Spring 2018 PES Sales Career Fair – General Information

PES SALES CAREER FAIR|Spring 2018

The Program for Excellence in Selling’s Sales Career Fair will be held Thursday, April  5, 2018 from 3:00-6:00 P.M. at the University of Houston’s Hilton Hotel. All majors are welcome! Professional dress is required.

For Sales Career Fair employer details, please visit this link.

Below is a list of companies who attended our Fall 2017 Sales Career Fair. An updated list will be provided as soon as registration opens mid-Februry.

3 Men Movers
Aflac
AIG
Andersen Windows and Doors: Andersen Corporation
Apex Heritage Group
Aspen Technology Corporation
AXA Advisors
Blue Square Concepts
BMC Software
C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.
Carroll Insurance Agency
CB Richard Ellis
CBS Radio
Center for Student Media
Chesmar Homes
Christy Catalytics
Clayton Homes
Clearent
Collabera
CS Disco Inc.
Cumulus Media
Daktronics
Derrick Equipment Co.
DXP Enterprises, Inc.
Ecolab
Edward Jones Investments
EJ
Eli Lilly
EMC
Enterprise Rent a Car
Entrust Energy
Expeditors International
Fastenal

First PolyChem LLC

Fisher Investments
Five Nine Solutions, Inc.
Foresters Financial Services, Inc.
Gartner
Gympass
H&E Equipment Services
HEB
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HP)
Hilti
Houston Wire & Cable Company
Ideal Dental
JMFA
Johnson Equipment Company
Level 3 Communications, Inc.
Liberty Mutual Group
Mattress Firm, Inc.
Media Press Promotions
Medix
Michael Page
Myers The Home Buyers
NALCO Water
Nationwide Financial
NES Global Talent
Northwestern Mutual Financial Network
Oracle Corporation
OTIS Elevator
Oxford Partners/Oxford Realty
Paycom
Paysphere
Power Home Remodeling Group
Renewal by Andersen
Reynolds and Reynolds
Richdale Apartments
Sandler Training
SAS
Schlumberger
Schneider Electric
SCI
Senna House Buyers
Sewell Automotive
Sherwin-Williams
SHI International
Sirius Computer Solutions
Smith & Associates
SSAB Americas
State Farm – Houston
Stewart Title
Summer Energy LLC
Swan Energy
Tesla, Inc.
The Maygroup Insurance LLC
United Rentals
University of Houston- Bauer MBA
UPS
Vacations To Go
Verizon Wireless
Vivint.SmartHome
VMware Inc.
Walker Elliott

The Value of CRM Adoption to a Sales Leader

As our membership quarter comes to a close we are excited to be sharing the final podcast in our Sales Leader Series. Joining us is a very special guest – Bryan Bentley, the Managing Director of Sales Operations at Service Corporation International. Join our Director of Executive Education, Carl Herman, and Director of Corporate Relations, John Pingel as we discuss the value of CRM to a sales leader. 

Associate Account Manager – Collabera

A brief synopsis on Collabera

Collabera is an IT Staffing and Solutions company that partners with Fortune 1000 corporations to help connect them to talented IT Professionals around the world. We have been a leader in the IT Staffing Industry for the past 26 years and continue to grow our footprint both globally and regionally. With revenues over $640M, Collabera employs over 14,000 professionals managed from over 50 offices across the globe. Each year, we search for highly motivated and personable candidates to become part of our growing corporate team of talented individuals around the world.

 Established in 1991, headquartered in New Jersey

 $640 million in revenue with ~ 14,000 employees Globally

 US Ranked the “Best Staffing Firm to Work For” 5 years in a row by SIA

 Ranked among the Top 10 IT Staffing

 Recognized as the largest minority-owned IT Staffing firm in the US

 

Our Texas Office locations are as follows:

  • Dallas: 1425 Greenway Drive, Suite #320, Irving, TX 75038
  • Austin: 106 East 6th Street, Suite #900, Austin, TX 78701
  • Houston: 7670 Woodway Drive, Suite #270,  Houston, TX 77063
  • (We also have 30+ other nationwide locations)

 

Job Description:

Collabera is an IT Staffing Company that partners with many Fortune 1000 corporations to help connect them to talented IT Professionals around the world. We are looking for entry-level individuals from all backgrounds that are looking for a career opportunity in sales working for one of the top IT staffing firms in the United States. Prior staffing, sales or IT experience is not required. Through Collabera’s mentor program you will have the opportunity to join the Collabera team and receive hands on training in the IT Staffing industry.

