Marketing your business is an art form, I have worked with Marketing companies that have been great and delivered results and I have worked with marketing companies that have taken our money and delivered nothing.
I know how important marketing is and in turn how important and valuable leads coming in from your marketing efforts are.
If as a business you have spent money on acquiring leads through marketing efforts then these leads need to be effectively followed up to give them an opportunity to be converted to customers
So, I did an experiment.
I downloaded 7 pieces of content in September from various websites (none of which were online buy now sites) and all of which were behind lead capture forms, and do you know how many emails I had follow up with me after the initial download? 26 over a 6-week period – Good Right? These businesses are effectively following up on my initial download with relevant and engaging follow up content.
But how many follow up calls or actual engagement did I have with an actual person? 0, not a single call or LinkedIn request or email from an actual human. All the correspondence was automated
Yes, I know someone wrote the content, and set the automation and yes, before you ask, I clicked links within these emails to give myself a higher lead score. However, my personal interest was not followed up by a member of the team.
This tells me that these businesses have invested heavily in inbound marketing and have an automated email responder in place, all of which is great. However, it also tells me that the business has no clear marketing to sales communication, this is a gap that needs to be filled.
How can you ensure that Marketing efforts are followed up effectively?
Inbound marketing is great, it can be hugely successful and reap great rewards as part of a larger marketing plan. But downloads and collecting email addresses are only part of the mixture for success.
You also need to plan the follow up, how will your sales team know when these leads come in to the business, how will these leads be divided between the team.
What does the follow up strategy look like and at what point should your sales team engage with a phone call?
This plan is equally as important as the initial Marketing plan. The problem is this part of the process is often overlooked, not budgeted for or poorly executed. Meaning a loss in potential sales and future customer growth.
How CRM can help.
Having an effective Customer Relationship Management system in place can make a huge difference.
Having a single system in place (or a CRM that has the capabilities to integrate with your email systems) to send an email and then follow up can ensure sales teams follow up when the time is right.
Engaging in a positive way at the right time can set your business apart form the crowd and make you the preferred supplier.
In addition to this having the emails available to view, follow up on and respond to means the prospect becomes increasingly engaged with your business as someone who knows them and is interested in them. As it sparks more interesting and engaging conversations.
We know that it takes an average of 7 points of content before people are ready to make a purchase, so if you are engaging in this cycle at the right time with your sales team you are indeed one step ahead.
Knowing the number of hits to your website and number of downloads is vital for a successful marketing project, but it is equally as important to measure the leads generated and % of conversion to customers.
This is not only to ensure that the marketing message is right and is working but also to identify the cost per conversion. The sales team follow up can have a huge impact on this and although this is not down to the marketing effort it is affected but communication and availability of information to the sales team, who will in most cases close the deal.
When planning your next marketing project, think equally about any products where human interaction is needed to close the sale. Where needed have a clear follow up plan in place and ensure that information can be clearly and easily shared between your marketing team and sales team alike.
Don’t waste money and resources without a clear end to end plan, and if needed implement a system to make life as easy as possible and help to increase the conversion rate whilst decreasing the long term cost to convert.