Selling professional services usually involves getting to know many people in your target companies, and making a pitch that is specific to their part of the business. Over time this approach will ensure that your value proposition will resonate with all the key decision makers. The difficulty in this approach is how to maintain contact with such a large group of people?
We suggest that you consider marketing automation and lead nurturing as a strategy to intelligently and continuously keep in touch with your target audience.
Lets start with the basics, what is marketing automation?
Marketing automation refers to software that automates marketing actions over the long-term with the intention of turning prospects into sales-qualified leads through continuous delivery of content that educates the prospects on your expertise. Marketing automation incorporates scoring and grading all all stages of interaction, and provides business development professionals with a continuous pool of ‘warm’ prospects.
Marketing automation techniques differ from industry to industry. In the professional services sector, it is generally successful to show your prospects the depth and breath of your expertise and how your firm has been able to solve problems for similar companies to theirs. Writing thought leadership articles also helps to position your firm at the forefront of creating value for your clients.
Demonstrate expertise with content
As you may imagine, having good quality content such as articles for your website, eBooks or interactive media such as videos is an important first step in marketing automation. These content pieces are then distributed via social posts, emails or links on other websites. The marketing automation toolkit in Pardot (a Salesforce product) will provide you with all of the tools and campaign management capabilities necessary to get your message out to your target audience.
Profiles and Context
Delivering the right message to the right persons that you will have to adjust your content to the context of the person that’s receiving it. Within Pardot, you will have the option to create a group of ‘profiles’ that can be assigned to each individual prospect. These profiles are unique to each of our clients, but as a basic example, you can have ‘business user’, ‘project manager’, ‘buyer’ or ‘influencer’.
Your content and marketing automation should be tailored to each of the profiles that are involved in the buying process. In broad terms, you need to talk about what matters most to each of these profiles so that you can build consciences among the group that makes the decision to hire your firm
Closing - Bringing in new business
The point of your marketing automation programme is to provide your own consultants or business development team (whoever does the selling) with a continuous pool of educated and motivated prospects. The Pardot marketing automation platform is integrated with Salesforce CRM. In practical terms this means that the business developers can see within the CRM who the most active prospects are, see their lead score and grade and even see all of the content that they have consumed from your company. This is powerful information.
The combination of marketing automation with Sales Cloud CRM has a transformational impact on how your professional services firm brings in new business. The early stage prospecting and qualifying is handled by the marketers using Pardot. Your business development team now spend their time and energy in the high-value prospects where they have the greatest opportunity to close new deals.