Tag Archives: sales teams

Are You Guilty of This #1 Lead Killer?

6 February 2017 Theresa Mills Leave a comment Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Sales Growth

Qualified leads are the heart and soul of your business, your bread and butter, the center of your universe.  Yet for some reason, despite all of your hard work, none of your leads seem to be converting.

You tried inbound marketing because you heard you should, but that didn’t work. And so, after two months, you gave up.

Secretly, you know your database is out-of-date, inaccurate and completely unqualified, but you don’t have the time or money to scrub the list. In the end, you ignore the problem and try the “bombard your contacts with broadcast emails” approach instead. You hope you’ll get a nibble or two for your efforts – but that isn’t working either. Even a badly-trained hamster knows that you can’t run a business this way.

I once worked for a company that gave their sales team a giant list to cold call. The list was SO bad that the team didn’t make any sales and eventually they were blamed and fired. The problem? The owner didn’t understand the target audience or how to reach them. He thought that as long as the sales team kept making phone calls, they’d eventually get a hit. Not surprisingly, this approach was a disaster.

If you don’t understand your ideal customer, you’ll spend months of effort trying to sell umbrellas to a camel. In other words, you won’t sell anything and your inbound marketing efforts will lead you on a road to nowhere. Even if you DO capture a qualified lead here and there, your lack of understanding will likely result in their demise and they’ll be gone forever.

In order to give marketing teams and salespeople a fighting chance, companies need to clearly define their target market. They need to understand what prospects need at different stages of their buying journey and help drive them towards a decision.

Inbound marketing is a highly-strategic process, based on clearly defined buyer personas. It’s not about sending out random emails to prospects hoping to get a bite. And it’s not about promoting your blogs on Facebook when none of your leads actually use Facebook.

For inbound marketing to work, everything from email campaigns to social media need to be focused on your personas: who they are, how they live, what their budget looks like and what kind of media they consume. Otherwise, you’re just wasting a lot of effort without seeing any results.

In her blog, What Do You Mean Your Marketing Isn’t Working: Sales Edition, author Kristen Patel explains that, even if your leads seem to be going down the sales funnel, they might just be doing research. She says you need to understand their behavior, such as how many times they’ve converted, whether they’re a first-time visitor and whether or not they fit with your persona. If they don’t, chances are they’re just a “lookie-loo” and are stopping by for a visit but not really interested in your product or service.

Buyer personas are key to getting into the heart and mind of the buyer so you can answer all of their questions, solve their problems and become a resource for them through your inbound marketing. Equipped with a genuine understanding of their target market, sales and marketing teams can provide the right information for qualified prospects, initiate the right conversations at exactly the right time and nurture qualified leads so they become customers.

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Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Selling

11 March 2015 smashdeck Leave a comment Content Marketing

I consider myself to be an inbound marketer for sales teams. My greatest thrill in life aside from the nights when I can get a full 8-hrs of sleep is to help organizations transition from traditional outbound selling to inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing is about earning leads instead of buying them. I can’t tell you how many companies I know still buying email lists. Email is a very effective marketing channel. However, these companies are blowing it by “blasting” users who have no interest in their product or service in the first place.

Let’s first define inbound marketing according to HubSpot. “Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.” If HubSpot didn’t coin the term “inbound marketing” they sure have spent lots of time and money convincing us they have! Well done, HubSpot.

Inbound marketing is about earning leads instead of buying them. I can’t tell you how many companies I know still buying email lists. Email is a very effective marketing channel. However, these companies are blowing it by “blasting” users who have no interest in their product or service in the first place.

Sign up for our free webinar on May 7, 2015 at 10:30 PST to learn more about inbound marketing

More Sales This Way. Inbound Marketing: The Process.

Let’s first define inbound marketing according to HubSpot. “Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.” If HubSpot didn’t coin the term “inbound marketing” they sure have spent lots of time and money convincing us they have! Well done, HubSpot.

Whereas in the past “traditional marketing” and “digital marketing” referred to the the distribution method of content, inbound marketing is all about the message itself – its educational, informative and provides a platform for thought leadership. As a buyer of things we consume more content than we think. Our minds are making brand decisions in our sleep – we just don’t know it! Think about the last time you read about a new product on Facebook or spent hours surfing websites that returned organic links from your search term. This is inbound marketing at work. What I like to tell clients is that if you are not educating your customer than your competition is.

Speaking of competition, inbound marketing levels the playing field among competitors. Very few companies can outspend their competition. Don’t get me wrong content production is plenty expensive and hiring marketing talent to carry out the work costs money. However, what used to be who can spend the most on a full-page ad unit in a major publication got the business is now who can withstand the time it takes to produce enough quantity and qualitative content to attract buyers. The good news is that many companies give up way too soon, like attention span of a knat too soon. Evolutionary principles apply here folks. Its survival of the fittest for marketers, how cool is that!

Leads are great but sales are better. Here are some great stats on what content marketing can do for your sales.

  1. Customers who receive email newsletters spend 82% more when they buy from the company. (iContact)
  2. Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (The Annuitas Group)
  3. Companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months. (Gartner Research)
  4. Companies with mature lead generation and management practices have a 9.3% higher sales quota achievement rate. (CSO Insights)
  5. Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. (DemandGen Report)

If you are stuck on the fence about inbound marketing, just remember inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing.

This video is from HubSpot ’13 and by far my favorite depiction of outbound selling tactics. You must watch if you never have.<a

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