 

Associate Account Manager:

 Consult with internal managers to identify client needs

 Source, contact, and interview qualified technical job seekers

 Manage candidates throughout interview and hiring process

 Act as the liaison between the Hiring Manager and qualified candidates

 Support and partner with both domestic and international offices to fill client needs

 Develop and maintain relationships with clients and consultants to build a professional network

 

Account Manager:

 Develop and maintain business relationships C-Level Directors of Fortune 1000 companies

 Consult with C-level executives to develop and implement an effective onboarding strategy

 Network with clients over lunch, dinner, sporting events, concerts, and other various social activities

 Work directly with internal recruiters to help meet client business objectives

 Represent Collabera by providing business solutions based on client needs

 

Compensation and Benefits:

 Base salary in addition to quarterly, uncapped bonuses

 Paid training; both on the job and classroom style training

 Eligible for benefits and paid time off within the first 90 days of employment

 Discount Programs (such as: fitness, cell carrier, credit union, etc.)

 Annual sales contest eligibility

 Weekly out of office team building activities

 

Requirements:

 Bachelor’s Degree

 Internship/Externship experience

 Involvement within student/community organizations OR -previous work experience

 Above average communication and interpersonal skills

 Career-motivated and driven

 Detail and process oriented

 Flexibility to travel/relocate

New Graduate- Inside Sales Representative – VMWare

VMware

New Graduate- Inside Sales Representative

Austin, Texas

Job ID R05262

 

VMware invests for the future in VMware’s Inside Sales Organization through the VMware Sales Academy. The Sales Academy is an extensive sales training program involving sales, technical and product training for all participants. Following training, successful participants will be moved into an Inside Sales Role: the next step in their VMware Journey.

The Inside Sales Representative will be responsible for selling the company’s products and services via telephone. A typical day involves speaking with 20-30 customers and 10+ partners that are considering purchasing VMware products. You will be responding to inbound and outbound calls. The ISR is held accountable to closing sales and placing orders typically generated by national advertising and/or referrals. You will be responsible for delivering a positive customer experience via out sales model while maximizing revenue and margin generation. We’re looking for people who love to win, have strong business ethics and great communication skills. VMware does not sponsor immigration for this role.

  • Articulates how the VMware business model relates to selling VMware products and services
  • Transactional focus
  • Occasional involvement in outside sales lead with Sales Representative support
  • Regular coaching/mentoring required
  • Frequent contact with manager
  • Learns the full range of VMware technology, products, and services and is able to identify how these solutions align to customer needs
  • Explains technical, industry, and market facts to position VMware as a visionary solution
  • Participates and collaborates with colleagues, cross-functionally, to support the sales process

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Bachelor’s degree required, Professional Selling Degree preferred
  • Self-motivated with a high attention to detail and ability to multitask
  • An unwavering positive attitude, strong drive for results, and the ability to deal with ambiguity are a must
  • Need to be familiar with computers and technology and comfortable using the Microsoft Windows operating system and Microsoft Outlook
  • Comfortable working with others and in a team environment
  • Open to receiving constructive criticism (feedback) and applying and integrating the feedback in an effort to improve their results
  • Demonstrates good judgment in analyzing information to make routine decisions
  • 1-3 years software or enterprise selling a plus (but not required)
  • Knowledge can be demonstrated either through direct experience or similar experiences through internships

 

Management/Sales Trainee – Sherwin Williams

Management/Sales Trainee

Job Number: 1700001A

Angleton, Texas | Houston, Texas | Richmond, Texas | Katy, Texas | Humble, Texas

Job Field: Retail

Travel: No

Schedule: Full-time

Description

Welcome to Sherwin-Williams
Sherwin-Williams is the largest coatings company in North America, and the third largest in the world.  With $11 billion in sales, 4,000+  stores, and 90+ manufacturing and technical centers, we proudly serve customers in over 120 countries.  Our 45,000+ employees across the globe are diverse, innovative and passionate.  With a variety of rewarding and challenging opportunities, Sherwin-Williams is a great place to launch and grow a career.  Find yours and join us today.

