Consultant Terry Forsey on how to improve your sales by improving your marketing.
Last month we talked about the transition of an inactive buyer to an active sales prospect.
As a result, what sales challenges are you facing this year?
Are you getting frustrated by seemingly lots of web registrations but a lack of conversions to sales ready leads?
Admittedly, this can be annoying, but patience is required as this is just the beginning of what can be a very long journey to your prospect becoming a customer.
Buyers who are not yet ready to take that step and buy are the responsibility of marketing.
The marketing department needs to assist them on their route from initial inactive contact to the point at which the sales department can take over when they’re deemed to be an active sales ready lead.
Also, bear in mind that B2B (business to business) buyers don’t act on impulse.
This means sales cycles are much longer than with consumers.
Our research shows that as much as 70 per cent of your leads will be long term, as these buyers will take more time researching you and your product.
Forrester and Sirius Decisions have identified that today, buyers might be anywhere from between two-thirds to 90 per cent of the way through their buying process before they contact you directly, highlighting the need for you to have an up-to-date and attractive website.
However, to greatly improve your sales success, we advocate a simple four stage process – attract, engage, nurture, close.
Adopt the techniques of arousing curiosity and educating prospects early in their buying cycle.
Engage with them by delivering high value communication and then nurture their interest, thus building a long-term relationship.
Keep your brand at the forefront of your prospect’s minds by continuing this process of ‘drip-feeding’ your marketing activities.
That way yours is the name that they think of when they’re ready to make that purchase.
It has been found that supplying relevant compelling communications is a differentiator between somebody becoming a customer or choosing to go elsewhere.
Let’s not underestimate the dedication and determination of the sales team which also plays a part – 80 per cent of prospects deemed ‘bad leads’ by sales teams go on to buy within 24 months (Sirius Decisions).
If your marketing team remains engaged with these leads they will ultimately become ready for the sales team to positively qualify them and make that all important first sale.
Terry Forsey runs a successful niche sales and marketing consultancy, working with smaller software businesses.
Visit the website if you would like to find out more.