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    Fencing in the Dark? Start Selling with Insight!

    By Brandon Contreras • April 29th, 2016
    Audiences: Administrators, End Users

    This blog post first appeared on the LinkedIn Pulse and is authored by Brandon Contreras, Manager of Global Channel Development at Act-On Software, Inc.

    This content originally appeared on Creation Agency blog today. 

    The analogy works, a fencer dawns his outfit complete with jacket, knickers, knee-high socks and ultra-cool mask fashioned with that bib thing that hangs down around the chin. Fencer arms himself with a Chevalier Gold Foil with French Grip and takes a couple of quick flicks as warm up. Fencer then… walks into a dark room where this particular bout will take place.

    Pitch black, one versus the other, each aware of the other’s presence but nothing more. The director yells En garde and our hero prepares himself. As you can probably visualize he can’t see his opponent, can’t prepare his defense, no way to know how to react. He’ll have no offense, unable to strike, no way to be proactive in his attack. Chilling? Not so much... but look, no one wants to take part in this nor any sort of competition where we have no awareness as what about other is doing. Further chilling, there are sales professionals working under the same circumstances daily.

    The Lights Are Off

    Sales blindly calls, leaves voicemails, sends emails, networks, etc. trying to qualify a lead with zero insight into any of the behavior or engagement of this individual. Kudos to these sales professionals, but it doesn’t have to be this way. What if sales was armed with information like which pages of the company website the prospect viewed? What about email? Would it be beneficial for sales to know which messages were opened? Where prospects clicked? What forms they viewed/submitted, webinars they registered for and attended? And on, and on, and on… Ultimately would it be helpful for sales to know why a lead is in fact an actual lead? Would it be helpful versus spending the inordinate amount of time on qualification? Um, yes!

    The Lights Are On

    In the vid snippet below I quickly show off a multi-tabbed dashlet that sales has access to from within your marketing automation platform. Specific behavior and engagement of prospects, suspects, leads, contacts, etc. is displayed. Even better, most marketing automation platforms have the ability to show this information inside of CRM. Sales can now see what content prospects have consumed, what they’ve researched, what their interest levels are, and then, with this information they can formulate a specific and relevant talk-track. Crazy? Not really. Enterprise organizations have been doing it for years. It’s only within the last (throws a dart at somewhat of an accurate number) 5-7 years that small to mid-sized companies have had access to this type of intelligence. Think, putting this information in front of your sales professionals... helpful? Would it warm up their talk-tracks? Could they in turn have more meaningful, less cold, conversations leading to shorter sales-cycles, close more deals, etc.? Um, yes!

    Impact on The Bottom Line

    According to Gleanster organizations that are leveraging marketing automation…

    • Have sales resources that are spending too much time on lead qualification and not enough time on the pursuit of revenue.
    • Expect a 2x higher bid-to-win ratio for the 20% highest performing sales reps as a result of marketing automation.
    • Expect a 2x higher bid-to-win ratio for the 20% highest performing sales reps as a result of marketing automation.

    Brass Tacks

    When we flip the lights on we provide our sales professionals the ability to be proactive and relevant in their approach. No one wants to do battle in the dark. Right?

    Enjoy!

    Thanks for reading, thanks for watching… more importantly thanks for commenting and sharing!

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    Brandon Contreras
    Senior Manager, Global Channels at Act-On