If you work in sales or marketing, you’re painfully aware of the difficulties your team is facing. From the top of the funnel to closing deals, it feels like we’re struggling through a never-ending obstacle course. Shrinking budgets, longer sales cycles, and smaller deal sizes quarter over quarter would be disheartening for anyone – but if you’re willing to be creative with your strategy, you can give yourself the chance to come out on top.
At a high level, the issues that sales and marketing keep coming up against can be summarized into three main categories:
- Reaching decision-makers
- Achieving personalization at scale
- Standing out from the competition
Fortunately, small changes to how you think about sales and marketing strategy can produce great results. Take these ideas, tweak them to fit your needs, and start celebrating your wins!
Rethink How You Approach Marketing and Selling
In recent years, we’ve seen a change in how organizations buy products and services. While there are still use cases where an end user puts in their credit card information, it’s not uncommon to have several stakeholders contributing to the decision-making process – Gartner’s latest research shows the average number of stakeholders has risen from 5 to 11 in the last ten years.
On top of that, buyers are constantly bombarded with ads, emails, and sales calls. Think about it – when’s the last time you answered a call from an unknown number or actually read through an entire sales email? If you’re me…..it’s been a while. So, what’s a modern marketer or salesperson to do?
Multi-threaded marketing and selling has entered the chat.
More and more, marketing and sales teams are realizing that targeting a single lead from an organization is much less effective than developing an account-based strategy. When you market and sell to an account as a whole, you have a better chance of reaching decision-makers and identifying your champions.
The trick here is to personalize your approach and make your prospects feel understood. What better way to do that than to send a gift that means something to them? Gifting can be personalized at scale and is effective across the entire marketing and sales lifecycle. It helps you stand out from the noise of your competition.
The Challenges We’re Facing
To further illustrate the point that traditional marketing and selling methods need an upgrade, here are some not-so-fun facts:
- While the average email open rate is 46-50%, the average clickthrough rate is a sobering 2.6-3%
- 42% of marketers cite nailing their target audience for ads as their biggest challenge, while 30% report budget constraints are impacting the effectiveness of their campaigns
- Cold calling has only a 2% conversion rate, with an average of 18 calls needed before a prospect is reached
Now, imagine adding gifting to your strategy, augmenting your outreach and building genuine relationships – sounds like a no-brainer. Showing you understand your prospect and making that personal connection can help you rise to the top of the list of vendors they may be considering.
Before you get overwhelmed by the logistics of launching a gifting program, remember that using a gifting platform can help streamline parts of the process. Let’s explore when, where, and how you can fit gifting into your strategy, and how Alyce can help you along the way.
The Gifting Dilemma, Solved
Many people imagine corporate gifting as receiving a branded piece of swag in the mail, usually with a note from a sales or marketing person and some sort of call to action. While this has been the norm, there are a few challenges to tackle.
First, businesses generally buy branded swag in bulk, meaning everyone gets the same thing. In theory, this makes sense from an efficiency standpoint. But in practice, it’s less fun to open yet another water bottle or coffee cup with someone else’s logo on it than it is to be able to choose something you’d really like. Plus, the business usually ends up with a closet (or warehouse space) full of branded swag, which takes up space and can cost additional money for storage.
Second, these campaigns typically include hundreds of recipients, meaning there isn’t time to write a note for each gift. So, you usually end up with a short generic message and contact information encouraging you to perform some call-to-action.
Finally, the call to action is left entirely up to the recipient. Sometimes, there’s a URL or QR code to visit, but there’s no real incentive to do anything since they already have the gift. Additionally, you have no insight into whether the person received the gift or if they liked it.
All this results in wasted time, money, and at-bats for your team. But there’s a better way!
Gifting platforms allow you to personalize larger-scale outreach and supercharge your 1:1 campaign efforts. In addition to streamlining the logistics of gift purchasing, shipping, and tracking, you can spend more time on the things that matter – connecting with your leads and nurturing them through the sales cycle.
How to Use Gifting Throughout the Buyer’s Journey
More than ever, growth marketing and demand generation teams are coming up against roadblocks they have little control over, and the challenge is usually summed up as “Do more with less.” We prefer to think about it as “Do more with more,” meaning creating more opportunities to get in front of leads, giving the sales team more touchpoints, and creating the foundation for relationship building.
As mentioned earlier, you can use gifting throughout the buyer’s journey, but how do you get them into your funnel?
