In part one we discussed the changes in personally selling brought on by the Web. In this article we will review the steps salespeople must take to be successful as online marketers. The Internet has proven to be the best lead generator in history. It has become both the local and global Yellow Pages replacing the phone book and providing unlimited information about your products and services, without excessive fees. Successful salespeople must learn to create qualified leads from Web marketing efforts.
It Starts with an Education
If salespeople are to make the transition from traditional sales roles to Web marketers, they must first learn the basics of Web marketing. This a personal choice and if they are not will to learn there is not much hope. The necessary skills will not come from a college or university. Internet marketing skills are developed by doing and watching and acting on results. It is critical to stay on top of changes which can literally happen overnight.
There is no quick fix! It takes time and effort to get Web marketing efforts optimized and successful. This effort will payoff many times over with increased leads and sales. Anyone can learn these skills at a minimal cost from many free resources available online. The biggest challenge is finding the desire and motivation to make the change and learn a new approach to sales.
What Web Marketing Skills are Needed?
Salespeople do not have to be IT or design professionals to be successful at Web marketing. The key is to provide strategic, sales focused direction to IT and design professionals. They will bring the skills needed to modify the Website, following the directions of sales and marketing professionals. This process will not be successful unless the sales team has a basic understanding of Internet marketing strategy.
The Starting Point – Four Steps to Successful Web Marketing
Our extensive research of the industry over the past 13 years has generated a Four Step Process as an excellent starting point for salespeople learning to become Web marketers. The four steps are:
2. Design and Development
3. Driving Traffic
4. Website Performance
These four steps are the foundation for learning about Web marketing and developing an action plan to drive results. Visit the Website www.FourStepProcess.com to learn more.
Online Content Distribution
Each of the four steps leads to a lengthy list of action items. Once the Website has an excellent strategy and great design the next step is driving traffic. The salesperson’s role in driving traffic is mostly based on written content. This content can be posted on the company Website, used in email marketing or throughout the Internet on a variety of Websites. This is the most time consuming, yet most effective role of a Web marketer. Website content comes in a variety of formats including the following examples:
- Email Newsletters
- Website Content
- Blog Postings
- Informational Articles
- Social Media Postings
This is how salespeople must sell today and in the future. The traditional ‘sales pitch’ has been replaced by carefully crafted, inviting websites, informative email contacts and effective use of social media sources. Salespeople must become experts on their product and services, facilitate expert discussions and understand in great depth how targeted markets use the Internet.
Here is an action plan to get you started.
- Study the Four Step Process (FourStepProcess.com)
- Develop a list of Web marketing resources
- Set time aside each day to read and learn about Web marketing
- Subscribe to at least five great Web marketing newsletters
- Visit www.IntuitiveWebsites.com for more resources.
- Read part three and four of this article coming soon. Part Three: How to Find and Train Salespeople to Market Online and Part Four: Follow-Up and Stay-in-Touch Programs for Web-Based Sales
- IntuitiveWebsites.com ( see the resources section)
- Shop.org (great email newsletter)
- Google (click on business solutions)
- Don’t Make Me Think (a book by Steve Krug)
- Hundreds of additional resources can be found online
Thomas Young is CEO and President of Intuitive Websites, a Colorado Springs based Internet marketing, Website design and development firm. He is a Vistage speaker and member for over 10 years. To learn more about Tom visit www.ThomasVYoung.com. He can be reached at 719-231-6916 or firstname.lastname@example.org.