When the world is going through a crisis, standard sales and marketing actions can seem tone-deaf. Instead of trying to do “business as usual,” use downtime as an opportunity to educate and prepare your sales and marketing teams for future success. Here are three things you can do right now, with or without the assistance of an outsourced marketing agency, to help make your teams the best they can be. 


Prepare your teams to come back stronger than ever


Crises drive your customers online to keep up with news and events. Prepare your distribution teams and channels to succeed in the digital arena by educating both internal audiences (sales and marketing teams) and external audiences (distribution channels) about the benefits of digital marketing. Relevant topics to cover include:


  • Foundation of digital strategy
  • Content marketing, SEO and SEM
  • Email marketing
  • Programmatic and retargeting
  • Social media paid social media and social selling
  • Lead management and ABM
  • Metrics


The goal is to be sure that all internal and external stakeholders involved in sales and marketing are on the same page. This will enable the successful implementation of digital strategies, improve your brand’s digital presence, and create new positioning and reach strategies. If your organization lacks the in-house expertise for this type of education, consider enlisting an enterprise marketing agency to help. 


Strengthen your sales team


From planning to promotions, learning what you can do to help sellers enhance business resiliency is absolutely critical. Think about what kinds of incentives you can offer so that when the economy begins to improve, a thoughtful conversation can be had. Create an incentive plan to retain sales teams within your distribution channel.


Now is also a great time to offer your salespeople training and certifications on your products and services. Especially in technical sales, this will strengthen your sales team by educating them on best practices for how to convert their sales. 


Lastly, use this opportunity to focus on digital sales enablement. Ask your sellers what kinds of digital materials they need to facilitate selling efforts both now and in the future. Improve existing sales enablement materials and create new ones based on what you learn from your sales team. 


Generate customized approaches through an account-based marketing strategy


Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy focused on a limited number of target accounts. It requires customized strategies and tactics for each of those accounts. Every contact and piece of content must be adapted to each contact’s profile. Generally, ABM includes both online and off-line components. Given the current pandemic circumstances, personalization is integral, and online messaging is preferred.


Effective ABM requires a close follow-up for each contact and opportunity. These multi-touch points come not only from your marketing team but also from sales, so in order to succeed with an ABM strategy, your organization must integrate your sales team into multi-touch tactics. An experienced enterprise marketing agency can assist with this. 


Sit down with your sales team and be clear about who the decision-makers are within each of your target companies and what your messaging will look like while ensuring it’s still catered to them. This is an excellent opportunity to align your marketing and sales teams with the same mindset and join forces in implementing ABM. 


During normal times, busy sales and marketing teams may not have time for education and preparation. Take advantage of any downtime created by the current crisis to teach your teams new marketing and sales tactics that will arm them for success and ensure business continuity. 

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