Marketing is the fuel that drives your sales engine and is critical for success.
I hear it often.
“Let’s just cut our marketing spend, because we are not sure how the market will fare.”
This is a dangerous concept! We all know how important fuel is, and it does not matter how expensive or fuel efficient your vehicle is, without fuel the engine does NOT operate. Similarly, I would suggest that without marketing to generate leads – real, actionable leads – your sales department will at best be running very clunky and often not at all.
Sales can identify some outbound leads by reaching out and making cold calls, and we also know that sales can increase market share by upselling into existing customers but I have yet to meet a CEO that is does not believe his organization can grow without identifying new opportunities. That means INBOUND leads … someone from your target audience putting up their hand and saying, “I might, possibly be interested in that”.
Creating an environment that will generate this is by a landslide the number one question I get asked to tackle – “how can we generate true, actionable leads” and it is usually inferred – not build likes and “engagement” because my bank can’t get paid with those. I would love to tell you that it is easy to build a lead capture strategy but it is not … it can, however, be a straight line process. Meaning that if you:
- Understand your audience VERY well
- Have a clear strategy on what you want your potential client to do
- Understand how to build the necessary “touch points” to move them to the point of putting up their hand because they are interested
Then you too can build a successful lead generation solution!
I often see companies getting stuck on “touch points” as this is different content when we are marketing than when we are selling. When this happens and you try to use sales touch points to generate interest our success rate goes WAY down. We need to have marketing touch points that work to solve a clients problems and present these touch points as client-centric as possible.
I worked with a client recently that was unconvinced that they could actually generate inbound leads. I heard a lot of: our business is different; people don’t understand unless we are standing in front of them; we need to convey our ideas 1 on 1 … this was tempered by another often heard plea of “I NEED MORE LEADS FOR MY SALES TEAM TO ENGAGE WITH!”
This client who supplied products and services to the global seed industry, defined a clear strategy along with clear expectations on how to reach out to this target audience, then built content along with a lead magnet to collect people that MAY be interested in what they were offering. This generated over 80 warm leads for their sales team, which resulted in over $1,000,000 in revenue that was outside their regular sales target list from clients that were NOT on their radar. I am confident that they now believe in the impact that marketing will have on your sales efforts.
So I’ll leave your with a couple of questions. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much does your marketing efforts contribute to your sales? Where does that number need to be for you to move to the “next level”?