This summer, Tom Pick sat in on a number of universities' "sales pitches" to prospective students and their families. As he listened, he began to draw parallels with B2B sales.

"One advantage that university marketers have over most of their B2B counterparts in optimizing their programs is scale," he notes in a recent post at Webbiquity. Colleges can "fine-tune their messages ... based on thousands of interactions each year," he explains.

Pick offers a list of lessons B2B marketers can take from such "high-volume learning." Here are three highlights:

Provide prospects with a "guided tour." Offer elements of the popular campus tour online. "Design your website to guide prospects through your different product and service offerings," Pick advises, and offer users the chance to "learn more" at each step along the way.

Anticipate questions. Based on years of experience, college marketers address common questions in their Web content and printed materials. Tap into the experiences of your sales and customer-service personnel to develop materials that answer the most common questions your prospects are asking, he suggests.

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