Just like a healthy breakfast is the right way to start your day, great sales are a healthy start for any business. If marketing mixes up the right recipe to fill the sales funnel and delivers on execution, sales can clean up. Sales and marketing are two different skill sets, but they complement and align with each other for a well-rounded meal that sets you up for business success.
Looking for the right recipe
Recently I had a client say something like this:
“Julie, we are really good at the services we provide, but my prospects just don’t know about us or don’t remember us at the right time. I know I need to do something different to attract leads, but I don’t know what. I just can’t get my head around it. What I do know is that when we tell prospects what we do and how we do it, we close the sale. I just need the qualified prospects and the rest will take care of itself.”
First things first: This business has services the customer wants at a price the customer will agree to, and they do a great job to earn repeat business.
Second, what a smart cookie! This client owned the fact that they don’t know how to develop the right plan for today’s marketing environment. In fact, many businesses today are uncertain how to put together the right marketing recipe.
You are not alone — in big and small businesses, marketing and sales teams are all facing this challenge.
Reviews provide insight into success
There’s not much worse than spending money with a disappointing result. That’s why Yelp, Open Table and other review sites are helpful. Real diners provide real reviews on restaurants; both restaurants and diners can benefit from this information.
On the other hand, most marketing “stats” are just short of useless, except for concrete data like direct mail response rates. Other “data” is almost a joke: A sales clerk asks, “How did you hear about us?” Sometimes someone writes down the answer. Somewhere. Inconsistency does not equal valid insights.
Many digital metrics are misleading. Let’s take page views. Do we even know how to make that metric meaningful or insightful? A page was noticed, but by whom? A computer, a buyer profile or what? We cannot act on it intelligently.
However, cost per lead can help us make the right decisions. How much did it cost for a specific keyword to produce a lead in your funnel? What campaign was running for which services and products? What media was used? Which call to action converted to leads, for what service? Was this based on a discount, seasonality or a newsworthy event?
When you get all of that data, you have a useful metric. And it leads to another important point: With digital marketing can you take that information and likely perform better with a few tweaks.
A well balanced marketing and sales menu includes technology
It can be tricky to mix marketing and sales together — and now we have to fold in technology. We have to get the recipe balanced just right, so that each team unit partners the other two.
To build a great partnership between sales, marketing and technology, answer a few questions with the whole group:
- Who are our targets?
- Who authors our content?
- Does our content help build better relationships with our customers?
- What are our current roadblocks and hurdles?
- Who will post to social media?
- What content management system are we using for our website?
- Is our website optimized for search engines?
- What is our email program?
- What is our sales funnel tool?
- Do our marketing and sales widgets talk to each other?
- How can we best streamline the marketing to sales process?
- What is our definition of success?
Marketing, sales and tech are key ingredients for today’s savvy businesses. Leverage marketing technology to help target, attract, qualify and provide meaningful leads to your sales team.
When all three work together, you’ll see tremendous impact. For instance, Social Media Today says that “Social media has a 100 percent higher lead-to-close rate than (traditional) methods.”
It’s time to focus on what’s new on the menu for marketing.