When Scott Barker got his start in sales, he went in willing to learn and wanting a view of the bigger picture: sales, marketing, customer success – all of it. And through this process, he picked up valuable marketing ideas to increase sales.
Scott never truly understood the arbitrary lines existing between sales and marketing functions. And, when you think about it, he has a valid point. By gaining a clearer grasp of a customer experience as a whole, Scott would not only comprehend the business better – he’d get to know the customer better, too.
“Any good salesperson knows that you need to understand your buyer as well as you understand yourself – if not better – to be helpful and consultative,” he says in the following video clip…
While immersing himself into the marketing side of things, he morphed into a salesperson who mixed in marketing tactics – which landed him at the top of many leaderboards throughout his career in sales.
This is something any salesperson can accomplish if they are willing to learn about other parts of the business, especially marketing, and implement strategies from those departments into their selling practices.
In this episode of The Customer Experience Podcast, we chat with Scott about four specific marketing ideas to increase sales – and how salespeople can use them daily to see results and thrive.
Scott lives and works at the intersection of sales and marketing, and has years of experience in business development, sales and sales management. He is the Head of Partnerships at Sales Hacker and Sales Engagement Evangelist at Outreach.
Scott’s definition of CX very much embodies his willingness to learn about other avenues of business to better understand customers.
To him, customer experience is the feeling he gets from the preliminary conversations with a company all the way through the customer success stage. He feels that great CX isn’t just about adding value – it’s about reducing friction.
Scott elaborates on this in the video clip below…
“We all live very complex lives, so to me customer experience is a company trying to make my life a little less complicated – while still solving my problem,” he explains.
Keep listening or reading below as Scott dives into the four essential marketing ideas to increase sales that you should be willing to learn and implement in your sales process. They include:
We also discuss selling practices that need to be eliminated from your playbook.
Whether you’re in marketing, sales, or customer success, you’ll enjoy learning from Scott’s journey as he unpacks some of the things he’s learned along the way.
4 Marketing Ideas to Increase Sales (That You Should Steal Today)
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1. Develop a Concise Value Prop and Prioritize Copywriting
If you ask a marketer about the value prop of their product or service, odds are you’ll get a nice, concise two-sentence answer. But among sales professionals, there’s a tendency to answer this same question with an endless monologue of features and benefits. He explains this further in the following clip…
That’s why Scott believes there’s beginner’s luck for salespeople – because they have limited knowledge when they get started and keep things short when interacting with customers. So, he emphasizes the importance of keeping your sales language simple both on and off the page.
A good way to do this is to write down your sales proposition, and then rework it by crossing out any buzzwords or filler words. The end result should be straightforward enough for a 6-year-old to understand, and no more than one to two sentences.
“If you can’t do it in two sentences, then I don’t think you know your product, service or customer well enough and maybe you need to learn it well enough,” he says.
Another way to practice this is to use the tools at your disposal to record and listen to your sales calls – carefully analyzing your responses. Then, during your next interactions with prospects, try using 50% fewer words to answer their questions.
Ultimately, the buyer will be the one looking and asking to make your value prop more complex. And that’s the position you want to be in as a sales rep. That’s what good copywriting is all about – letting the prospect fill in the rest.
My personal recommendation for a book on writing: Everybody Writes by Ann Handley, our guest on “The ‘Holy Grail’ of Connecting with Your Customers” (Episode 5 of this podcast).
2. Create Your Own Demand
We’ve all been told that it’s marketing’s job to feed the sales team. However, Scott advises sales reps to learn how to generate their own demand through online communities. He describes how to do this in the clip below…
This is easily possible, as there are professional groups on LinkedIn for every buyer persona imaginable; these groups are filled with prospects. You are bound to find numerous communities hosting your ideal buyers.
Take it upon yourself to join these groups and contribute to them. Scott cautions that “this isn’t an open invitation to go to those groups and start spamming people. This is an invitation to just show up.”
Get your customers and future customers to lean to you through the value you’re providing in these communities – not a sales pitch.
- Be present in these groups
- Make meaningful comments on others’ content
- Share helpful, unbranded, and original content
“If you do this effectively, you can actually build your own lead gen machine,” Scott says. “Marketing does that; marketing creates an inbound engine. There’s no reason why you can’t do what they’ve done on a macro level, and do it on a micro level for yourself.”
You can do this on public posts of social forums as well, but in groups the prospect targeting is already done for you. And if you want to take it a step further, you can even make a group of your own on your platforms.
It doesn’t take long, and you can base your group on any persona that fits your ideal customer. Scott says, “It just takes a little bit of upfront work, but trust that the dividends will be well worth in the end.”
For more tips on prospecting on LinkedIn (and on showing up and participating, rather than spamming people), check out “How NOT ot Use LinkedIn Messaging for Prospecting” (Episode 37 of this podcast).
