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The impact of communications on sales

Here are the learnings from our recent event on “The impact of communications on sales” that we recently put on with the good guys at Octopus communications.

Our speakers for the morning were The FT’s Kate Bevan, Sam Hall from Oracle and Billy Hamilton-Stent from Octopus.

Kate Bevan gave us a helpful reminder on how PROs should engage with journos:

PR tips from the FT’s Kate Bevan

  • Follow us on Twitter and join in our conversations
  • Know what we write about
  • Craft an appropriate angle for us
  • Respect embargoes
  • Make sure it really is an exclusive
  • Don’t add us to irrelevant mailing lists
  • Don’t let us down – especially on deadline
  • Help us out with supporting content
  • Don’t over-promise or under-deliver
  • Forgive us if we don’t turn up to your event
  • Listen to what our voicemail or automatic reply says

Importantly, Kate reminded us all that the most beneficial and effective PR/journo relationships are of equals, “We need you as much as you need us!” she said.

Next up was Oracle’s Sam Hall who gave an enlightening presentation on the role of modern communications in a B2B business like Oracle.

Sam’s view was that “Oracle’s corporate communications programmes are designed to increase brand awareness and interest, strengthen brand trust, and accelerate the buyer’s journey, through paid, owned and earned channels.”

Importantly, Sam pointed out the B2B “buying process has changed: Buyers are self-educating via search and social and conversations we can influence.” This trend is reflected in the stat that 92% of B2B buyers start search on web.

It is also really important to understand your customer journey to the purchasing point:

Finally, Octopus’s Billy Hamilton-Stent discussed the practical realities of how your PR teams can support the sales function within B2B businesses. The chart below summarises nicely how a multi-channel approach with a shared business objective, but with different outputs, can ensure that the communications team is creating insightful and useful content that supports the sales objectives of the business.

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