Software Sales Still Respond to Time-tested Methods

The explosive growth of new technology means that buyers today are more savvy and sophisticated than ever before. Business software sales are not as complex to this generation of buyers as they have been in the past. Top sales teams know that in order to move more products, they have to be able to engage the consumer looking for the most up-to-date software solution. An Invenio story by Emma Vas detailed how sales pros can tap into the areas their prospective clients are searching for their next software product.

Utilizing new tools

In the quest to attract new customers a good sales executive needs to use all the tools they have at their disposal. An integrated marketing platform is a tool that can powerfully track and respond to any new prospect that the company database identifies. Interestingly, a number of business owners interviewed by Search Engine Land’s Wesley Young said they don’t have the time, inclination, or knowledge to manage and maintain the digital media needed to further their marketing operations. These are the companies that are ripe for using marketing automation.

Reaching the largest audience

Advertising is critical to getting a company’s name and message out to the general public. Traditional methods of newspapers, radio, and television are all methods that work to a degree but getting the word out to social networks and platforms like Google and Amazon and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter is a new area that businesses need to be aware of and embrace, said Young. Collating contact data and moving it to an automation application makes for an effective marketing strategy that will streamline time and efficiency concerns and get the company message out quickly and directly to the potential customers they want.

Real-time sales data

Automated marketing has the ability to provide the internal sales operation with up-to-the-minute knowledge about potential prospects. This includes who is coming to the website and what pages they visit and what’s being downloaded and how they came to land on the site. This leads to the sales staff being more in-tune with what the customer is searching for and can even shorten the sales cycle and attract clients as well, according to Vas.

Keeping marketing and sales aligned

Recently, a Sirius Decisions study showed that companies who had tightly knit sales and marketing operations  – the two entities working together – gained 24 percent more sales over a three-year timeframe than companies who did not have the two teams working together. Additionally, there was a 27 percent gain in profits for those businesses as well. According to an Advertising Age report, only 16 percent of B2B companies use marketing automation, putting them at a severe disadvantage in the marketplace. Jay Famico of Sirius Decisions was a little surprised by those numbers.

“I always knew the adoption rate was low but I didn’t think it was that low, to be quite frank,” said Famico.

By not deploying and utilizing marketing automation software, the key disciplines of the B2B model, like scalable personalized messaging, are nearly impossible to use. A second survey conducted by Sirius Decisions of 1,800 companies showed that companies are in the mode of adopting automated technology. Twenty-two percent more of those surveyed said they would deploy the methodology than in the past year. Famico said there’s a lot of room to grow.

“There’s tremendous opportunity there,” he added if companies can get past the fear factor.

Search engine marketing: Should it be automated?

While acknowledging the key aspects of search engine marketing and the vital role it plays in branding, the traditional human cost is calculated and found to be out of range of many companies. Automated marketing solutions are a way for small businesses to be able to achieve that visibility at a fraction of the cost of manual marketing strategies. If a company wanted to pursue the increasingly popular video advertising method of branding, the report said that is also achievable. A recent Cisco survey showed that between 79 and 84 percent of all Internet traffic by 2018 will be from video. Young reported that new video platforms are making it easier for small businesses to advertise the way the bigger companies can afford to because the platform is much smaller than what is being used now.

Automating the marketing process is a move that can level the playing field for smaller companies and startups across the country. More businesses are beginning to understand that and utilize automated marketing protocols as a method of branding that has been, until recently, unavailable to all but the biggest operations.

With all the new discoveries and software development occurring, small-business owners are looking to improve their branding and lower their costs going into the next fiscal year.