Within any organization marketing and selling a product or service, it’s easy to get caught up in attribution, deadlines, lead goals and revenue targets – the list goes on. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing; data matters, after all. You can’t run a successful business without paying close attention to metrics.
But focusing solely on what serves your business can sometimes do a disservice to what’s actually important: your prospects.
Think about everything your company does, from product development to content creation to the sales process. Within those workflows, are you employing strategies and tactics that benefit you or your buyers?
Here are four ways to shift your marketing and sales approach from seller centric to buyer centric.
We’ve spent a lot of time recently on the gated versus ungated content debate – mostly from the seller’s viewpoint. The truth is, ungating content does offer powerful benefits for your business. When more people consume your information, more people begin to trust you. And when they’re ready to buy, it’s you they’ll think of first.
But this blog post is about the buyer – and what’s important here is that gating content doesn’t offer a single benefit to your prospects. Not one.
Putting content behind a form causes friction. It stops the content consumption process entirely, at least for a moment or two. And those prospects that do fill out the form to download your content get dropped into a marketing nurture or sales cadence they never asked to be part of.
Whether it’s to capture contact information for a relentless email workflow or to reach an arbitrary MQL goal, gated content serves one party – the seller. Take the forms down.
When you’re scrolling through LinkedIn or Facebook, how often do you leave the platform to read an article or watch a video? The answer is probably not often – you’re there to see what your friends are up to or find out which Golden Girl you are. Being forced away from your feed to continue consuming content is disruptive.
The best marketers put themselves in their buyers’ shoes. And using social channels as marketing tools requires you to do that.
First, understand that social media is for awareness, not conversion. This applies to organic and paid; no one is on Facebook to request a software demo. But social media can be used very effectively to build brand affinity. It’s all about creating content that a) speaks to your customers and b) reaches them where they already are.
What does that look like in practice? Think about pulling out the most valuable point of a blog or article and posting it on social media. You can certainly link to the blog as well, but this way, your audience gets to read the meat of the content right where they are – in the middle of their scroll. This works with short, captioned video clips, too.
Often, companies don’t do this because they’re conditioned to prioritize the click above everything else. In reality, though, your content will reach and educate more people this way, which is the point of creating content.
There’s one definitive way to use pricing in a buyer-centric capacity. And that is this: If you have a pricing page on your website, the only thing that should be on that page is your pricing.
Not a form to convince prospects to talk with a sales rep about pricing. Not a meandering explanation of why you aren’t providing your pricing. The only thing that belongs on a pricing page is pricing.
We hear the same common arguments for not providing pricing, such as:
But both of those points are seller centric. All your prospects want is pricing information; it’s why they’re on the page in the first place.
If you aren’t going to be transparent about price, which is already a mistake, don’t use a bait-and-switch to trick your potential buyers into a sales cadence. Get rid of the page entirely.
We’re getting deep into sales territory here, so rather than write about that of which I know not, I’ll give a personal example to illustrate this point. I’m getting married next August, so I’ve spent the past few months researching and hiring vendors – catering, DJ, photographer, florist (if you’ve been to a wedding, you get the idea).
When I realized I don’t know what I’m doing and that some of my budget would be best spent on someone who does, I looked into wedding coordinators.
Of the five I reached out to, only one got back to me right away. She sent a Calendly link, which made it easy to set up a call at a convenient time, and then she called me at that time. I booked her an hour later.
Since then, several other coordinators have gotten back to me – but it’s too late. And maybe one of them is better suited for the job or provides the same services at a lower price point, but that doesn’t actually matter. The experience does.
When it comes to your demo or consultation process, the same philosophy applies. Anyone filling out a form to see your product or talk with a sales rep wants to buy what you’re selling. Make that as easy as possible for them.
Respond to the inquiry right away – and send a calendar link, not 10 back-and-forth emails trying to decide on a time that works for everyone. Better yet, integrate Calendly with your website to eliminate email friction entirely.
Doing what’s right for your prospect will ultimately serve your business, too. When you’re open and transparent with your content and about your pricing, when you make it effortless for buyers to get in touch with you and when you give them easy access to the information they need to make decisions, it’s likely they’re going to choose you.
The buyer experience matters more than price, product or service. Shift your focus to shift your results.