If you’ve got what it takes to be a troubleshooter, marketer, trainer, systems analyst, creative problem solver, strategist, and an all-encompassing leader of the pack, you could be part of the Sherwin-Williams’ team. Our Management/Sales Training Program is designed to provide you with all the skills needed to build a successful career in management and/or outside professional sales.

The Management/Sales Training Program includes self-study modules, structured on-the-job training, classroom instruction at our regional training facilities, as well as ongoing education throughout your career.  Your training will encompass all aspects of store management, including paint and associated products, customer service, professional sales and marketing, credit and accounts receivable management, human resources management, profit and loss and merchandising management.

After you complete the training program, you’ll be able to progress into paint store management positions.  Our Assistant Store Managers and Store Managers oversee a million-dollar business, providing leadership and insight into the development and strategy of their store.

Many Management/Sales Trainees choose a path that leads to a career in professional sales.  In this role, they grow the company’s market share by selling to large, commercial users such as painting contractors, purchasing agents, manufacturers, and other commercial users who need large volumes of our high-quality products.  Generally, sales representatives apply their trade in specific regions or territories. Management/Sales Trainees are eligible for professional sales positions once a track record of success within the stores has been established.

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Must have a valid Driver’s License.
  • Must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.  You may apply for this position if you have your bachelors degree, or will obtain one within the next 12 months.
  • Must be legally authorized to work in country of employment without sponsorship for employment visa status.
  • Must be willing to work all scheduled hours which may include evenings and weekends, with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Must be able to retrieve material from shelves and floor stacks and lift and carry up to 50 lbs.
  • Must be able to operate material handling equipment (e.g. hand truck, pallet jack, forklift, etc.).
  • Must be able to tint paint, therefore, must be able to distinguish the difference between colors.
  • Must be able to operate a computer and communicate via the telephone.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Prior work experience in sales or customer service.
  • Willingness to relocate for promotional opportunities.
  • Bilingual ability is an added plus.

Come join the training program that will serve as the springboard for all of your career aspirations.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Who we are
At Sherwin-Williams, we’re proud of the company we keep — our family of loyal employees. To learn about our company and our culture go to Sherwin.com/careers.

 

Equal Opportunity Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, age, pregnancy, genetic information or any other consideration prohibited by law or contract.

 

VEVRAA Federal Contractor requesting appropriate employment service delivery systems, such as state workforce agencies and local employment delivery systems, to provide priority referrals of protected veterans.

Retail Sales & Management Internship – Clayton Homes

Retail Sales & Management Internship

We currently have openings for two Summer Interns at our Houston area Retail Home Centers.

As the Retail Sales & Management Intern, you will have the opportunity to learn multiple roles at the Clayton Home Center. Our 11-week summer program provides valuable experience in sales and sales management, inventory management, and marketing coordination. You will be paired with an experienced, successful Home Center Manager and will be involved in daily business activities while learning about the culture and environment of the company. You will gain valuable experience in multiple facets of business, sales, and team work.

Clayton Homes, a Berkshire Hathaway company and the nation’s leading housing provider, is a vertically integrated housing company that builds, sells, and insures affordable housing.

 

Compensation & Benefits:

  • A Berkshire Hathaway Company – an integrity based organization offering unlimited career growth;
  • Hourly pay
  • 40-hour workweek includes Saturday hours 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Paid Holidays – Memorial Day & Independence Day
  • Home Centers are closed on Sundays – we believe in offering a balanced working environment;

Responsibilities:

  • Research & analyze marketing techniques
  • Work closely with senior Leadership throughout the sales process
  • Market the Home Center through various styles & techniques
  • Support the sales team by performing administrative tasks
  • Follow 11-week Intern Guideline
  • Visit Manufacturing Plant if feasible

Education:

  • Junior or Senior standing with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher
  • Interested in pursuing a career in Sales

Experience:

  • Professional experience in sales or customer service
  • Administrative experience, using word, excel or other dedicated computer programs

Skills & Abilities:

  • Motivated, self-starter that thrives in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to multitask and work in a team environment
  • Creative, innovative mindset with web-design & social medial skills
  • Responds appropriately in social environments, customer service focused

Entry Level Outside Sales Trainee – Reynolds & Reynolds

SALARY STARTS AT $40K – PAID TRAINING – HOME OFFICE PACKAGE – COMPANY CAR

 

POSITION DESCRIPTION:

Reynolds and Reynolds is seeking motivated and hard-working Entry Level Outside Sales Trainees to join our growing team. The goal of this position is to prepare you for your own territory as a Sales Professional. Our sales team has been an essential part of Reynolds’ success over the last 150 years. If you are ready to join the exciting and rewarding career path of outside sales, with opportunities for travel, training, unlimited earning potential and growth, this is the ideal opportunity for you!

