There has never been a better time to build and grow a business. With so many platforms and channels, it’s easier than ever – on the surface. The downside is that people are overwhelmed and mistrust brands. Which means, you need to double down on your efforts to catch your prospect’s attention, gain their trust, and nurture them towards a sales opportunity with you or your sales team. This is what’s called “Sales Development.” Sales development is not the act of closing a deal, but rather the development of the sales opportunity.
In other words, sales development sets the stage to attract, warm-up, deliver and vet quality leads before handing them over to the sales rep for the close. It’s simply developing the opportunity and most often includes activities like prospecting, lead generation, appointment setting and more.
Sales development creates the opportunity. Sales closes it.
So why should you use a multi-channel approach in your sales development in order to book more quality prospects and increase the productivity of your sales team?
Why Use Multiple Channels to Create Momentum
You know that you shouldn’t “put all your eggs in one basket”, especially because as so many businesses have learned with the Google and Facebook changes over the years, if you’re over-reliant on one channel, any single change can affect your entire business.
That alone is reason enough to consider using multi-channel campaigns but it’s not just related to the fear of change. The real driver of including as many channels as possible in your outreach to prospects is based on the habits of those who succeed.
Over 80% of high-performing sales teams use at least three marketing channels and create at least 15 touchpoints per prospect. (Source)
Why are so many of these teams taking a multi-channel approach?
Because they’ve learned that showing up in your prospects’ preferred channel is how you break through the noise.
Internally, we call this “Operation: Be Everywhere.”
Why should you “be everywhere”? The main reason is that it comes down to opportunity cost: You risk sales opportunities if you are not connecting with potential prospects via multiple channels.
At the right time with the right message and in the right place.
Understanding the channels you incorporate into your marketing mix and how they work together to create a sum that is greater than its parts and allows you to engage with your prospects via the channel they prefer, at the time they prefer, and with the right messaging.
Although it goes against conventional wisdom…it’s actually been proven false that humans have a shorter attention span these days.
But what has changed is the amount of stimuli fighting for your prospect’s attention in the first place. Marketing messages and ads are produced at a historical level. According to Forbes Agency Council, the average human sees 5,000 ads, marketing messages, and emails every single day.
Your prospects are overwhelmed.
In other words, right now it is easier than ever to get your brand in front of your prospects but harder than ever to capture their attention due to the severe level of competition.
So how do you stand out?
How do you turn their overwhelm into an opportunity for your business?
The Best Places To Start
If you want to stand out and cut through that noise, knowing where to start is key.
For most businesses, “Operation Be Everywhere” may not be feasible. Being everywhere takes resources. While you might not be in a position to be everywhere at once, focus your efforts on the most relevant platforms. There are three places we recommend you dominate before you move on to other channels:
LinkedIn is the #1 social media platform for lead generation and sales development. It’s a goldmine for prospectors and is constantly improving with updates and positive changes to the platform that make it the perfect place to find, engage and convert your prospects.
Did you know that 90% of top-performing sellers use social media in their sales strategy? (State of Sales, LinkedIn).
That is a huge amount of people turning to social media in order to find leads and grow business, but there’s more. LinkedIn also reports that 80% of all social media leads for B2B marketers come from LinkedIn.
So why do top performers turn to LinkedIn?
Your prospects are there: 43% of LinkedIn’s 630M+ members are in decision-making roles.
LinkedIn users want to talk: Research firm, Replicon, found that LinkedIn messages generate an 11x better response rate compared with other methods.
Your buyers are judging you: 74% of B2B buyers do half of their research online before they buy according to Forrester Research. With LinkedIn being the worlds #1 social network for business, you better believe they will find you (and your team) on LinkedIn.
The results don’t lie: Again, 80% of leads generated through social media by B2B marketers came from LinkedIn.
The key takeaway?
If you or your team are not actively building relationships with prospects on LinkedIn through strategic outbound message and content marketing then you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
Many “thought leaders” will claim that “email is dead” because it’s too saturated these days, but there’s a reason that hunters and closers still rely heavily on email.
The truth is email as a sales tool isn’t dead. Far from it.
According to Outreach.io, email is 40 times more effective at landing new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined.
But the evidence shows that it is changing as we’ll detail further in the report. And as the person responsible for setting your sales strategy, you need to know how to take advantage of the new standards for email campaigns.
Rest assured that professionals still use email as a primary channel for communication meaning there’s a way for you to tap into the power of that channel.
87% of B2B marketers use email marketing to generate new leads.
31% of B2B marketers cite email as the channel that has the biggest impact on revenue.
Email is NOT dead. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to build a business relationship with your prospects… if done the right way.
Further research shows that “40% of salespeople say the phone is the most effective sales tool at their disposal.”
What about using the phone for lead generation and sales development, not just for the actual sales call?
Having your reps call prospects to set an initial sales appointment accelerates the relationship as giving a voice to your message (rather than only relying solely on digital messaging) generates more trust.
When your team implements phone outreach into their approach to relationship development with prospects, their leads show up to the actual sales appointment already vetted and with more trust built in from the first interaction.
Why is the phone so effective still? Two reasons:
When a prospect is on the phone it is one of the only channels that you have their undivided attention.
Communication studies have shown that tone of voice alone can be responsible for up to 38% of a person’s decision of whether or not to trust you.
Your prospects are skeptical. The more conversations that your team has with them, the more likely they are to trust you. And if they trust you they will buy from you.
A Note for Companies Ready to Scale:
If you have a large sales force and are ready to grow even faster, social media advertising (particularly LinkedIn and Facebook for B2B) is a great solution to quickly scale your efforts and generate warm lead lists for your reps to contact. Combine these ad platforms with LinkedIn outbound messaging, email, and phone and you will have a system in place to get hundreds or thousands of qualified MQLs every month.
Tip: One Channel On Its Own Leaves Leads On The Table
Just like every prospect is different, so is every channel. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to note that, if operated in a vacuum, their effectiveness is significantly diminished. The whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
As we mentioned earlier, 80% of high-growth sales development organizations rely on a multi-touch sales & lead generation strategy to hit their goals. Relying on one source of leads is not only dangerous but it limits your potential prospect pool by neglecting how your prospects want to be engaged.
This is the difference of being ahead or behind your competition.
Each channel offers different combinations of audience reach, performance, and so on, so it’s worth considering carefully which channels – or preferably, which combination of channels – will give the best returns. Mastering the three we’ve mentioned (LinkedIn, email, and phone) and using them in conjunction with each other will drive your sales development and lead generation efforts.
However, you need to do it the right way to stand out above the noise and create more sales opportunities online.
Ready to Get Started?
If you’d like to discuss how our team can help with some or all of your multi-channel outbound leads, reach out to us at email@example.com.
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