Call it contact management, lead follow-up, or just good salesmanship: One-to-one communication from sales representatives to prospects is vital to a smart business-to-business marketing strategy.
But how do you do it well?
Here are five tips for creating a one-to-one sales communication plan that engages prospects in a dynamic dialogue with your company and converts leads to sales.
- Use Data to Drive Your Plan. The starting point for planning one-to-one sales communication is your prospect database. Use data to segment prospects with similar characteristics, so you can tailor communication to each segment. Prospects can be segmented many ways – by industry and NAICS code, for example, or by geography, potential value as a customer, or even their role in the purchasing process: specifier, end-user, influencer, decision-maker, etc.
- Be Systematic. Prospects should receive a steady stream of credible information from you that creates a positive impression and puts your company at the top of the vendor list when they’re ready to act. Establish a schedule and a system for sending messages and materials out on behalf of sales representatives. Strive for monthly contact, ideally around the same time every month.
- Make it Personal. A key goal of one-to-one sales communication is to put a name and face on a company, so prospects know who to call when it’s time to buy. Communication should be as personalized as possible, with handwritten notes or emails from sales representatives accompanying other material of value.
- Make it Meaningful. Don’t just say hello. Be sure every communication provides something of value that is directly relevant to prospects’ interests. Send information to help prospects do their jobs better, look smarter, gain insight into industry trends, or learn how others are using your products and services with success.
- Be Professional. All communication materials should be well written, well executed, creative, consistent, and engaging. Stay true to your brand positioning in every message or contact.
The Bottom Line: Give Prospects Frequent Chances to Say “Yes”
Every tactic in your one-to-one sales communication plan should offer prospects the opportunity to agree to a meeting, proposal, or purchase. Giving business decision-makers multiple chances to say “yes” to your overtures – and multiple reasons to select your company – increases your odds of success. And that’s more than good salesmanship; that’s a smart marketing strategy.