As an Entry Level Outside Sales Trainee, you will enroll in our 18 month training program that will involve job shadowing with seasoned sales representatives as they visit clients and sell our software products. The travel will vary based off your training territory. This field based training will assist in your education of our industry and solutions as well as allow you to observe the sales skills taught in the classroom training.

 

The classroom training is located at our award winning Reynolds University in Dayton, OH.  You will complete different courses throughout the program including training on sales techniques, negotiations, dealership operations, and in-depth product training on our dealership Retail Management System. During this training program you will complete 12 months of customer service and installation training to help enhance your knowledge of our products and the benefits of our solutions.  The Entry Level Outside Sales Trainee should be prepared to travel approximately 75% of the time during these 12 months. At the end of your training, when you are prepared with the appropriate skills and knowledge, you will complete a ten-day Sales Techniques Workshop, ending with a Closing Sales Presentation that will allow you to showcase the skills you have gained throughout the program and will prepare you for your own territory.

 

Once you complete the training program, you will be relocated to your assigned territory and become a Sales Professional. In this role you will be responsible for achieving designated monthly and annual quotas by selling Reynolds software products and services to new and existing customers.  As a Sales Professional (and Trainee) you will have a home office and will be provided a company car, laptop, iPad, iPhone, and other office equipment.

 

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Must be a self-starter with good time management skills
  • Ability to build strong customer relationships
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Willing to relocate after successful completion of the 18 month training program

 

 

TO APPLY:  Submit your resume to careers@reyrey.com or visit our website at www.reyrey.com/careers to learn more.

 

 

 

 

BENEFITS:

We strive to offer an environment that provides our associates with the right balance between work and family. We offer a comprehensive benefits package including:

  • Medical, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • 401(k) with up to 6% matching
  • Company car for business and personal use
  • Working remotely with an iPad, iPhone, laptop, and other provided home office equipment

 

 

BENEFITS CONTINUED:

  • Professional development and training
  • Promotion from within
  • Paid vacation and sick days
  • Eight paid holidays
  • Referral bonuses
  • Associate discounts for cell phones, cars, computers, entertainment, and much more

 

 

ABOUT OUR COMPANY:

 

Established in 1866, Reynolds and Reynolds offers the Retail Management System – a complete suite of products and services for automotive dealerships. Reynolds solutions are built as one, to work as one, for all areas of the dealership. While headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, Reynolds has offices all over the world, employing more than 4,300 associates.  We offer a variety of opportunities: Energizing projects, high-powered teaming, constant learning, and professional growth.

 

 

Summer Sales Intern

 

 

        

PAID INTERNSHIP – HOUSING PROVIDED – PAID TRAVEL – SALES TRAINING

POSITION DESCRIPTION:

Reynolds and Reynolds is looking for sales students who are ready for a challenging and rewarding internship. Our superior software solutions and award-winning sales, service, and support have made us one of the most recognized and respected companies in the automotive industry.

 

The goal of the summer sales internship is to give you an understanding of what it is like to be an Outside Sales Representative with Reynolds while also gaining valuable, real-world sales experience. You will learn about the different sales responsibilities including lead generation, gathering competitive intelligence and the implementation of market strategies and programs.

 

During the summer you will spend three separate weeks traveling nationwide, completing job shadows with Reynolds Sales Representatives. When you are not traveling with a Field Sales Representative, you will be working as a part of our inside sales team in Dayton, OH where your manager will assign you specific sales goals. This internship will also include additional classroom training that will cover sales techniques and dealership operations.

 

Towards the end of your internship, you will have the opportunity to prove yourself as a strong sales associate by competing with your fellow interns in a sales competition. The culmination of your experiences will end with a final presentation to our sales leadership team, where you will have the opportunity to sell yourself to leadership. If you are a student with a desire to excel and succeed in sales within a reputable company this is the internship for you!

