Until recently, I sold products based on the relationships that I had formed during a career in media and advertising. Agencies like GroupM, OMG and Starcom Mediavest were accessible to me because of the people I knew and the people they knew. I took pride in the fact that I could sell products based on my connections.
I don’t think that way anymore.
My thought process changed when I realized that I now have a business with over 100,000 potential customers. Even if I hired a large team of salespeople and asked them each to network and entertain relentlessly there’s no way that we could reach every potential customer in any reasonable timeframe.
The answer for us has been to build a marketing stack—a series of technologies that work together to automate the most time consuming aspects of the sales process. Here are some of the components in our stack:
Database. Love it or hate it, Salesforce is still the most popular sales CRM product on the planet. Most salespeople are familiar with Salesforce and the product now includes a huge library of third party applications.
Lead generation. Data.com and other database companies can provide you with the name and contact details for buyers at the companies you are targeting.
Phone calls. Manually making phone calls is an incredibly inefficient use of time. Instead, use a product like Inside Sales to dial right from within Salesforce and then leave a pre-recorded voicemail.
Email. Contacting people via email is an important sales strategy and there are some great applications that help you manage this process.
Documents. Products like DocSend allow you to see when people have opened your marketing materials. All of this information can flow back into Salesforce.
Inbound leads. Want to know when a prospect has returned to your web site? Tools like Pardot and Hubspot can help you manage all of your inbound lead tracking and content marketing.
Our marketing stack has dramatically increased the productivity of our salespeople and eliminated much of the drudgery associated with the lead generation process. If you have a large market with lots of potential customers, a marketing stack is an essential tool.