Companies spend huge amounts of money on their offerings to establish or maintain competitive advantages. Yet, all that is a waste if they fail to make buyers’ short lists. With 92% of business-to-business buyers starting their search to their problems online, that means you need to be found on major search engines. But it’s more than just targeting keywords. It means targeting the keywords of buyers who are in the research stage of their buying processes. If you target only keywords for people who are in buying mode, you are already too late to the customer buying process.
Mobile is a powerful marketing medium, it’s in everyone’s pockets every waking moment, it’s instant and intimate, and it’s becoming a marketing juggernaut. But those that think it’s just a mini version of current methods, there are serious issues. Mobile must be treated as a beast unto itself. There are varying devices in market from mobile browsers that lack a lot of functionality to smartphones that offer unique browser experiences (think iPhone and Android). On top of that, iPad and the new tablet revolution add a whole other layer of complexity into the equation. As marketers seek to include customers in the conversations, integrate online and offline and “chunk” content into easily consumable sound bites – the emergence of mobile offers a key delivery vehicle to capitalize on these new marketing imperatives.
In 2010, it was estimated that businesses spent $200 million on marketing automation (Raab Associates). While that almost doubled the 2009 number, it still is a small portion of the $129 billion that was spent in 2010 on B2B marketing and advertising in the US alone (B2B Magazine). Even more interesting is that 24% of marketing automation adopters reported that they are generating enough demand to meet their sales team’s needs (according to Bulldog Solutions/Frost & Sullivan).
If you are like most sales people, the thought off tapping into the over 75 million twitter users sounds amazing. The problem is as soon as you sign up you have no clue how to find opportunities. Fortunately there are ways to find your prospects and even better, connect with them.
All sales people do it: they dream about the ideal sales call. You pick up the phone and call that executive at that large company that could make your quota for the quarter or even the year. The VITO (Very Important Top Officer) answers the phone and you strike up a conversation with them about how something has just happened in their company and they are in a rush to find someone to provide the exact product or service that you offer. The ideal sales situation is when buyer and seller meet at the right moment at the intersection of an emerging problem and a ready solution. Such an ideal situation may not have happened for most, but innovative technology is steadily moving sales in that direction.
The poor communication that exists between many sales and marketing departments has long been documented. With the introduction of new lead generation channels, such as Social Media Marketing, this dysfunctional relationship can de-rail the resources, time and attention required to be successful.
As I sit here and think about some of the mothers who have touched my life, I think about how much society has changed. I first think of my 91-year-old grandmother. As she still drives and goes out every day to see people, and gives her time to volunteer, she is the ultimate in selfless community development.
At any given time, only 3% of your market is buying. They are the companies calling for proposals, requesting demos, and engaging your sales staff. These active buyers are in the sales funnel and willing to commit within the next 90 days. But what about the rest? The remaining 97%?
Do you remember when you first started in sales and you learned the basic sales model (Discover-Evaluate-Purchase-Support)? For the most part, this model is still valid today. However, there is one small, yet important, difference between then and now: Google. Before, a sales representative would handle just about every step of the process. He/she would discover new customers, then work with them as they asked questions and evaluated the product/service, and eventually convince the customers to purchase the product. As long as you had a good sales team that could connect with customers, you did well. In addition, as long as you supported them well enough, they would stay.
The internet has changed everything – especially how sales leads are generated. I get requests weekly from companies who want to know the best way to deal with incoming “warm” leads.
© 2013 Inbound Sales Network