3. Building a Personal Brand
Generating online demand benefits – and benefits from – building a personal brand.
This has proven true for Scott, who has spent a lot of time on LinkedIn building his personal brand. And it has paid off because he can attribute 70% of his multi-million dollar target revenue directly to the social media platform.
What building your own personal brand encompasses is showcasing who you are as a human because, as Scott explains, “there’s no other you out there in the universe.” This blend of authenticity and differentiation is what will help you stand out among your competition. He details this in the video below…
In fact, he says it’s necessary because “we live in the information age where knowledge is a commodity, people can learn the things you learn, and people can be an expert like you are.” Providing solely your expertise without the personality that defines you is not enough anymore.
But what people can’t replace is you – as a person – and they buy from like minded people because they can relate to them. It’s about sharing your wealth of knowledge, in addition to your viewpoint.
This reduces your “warming up” period with prospects from years to a month or two because you are giving away your valuable insights to your buyers selflessly for free.
Scott reassures beginning branders that you don’t have to have anything profound to say in order to build up your personal brand. There are a lot of influencers who have the same opinion on a topic, but express it in different ways. It’s likely that there’s someone out there that will relate to the way you explain something more than how somebody else said it.
You need to find your voice and reflect your individuality. It’s not something that will be there right away, but it will come over time and get better and better.
As we say in “Rehumanize Your Business,” you’re not one in a million, you’re one of a kind. Nobody can replace you. You have a unique perspective to share, so use it to your advantage.
4. Control the Whole Funnel
Don’t depend on other people for your success. Learn to take charge of the entire funnel – from sales to customer success – like Scott did. He covers this in depth in the video clip below…
He didn’t wait for marketing to build him a case study or generate inbound leads for him. Scott taught himself about all the components of the sales funnel and demand generation.
He took the time to educate himself on common marketing tools to create graphics and edit video so he could make his own sales enablement material to present to marketing. Then they could take what he had and make it better.
Of course, all of this has to be done with the proper sign-offs – and lives on that forgiveness/permission line. But education is more accessible than ever, and you can teach yourself how to do almost anything by watching a few YouTube videos or taking online courses.
Although you won’t have all the skills and experience that marketers build up, you can at least get a good start on your own video editing and blog writing.
Take the initiative to learn some of the hard skills marketers have. By doing so, you’re making yourself and your company more valuable to prospects, and giving them an amazing customer experience.
Sales Practices to Axe from Your Process
You can gather up all the sales hacks you want — silver bullets and all — but the reality is sales is ridiculously nuanced. Walk away from quick fixes and absolute solutions that get in the way of your success. Because they won’t help the customer experience you’re trying to offer, they’ll hurt it.
What you can do is pick up nuggets other people have learned along the way, like the marketing ideas to increase sales as we discussed in this episode. Apply their advice to your experiences and know that answers are never black and white in this profession. It all depends on your role and your company’s mission.
Learn all you can from experts like Scott. Listen to professionals who admit that they’re still learning every single day. Absorb all the knowledge you can from other areas of your business because one day you just might use it.
Get More From The Customer Experience Podcast
Our goal with the show is to improve and extend the conversation – across marketing, sales, and customer success and from the front desk to the C-suite – about the single most important thing you can do today: create and deliver a better experience for your customer. Join us!
Listen to episodes like this one right now:
- “Training and Certifying Your Sales Team to Speak Your Customer’s Language” with Alex Rosemblat (VP of Marketing, Datadog)
- “Why Friction is a Customer Experience Killer” with Brian Gilman (Vice President of Product Marketing, Vonage)
- “How to Avoid Branding and Marketing Mistakes While Driving Fast” with Dave Knox (Independent Strategic Advisor, Predicting the Turn Podcast Host, and Author of “Predicting the Turn”)
Hear from our upcoming guests, including:
- William Ammerman, author of “The Invisible Brand” and EVP of Digital Media at Engaged Media
- Joe Caprio, VP of Sales at Chorus
- Dave Kennett, Founder and CEO of Replayz
Where to subscribe, rate, and review this podcast:
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Build Pipeline and Build Your Brand with Video
Video can be tied in to all of the marketing ideas to increase sales that Scott recommended. You can use video to showcase your new and improved value prop with prospects, and send video emails as you connect with customers online as you establish your own demand.
It can also be a key element is highlighting your authenticity and differentiation as you work to brand yourself, and show your current and future clients who you really are and why they should work with you.
Video is you, face to face, at scale!
“Rehumanize Your Business” is just what you need to continue learning and growing as a salesperson when you decide to go the extra mile with video in your business. The book is an Amazon #1 bestseller in Business Sales, Business Communication, and Customer Relations, the Porchlight Books #1 bestseller in its opening month of release, and a Barnes & Noble bestseller in its opening week of release.
Discover what it’s all about and if it’s the right resource you need for your business to succeed here.