into that sweet spot. You proactively searched for a specific target audience and offered them value in the form of social media, e-books, tactics or tools to help influence their buying decisions.
You know, when you want something, you want it now and you will go to extremes to get it. – Mark Roberge (The Sales Acceleration Formula)
We are moving towards an third era sales methodology
With the customer being so overwhelmed with alternative solutions to their problems, businesses need to focus on bringing additional value to the table if they want to stand a chance of winning over a new client.
You should read Jeff Thull’s book, Mastering the Complex Sale.
Connections are crucial
We are currently operating in a constrained market, and when money is tight, spending decisions move further up the management chain. In order to speak to the individuals who make the buying decisions, you’ll first need to identify who they are and establish a connection with them if you want to be able to influence their decisions.
In other words, you need to take careful aim at the right individuals who work at the right companies and focus your energy on connecting with them. Put yourself on their radars so that once they’re in the market for what you have to offer, they’ll very likely think of you.
How to navigate this quagmire in two easy steps:
Step 1: Identify your total available market
Using a profiling tool such as Matrix Marketing’s Propensity to Pay Indicator, you can identify your total available market. This tool will guide you to the right companies and will also identify the executives responsible for making buying decisions so that you can connect with them.
Step 2: Establish a connection
Using the same profiling tool, visit the target’s LinkedIn profile and request a connection. By requesting a connection, you’ve satisfied any POPI requirements for approaching a potential customer. Obviously, should you become a nuisance, the target has the option to opt-out.
You’ll now need to start building relationships by sharing content that might be of interest to your connections. Taking an interest in your prospects and their businesses will help build trust.
If a potential customer isn’t registered on LinkedIn, you’ll need to gain their permission to contact them and add them to your database. This is often more difficult to do as it’s not automated.