We rarely have to guess what's on the mind of our CEO and C-level leadership customers when they're looking for a website redesign or a custom content marketing plan. The question in the back of their mind is always the following:
How can I drive traffic to my website without adding to my expenses?
And since we're revealing secrets today, here's one of our go-to tips that always surprises them: have you ever considered that your employees are an untapped resource for sales?
When you run a successful business, everyone is in sales.
Everyone -- even if they do not interact with the customer -- plays a part in making the sale and generating recurring business. And as the front line of your business, your non-sales employees have both the knowledge and the motivation to support the company.
Here's how these employees can help you drive traffic to your website and bolster your sales pipeline:
1. They can bring added social media exposure.
Gently encouraging your employees to use their business networks to advocate your company is a good way to widen your reach.
- Depending on your industry, a Stanford University study indicates that your employee’s social media profiles might have up to 20 times the reach that your company brand does.
Tip: So how do you create brand advocates within your company? When you publish new collateral, blog posts, a new video or something that your prospective customers might find interesting, notify your employees. Give them sample messages they can post to their LinkedIn profiles or other social media.
First, though, your company has to have good information to share. By creating blogs, video, guides and other content that is educational and interesting to prospects -- you'll empower your employees to share.
If you plan to encourage employees to share, you'll need a social media policy that says what they can and can't share, but you can't be too restrictive. You need to give your employees leeway to speak freely but define boundaries regarding what's said about your customers, your competitors and your intellectual property.
2. Their positive attitudes attract prospective clients.
According to Gallup, companies with engaged, happy workers achieve three times the operating margin than those with less engaged employees.
The same study determined that companies that successfully engage customers and employees experience a 240 percent boost in performance-related business outcomes.
It's clear that every interaction your client has with your company -- from your website's social media to a customized direct mailer, to the friendliness in the person's voice that answers your phone -- directly contributes to your company's success overall.
Encourage a more engaged and energetic atmosphere by coaching your employees in simple but pervasive habits of politeness and friendliness to pass a positive message along to prospective clients.
Beyond asking employees to be more positive, you also need to give them a reason to be engaged. Transparency and honesty breeds advocacy from both employees and clients -- especially for B2B companies.
When your company is genuinely doing a good job and treating its employees and its customers with their best interests in mind, that character blossoms out through your marketing promotions and through your employees' every interaction with clients and potential clients. And when you’re genuine on your website and through your social media efforts, you’ll naturally drive traffic to your website.
3. Their uncensored feedback can identify growth points.
Employee feedback is incredibly valuable, but all too often it is passed over as a low priority.
Instead, look to employee feedback as pointers for company growth. Make it clear to your employees that their feedback is valuable and that receiving feedback is a company priority.
Employee feedback is the best way to understand what employees and customers experience on a daily basis. Genuine and honest feedback could help you identify common pain points that put your sales at risk or that slow down the efficiency of your team.
To gather feedback that makes a difference, stage out time in a given work cycle and ask employees to provide thoughtful, anonymous responses. Provide time within office hours to do so and encourage full disclosure.
The overall lesson is to make the most out of the assets you already have -- your non-sales employees. Because the worst case scenario is not that you don't make the sale or that you can't drive traffic to your website. The worst case scenario is that you disenchant the people who work for you, leading to poor performance, high turnover, and decreased business in the long run.
Treat your staff right and provide the right incentives, and a new "sales" team will blossom in front of your eyes -- one with very little sales experience but a whole lot of sales-making possibility.
Do you consider all of your employees to be in sales? Why or why not?