Sell Your Sponsorship Like a Tech Company.
How would Google approach the task of selling sponsorship? Or Salesforce, or Microsoft, or IBM? Or better still, a silicon valley start-up on the cusp of a major market breakthrough.
They would start by clearly identifying the problem that they solve for their customers; they don’t ask the customers how they would solve the problem, and they don’t suggest that they have a platform that the client could use to solve their own problems. They go to market with a very clear, very specific cost vs. benefit proposition.
Are you bringing your sponsorship proposition to the market with a concise solution to your sponsor’s problems? If you are, you’ve already got this and you probably don’t need to read on.
If you’re not, then that’s the starting point and everything else below is just details.
Here are four key tactics a tech company would employ in bringing a product or service (or sponsorship property) to market;
1. A Digital Funnel
Big tech companies put their websites to work when it comes to influencing and filtering potential customers.
There are more potential sponsors out there than you have time to develop bespoke introductory presentations for. Think about the customers access point to your sales funnel. Promote your offering and your people to the market, then give potential buyers an easy introduction to your product. A bespoke online sponsorship portal that details the solutions and benefits offered by sponsorship, with a considered user journey, is a top-of-the-funnel no-brainer for all.
2. Demonstrate Effectiveness with Customer Success Stories
The features and benefits of a great tech product are often highly complicated, tech companies shortcut the challenge of detailing all of their product features by getting their customers to vouch for its value to their business.
You could spend hours, days, weeks, even months, quantifying and qualifying sponsorship proposals, when the most powerful sales tool out there is ‘Customer Success’. Brands are obsessed with their competition, and with other successful brands, use your current partners to tell the world how you have helped them succeed – personally, professionally or financially. Invest in doing this well, if you can’t create compelling content to sell your own services, how can you expect a brand to invest in you as a marketing partner to sell their products or services.
3. Target Multiple Buyers within an Organisation
Account Based Marketing is a rapidly growing approach that sellers of major technical solutions are employing to increase their sales conversion rates with their biggest prospects.
If the opportunity is large enough, consider all of the people within a brand who may be involved in a partnership decision and pre-empt their position on a potential deal. This starts with comprehensive research on the roles of decision-makers within an organisation, and results in a proactive approach to influencing key people towards being positively disposed in favour of your proposal. Our sister agency Atomic Beta has written some insightful advice for companies embarking on ABM (check it out HERE), and we’ve been rolling out the service to our rights holder clients as they pursue bigger and better sponsorship deals.
4. Illustrate Expertise Across Your Organisation
You might be the greatest salesperson in the world, representing the best club in the world. Or maybe you’re not. Either way, if you own every touchpoint in the sales cycle, and are obsessed with micro-managing every moment of the engagement, you are highlighting a lack of expertise within your commercial and marketing team. Make sure you are pre-selling the expertise of your people, or better still, get them involved earlier in the sales process. Let their expertise, their perspective, their youth and their passion reassure a prospective buyer that they are going to be constructive contributors to delivering great sponsorship and activation.
You might not be Mark Zuckerberg, but there is a lot to learn from the way big tech promotes and sells it’s services.