I’ll let you in on one secret before we even start: if you’re the kind of person who wants to dig into the details, understand every little tactic, and save the secrets on your computer for handy access, you can skip this post and download this free eBook.
In my last post, 8 Companies Closing More Sales Then Ever Before, we talked about the success, the actual metrics, that the fastest-growing sales teams are achieving. If you’re a numbers person, that’s something you’ll want to read.
If you’re in charge of actually improving a sales system, however, then this post is right for you. We’ll talk at a high-level about the steps you can take to implement a system that will produce winning results. Each of these tips comes directly from the example of the success stories profiled previously.
Insider Secret #1: It All Starts With Buyer Personas
A common thread among the success of the companies I wrote about is an improved focus on their audience.
A buyer persona is a holistic ideal of what your customers are really like, inside and out.
Your personas should cover goals, challenges, pain points, common objections, and personal and demographic information about a particular customer type.
Your personas are the people your business is built around.
Successful companies have invested the time and energy to craft detailed buyer personas that shape the way they communicate.
Instead of promoting your brand from your viewpoint, your should understand the triggers, pains, values, needs, and wants of your ideal customer – and then you need to communicate based around that persona.
Building around a persona adds tremendous value and relevancy to your message – which in turn leads to better engagement, more leads, a better close rate, and ultimately, a more profitable business.
Insider Secret #2: Combine Content With Context
For Select International – an employment assessment and screening provider in Western PA, un-personalized marketing had an incredibly low conversion rate. They had quality content, but quickly learned that context is as important as content.
Amazon is a leader at contextualizing the shopping experience, and their sales have skyrocketed as a result.
Select International and other growing companies, have invested heavily in personalizing their marketing messages.
Why should a CEO of a marketing agency get the same message as a maintenance manager at an industrial manufacturer? They shouldn’t.
Context is critical for achieving higher ROI from your marketing.
Insider Secret #3: Measure What Works & What Doesn’t
If you don’t know what platform, what content, and what design consistently produces the highest value for your company, why are you even trying? It’s just a guess, a shot in the dark that you keep on repeating.
By measuring what blog posts generated the best traffic, what content offers converted the most leads, and what traffic sources led to the most customers, successful companies have been able to invest in what’s working – and cut the spend on what isn’t producing.
Take a page from the winners and start measuring today.
Insider Secret #4: Design Your Site For Conversion
Too many organizations make the same mistake that Select International and Global Plastic Sheeting made in their early days.
They design a site to look good (and hey, there’s nothing wrong with that), but didn’t design an experience for conversion.
Your website is one of your most valuable marketing assets – and you need to convert the potential value of your visitors into leads and sales.
Don’t write to write, write to convert.
Use content offers, calls-to-action, landing pages, and forms to gather information and build your database.
Don’t fail to leverage one of your best resources. The Web Design Strategy Checklist may help you avoid pitfalls.
Insider Secret #5: Understand The Sales Funnel
Not everyone who visits your website, calls your office, or meets with a sales member is ready to purchase.
There’s an educational and trust-building element that is core to any sales process.
Don’t ignore the value of the people who are not ready to purchase immediately. They are closer to the top of the sales funnel (less sales-ready) and require some education, but earning that trust now can lead to profitable business down the road.
This is where marketing automation and lead nurturing come into play – your task is to put an efficient system in place to draw these people down the sales funnel by adding value, understanding their timeline, and earning the trust that leads to sales down the road.
Insider Secret #6: Repurpose Existing Content
Industrial Training International had a wealth of resources already created, and were able to quickly repurpose that material as blog posts, digital downloads, and content offers that converted leads.
They focused on targeted keywords while repurposing and, “it was awesome, immediately our lead count went through the roof,” said VP Zack Parnell.
Content creation is often a barrier to entry as companies explore inbound marketing and systems built around closing more sales.
Repurposing existing content can solve that problem and speed up your timeline for seeing the ROI.
Don’t assume that everything has to be new to you – if it adds value to your audience, use it, even if it’s older.
Insider Secret #7: Commit To A Unified Experience
An astonishing number of leads are lost because of a jarring experience during the sales process. This usually happens when there is a disconnect between the way they are treated at different stages of the sales process.
Weed Pro recognized the value in a unified experience and knew that if they were serious about adopting inbound marketing, they needed to align their sales team, marketing department, technicians, and entire operations staff.
Marketing Director Shaun Kanary and CEO Rob Palmer were on the same page. They took the plunge, began implementing the new system, and brought everyone up to speed. As a result, leads increased by 100%, but, more impressively, revenue increased by 230%.
Insider Secret #8: Use Lead Scoring To Improve Sales
What happens when you cold call a list of numbers?
Your conversion rate is, almost invariably, miniscule.
If you have a system in place to track customer interactions and behavior, you can implement lead scoring – an algorithm that assigns a score to each contact in your database, based on characteristics (think position, industry, etc.) and actions (think pages viewed, email opens, downloads, etc.).
Lead scoring tells your sales team who to follow up with first. By focusing on the most engaged leads, conversion rates skyrocket – which directly impacts your bottom line.
Select International has used lead scoring to align sales and marketing and grow web revenue by 101%.
The quick hits in this blog post are a good start, but if you’re the kind of person who loves to dig in, get all the details, and download the secrets to print or access anytime, then this free offer (Insider Secrets to 8 Companies Closing More Sales Than Ever Before) is for you!