What’s missing? “No more Trade Shows or in person events – now where do we fill our pipeline and generate leads?”
Deena was charged with generating targeted leads for the sales team. And she was wildly successful… until the pandemic reached the US.
“Event marketing was our bread and butter pre coronavirus pandemic. We were consistently effective selling at in person events; we had that down cold. Conferences and in person events are on hold through next fall, it seems.
“And we still need lead flow, now.
“I know we need to ramp up digital marketing efforts and content marketing, but we’re not sure where to start and which activities to prioritize. We need help setting a strategy and then implementing, alongside our team. I need to succeed soon; I can’t afford to learn this on my own – I need a guide.”
We had a work session with the team, focused on solving for how to find leads in times of lockdown. Deena and her marketing team were clearly committed to using online channels to reach their prospects. Her leadership team was waiting, impatiently, to hear the plan.
#1 Mine the sales team: Ideal prospects light up top sales people – it could be your top sales people know them best. Ask! Once you know what ideal prospects are asking and why (what are the pains driving those questions), you’ve got a great starting point for your content strategy.
The next day Deena and team met with their top sales people (Tina and Oscar) and asked to be schooled – they asked:
- What do prospects say on sales calls that tells the sales team “This One is the right prospect for us!”
- What does the sales team hear that gets them excited?
- What are the most common questions people ask:
- Is it about a specific feature?
- Or what to expect in an engagement?
- Or are they comparing their offerings with other similar products / services?
At first Tina and Oscar couldn’t answer.
They are the top sales people; but no one had ever asked this question before. Did we mention that, pre-pandemic the whole of the sales team were hanging on by their fingernails as the company’s growth trajectory kept going up, up, up! So we could understand that answers were initially slow to come.
But by the end of the meeting the Tina and Oscar were getting into it, and marketing was getting excited! Everyone agreed to give them a few days to make some notes, then reconvene. That meeting was productive, so much so that they then agreed to meet in two weeks, after the top salespeople had more time to make notes, listening newly to their prospects. And that meeting was great, too! Tina and Oscar were able to contribute in a big way to the marketing team, with great insights, and specific language that top prospects use to talk about their problems.
With the direction and feedback from the Tina and Oscar, Deena and the marketing team were able to flesh out and then craft effective strategy (editorial calendar, content and content promotion) laser targeted to ideal prospects. Everyone was excited! Deena and team could confidently move forward, knowing what they produced was very likely to speak directly to top prospects (personas) with no fluff.
Pro tip from your fellow B2B Marketers:
“We meet regularly with our sales leaders to pick their brains and it pays off.” VP of Marketing
#2 Develop content that supports that laser focused strategy: content focused on pain points spoken by top prospects. Then distribute and promote it.
Tina and Oscar shared “we’ve definitely had an uptick in requests to support new hires who are being onboarded during the pandemic, when the team is working remotely. Executive leadership wants them to stick, to not leave.”
Oscar elaborated: “We’re hearing them say they can’t count on new hires shadowing peers, or scheduling mentoring lunches, or staying after a meeting to absorb the culture and build relationships. Those things were part of successful on boarding in the past. How to support the new manager, who you need to be productive (yesterday), like you would have when everyone was in the office, that’s what they need help with, now.”
Example B2B content ideas based on feedback from top salespeople Tina and Oscar:
Deena offered: “Now, we know we need content on onboarding during a crisis, such as a pandemic, when the team is remote.”
She and the team brainstormed a few titles for a new blog post right there: 9 ways to support new hires remotely, for retention and productivity: more important than ever or 2021 checklist and detailed guide to remote employee onboarding to set new hires up for success.
Next Steps: Promote the content in the best B2B digital channels – LinkedIn and Email
- Social media: Once the blog post went live on the website Deena planned to write a teaser for it for LinkedIn with a strong Call to Action (CTA), listing one or a few of the top 9 ways to support new hires remotely, for retention and productivity: more important than ever post, and linked to the full post, pairing it with an eye catching graphic.
Then she would rally the troops and call in some favors (since LinkedIn hadn’t been given a lot of attention in the past, and the algorithm responds well to quick likes and comments)- asking peers and people in the company, and even those whose posts she likes regularly, to like it and comment within the first 24 hours of posting it.
- Email: And quickly, Deena and her team got moving on outreach for the blog post, via lead lists generated by the sales team on LinkedIn Sales Navigator. And she mined the CRM, generating an in-house list targeting those industries who were growing in the pandemic, and planned to send out a teaser with a tight summary of the tips list or the checklist attached, and a link to the blog.
- Paid promotion: Deena is also considering paid promotion in LinkedIn and Google Ads and Facebook.
She and the leadership team are excited and setting up tests, and more meetings with Tina and Oscar.
Let’s work on this together: book a free work session
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