Search engine optimization (SEO) can help B2B sales organizations gain online visibility by creating content tailored to your clients’ search. But what if your ideal customer doesn’t search on Google? What if they look elsewhere for solutions?
Rand Fishkin is the Co-founder and CEO of SparkToro, a fine audience research software. He’s dedicated his professional life to helping companies improve their marketing through his writing, videos, speaking, and his book, Lost and Founder.
Rand joined the Predictable Revenue podcast to discuss how to gain a deeper understanding of your audience to improve your outbound sales process.
Understanding your audience is the key to better sales development
Modern buyers like to self-educate. According to research from Gartner, when B2B buyers consider a purchase, they spend 27% of that time doing independent research online, compared to 17% meeting with potential suppliers. This makes it even more critical for salespeople to know what their customers read, watch, and subscribe to.
To be successful in outbound sales, you need to know how your ideal customer makes decisions and where they look for information. In the past, that meant Google. Today, most B2B sales audiences seek a wider variety of information, from social media to blog posts, podcasts, and Youtube.
The best outbound sales strategies involve showing up in the places where your audience is looking for information. But how do you find those places? That’s the issue SparkToro aims to solve.
Accessing the data
Most of the data B2B sales organizations need to collect on their customers is publicly available. SparkToro crawls public social media profiles for that data, indexes the information, and makes it searchable.
This data used to be public, but it’s become exclusive to purchasers of paid advertising in recent years. SparkToro’s goal is to return that data to B2B sales organizations through an affordable subscription-based software.
How it works
After performing a search on SparkToro, sales development reps can then view demographic data, along with key phrases and hashtags their target audience uses. This is especially useful for training reps who need a basic overview of a new industry or ideal customer profile (ICP).
SparkToro provides data on how clients describe the problem, as well as what they’re looking for in a solution. You can search for specific audiences, such as “people who frequently talk about cybersecurity,” and in return, receive a list of podcasts, Youtube channels, websites, and key phrases that audience is attuned to.
Of course, before performing this type of research, you need to have a clear idea of the audience you’re looking for. If you need help finding the right prospects or nailing down your ICP, click here to book a free discovery call with our coaches to learn how we can help.
Sales development requires research
The biggest challenge in outbound sales is creating a connection with an otherwise cold audience. The best way to guarantee a higher response rate and conversion rate is to be extremely relevant to each prospect, which requires research–especially if you’re using a targeted account-based strategy.
Another way to improve outreach is to build a warm audience and reputation in your industry. This requires both sales development reps and marketing to be active on the same platforms as their target audience, interact with prospective customers, and nurture relationships.
The first step is to create highly relevant content, which again requires knowing your audience. Content marketing puts your brand in front of the right people, builds trust and authority, and then outbound sales follow-ups to close the deal.
Both of these strategies ensure that when a rep does reach out to initiate a sales conversation, they’re starting with a warm connection.
Understanding your audiences leads to more conversions
When it comes to sales development outreach, quality is always more important than quantity. It’s better to reach fewer targeted, relevant prospects and succeed than to send thousands of cold emails with no response.
SparkToro lets sales development reps have the best of both worlds by providing audience research that allows for highly personalized, scalable outreach.
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