Let’s be honest.
In most companies, the Sales and Marketing teams don’t really work well together.
Sales reps don’t loop back with Marketing to give feedback on new insights they’ve discovered concerning what the client or customer’s needs are, which would help improve Internet marketing efforts.
On the other hand, Sales will say Marketing doesn’t do a great job helping sales generate and nurture leads.
Here at Fruition, being a digital marketing agency in Toronto, I think we do a good job helping our clients turbo-charge their business growth with better Internet marketing (We’ve got the case studies to prove it).
Lately, however, we’ve really made an effort to insist that leads being generated from a client’s Web site get qualified using lead nurturing tactics that seamlessly integrates with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System. When done correctly, it can shorten even the longest and most complex sales cycle.
For us, that’s exciting, because this is where real value is created for clients.
When we help marketing teams create lead nurturing campaigns, sales reps close more business in less time.
For companies that provide services, the future of marketing is going to focus more on which marketing channels generated the best lead-to-customer closing rates, not just visit-to-lead conversion rates.
3 Internet marketing tactics that will turn your sales reps into “sales rock stars”:
Internet Marketing Tactic #1: Nurture Leads for More Revenue
Only a small number of leads you generate from your website are ready to buy from you right away.
So, what do you do with the majority of prospects who aren’t ready to talk to a sales rep?
Create a lead nurturing program that builds a relationship with prospects and grooms them for an eventual hand-off to the sales team.
Lead nurturing creates a consistent, relevant dialog with prospects based on their needs and interests (based on their engagement with your content).
When establishing a lead nurturing program start by creating a simple communication workflow schedule.
This doesn’t have to be rocket science, but it needs to include a follow-up email within 24 hours after a prospect has converted (i.e., downloads a piece of content) on your Web site.
The timing of the rest of the email messages in your campaign will depend on your sales cycle. For example, if your average sales cycle is 60 days, you might plan to send a new email on the 1st, 7th, 15th and 30th day after the initial contact.
The goal here is to attempt to move the lead down the marketing funnel during the first 30 days, which means getting the lead to convert on some type of bottom-of-the-funnel offer (i.e., a free consultation or trial demo).
Important: Leads in the nurturing stage, by definition, are not sales ready, so don’t pitch. Instead, start by providing educational content or Middle-of-the-Funnel offer (i.e. case studies or Webinar) that teaches them something.
Internet Marketing Tactic #2: Score Your Leads To Identify Sales-Ready Leads
This may not seem like an Internet marketing tactic, but a lead’s score is a reflection of the actions taken on your Web site as a result of your Internet marketing efforts.
For example, during the lead nurturing phase, you should be building a profile of each lead in your CRM that helps signal when the lead is ready to hand off to Sales.
Having a formal lead-scoring framework takes the guesswork out of prioritizing sales-ready leads.
With lead scoring, you can assign points to demographic factors as well as recent actions that indicate a lead’s potential interest and fit for your company.
Criteria that can be used to establish a lead’s score could also include behavioural data such as the type or number of conversions completed.
Below, is an example of Fruition’s lead scoring criteria:
- Our site contains several ebook forms, so any conversion on our ‘ebooks’ score 5 points.
- If someone submits a contact form, they’re a bottom of the funnel, qualified lead. We give them 40 points.
- We award 5 points for each 5 page views.
In our case, we’re experimenting with a score of 50 as being our optimal ‘qualified lead’. Anyone who has reached that score is qualified enough for a sales rep to contact them.
Keep in mind, the criteria you use will evolve and get better over time as we collect and analyze lead intelligence in our CRM.
Internet Marketing Tactic #3: Close the Loop
As a business veteran, you’ve probably heard this jargon before.
Some of you may have dismissed it as fancy Marketing talk in an attempt to sell you something you didn’t need.
However, a closed loop communication system, which allows for the free flow of data and discussion between Sales and Marketing, can be quite powerful.
By capturing data from the first time a prospect visits your website all the way through to a closed deal, you see exactly which marketing channels (i.e. sources) are generating new business.
The opportunities that closed loop analytics creates are endless.
- If your visitor count is rising but your number of leads isn’t, the Marketing team needs to do a better job of converting traffic.
- If visitor and lead counts are both rising, but your customer numbers aren’t, you might have problems with lead nurturing, qualification process or the Sales team’s approach.
How’s your “S-marketing?”
When you use systems and tools that align Marketing and Sales you create a force multiplier in your business which, over time, creates an amazing result (sales!) with less time and energy.