 

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Currently a Junior in college with long-term interest in Sales as a career
  • Must be a self-starter with good time management skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Willingness to travel as the internship will include three weeks of travel
  • Ability to work full time hours
    • This internship will begin on May 14, 2018 and end on August 3, 2018. You will work at our Headquarters building located in Dayton, OH. Paid housing will be provided for out of town students.

 

 

BENEFITS:

We strive to offer an environment that provides our associates with the right balance between work and family. We offer a comprehensive benefits package including:

 

  • Free on-site fitness center with a cardiovascular fitness area, weight room, daily fitness classes, and locker and shower facilities
  • Health Center staffed by a Nurse Practitioner and on-site prescription delivery
  • Company sports leagues including softball, volleyball, soccer, and many more
  • World-class cafeteria with a variety of daily options and specials
  • Convenience store with a full-service Starbucks coffee bar, magazines, greeting cards, and a large assortment of snacks
  • Company-sponsored events including the Family Picnic, Company Cook-Off, and Charity Bike Build
  • Associate discounts for cell phones, cars, computers, entertainment, and much more

 

ABOUT OUR COMPANY:

 

Established in 1866, Reynolds and Reynolds offers the Retail Management System – a complete suite of products and services for automotive dealerships. Reynolds solutions are built as one, to work as one, for all areas of the dealership. While headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, Reynolds has offices all over the world, employing more than 4,300 associates.  We offer a variety of opportunities: Energizing projects, high-powered teaming, constant learning, and professional growth.

Indirect Sales Representative – Summer Energy

DEPARTMENT: SALES/MARKETING

WEBSITE: www.summerenergy.com

EMAIL: careers@summerenergy.com

 

Job Title

Representative, Indirect Sales

 

This is an ENTRY LEVEL sales position ideal for a candidate looking to gain knowledge and experience in the retail power industry by building strong working relationships.  Learn the industry from A to Z while advancing your career at Summer.  The Indirect Sales Team’s principal goal is to ensure excellence in service to our third parties which include aggregators, brokers, and consultants.  If you are a highly motivated individual with a strong work ethic and willing to learn, this position is for you. 

 

Reports to

President

Senior Business Development Manager

 

Location

  • Houston, TX

 

Pay Structure

  • Salary plus Commission/Bonus
  • Benefits after 90 days of employment
  • Company provided medical and dental insurance
  • At least two (2) weeks for vacation as well as customary holidays
  • Free parking and business casual dress (appropriate)
  • Eligible for benefits after 90 days of employment

 

Job Functions

  • Respond to pricing requests, complete proposals, and negotiate contracts with aggregators, brokers, and consultants.
  • Generate business that meets or exceeds quota, as well as ensure exceptional service.
  • Develop third party, broker relationships through cold calling, referrals, and face to face meetings.
  • Completion of weekly, or more frequent as deemed necessary by management, sales management reports.
  • Pre and post-sales support.
  • Acts as a team member with all employees of Summer Energy.
  • Complies with all Summer Energy policies and procedures.
  • Performance evaluation to be completed after 6 months (and annually thereafter) at which time employee will be assessed based on goals and meeting the above expectations of the job function.

 

Requirement

  • Willingness to learn and grow with the Company.
  • Motivated with strong negotiating skills.
  • Ability to coordinate and manage internal resources with third parties to successfully execute the sales process.
  • Positive and proactive attitude with excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to deal and interact with varying level decision makers.
  • Must self directed and able to learn business and new products quickly.
  • Ability to work and contribute as an effective team player in a fast paced sales environment.
  • Excellent database, spreadsheet, word processing, and presentation skills.
  • Light travel schedule.

 

Education /Experience

  • Entry level sales position.
  • College education required.
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft product suite.

Market Development Representative – HighRadius

HighRadius is a leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company in the Accounts Receivables space. The HighRadius Integrated Receivables platform optimizes cash flow through the automation of receivables and payments process across cash application, credit, collections, deductions, electronic billing and payment processing.

We at HighRadius firmly believe that a product is only as good as the people behind it.  Whether it’s product development, customer support, sales or operations, all of our employees see the direct impact of their work.  As a leader and one of the fastest growing ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) companies in the Accounts Receivables space, HighRadius focuses on hiring talented and motivated people from diverse backgrounds. If you want to channel your ambition and drive for success, you belong with HighRadius!  Be sure to check out our company’s website to learn more about our fun culture, great benefits, read customer and employee testimonials, and more!

