Amidst all of the holiday parties now is the time to plan for a full pipeline and surpassing the quotas in the coming year.

Sales and marketing get more intertwined everyday.

Social Selling is still being held up as the way of the future. The whispers that Cold Calling is dead are still being heard in the hallways. And people are still sitting waiting for their phones to ring.

The phones are not going to ring by themselves and it is the job of the marketing person or department to create the tools that will support the sales department in their quest to make the numbers.

Today it is all about value. Some of the Value that the marketing department can create is by creating the content for the sales department to share.  This includes articles, white papers and infographics.

Another task that the marketing department can assist with is the proper use of Social Media Platforms such as LinkedIn to further proactively fill the pipeline. Learning to use LinkedIn in a strategic manner is critical to maximizing the value of the time spent.

I recently read one of the worst pieces of LinkedIn advice that I have seen in a long time.  In a long list of suggestions for what you should do with your profile in the coming year, the author suggested that you should disconnect from those who you connected with a while back and you don’t remember who they are or why you connected, and from those “for whom you no longer have an affinity”. Well I am not sure what “no longer have an affinity” even means, but more importantly, why would you disconnect from those that you have not been in touch with?  Much better for strategically growing your sales and your business would be to take the time to create a plan to reconnect with those people. By deepening your connections and creating a wider deeper network you grow the strategic possibilities for using your network to grow your sales and business.

View all of those connections as a specialized prospect list.  Reach out and re-connect.  You never know what can develop.  Research those people and prepare your calling and connection plan the same way you would for any other prospect list. Have your goal in mind and go for it.  Obviously, you are not looking to sell something to each of these connections, but you connected for a reason, perhaps it was the introductions that you thought they could help you with or some other networking purpose, with that in mind reach out and reconnect. Keep the goal of the call, email or message in mind and go for it.

Once you have reached out with the first touch point follow up with other contacting opportunities.  Create your “campaign” as it were to reconnect and develop that relationship.  Once you have done so, stay in touch.  That is where the marketing department comes in again, use the content that they are creating and share it with those connections.  Keep in mind the connections’ industry and use that as a guide to share information of value. The marketing department, working with a promotional products pro, can also help you create programs like the mailer below.

Now is the time to plan those campaigns.  Include email, phone calls, even a direct mail piece or hand written note.  Something like this packet of seeds mailer:

The one thing that we can’t advise strongly enough is do not, under any circumstances, put people on your email newsletter list or ezine without their permission.  You can even send them a special message asking if they would like to subscribe, but just adding them to your list to grow your numbers hurts you. It skews your metrics and you are possibly annoying the recipient making them less receptive to your value messages.

For more information on how you can create these systems to enhance your visibility before during and after the sales process, schedule a call today