You just completed a product demo with a prospect and they loved your presentation! They’re interested in your solution but the timing is off and they can’t move forward right away, they mentioned that they’ll be in a better position to move forward in a couple of months. What does the professional salesperson do? Do they close the opportunity, and move on? Do they nurture the prospect until the timing is better? or do they leave it up to the prospect to reconnect with them when they’re ready?
If you’re a B2B sales reps then you are familiar with this story and the options. You do demos with the ambition and desire to close the deal ASAP but understand that sales cycles vary in length and that it takes good timing and several steps to be able to finally get the e-signature on the sales agreement.
The Top Salespeople don’t let these types of opportunities slip by just because the timing is off, instead they shift gears with the account and switch it to a nurture mode. Top salespeople will setup reminders and tasks to make sure to connect with the prospect periodically so that they stay top of mind until the prospect is ready to make a decision.
The Stellar Salespeople don’t just connect with the prospect to “follow up” instead they connect and nurture an account with valuable content that keeps the prospects engaged, intrigued and educated throughout their buyer’s journey. The stellar salespeople are experts at delivering the right content to the right prospect on the right channel at the right time.
Stellar salespeople know that their prospect will be doing research about their possible purchase, they will consume content throughout their journey and the salesperson uses this knowledge to position themselves as a center of content and information. Thereby in the process making themselves an indispensable & memorable resource to the prospect.
Are you ready to become a stellar social salesperson?
If so, you’ll need to know what type of content your prospect craves and present it to them in right way and the right time.
Below are 23 of my favorite types of content to share with accounts that I’m nurturing. My prospects crave this type of content and have responded well. Try it out, tweet me: @jeffzelaya and keep me posted on your results.
1) Webinars & Group Demo Refreshers
If your company does monthly webinars make sure to send the sign up information to your prospect or even offer to automatically sign them up if they’re interested. Follow up after the webinar to get their thoughts and send them a cheat-sheet or direct them to a blog post recap of some sort. Only send webinar invites that cover a topic of interest for the prospect. Additionally, if your company does group demos, send them the link to sign up. This is a resource that they can pass on to other internal stakeholders that might have missed the first demo but are still interested in seeing the tool in a noncommittal type of way. It’s also a great way for a prospect to get a refresher on your demo without having to schedule an hour of your time. By the way Triblio will be announcing some very special webinars in the upcoming month. Click here to learn more.
It can be an interesting TEDTalk, a video recording of your past Google+ hangout, a Product Overview Video or a “How To” video on YouTube. Videos can be a great way to communicate your product, your service, your company, your insights or a third party’s opinion on a subject matter that reinforces your solution. Keep the videos to less than 5 minutes for optimal engagement and when you send it to a prospect highlight why you’re sending them this video and what they stand to gain from watching it.
3) Research Reports
We all like to be informed and armed with the latest insights in our industry. Keep your prospect informed by providing them with the latest and the greatest research reports from Gartner, Forrester, IDC, IBIS World, comScore, Google etc. When sending these over to prospects always highlight one or a couple of relevant takeaways from the report and how they can leverage these latest findings.
A branded ebook helps strengthen your industry thought leadership and is a powerful method of sharing valuable knowledge with your prospects. If your company hasn’t produced an eBook then leverage relevant, curated third party eBooks that you’ve personally downloaded and read. Keep a library of eBooks on various topics with ready to go cliff notes that you can easily share with prospects, however beware not to share eBooks that promote your competitor heavily, otherwise it will work against you.
5) Case Studies
The majority of prospects you’ll speak to will very likely ask to see a case study before deciding to use your product. They want to know more about your clients, their challenges and how your company and solution helped them overcome these challenges. Case studies can come in a variety of mediums; blog post, PDFs, Slideshare, video etc…No matter what medium make sure that the case study explains succinctly the results of your solution and the ways in which it was successful. When sending it over to a prospect, provide a summary, conclusion, tie it back to their specific situation. For best results provide a case study that aligns with your prospect’s vertical, geography, pain point or on a brand that is recognizable and meaningful to them.
Great decks make it easy to explain information in a visual way. Prospects love these because they can pass them around the company to get stakeholders up to speed about your company and offering. They can quickly fast forward slides and focus on the parts that are of highest interest to them. SlideShares are also great to use because of their SEO value. Uploading decks and using them to nurture prospects has helped me generate new leads because they popped up in Google searches. If you want this benefit, make sure to include a slide with your contact information.
7) Competitive Comparison
Who are your competitors? How are you different from them? Have you gotten these questions from a prospect? Chances are you have. You can now answer these questions and support your answer with a competitive comparison matrix. It’s essential you create your own matrix and choose the comparison criteria and competitors that make sense for your situation. Don’t use a competitors comparison matrix because chances are that it will be biased for their solution. Don’t be fearful of naming competitors, your prospect is savvy and will very likely be researching other options so help them out and use this as an opportunity to recap how your solution is unique and better for their specific needs.
