Balance and the right approach: every successful football team has both of them. Each player has his role and it’s the coach’s job to come up with a sound game strategy. But what happens if a player decides to do his own thing during a key play? Or, what if the coach completely ignores conventional wisdom and “goes with his gut” when drawing game strategy for an important game? It can end in disaster.
Many business owners today do the same thing. Their sales department tries to generate leads through cold calling and other outdated, highly interruptive tactics. While some sales methods like networking and events will likely have a place in the sales process, many of the traditional methods are becoming largely ineffective in producing expected results.
Today’s digital marketplace requires a new sales strategy, so you’ll have to be receptive to change if you want to maximize sales efforts and grow revenue for your business.
The New Marketing and Sales Balance
To maximize sales and grow revenue, the first thing companies should look at is the balance of sales and marketing. Not just cost or investment, but also the time and effort. Most business owners think of their sales team as the ones who carry the revenue torch for the company, while marketing merely plays a lesser, supporting role.
In today’s business environment, that dynamic has completely changed. To match new buyer behavior, marketing carries more of the responsibility for generating revenue by clearly defining the overall strategy, understanding buyers and their motivations, and creating the messaging and tactics that will reach their target audiences. Their goal is to reach their buyers with the right message, in the right place, at the right time.
So what makes up the bulk of this new marketing balance? Content. Today’s marketers need to focus on the challenge of educating their prospects more than their competition and establish their company as the obvious choice by the time their prospects are through conducting research. This is a huge departure from the traditional leave-behind, glorified sales brochure pieces that are used at most tradeshows. This strategy also requires more effort and creativity than ever before.
The New Marketing and Sales Funnel
This strategy also requires a new marketing and sales system to grow leads, increase sales and produce revenue for the company. There are four distinct steps in this new Inbound Marketing and Sales Funnel, each accounting for 25% of the process: Inbound Traffic, Awareness Offers, Consideration Offers and Sales Process.
Notice that the Sales Process makes up the last 25% of the buyer’s journey. This more closely matches new b uyer behavior and means that marketing is now responsible for the first 75% of the sale, before a prospect ever reaches the sales team. There are many benefits to this model, but one of the primary benefits for the sales team no longer has to waste time with unqualified prospects that are clogging up their pipelines and have no intention of ever buying. This is huge for salespeople today as it allows them to focus more on prospects who qualify into their sales process based on select qualification criteria, such as budget, authority to make decisions, need and overall fit for your solution.
In Part 2 of this two-part series, we will look at the four distinct steps of the new Inbound Marketing and Sales Funnel and how each of them works together to grow revenue for the company.