Today’s business challenges are largely focused on marketing – how are you presenting your products at the time prospective buyers start looking? And where are your buyers looking for information about what products to buy? The answer is: primarily through Internet searches and their social networks. Whether you are marketing to other businesses or to consumers, customers’ preferences are established way before they talk with your salespeople. How do your marketing people ensure that your products are being considered as early in the buying process as possible and with the best possible information?
How are the most advanced companies evolving their marketing and sales teams into the new world so they beat their competition like a drum? The answer starts with a clear and expanded role for marketing, promoting products and services where your buyers are figuring out what to buy, and aligning marketing with sales so your teams leverage each other to maximize productivity and teamwork – it’s a matter of life and death for your company.
Sound revolutionary? Not really. There are five steps to maximize revenue growth today. I assure you the results can be stunning:
- Show up early and often. Engage prospective buyers the instant they start looking for your kinds of products. Leverage PPC, SEO, digital advertising, and partnerships that lead prospective buyers to your website – and custom landing pages so 100 percent of your prospective buyers are now engaged with your company in a way that’s better than your competition.
- Develop trust; content is king. Marketing must develop prospective customers’ interest by sharing white papers and educating prospective customers about what’s possible using your products (versus your competition) via a highly evolved website that’s chock-full of valuable content that you share with prospective buyers so you earn their trust and respect.
- Nurture interest. Automate what you have learned about your past buyers’ cycle (by persona) and offer key information that will help your prospective buyers through their decision process. Resist the temptation to ask for their contact information until they are mid-way through their buying cycle. Asking too early will break their trust. Plus, you will get bad contact data.
- Score prospective buyers automatically. Based on demographics and behaviors, score your prospects and pass them to sales when they are ready to make a buying decision. Make sure you track all history of prospects’ activities so the sales rep gets this valuable information once marketing passes the prospects to sales. Marketing is a more efficient qualifier than using salespeople to generate/qualify early stage leads. By passing only qualified buyers to sales, you will see sales productivity jump through the roof because the lion’s share of their time will now be spent closing deals versus spending time cold calling or qualifying prospects that are far from ready to buy.
- Create an agile process across marketing and sales. Every step of your marketing and sales process should be measurable and aligned with the next step – for example, metrics and employee compensation must drive wanted results across your revenue process to continually improve performance. With today’s technology, marketing can be as responsible, and measurable, for growing revenue as sales. It’s about time, huh?!
If your company is just maturing your marketing and sales process, you might be thinking this is beyond your reach – don’t believe it. We all started in the same place. Begin with a vision and a roadmap for getting there. Break down your steps, get some quick wins, and you will see impact fast. Part of your plan will be to put in place the proper tools, content, processes, and skills to increase prospective buyers’ interest and to track prospects’, as well as existing customers’, activity – whether they’re poking around a website for a few minutes, tweeting about a product search, or downloading a white paper. Thousands of companies have started this journey and they will be tomorrow’s big winners.
The most important thing to realize is that buyers’ behaviors have changed dramatically and forever – and the way in which we market and sell must quickly adapt. Change of this magnitude offers a new opportunity to lead so you – and your company – can start a new chapter of accelerated growth. Take action immediately, and with this approach, your team will grow revenue faster and will be unleashed from tedious processes, emotional internal spats, and will ignite an explosion of creativity and increased productivity.
This is a story I have heard and participated in alongside many of our customers and partners over the past year. Look forward to the new energy, efficiencies, and growth that will result from your next chapter – accelerating revenue faster.
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