From Chaotic Hard Work to Calm Confidence and Increased Profits Emily Anderson owner of Plazmart…
Why Marketing and Sales Must Work Better
Last week I was chatting to my colleague Tim Jones around building effective businesses. While I focus on marketing as my “what makes us different” to clients – his focus is on sales.
This is part one of a two-part story – Like how all marketing and sales departments SHOULD work – we’ve worked on this together – so Tim’s take on this subject will be on his page.
I’d like to start with a FAIL.
Last week I had two calls that showed me my marketing had a fault. I had two calls from people wanting to employ door to door “marketers” AKA door to door salespeople.
This is not something Identify offers, or ever will offer.
Finding this meant I had to find the gap – and discovered it was a google adwords “leak” I hadn’t plugged
However, that doesn’t mean that the leads that have come from our marketing have all been fails. In fact, to us, at the moment, cold calling is a relatively useless facet of our sales structure, because we are too busy following up Marketing Qualified Leads – warm sales leads that are more easily converted, and result in a sale.
When you have the sales and marketing lead aligned (which in our business is easy, as I’m running both at present!) it should work this way – marketing brings in qualified leads, sales converts. Do this well and there is little need for cold call sales, the sales process is simpler, and the cost to the business is far smaller. (in terms of investment to sale)
Tim’s going to be covering sales conversion, but I’d like to share some simple methods I’ve used to bring in strong and regular marketing qualified leads. (focussing on those in BtoB businesses. )
The core part of any this is, it’s all integrated. When planning a marketing strategy, you need to think of your marketing like a web – every area influences and touches another area. For example – We advertise using radio and google adwords to draw people to our website. If that’s not enough, then they get our advertising on facebook because we track each visitor and re-market to them, and so on. We don’t expect a sale from a single point of contact, but we make things warm for them so when we do contact them face to face they are ready for us
And we know, the right business comes to us at the right time – so we don’t push people to make a call, we relax, and just keep on building our web. We’re just friendly spiders luring them in.
HOW I FEEL ABOUT COLD CALLING
I’ll still cold call a client if I really want to work with them (some businesses I just can’t help myself with!) but last week three clients I had on my “dream client” list contacted me so I figure what we’re doing is a testament that our strategies (the same as the ones we teach every single one of our clients) are working.
My issue is cold calling is labour intensive, and it requires to slowly build a relationship over time. YES – You sometimes get lucky, call someone and it’s the right place, right time. This is about 3% of the population.
We used cold calling in the first few months as a lead generator – we gave them something of value for no obligation (and it wasn’t one of those sneaky “thirty minutes no obligation” chats) and then they’d often contact us to thank us. The mistake many businesses use is to expect it’s about setting up the sale in that first visit – our culture has changed and we’ve become too savvy to work that way. It comes across as pushy.
If your sales and marketing is based around cold calling as your first premise, it’s going to be really hard to see rapid and sustainable success. Both Tim and I have worked for organisations that forced us to cold call over more effective marketing and selling methods. It wasn’t effective and cost a lot of time and effort for a poor return.
Most people who teach cold calling as the best method aren’t “really” cold calling themselves. They are well known in their networks, and have great referral mechanisms making the call a warm lead. Yes it’s got its place, but it shouldn’t be the forefront of your sales and marketing strategy.
WHAT WE’VE DONE, WHAT WE TEACH OUR CLIENTS TO DO
I’m going to share part of our ongoing marketing strategy with you on here – and if you’d like the rest, just click the link below, and I’ll send you a list of the rest of our core techniques. You’ll be asked to sign up to my list, and get them straight after sign up.
The key is every business is different – so my solution isn’t a one size fits all but it will give you some ideas.
- BRANDING – Use a professional. Get it sharp, something you completely love, and something that is only yours. I have written about my mistakes in this area when I was a sole trading start up. I know I now have a brand I adore. It’s worth getting professional on it. While you are there, get good quality marketing collateral that reflects what your brand is and does. And – make sure it’s really true to yourself. Then – make sure it’s consistent on EVERYTHING.
- WEBSITE – As a once avid DIYer when it comes to websites, I now would never do it myself. Getting an expert to build your website is by far the best starting point. We work along side several excellent web designers, who work from $2,500 to the big numbers in cost of development. If you are planning to have a website done – I’m really happy to give you some free tips to help you direct your spend best. I can help direct you to people I trust too.
Make sure you know what you are getting. Add ons can add up! Content, Optimisation, Automation, and E Commerce really can take that little budget and make it better. But get a professional to take a look at it, and get it set up write
If you ARE going to design your own I advise wordpress, simply because it’s a great platform for a professional to do an upgrade on it fairly simply. We’ve just completed work just like this for two of our clients who started with a DIY version first – SIRIKAYA and MAGNETIC SOCK
3. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION. I’m lucky in that I use my SEO team to run our SEO – But it’s amazing how many people don’t get right. If you’ve not taking a hard look at how you are doing on both on and off page SEO, this is where your money needs to go before anything else. Do your homework, get quotes and get it done. There are lots of people cold calling and putting the fear of everything into businesses in this area – don’t trust them just because they freak you out – always get a few quotes from competitors
4. GOOGLE ADWORDS. Whether you have a localised business, or one for a bigger market, google adwords work with that beautiful SEO and drive people to your website, and then to you for marketing qualified leads. If they’ve found you via google, and then visit your website and then contact you, you are over that 50% line in terms of conversion. You can set these up yourself or use us, or another company to set these up for you. Google gives you plenty of free advice and support if you want to run them yourself. If you are paying and NOT getting leads, you are doing it wrong. Get help.
5. FACEBOOK ADVERTISING. Ok – I will admit it. It’s insidious, it’s evil (in terms of how much it knows) and yet it’s completely awesome if you use the information for your business. The amount I am able to target my audience to my website visitors, or to exact demographics is incredible. It makes it cheaper and more targeted to use for BtoC businesses for many cases. We use it to tighten the web – visit our site, be re-marketed to, to like our page, have our messages coming to you with engaging content until you sign up to our newsletter, read us in your in box..… like that sneaky little spider.
Oh course you need to have engaging and relevant content on the page – and from the start I’ve used my team to do this.
6. RADIO. Nothing is dead in terms of advertising and marketing, it’s HOW you use it. We’ve used Radio effectively with minimal cost, and used it as a lead generator, rather than to try to close the sale on the first point of contact. I’m happy to talk about how this strategy might work with your business.
While we are here – I do truly believe no one type of marketing is dead – it’s what fits you, your offering and your target market. Newspapers, Magazines, Billboards, Radio, TV, facebook….
If you want more ideas on what else you can do to build a growing pile of Marketing Qualified Leads, click below. If you’ve got that all under control – please go find out what to do when you’ve got one at Tim Jone’s blog.