Starting your marketing and sales strategy with a strong foundation is easier said than done. Marketing strategies to improve sales are important, but without the right kind of energy and sales planning behind it, there will be no fruit to bear.
These 8 examples will not only help conversion, but will help align your sales and marketing teams as well.
1. Defining Your Ideal Buyer Profile
Chasing unproductive leads is one of the most time-consuming and unproductive things your sales force can do. Those leads will never purchase anything from your company, no matter how skillfully you nurture them.
To be effective when you market your business, your sales rep needs to have a good profile of the type of customer who most often interacts with your company: the ideal buyer profile.
This really only exists in the B2B environment, as B2C should jump directly into developing their buyer persona, or a specific outline of the people they aim to work with.
When building your ideal buyer profile, think of all the characteristics about your clients that make them a good fit for you.
What patterns do you see? Make sure you take into account things like location, demographics, industry, employee count, revenue, and more.
This doesn't mean you'll never have a customer who fits outside of these high quality parameters.
It just means that your sales team's time is better utilized focusing on those who are most likely to become customers.
There are three key steps to creating a solid buyer profile.
- First, you need to agree on what your company is about and what you want to concentrate on selling. Is there one core service or product you want to highlight, perhaps a highly profitable or particularly successful option?
- Second, make a list of your existing customers that are already using this product or service. What patterns emerge about the kind of companies and people you're working with? What did the buying cycle look like?
- Third, Write out a list of the characteristics that make this ideal buyer profile a solid fit. You'll find that each category might have multiple options. For example, companies that are 100-500 employees might be your best fit, but the second best fit might be 1000 or more. It doesn't mean they are a bad fit if they don't fall in the 100-500 category; it just means we want to prioritize them over others.
2. Knowing When Someone Is Engaging With Your Company
Another sales strategy example is knowing when a prospect is "raising his or her hand" or simply filling out a form or visiting a few web pages out of curiosity.
For example, someone opening one email message or filling out one form is not showing signs of "high engagement."
On the other hand, someone filling out multiple forms, clicking through several emails and/or visiting important pages on your site (like pricing and features pages) multiple times indicates that this person is a highly engaged marketing qualified lead (MQL).
These parameters will be different for every company.
You want to make best use of your sales team's time by passing these MQLs to them instead of just sending every lead (no matter how qualified) to the sales team.
When you send too many (unqualified) leads to the sales team, you can actually make them less productive - not more cost effective.
You also risk affecting morale, since sales agents will likely have to talk to more people in order to get a sale.
The key to a good qualified lead strategy is to define the threshold where a lead becomes an MQL(marketing qualified lead).
This, too, will be different for every company.
For instance, it could equate to making five unique visits to important pages on your website, or requesting a free trial of your product or service, or downloading multiple premium content pieces.
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3. Building a Tailored Marketing Automation Program Around Your MQLs
Yet another common marketing challenge is how to move someone from the awareness stage to the consideration stage in the sales funnel.
A good way to keep them interested and progressing toward becoming a satisfied customer is to send them tailored content around specific solutions, especially content that pushes on their pain points, while also sending the lead to your sales team.
Improving your marketing strategies doesn't have to be a time-consuming and laborious task. You simply start with a solid foundation.
These three examples of effective marketing strategies not only help conversion rates, but they help align your sales and marketing plan as well.
4. drafting and preparing an online sales strategy
I think one of the best places to start a sales strategy plan is to understand how do you get the right kind of people in touch with your sales team in first place. We do this at web canopy Studio by defining a lead score.A lead score is the threshold that defines when a contact in our CRM becomes an MQL( or a marketing qualified lead). This system will allow you to identify the people who have high engagement with your company compared to someone who might be at the very beginning of the buyer’s journey. To start lead scoring, you first need to decide on your company’s ideal buyer profile. If you apply a score to all of the traits that make up your ideal client, you're going to be able to say when someone needs a lead score of 25 or 30 they are ready to be sent to sales.
The next thing that I would do is set up a system for when leads are passed from marketing to sales. This way your sales team is appropriately calling and emailing the right people, instead of blasting all of your your MQLs with obnoxious sales pitches. We don't want to get someone into the sales funnel only to be immediately turned off.
For example, a great sales strategy would be when somebody becomes an MQL, have your salesperson send them an email. This doesn’t have to be an extremely detailed message. In fact, you will be fine with just a quick email intro so that your MQLs are connecting with an actual person instead of just the marketing team. The next thing to have the sales team do is connect with them on LinkedIn and lastly try to set up a phone call. Feel free to space those out however you would like. We like to test a lot of different models with different clients.
