Month: January 2014

Turning Leads Into Clients

Last week’s blog focused on the disparity between implementing a marketing strategy and expecting immediate leads without the solid integration of your sales force.

Once your integrated marketing and sales strategy is generating leads (always easier said than done, of course) how do you convert these leads into clients? The following infographic shows the attention placed on following-up with a strong lead.

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After many years of taking on new clients for my company, I’ve found that individuals often make their decision to give their business to companies that show the most care and genuine interest in helping their business achieve the next level of success. Set yourself apart with concerted lead follow-up that demonstrates the level of commitment you will provide them when they agree to sign on with you.

How have you turned a lead into a client? Has thorough follow-up with phone calls, emails and even face-to-face conversations helped you land a client? I look forward to your insights!

Shouldn’t My Marketing Increase My Sales?

gears-working-together4

There is a misconception out there that if you have an amazing marketing strategy that it will yield results. As the owner of a marketing agency, let me bring some clarity to this assumption. It is not the strategy alone that will yield results, but rather the implementation, measurement and your own internal sales process that helps drive the success of your company’s overall growth.

It is often the case, that once a strategy is complete, a company owner checks it off the list of things they need to get done, and then waits to see the money roll in… don’t laugh, I see it all the time!

Your marketing strategy is the plan, no doubt about it. Your plan will yield results IF and ONLY if your sales process kicks into action to allow for actual conversion to sales opportunities.

For example, you may have outlined in your strategy an objective to increase lead generation and, as a result, you create an online marketing solution that includes an email blast to a targeted audience with a link to a landing page and a downloadable “special offer” in exchange for customer information.  This campaign is a perfect example of a tactic one might find in a marketing strategy.  Do these types of tactics work? If by “work” you mean they help generate leads, then, yes! But if by work you mean result in a conversion and a new client, this is what falls outside of marketing and lies under “sales” approach.

Marketing is a tool that helps lead your customers to your front door, or starts a conversation with a customer, but it does NOT close the deal.  Marketing’s job is to communicate the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of influencing buyer behavior and/or precipitate behavioral change.

If your marketing tactics are not working, yes you do need to look at your strategy, but depending on what exactly is not working, you might need to look at your sales process and how well it fulfills your marketing strategy.

Here are a few tips I’d like to share with you to help your company better align roles and responsibilities for your sales and marketing efforts:

  1. How do you handle leads?  When a new lead is brought in, how does your company pursue it?
  2. Is a new lead given to the sales manager or to individual sales people?
  3. Who is responsible for the leads?
  4. Do you have a sales process for new leads? Does it include the number of follow up calls and when a lead is considered closed and a no sale.
  5. If a lead does not result in a sale, is this information shared with your marketing team who created the marketing tactic?
  6. Do you have a campaign assessment with the sales and marketing tram to determine what worked and what didn’t work for a specific audience and also review conversion rates?

Strengthening relationships with current clients and generating new leads is a process and all the steps of the process are essential for success. Have you implemented a lead-conversion mechanism into your strategy? I look forward to hearing how you turn your audience into clients in the comments below!

10 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew About Them

You want the right people to receive your company’s message. How do you make an impact with your demographic? When it comes to marketing, understanding your target audience’s behaviours and patterns doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Whether you are looking to increase your customer base or strengthen relationships with current clients, some education in basic social psychology can help you make strategic decisions that will yield results for you business.

I would like to share the infographic “10 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew About Them” that presents several tactics businesses have used to appeal to their customers.

10-things-your-customers-wish-you-knew-about-them-infographic 

The ideas are often simple, when you think of how easy it could be to personalize outgoing messages or remembering customers’ names, but it is often these thoughtful gestures that make a lasting impression on a customer. Have you ever experienced any of these tactics as a consumer? What was your response? Which of these could you see implementing into your strategy? I look forward to your comments below!

Strategy is Not Just for New Years

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMany SMB owners take the start of a new year as their signal to think about their marketing strategy; about creating, adjusting or revising their strategy, but why do we think we should only think strategically once a year?

If you think strategically only once a year, and watch and see how the execution of the strategy plays out by the end of the year, then you are relying on one strategy to carry you through the year.  What about constantly looking at reacting to the execution with strategic responses?

With competition constantly biting at your toes, being successful means stepping up your game and constantly thinking strategically.  You might win a battle with execution, but you’ll win the war with a strong strategy.

Strategically thinking means make sure to stop and take the time to find a strategic response to what’s being implemented. If you can continually measure, track and react strategically to the execution of your plan, you can build this into your strategy.

Ultimately, this means tracking results of your campaigns and strategies and using this information to better understand your demographic, and all subsequent ways you intend to target this audience. It is reacting to what truly works for your business and taking advantage of the information you’ve uncovered.

Do you constantly revise your strategy?  If not, why not?  Do you have any stories that might be helpful for others?  I look forward to reading your comments below.