Today’s buying process is different from the process just 20 years ago. Customers used to learn about your company & products through billboards & sales call while today, they’re tuning out interruptive messaging & using Google to take the decision-making process into their own hands.
Not surprisingly, your clients is well-informed about your company & your competitors long before they pick up the phone to talk to your sales team.
The internet & social media websites have made this new dynamic a reality for a few years now. Still, not all businesses have adapted to accommodate this shift in power. In fact, only 45% of marketers feel highly proficient in digital marketing. Successful entrepreneurs have adjusted their marketing & sales mindset to work with this shift, instead of fighting against it. Here is what those thriving entrepreneurs know, & you should, too.
- Data is a Marketer’s Best Friend
Marketing used to be thought of as arts & crafts but today’s top marketers have to be analytical, make data-driven decisions, & provide measurable results. If your marketing team does not have the insight to evaluate campaign ROI, they can not possibly prioritize 1 over another, let alone tie campaigns to revenue. For example, marketers are rapid to invest resources into social media but a whopping 83% of businesses do not even bother to measure their ROI from their social efforts. Not knowing how your marketing impacts your bottom line will end up costing you time, money, & energy.
Equip your marketing team with a robust analytics platform that lets them close the loop between marketing & sales activities. Being able to tie campaigns to actual audiences closed & dollars earned will make your efforts more informed & your budget better spent.
- Your site Can Make or Break Audience Relationships
For businesses, sites are the storefronts of the digital age. If your site isn’t intuitive, user friendly, & personalized, visitors will never turn into clients because they will not make it past your homepage. Unluckily, most marketers spend too much time concern about brand colors & layouts to turn their site into an effective sales tool. Design is very important but user experience is paramount.
To develop relationships with visitors, you need to prioritize making your website responsive & dynamic. Begin embracing smart content so that when a stranger, prospect, or client visits your site, the content they see is tailored to them. The right content management system will allow you to show different calls-to-action & copy to different contacts.
Next, do not discount mobile. 61% of consumers will instantly leave a mobile site if it is not easy to navigate. I do not have to tell you how prevalent mobile is for web browsing (but just in case, consider that over 35% of all Google searches are performed on a mobile device today), so it is safe to say a chunk of your website traffic is coming through smart phones & tablets. Bottom line: optimise your website for mobile. Your customer will thank you.
- Valuable Content is the New Billboard
With customers having more access to information than ever, your marketing efforts should concentrate on engaging them with helpful content. This becomes more important when you consider that modern customers have found ways to tune out traditional marketing methods. Interruptive ads, cold calls, & email blasts are no match for DVR, call screening, & email filtering, so businesses need to concentrate on owning content online that your customer actually wants to consume. Evernote does a great job of this on their blog by sharing helpful & valuable posts about their industry & products making their business a resource for customers.
Creating easy-to-find content like blog posts, case studies, & product videos can assist companies play an active part in the customer’s research — & even become a trusted ally in the purchase process.
- Your Sales & Marketing Teams Have to Talk to together
Since nearly 57% of the customer’s purchase decision is made before even talking to Sales, reps have to come to the call with just as much information about the prospect. If reps begin asking questions that the prospect has answered in a landing page form or in social media interactions already, the work Marketing has done to warm up the lead is diminished. Instead, reps should be having conversations that position them as useful consultants — & they can only do that if they are equipped with the information Marketing has gleaned thus far about the prospect through their site & social media interactions.
To present this information seamlessly, companies have to invest in an integrated sales & marketing platform that captures, organizes, & shares this data with reps, & your reps should be finding out new prospecting tools to facilitate the process. This way, they spend a little time cobbling together information about the prospect from their CRM, LinkedIn profile, & company site, & more time providing consultative services that actually assist the prospect make a smart purchase.
- The World of Sales and Marketing Is not Slowing Down
Marketing & sales professionals need to keep up-to-date on industry trends to stay relevant. The landscape has already dramatically shifted, & the pace of innovation will continue to cause incremental shifts to the way people do business. Marketing leaders should be testing out new tactics, & staying abreast of changes in current digital platforms. Sales leaders should be staying on top of their prospects’ problems by keeping informed of industry trends & inserting social selling to their resume; consider that 80% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers.
The digital age has introduced obstacles for Sales & Marketing, but it has opened doors to countless new ways to connect with customers in a meaningful way. To succeed today, you need to dive in & evolve your strategy to keep up with the shifting landscape. Most important of all, effective marketing & sales teams are equipped with the data to tell them what works & what does not — & to shift strategy with agility when the time comes to try something new.