As of right now, our competitive strategy, is email someone right away followed by a call the next day. This sales process is a template we have implemented that you can use for your product or service.
We're also big fans of video here at Web Canopy Studio and I think nothing speaks louder today than personalization. If I actually take the time and make a personalized video, this will mean a lot to a potential prospect. That video says that you're actually taking time out of your day, even if it's 2 minutes, to make that personalization and add a touch that is unique to me.
For example, if I'm going to reach out to you as a prospect, I'm going to go to your website and I'm going to use the Vidyard extension (on chrome). Using this tool, I'm going to have my face over your website so you know it's a personal video to you. During this video I will record a quick intro about myself and then talk about some things that we’re noticing on your website including suggestions of some ways we might be able to help. This is an especially effective approach for us in the marketing field.
5. the ULTIMATE B2B SALES STRATEGY
The best B2B strategy is going to start with identifying the type of customer who is going to fit your company’s core ideal buyer profile. Ask yourself, “Who are the good fit people that we want to work with”?
You are going to do this with the same exercises we touched on in Lead Scoring. One of the first things you want to start with his identifying who those good fit targets are for your business. For example, you know that your current clients typically offer 5 million to 10 million dollars in revenue, they have a company size of around 10 to 15 people and they all work in San Francisco, New York or Miami. Knowing that those are really great identifiers that your current clients have in common, you can begin targeting new prospective clients who also share these traits.
You know if someone meets those demographics, that they are likely an ideal fit for your business. From here, you can even start to narrow the criteria even further. Take “industry” for example. If you work exclusively in the automotive industry, you want to target people who meet that specific criteria of “working in the auto-industry.” You can do this through lead scoring by adding points to your current contacts that are in the auto industry.
Start giving value to people who meet that criteria and then take points away for people who don't meet that criteria.
6. Examples of a COMPETITIVE SALES STRATEGY
The most important ingredient of a competitive sales strategy is focusing on the customer above all. It is crucial to begin building your relationship and genuinely finding out how your services and offers can help them solve their problem. This way all of your interactions are sincere and you and your client can grow together. Much like a free trial, you can offer small products or services to get a potential client in-the-door and you can start to build a trusting relationship. This means as your client succeeds, it will hopefully lead to bigger opportunities for your business in the future.
The more personalized outreach you can do, the better. LinkedIn can be an amazing tool, but there are smarter ways to use it than just spamming people’s inbox. Instead, we are able to use LinkedIn to connect with prospects and gain some insight as to who they are and what their interests are. All of this information can be very helpful on a sales call and give you a huge advantage instead of going into the situation blind.
You can use these strategies at different points of the sales cycle to find what works best. Every time you try a new strategy you can measure your conversion rate and adjust as needed.
7. sell using MODERN BUSINESS PLANS
This sales strategy example is about updating your business plan with a modern, and realistic, go-to-market plan process. The first place that you could look as is on our website we have a marketing strategy template which is going to give you a lot of great information to get started with. We lay out how to bring in the right kind of leads for your sales team to nurture. Now obviously business plans are much more vast than just your go-to-market strategy. However, this is probably one of the most important components to a business plan. So if you’re looking for an easy way to get started, check out our marketing strategy template. Of course, it’s free and comes with great resources.
8. INTERNAL GROWTH STRATEGIES
Try Everything. This is because so many people are so overwhelmed with all of the different opportunities for internal growth that they end up doing nothing.
Start by trying something from every category that you can think of, because the strategy that works for one company isn’t going to work for everyone else.
This means you need to try video, try email, try making appointments to talk directly with people, try lead flows on your homepage targeted at lead generation or maybe add them on your blog go to encourage people to attend conferences and events talk to your company. If you spend a month trying all of these strategies, you will start to see what's working. From there you can do more of what seems fruitful and stop any strategies that might lead to you wasting time and money.
If you’re brand new to the idea of internal growth strategies, the easiest way to get started is create a few different types of content like an ebook or some kind of downloadable guide. These guides, coupled with a video or maybe a podcast, can be great assets to add on your website or social media. Remember this content will live as a tool in your content arsenal forever and you should try to produce videos and guides that are evergreen. This will be helpful in 6 months when you don’t know what you should promote. Just look back at some of your best performing content from the past few months and find a way to repurpose them.
After you you promote your content to your audience, make sure you monitor your audience and see what they download or what is most listened to. This way you'll have an idea about how they like to consume content and you can go from there on creating more.