As the foundation of our Sales and Marketing teams  you will be responsible for managing all of HighRadius’ inbound leads. You will provide sales development support to our team through the development of qualified leads that result in closed-won business.

This role combines huge opportunities for growth into full-closing sales or marketing campaign management roles with top-notch sales and marketing training!

 

Responsibilities:

  • Speak with active inbound leads and follow-up as required
  • Respond to and qualify incoming web and phone inquiries regarding HighRadius products
  • Manage prospects with the ability to articulate value proposition, navigate objections, and foster relationships
  • Work closely with the entire sales organization to accelerate the sales cycle and to extend our reach into target accounts
  • Collaborate with marketing team to ensure that inbound marketing campaigns are integrated with other marketing efforts ensuring a seamless user experience for customers
  • Develop and maintain marketing KPI reporting for all lead generation sources, ensuring comprehensive lead tracking through the sales funnel
  • Collaborate with sales development team to solicit feedback on lead quality and quantity and adjust inbound marketing efforts as necessary
  • Primary responsibility for following up on marketing leads and sales inquiries to qualify future opportunities.
  • This position is a training role for either our Sales or Marketing Career paths.
  • Successful team members will learn about our client’s business financial supply chain (FSCM) processes and challenges; the HighRadius solutions, and; the HighRadius sales methodology for promotion to the Account Executive role.

 

Desired Skills and Experience:

  • BA/BS degree required or equivalent work experience
  • 0-2 years of customer service and/or sales or marketing experience preferred, but talented individuals with a passion for SaaS sales and marketing will be considered
  • Excellent communication and people skills – comfortable interacting with cross-functional teams and colleagues
  • Takes ownership of responsibilities and exhibits pride in work
  • Desire for continuous learning, improvement and overall career growth
  • Candidates will possess an internal drive and motivation to succeed, demonstrate strong process and mathematical skills, and ability to learn new concepts quickly.

Perks:

  • Voted Top Workplaces by Houston Chronicle
  • Ground floor opportunity at one of the world’s fastest growing companies
  • Competitive salary
  • An insanely supportive, hardworking team, building something BIG
  • Quarterly and annual company outings
  • Weekly office Happy Hours
  • Breakfast Taco Mondays
  • Donut Fridays
  • Beer Fridays
  • Casual dress
  • Room for growth

Click here to apply now!

Filling the Pipeline in the Age of Digital Selling

Filling the Pipeline in an Age of Digital Selling

By: William J. Zhan, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Houston

Businesses that want to fill their pipeline with new leads and grow organically must focus on the integration of their digital marketing and selling resources.

A 2014 study conducted by the Acquity Group revealed that 94% of business-to-business buyers do some form of online research in the procurement process. Accenture Interactive reports that nearly 90% of B2B marketers now offer online purchasing options.

Additionally, as more millennials have entered the work force and are now assisting in (or even making) purchase decisions for their organizations, the need to have a cohesive digital experience is even more important.

Integrating Digital Marketing and Digital Sales – Converting Skeptics to Prospects to Loyal Customers

Filling a funnel with prospects through digital marketing requires a combination of 3 distinct, yet related types of marketing: search engine marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing. Together, these three skills make up what is known as Inbound Marketing.

The conceptual idea behind Inbound Marketing is that customers are less attuned to marketing messages that interrupt what they are doing. Instead, customers now shop when they want. The purpose behind inbound marketing is to have your customers find your marketing materials when they are ready for them, not when you want to sell.

Researcher published by Gartner reveals that buyers are 57% through the decision process before they engage a supplier sales representative.

Due to the on-demand nature of information, customers now expect to be able to find the information they need to make a decision when THEY want to make a decision, not when you want to give them a decision. The idea behind inbound marketing is to be there with the information your customer needs when they need it. And to get started with Inbound Marketing, you should start where most of your customers go for their information.

Google’s (or for 1% of the market, Bing’s) Role in Filling the Pipeline

Of the nearly 90% of procurement officers conducting online research, over 75% use search engines in the process. Search Engine Marketing, including Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be used to quickly fill the funnel.

Having a fully integrated search marketing campaign requires patience and a lot of effort, but depending on your industry, the results can be very lucrative. I, in conjunction with the Bauer College of Business, offer Executive Education courses in both SEO and PPC, which I encourage you to explore if you have deeper questions about Search Marketing.

