How PR and Sales should work together to produce cracking results

How PR and Sales should work together to produce cracking results - a blog by Honest Communications, a garden and home PR agency, social media management, content creation and more

How PR and Sales should work together to produce cracking results

Calling all salespeople – how important do you believe PR is to the sales process? Well, hopefully you answered: “Very.” Here at Honest Communications, we agree with you there… although, yes we know we would say that!

The reality is that any good sales team should work hand-in-hand with an excellent PR service, to deliver the best results. We have tons of evidence of PR directly uplifting sales for our clients (just ask us for more details!) but here we wanted to pinpoint the exact benefits that PR sales process. There are so many touchpoints to choose from, but here are our top three.

PR puts more leads in your sales pipeline

It may feel obvious, but the more people that are in-market and hear about your product, the more leads will be put into the top of your sales pipeline. So, your PR team should be shouting loud and wide about your key products, launches, events and campaigns, to a relevant audience of journalists and influencers. Quite simply, this approach works. At the time of writing this, we’ve recently sent out our latest batch of end-of-month reports to a client. For one client alone we achieved a huge 100 pieces of coverage throughout the month, reaching nearly 1.5million print readers and many more tens of thousands online. That’s a huge number of potential buyers who have now seen our wonderful client’s products.

In fact, we saw this in action recently when we landed some coverage in The Times for our client Seedball. With a circulation of over 365,000, that’s a lot of eyeballs seeing the beautiful Wildflower Tubes! Emily from Seedball immediately noticed a surge in sales for that particular product, saying: “We wondered where the spate of orders coming for the tubes might be coming from!”

With an average sale resulting from a customer seeing a whopping eight touchpoints before getting their purse out (depending on what you’re selling of course – big purchases like cars and houses tend to take more, and smaller purchases can often take fewer), it’s clear that the more people that see our carefully-crafted PR output, the more sales will be made. Not only that, but they can create high-value backlinks and referral traffic, improving SEO rankings and driving more people to a client’s website.

Nurturing your prospects

Nurturing prospects is of course an essential part of PR, as well as an intrinsic part of the sales process – promoting loyalty to the company as well as encouraging repeat customers and glowing reviews, which can lead to even more sales. So how can PR be used to nurture prospects? Well, more people are likely to remember a brand with a strong narrative. One example is an experiment by Stanford professor Chip Heath, who asked students to give one-minute speeches containing three statistics and one story. Afterwards, only five percent of listeners remembered the statistics, while more than sixty percent recalled the stories.

It’s clear that a strong story means that a brand’s offering will stick in many more people’s minds. PR plays a huge part in not only crafting that story, but making sure that it is told regularly, in the right publications for a client’s target audience. In this way, exposure in relevant places won’t just draw potential customers into the top of the sales funnel, but will trickle down through the sales process. This ensures that prospects are receptive to your brand and are more likely to make a purchase, even if further down the line.

Providing valuable third-party endorsements

Tracking the effectiveness of PR is much more difficult than tracking most other marketing channels, but that doesn’t mean it is any less valuable. In fact, a strong PR offering can provide expert content and third-party testimonials and reviews that build trust with customers, that other marketing channels simply cannot offer.

A study conducted by Nielsen in 2014 revealed that third-party ‘expert content’ was even more effective at lifting purchase considerations than user reviews, with PR boosting familiarity significantly more than branded content. According to Nielsen’s ‘The Role of Content’ study, expert content — product reviews and articles from third-party websites and blogs — was 83 percent more effective at lifting product purchase considerations than user reviews, and 38 percent more effective than branded content.

At Honest Communications, arranging product reviews and testimonials forms a key part of our day-to-day offering. We know that people buy from people, so creating brand trust through genuine reviews will tangibly affect our clients’ sales funnels, providing more potential sales opportunities. We create contact with key contacts in our chosen industries, making sure our clients’ products are in front of an in-market, relevant audience.

So in summary, it’s clear that a successful sales function should work hand-in-hand with a fantastic PR service. And we haven’t even touched on the role of PR in managing customers’ expectations and overcoming objections! A blog for another day perhaps…

To read about some of the successes our clients have achieved after receiving a stellar PR offering, click through to our case studies.