In layman’s terms, Slack is a messaging app on steroids, helping companies streamline internal communications. In other words, Slack is a cloud-based app comprised of a multitude of tools and services that can be used over multiple devices and platforms. Users are able to engage in one-on-one communications with associates or create groups for better coordination. The app allows its users to share files, integrate other apps and/or services, offering a high degree of customization, and even going as far as facilitating the creation of custom emojis.
In an interview for FirstCut, Dannie Herzberg, Head of SMB Sales at Slack, has outlined some marketing elements that she learned and used to great effect throughout her career. Prior to her working at Slack, she worked for HubSpot for several years, rising through the ranks to reach the Director of Business Development position. Here are five key takeaways in regards to marketing coming from Slack’s own Head of SMB Sales.
Implementing Channel Sales
A channel sales model implies that you associate yourself with third-parties to sell your products or services on your behalf. Among these, we can include distributors, independent software vendors, affiliate partners, independent retailers, etc. The benefits of channel sales revolve around the fact that you no longer need to invest in your own sales department but have others do that part for you.
Now, as Dannie Herzberg puts it, the true beauty of one such program and the best way to implement it is to find partners whose services complement yours, and together, form a comprehensive package for the end-user. You can look at it as a sort of synergy or a mutual win, if you will, where both services have a higher total value together than if they were sold separately.
She also went on to say that, if you are a startup, deciding whether to use channel partners or not, should not be a rash decision. She advises, instead, that you take your time in interviewing as many potential associates, looking for ones that present a great fit.
Video Content as Revenue Generator
In the interview, Dannie Herzberg described video content “as the ultimate way to communicate storytelling. And aside from providing a great product or service to customers, the key to success in building a business, I think, is telling a really, really good story.”
Video content is a great way to present a company brand and culture to customers without it having to take too much of the reader’s time or make it feel somewhat like homework – something that long articles, in general, usually do. In terms of the type and quality of the videos, she believes that there is no right answer, per se.
Every company needs to find their own style that best represents their culture, be it high-end or a playful, selfie-cam style production. What the video definitely needs, however, is to be able to tell the company’s story in a professional and appropriate manner, portray the personality behind it, and be well made, of course.
The Importance of Social Proof
In her own words, Dannie Herzberg sees social proof “as a way for other people to do the bragging for you. I think that a humble company is a company that people root for, and a company that’s constantly bragging about itself doesn’t appear as very humble.
When you can tell a customer your story through social proof and have someone else say ‘Here’s how a product completely changed the way I do business or completely changed my life personally’ there is nothing more powerful than that.” Social proof, such as testimonials, is a powerful tool to use in your marketing strategies.
The Rise of Inbound Marketing
As a whole, inbound marketing is a way of attracting customers by making use of helpful and relevant content such as blogs, search engines, and social media – adding value to the client’s buying journey and overall experience. If in the past most companies weren’t that bothered by inbound and content marketing, things have definitely changed in recent years.
Today, if you are marketing a product, for instance, the key is to “catch people when they are already doing research about exactly what it is that you sell, rather than broadcasting a message out and hoping that someone relevant is listening.”
Market Segmentation is Essential
A fairly common mistake that some early revenue leaders make when building their sales is to treat all prospects like they are the same. Market segmentation is essential because it assigns your resources where they are most useful and efficient. There are plenty of ways through which companies can segment their clients, either by yield, demographic, business type, country, psychology, culture, and the list can go on.
Depending on the company’s product or objective, each can segment their market as they see fit, as long as it makes the best use of their resources. In a B2B scenario, for example, using highly-experienced salespeople to pitch to SMBs may not be the best use of their time or talents. Using enterprise-style marketing strategies on SMBs may also be counterproductive. Instead, going for a content generation strategy, paired with a less experienced sales team could actually generate more results than otherwise.
One last point to draw from Dannie Herzberg’s insights is that for a company to have success in driving revenue is for their sales and marketing teams to align with each other and form a closer relationship than just simple coworkers. To achieve this, internal communication is required, closely followed by the realization that both departments are working towards the same goal.