Search traffic drives a lot of prospects into the funnel, but when should you assign a sales person to reach out to a prospect? The key to understanding when to reach out comes down to understanding searcher intent.

By looking at the keyword phrase (one or more words typed into the search engine) that brought a user to your site, you can have a strong understanding of what their intent is?

For example, a search query of “should I buy the new Apple IPhone or Samsung Galaxy?” indicates a buyer that is toward the top of the funnel. This buyer will likely take longer to convert than a prospect using the query “Where is the closest place to buy an IPhone?”

Below is a 2×2 grid that I have developed for understanding the various types of searches and the marketing implications of each.

This grid takes into account the 2 key attributes of keyword phrases, search volume and competitiveness of the search terms. In general, searches with higher search volume are worth more than searches with lower volume.

Except in the case that some certain long-tail queries (searches that have 3 or more words) are actually giving off strong buying signals. These money keywords should have calls-to-action on the page that directly asks for a purchase. Or in the case of larger B2B sales) should have a contact form and that prospect should be contacted by a sales representative as quickly as possible.

Filling Your Funnel with Content Marketing

Directly tied in with search engine marketing success is content marketing. The more content you have that is answers the questions your prospects are asking for, the more likely Google and other search engines will be to send traffic your way.

Content marketing, like search marketing, does not have obvious ties to the sales department. However, if you understand the type of content that your prospect is clicking on and studying, you can have a solid idea of where your prospect is in the buying funnel.

Additionally, you can include multiple calls to action in any piece of content. Making a special report available to industry insiders will encourage people to sign up for your e-mail list, giving you an added way of deepening your relationship with customers.

Finally, content marketers should be utilizing their sales force to uncover content ideas. Salespeople are an invaluable resource for content marketers, as they are the frontline for hearing the needs, desires, fears, and objections of prospects. Any content marketer worth his/her salt should be having weekly meetings with salespeople to uncover new ideas for content.

The Digital Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media

Social media has had a lot of interest from a salesperson perspective. Unfortunately, the use of social media by salespeople is often uninspired and, frankly, turns off most buyers. As a reader of this blog, I’m sure you’ve probably experienced a similar interaction on LinkedIn:

  1. You receive a connection request from someone you’re not sure you know, but their profile looks relevant, so you add them.
  2. You receive a message thanking you for connecting with them and a request for a meeting.
  3. You realize you don’t know the person, don’t need what they’re selling and delete the connection.

Unfortunately, this is a pretty standard operating procedure on social media for sales people.

Not quite as bad, but still uninspiring, is the company who only asks their employees to send out brand related messages. If 90% of what you post is about your company and products you sell, that is a recipe for being ignored and unfollowed.

There is a better way for social media. Social media can be an excellent tool for driving deeper relationships and building trust between a buyer and seller. But it starts with being social.

Being social requires a bit of vulnerability. We have to be willing to let our salespeople display their personality and engage with their prospects as if they were friends. This includes paying attention to the updates your prospect posts, liking and commenting on those prospects.

If you find out that your prospect is a big Astros fan and sends out 20 tweets every night of the ALCS, perhaps you could set something up involving the team and the World Series. Diving deep and doing your research into your customers takes a lot of effort, but that effort is what will allow your salespeople to build the relationships needed to succeed with social selling.

Allowing your salespeople to display their personality means encouraging them to post on topics unrelated to your business. In a recent conversation that I had with a social media trainer at a major computer manufacturer, the trainer indicated that she encourages their sales reps to post personal content 90% of the time and company related materials 10% of the time.

A typical objection to this might be, how will that reflect on the brand? In reality, it shouldn’t reflect on the brand at all. People have their interests and we’re really talking about building a relationship between a buyer and a seller at this point. But, if you’re still not sure you want your salesperson posting on whatever your interested in, that I recommend putting a Social Media Policy together and educating your sales force on appropriate and inappropriate social media behaviors.

Social media is too important of a tool for building relationships to let fear prevent you from doing what is necessary to build relationships with current and potential customers.

Conclusion

In summary, combining the sales force with the digital selling tools provided by inbound marketing is inevitable. The companies that learn to balance the digital sales and marketing interface will succeed at a much more rapid pace than companies that bury their heads in the sand. I encourage you to think about your sales process and how digital can enhance that process. Please comment below with your experiences or concerns with digital selling; I’d enjoy hearing from you.

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