3 Direct Response Marketing Techniques Your B2B Sales Team Will Love

When it comes to working with your organization’s sales team, you’re probably focused on how to deliver qualified sales leads, qualified sales leads, and more qualified sales leads.

Growing a B2B business depends on developing new sales relationships and profitably maintaining them over the long-term, after all. So your job, as the trusty marketing department, is to get new customers in the door—and your counterparts in sales will keep them happy.

If only it were that simple!

Marketing + Sales: In Search of the Perfect Balance
In reality, it takes a combination of sales and marketing efforts—and a whole lot of working together—to nurture B2B customer relationships. Fortunately, direct response markers have handy techniques at their disposal to make their jobs easier and more productive…and delight their sales team at the same time.

Before we explore these techniques, and to understand why they’re so powerful, it’s important to get a feel for the current dynamics between marketing and sales. For these insights, we turn to highlights from Hubspot’s State of Inbound 2018 report:

· 69% of companies say “converting contacts/leads to customers” is their top marketing priority
· 75% of companies say “closing more deals” is their top sales priority, followed by other goals, including:
o Improving efficiency of the sales funnel (48%)
o Reducing the length of the sales cycle (32%)
o Social selling (28%)
· 40% of salespeople say getting a response from prospects is more difficult to do compared to 2-3 years ago, and
· 55% of salespeople are “stumped” by presale activities including prospecting, identifying leads, and qualifying leads

Clearly, there are a whole lot of opportunities for marketing to do more to help their sales department. It’s not that what they’re currently doing isn’t working or isn’t effective—there’s just more they can do to help engage prospects and drive customer action toward the end result of a sale.

And, at last, that’s where these sales-loving direct response marketing techniques come into play:

1. Create Targeted Lead Magnets to Attract Qualified Prospects
This is that area of marketing that your sales team loves to talk about—they’re always asking for new leads, right? While you’re likely employing a number of tactics to attract prospective customers, drive awareness of your solutions, and entice them to reach out to you (e.g. fill out a lead-gen form, return a business reply card, call a dedicated phone number), you don’t want to minimize the impact of a solid lead magnet: a piece of marketing content that your prospective customers can’t resist.

We talk about a few of these in 3 Types of Marketing Content that Drives B2B Sales Leads. White papers, webinars, and helpful “freebie” assets make excellent offerings to provide in exchange for contact information. (This is what your sales team is asking for!) If you’re not leveraging a piece of premium content to drive inbound interest in your company, now is the time to create one.

In fact, your sales team may be able to help you identify topics they think the most qualified prospects want to learn about. If you offer something they’re likely to value, they’re likely to enter your sales funnel—and that’s music to your sales teams’ ears.

Don’t miss our 3-part series around top-of-the-funnel sales magnets:
Creating an Effective Top-of-the-Funnel Lead Magnet
Promoting Your Top-of-the-Funnel Lead Magnet Offer
Maximizing Success of Your Top-of-the-Funnel Lead Magnet

2. Offer Gated (and Ungated) Educational Content That Supports The Sale
Of course, you’ll want to drive interest from more than top-of-the-funnel prospects. Don’t forget about middle-of-the-funnel prospects who are exploring specific solutions to their challenges and bottom-of-the-funnel prospects who are really close to becoming buying customers. It’s for these prospective customers that this technique can be game-changing for the weary sales representative.

Think of a sales lead as fish on the hook: they’re caught, but they haven’t made it to the dinner table. Maybe this isn’t the best metaphor, but these prospects are sort of swinging around in space—they haven’t made a purchase yet, they may or may not be considering your competitors’ solutions, and they’re probably being pursued by someone on your sales team who is, as yet, still waiting for a real conversion.

A great way to support these leads and bring them “closer to home” is to create and offer educational content, like a

video, that aligns with their place along the sales funnel or customer journey. Give them the opportunity to learn more about their pain points and how to solve them, and showcase your company’s expertise in the area. This is content they can talk with your sales rep about!

These marketing assets can be offered via email campaigns or sent directly to a lead through their sales rep. If you’re delivering them over email or social media—and they’re accessible on a well-optimized landing page—it will be easy to track engagement. Even if your content isn’t placed behind a lead form, you’ll have metrics to back up your efforts and help make improvements on your strategy.

3. Personalize—and Localize—Your Offers For Immediate Relevancy
An offer that’s targeted, perceived as valuable, and actionable is a surefire winner. If only it were so easy to create one. Well, it is easy if you employ the right techniques. In Who, Me? 3 Best Practices for Direct Marketing Personalization, we cover the basics of creating personalized offers that delight customers and help your brand stand apart.

But what about having the right tools to get the job done? Consider that many sales managers, especially those at branch offices or retail locations, don’t have 100% of marketing’s attention. They lack easy access to the marketing team in the first place—you’re far away in the corporate office—and by nature of the sales organization, they are responsible for their day-to-day marketing activities. Too often, these marketing tasks are overwhelming end up being ineffective.

In this scenario, it’s ideal to provide sales managers with pre-approved, ready-to-deploy marketing content like postcards, clickable banner ads, landing pages, direct mail letters, and other assets that send a personal, location-specific message and call to action. This gives the local sales team a stream of new leads that they don’t have to “work so hard to get” because the marketing materials they need to draw them in are at their fingertips. That’s about as easy as it gets.

Read Multi-Location Marketing: Empowering Local Managers with Hi-Impact Resources and How to Localize and Manage Your Marketing Campaigns in One Fell Swoop to learn about TWO’s web portal-based solutions designed to make this process easy for marketers—and easy for sales teams to love.

Contact us to learn more.