How PR Can Best Support Sales
Image: Adeolu Eletu
There’s a lot that goes into creating a successful PR program, and one important element for consideration is how PR can support sales. This is an important aspect that can make or break a program because it can help prove the value of PR to stakeholders across the business.
Given that many companies recently held their SKO – and sales teams across the world are amped up to meet their quota for the quarter – now is a good time to revisit how PR can help sales teams meet their goals.
We’ll take a look at just a few of the ways PR teams can best support sales teams and help drive increased revenues for the business.
- Understand the sales organization’s goals for the quarter – and fiscal year
What’s the goal?
Sure, sales teams obviously want to increase sales, but is their overarching goal to penetrate a new market? Do they want to uplevel their approach or increase technical acumen to target (and succeed with) new buyer personas? Do they need to increase pipeline to establish steadily increasing revenues to eventually go public?
Understanding sales goals matters – because it directly impacts the direction and urgency of PR activity.
If the business is shifting to an enterprise CIO buyer, it raises the importance of showcasing customer stories with CIO advocates or landing top-tier business coverage.
On the other hand, targeting the enterprise architect means pursuing more “how-to” focused coverage in technical trade publications and providing that audience with the technical intel they need to thrive in their roles.
You want to be able to create campaigns and secure coverage that maps to the right buyer persona, otherwise, sales reps won’t benefit.
- Align on specific topics of interest that help sales teams close deals
So you learn sales goals and know the right enterprise persona to target, now what? You need to align on the right topics that support sales reps in conversations with customers and prospects.
It’s great that you earned coverage with a dream publication, but will it help sales reps close deals?
Different types of articles in different publications will have different benefits, but if sales teams are drilling down and increasing quotas, you want to be able to provide the air cover they need to validate value drivers with customers and prospects.
Driving campaigns and securing coverage isn’t enough – it needs to result in meaningful coverage that maps to the right business campaigns to ensure your PR program is driving tangible business impact.
For example, while it’s great to get your spokesperson on a morning TV show, a customer case study placement in a technology outlet may better aid sales conversations than a top-tier broadcast placement.
Take the time to understand what core differentiators solve critical pain points for customers and you’ll find your north star to map to.
- Leverage digital best practices to extend reach and garner traffic to your best stories
Once you place earned or paid coverage, it’s time to make it effective for sales teams.
There are digital best practices that can extend the reach and shelf life of coverage to drive stronger traffic – and support sales reps before they even step into their meetings or pick up the phone to call prospects.
For example, on LinkedIn, you can create paid campaigns with very narrow targeting to boost exposure to the earned coverage you just placed. If you have a sales team with a webinar in three weeks looking to boost attendance, LinkedIn offers a channel to leverage your coverage and target not only specific companies, titles and seniority, but member interests and skills.
If the webinar is based on a certain kind of technology, like Salesforce, you can serve those ads to people who have “Salesforce” listed under their skills. That level of specificity can help your sales teams use your earned media wins to drive high-quality leads.
That’s just the targeting. To take advantage of great targeting you need the right message and a clear call to action. Clear, concise language, coupled with equally clear and eye-catching graphics, make it more likely that your target audience will click on the ads in front of them.
Good targeting means nothing without good coverage – and good coverage can go a long way to support sales teams.
Think long-term success
The goal of PR isn’t just to place articles – but to drive meaningful stories that support the sales organization in an impactful way and benefit the business.
Effective strategies and campaigns require a deep understanding of what makes the sales organization successful, so you can replicate valuable coverage over and over again.
If you don’t know what the sales team needs, now is the time to find out and get conversations rolling to drive a successful PR program. We’re here to help – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.