In-Person and Virtual Events
If you’ve ever tried to get folks to register for a virtual event like a webinar or engage with your team after the webinar, you know how difficult it can be to grab and keep a person’s attention. Gifting can help bridge the gap between creating a great virtual experience and increasing ROI.
Including a small gift in your event invitation email can help entice people to register and attend. Food delivery gift cards are popular, with the most successful acceptance range being $15-$25. Similarly, offering a gift as a thank you to event attendees, often used in conjunction with booking a meeting, can help keep the conversation going.
When looking at anonymized data, Alyce customers sent almost 10,000 gifts for event purposes and saw an average gift acceptance rate of 78%. That’s pretty impressive, and it makes implementing a gifting strategy a no-brainer.
Gifting is also commonly used at in-person events in the form of company swag. But before you start sweating at the thought of lugging boxes of T-shirts back and forth to convention centers, there’s a better way to handle event swag: printed redemption cards.
With Alyce, we can print business card-sized redemption codes to hand out to event attendees. They can then choose a gift and have it shipped directly to them without worrying about extra luggage or leaving stuff behind. Tracking your gift redemptions also gives you an additional touchpoint with your leads.
Take it from one of our customers:
Marketing + Sales
Lead Generation Door Openers
Door openers are probably the most commonly used gifting strategy and what most people think of when they hear “corporate gifting.” However, the industry has come a long way since the Jelly of the Month Club, with online gifting platforms making large-scale outreach campaigns more accessible and manageable to companies of all sizes.
These campaigns are by far the most popular among Alyce customers, resulting in almost 40,000 gifts accepted. Typically, these gifts are tied to the prospect booking a meeting with a sales rep, pulling them into your pipeline, and engaging them immediately. Companies that use this tactic see up to a 70% increase in won deals versus not gifting at all.
💡Pro tip: Alyce allows you to embed a personalized video message to your recipient, which has a 75% success rate when engaging with prospects (compared to a 2% success rate with cold calling)
Gifting campaigns align well with sales plays, especially when re-engaging a prospect or closing a deal. Everyone has a full plate, so taking that extra step to show you understand your recipient can go a long way in the sales process. It creates a positive association with your company and brand, naturally building trust and rapport with your prospects.
Sometimes, things fall through the cracks – emails get deleted, and meetings are missed. But with a well-timed gift, you can bring yourself back to the forefront of your prospects’ minds and reignite the conversation.
Using a little research about what they like to do outside of work, or what we at Alyce call 5to9, can help you send a meaningful, personalized gift and show your prospect you’re interested in them as a person, not just a dollar amount in your pipeline.
Alyce has a cool feature that uses human-augmented AI to suggest three gifts a person might like based on their social profiles, which can save hours of time spent trying to figure out the perfect gift. We also have a marketplace of over 10,000 items, so if one of the suggestions doesn’t work for you, there are plenty more to choose from. We also give recipients Power of Choice, meaning they can exchange their gift or donate the dollar value to a charity.
When the finish line is so close you can taste it, a thoughtful gift can be the extra boost needed to get a deal closed.
Targeting decision-makers up to the C-level is a great way to increase relationship-building effectiveness. Showing them you care about their business makes the experience feel less transactional and more personal – something that is incredibly important in our increasingly digital world.
A 1:1-style gifting campaign with a higher value gift and a specifically personalized message can help get your foot in the door with the person (or people) who will be inking the contract.
Sometimes, a deal goes dark no matter how hard you’ve worked. It’s often things that are out of your control, like your point of contact leaving the company or internal priority shifts. However, even in these situations, gifting can make a difference.
Introducing yourself to a new point of contact can be tricky, especially if they weren’t entirely looped into the discussion you had with your previous contact. Using the research and understanding them as a person, as we discussed earlier, can be hugely helpful in getting them on your side. Starting the conversation with a gift that speaks to their interest can give you a leg up over competitors they may be looking at. It sparks the immediate engagement that helps get the relationship off on the right foot.
The Case for Corporate Gifting
At the end of the day, sales and marketing teams are looking for strategies that save them time and money and also increase their likelihood of success. Gifting is one of the most effective ways to achieve all those goals, and it can be done at scale.
Using a gifting platform like Alyce can help you easily run campaigns for a host of sales and marketing use cases, while helping you track your budget and key metrics to make sure you stay on track.