Selling to HR Means Selling to IT, Finance, Operations and Purchasing. It’s Complex.

Selling to HR isn’t exactly a no-brainer anymore. It never was, frankly. But it seems to grow more complex every year. For instance, the number of tactics and channels you need to master has exploded. (Our latest eBook, The Right Mix: A B2B Marketing Allocation Guide, explores these tactics and channels in depth - and no, dumping all your money toward just one or two marketing tactics does not work).

Equally important, you now need to reach an expanding number of decision makers through your marketing and sales initiatives—and these decision makers are no longer limited to Human Resources.

More and more, HR is working in partnership with senior management and other internal functions (IT, Operations, Finance and Purchasing, among others) to choose products, services and vendors. As a result you need to help HR become a better strategic partner in the decision-making and deal-brokering processes. And you must be prepared to influence non-HR decision makers in your presentations and marketing collateral.

Of course, savvy HR suppliers are going a step further, seeking out ways to continuously influence and create an ongoing rapport with decision makers outside of HR.

These companies know the value of identifying and interacting with the journalists, publications, trade shows, bloggers, analysts and other resources that are critical to non-HR decision makers.

Obviously, you have to understand your non-HR audiences, their needs, their ways of thinking and the concerns they bring to the table. And you have to address all of this in your various marketing and outreach initiatives. As I said earlier, that’s no easy task. But the important thing to keep in mind—especially in the hard-nosed, pragmatic world of B2B selling—is that this takes time. Selling to this complex mix of functions and personalities only adds to the already longish sales cycle of B2B. There are no shortcuts.

The good news is that, even with all of these new decision makers factored in, your basic marketing and sales approach remains the same: your initial focus should be on the overall benefits that matter most to your prospect. Just because IT is involved doesn’t mean you need to come out of the gates with a pitch about cool tech features and product differentiation.

Yes, our challenge is more complex these days and the number of decision makers we need to reach has grown. But the game hasn’t changed completely. We simply need to be more inclusive in our strategy and approach.

At HRmarketer , we recognize that marketing to HR is becoming increasingly complex. To help marketers build awareness with and reach these other B2B decision makers, we recently announced that we're expanding the resources in our software’s information databases to include key media outlets, press contacts, conferences, speaking opportunities, analysts, award competitions and buyer guides that reach not only human resource departments but IT, Finance, Operations and Purchasing departments. And to help you quickly locate and manage these resources we’re adding some very cool and powerful “tag” functionality that allows you to create niche campaigns not only across various “buyer” categories like IT and finance but also across industry segments (e.g., healthcare, retail).

Want to quickly find press contacts that cover corporate IT or conferences in the hospitality space? You get it.

We think you’ll love the added functionality as you develop niche campaigns to target these key decision makers across various industries. To learn more give us a call.

Post by HRmarketer CEO Mark Willaman. Join Mark on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Labels: , , , , , ,