8) One Sheeter Overview
A one sheeter overview is an easy way to give prospects the essential takeaways of your solution. A one sheeter doesn’t go into a whole lot of detail, it recaps the basic information about our product, highlights some current clients, includes a client quote and a call to action to contact the sales rep for more information or to see a demo. These are great to send after a demo has been completed or when a quick refresher is needed. Ideally, your marketing team should provide one sheeters for your various products, buyer personas and verticals.
9) Social Engagement
A tweet, a Retweet, a blog post comment, a LinkedIn Like and comment all count in my book as a touch. Engage your prospects with social media within your nurturing campaign. Keep accounts you’re nurturing on a twitter list and tagged as an account in your LinkedIn Sales Navigator for easy listening, monitoring and engaging.
Help your prospects connect with people in your network that can provide them value. I write short introduction emails to my prospects to possible leads, partners or individuals that can help them out in some way. I’ve even make introductions for my prospect to a recruiter once….and once that prospect got the job guess what vendor he chose to reach out to first?
11) News Updates
Setup a Google Alert for strategic accounts that you’re nurturing and be alerted when your account gets news coverage (LinkedIn Sales Navigator integrates this into their platform as well) so that you can follow up with relevant messaging. Also look into Newsle as a tool that can alert you when your network is in the news.
12) ROI Analysis
Can you provide an ROI projection to your prospect and let them know what money they stand to gain (or losses they can recoup) by choosing you as a vendor? Tying your solution to ROI is a great way to build tangible value around your solution.
13) Media Opportunities
Sign up for HARO alerts and pass on relevant opportunities to your nurtured accounts. Help them get into the news and they’ll love you.
14) Expertise Requests
Reach out to your prospects and tap their expertise. People like to be seen as experts and like to help. Turn their expertise into a blog post and promote it on your blog. Click here to see an example of one of my previous posts crowdsource using the expertise of my prospects.
15) LinkedIn Publisher Posts
Share your relevant LinkedIn Publisher post with your prospect. A publisher post is seen as more personal than sharing a general company blog post and allows you to share some of your more personal thoughts with your prospects while building your personal credibility and thought leadership.
Share your frequently asked questions with your prospect. Maybe they were wondering about these same questions but never got around to asking. Nip those questions with FAQ content that can provide your prospect with additional information about your product in an easy to understand format that they can freely pass along.
17) Competitor Insight
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Would your prospect like to know what their competitor is up to? I think we always try to be ahead of our competitors and valuable insight that can help me maintain that edge is always welcomed. Can you provide your prospect with this insight? I keep close tabs on my prospect’s competitor and act as a spy that brings them intelligence that they can put to use right away.
18) Congratulatory Message
Who doesn’t like to be congratulated? Did your prospect just get promoted? Did they just sign on a new client? Launch a new product? Or accomplish something of significance that deserves a “Congratulations!”? What are you waiting for? Go ahead and send them that congratulatory message and watch how quickly they respond to thank you.
Funny memes or tumblr gifs isn’t something that I recommend you send to just any prospect. These are typically reserved for use with the prospects that I have a really good relationship with. Although, I wouldn’t chose a meme that’s offensive, I will pick one that is hilarious and appropriate to the situation. For example I once sent this GIF to a prospect with the line: “We can’t contain our excitement, looking forward to reconnecting with you next month”. The prospect replied: “That’s hilarious it made my day!”.
20) Content Hub
A Content Hub centralizes all types of content (blog posts, social, eBooks, whitepapers, video, webinars, curated content and more) into a beautifully layed out hub page. Show your prospect personalized content based on their content consumption history and interests. Content hubs do wonders to increase engagement and to speed up a prospect’s buying cycle. A content hub also provides valuable insight to your marketing team so that they can measure and analyze the type of content that drives revenue. If you’re interested in checking out our advanced content hub technology make sure to request a demo here.
Got a happy client story? Share it with your prospect. You can talk about how great your product and solution is all day long but it’s much more powerful and believable when others do it for you. Share testimonials with prospects and let them know how happy others are about you, your company and solution. Testimonials help build trust with your prospects.
An email newsletter is old reliable in terms of nurturing your prospects. You can optimize your newsletter by providing awesome branded content, curated content and pointing prospects to additional resources that might be valuable to them. Want to see an awesome example of a newsletter used to nurture prospects? Click here.
23) Regular Mail
A handwritten note to a prospect can be one of the most effective content pieces you can send. Don’t underestimate traditional mail to send content to a prospect. I’ve sent prospects books, typed & handwritten letters, printed research reports where I highlighted key statements, postcards and even DVDs. In our high tech world most prospects don’t expect to get things in the mail so if used creatively it’s a great way to stand out and complement you high tech touches.
What other types of content do you like sharing with your prospect?