CSO Insights reports in their 2011 Sales Performance Optimization survey that 46.2% of companies state their ability to accurately forecast revenue needs improvement, and only 6.8% report their ability exceeds expectations. On top of that, win rates are down across the board. Why are forecasts so inaccurate? Probably the largest reason is that you are looking at it from the wrong end of the revenue cycle. Most forecast are based on a sales executive’s gut-based or statistical predictions based on current opportunities; but this does not take into account any opportunities that have not yet entered the sales pipeline. Since Sales tends to be focused on the next 30, 60, 90 days, they are only able to forecast the immediate future. In contrast, since marking is more long-term focused, they are able to provide a more accurate forecast for the long term potential.
If you are like many sales and marketing professionals, you are looking for ways to shorten your sales cycle and increase your Return on Investment. If you are not, maybe you should be looking for a new line of work. While there are many tools out there, such as marketing automation and social CRM applications to help you achieve this, the fundamental best practice still lies in satisfying basic human needs.
Let’s get one thing clear, marketing is meant to sell stuff. If you don’t understand that, then there is no point in doing marketing. It drives me nuts when I see companies do “Milli Vanilli Marketing”. They are just saying the same thing that every one of their competitors is saying. Oh we have a different value proposition or we do it better, faster, quicker. Come on… get a life! Do your really believe that is working? You might as well be copy pasting the text from your competitor’s website to yours. Oh, “but we say it better” you repond? Really? Have you asked you customers if that’s the case? Or wait let me guess…. there aren’t any new customers to ask.
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.
The sole purpose of marketing is to get more people to buy more of your product or service, more often, for more money. That is the only reason to spend a single, dollar, loonie, yen, euro. If your marketing is not delivering paying customers to the cash register with their wallets in their hands ready to buy your product or service, don’t do it. So why do so many marketing executives and departments look at meaningless vanity metrics to measure performance?
Are you looking for a messaging silver bullet that you can deliver a clear message to the perfect prospect who will resonate, increase engagement, and boost your bottom line? I hate to tell you this, but it does not exist. That is because every single one of your customers is unique, with individual personalities and preferences. And despite most marketers’ best efforts to categorize consumer preferences based on common demographics, most consumers approach the internet like they do in all other areas of life—with intrinsic personality traits and motivations that influence how they’ll interact online.
The Internet has fundamentally transformed the way people discover, share, connect and shop. 79% of adults use the internet (Pew Internet & American Life Project, May 2010). It’s time for your company to transform the way you connect and communicate with your customers – and maybe even more importantly, with potential customers. Old-school techniques, including telemarketing, direct mail, TV, radio and print advertising (to reach customers), just don’t work anymore. Your customers shop and learn in a whole new way compared to just a few years ago, so marketers need to adapt or risk extinction. 78% of Internet users conduct product research online (Pew Internet & American Life Project, May 2010). The average information seeker conducts dozens of searches per day , and- rather than listen to a sales rep, read a spam message, watch a TV ad, or fly to a trade show - most people find it easier to sit at their desks and find information online through Google. In order to take advantage of this new reality, marketers need to change the way they think about marketing – from the ground up.
If you think of a consumer’s online interaction with your company as a treasured relationship (as any good marketer should!) then the next logical step is to explore the termination of that relationship. Most romances come to an end at some point, and—whether conducted through Email, Facebook, or Twitter—online consumer-brand romances are no exception. Regardless of channel, research by Exact Target’s new study “The Social Break-Up” shows that one thing consistently drives consumers away; communications that, in some way, demonstrate that the company doesn’t care.
© 2013 Inbound Sales Network