article | July 19, 2015
For More Sales Success, Polish Your Conversation Skills
The Campaign is the go-to-market approach for many organizations. It certainly has plenty of history in the business. But what if there was a more engaging approach? Think how prospects might respond to being spoken with rather than talked at.
That’s the difference between a campaign and a conversation. We’ll look at what this means and what defines a solid conversation-based sales program.
Campaigns and conversations are both processes, but they’re distinctly different. Campaigns and conversations are both processes, but they’re distinctly different.
Push-Based and One-Way:
A campaign is push-based, with push metrics. The company pushes everything out into the marketplace. Campaign marketers measure success by click-throughs and emails opened. This is one-way communication.Sales does all the talking.
There’s nothing wrong with running a campaign. It’s part of the marketing mix and it will be for a while. But it’s only a starting point.
Engaging Customers in Dialogue:
With a content marketing program built on conversation, you open up two-way communication. There’s an opportunity for an exchange of information and views. Customers are invited to speak their minds and offer suggestions.
That’s the customer behavior you’re after. You want them to comment on your blogs and social media posts. To call you on the phone. To retweet your tweets. And to attend your webinars – and ask questions during the Q&A.
Conversation is the style and the process. But remember, your content still has to be relevant.
A Simple Switch:
Adopting a conversation process is a shift in thinking. Conversation is a more subtle way of doing business.
You can’t fault sales reps for wanting to move directly from campaign to customers. But that’s too long a leap. Suggest patience. Try this: Let the campaign spark the conversation. Let the conversation bring in the customer.
Use our conversation checklist to review how your team can integrate a conversational process. The checklist details best practices and will put your process on the right path. Download the checklist here.
You might think this would slow everything down, but it doesn’t have that effect. The result is actually the opposite. Call it counterintuitive, but the sales cycle shrinks and win rates go up.
You invest the time – to shorten the time. The conversation pre-sells the prospect. Your sales reps will like that.
Build an Active Customer Relationship:
When you open conversations with your prospects and customers, you show them respect. You demonstrate that you value them. Every sale is a transaction. So is every conversation.
This is business as give-and-take. It’s a strong content strategy where everyone comes out ahead.