According to a 2016 marketing research report, 70% of sales professionals said closing sales is their top priority. That may not be a great surprise, but the sales industry has become staggeringly more complex due to significant changes over the last few years. One such change is the adoption of inbound marketing as a primary means of lead generation.
Inbound marketing tactics, when fully integrated into your overall advertising and sales efforts, produce the best results and most qualified leads with less demand for labor and often a lower investment. In a typical 80/20 analysis of inbound savvy businesses, these tactics will inevitably stand out in the 20 percent of most effective, cost efficient means of achieving sales and marketing goals. And, because of the dynamic, data rich environment in which the tactics are implemented, they will only become more effective.
A lot of organizations are asking themselves why they haven’t seen an earthshaking increase in sales with the many changes in the way marketing is done. At SWTC, we encourage these organizations to do an 80/20 analysis to see whether they have truly embraced these more modern, data driven methods or if they are simply going through the motions in order to continue business as usual.
The 80/20 Rule
Fighter pilots have a saying, “He’s all Mach and no heading.” In sales that translates to, just being busy doesn’t mean being effective. In 2017, the information age has matured- and it isn’t enough to just work hard.
Pareto’s law, also known as the “80/20 rule” states that 80 percent of the effects from most events or activities comes from 20 percent of the causes. Salespeople apply this by focusing on the 20 percent of prospects that deliver 80 percent of sales. In today’s digital advertising environment, inbound marketing teams can extrapolate what specific content is drawing these top customers and optimize the website so that it (a) continues to draw more of them and (b) delivers perfectly timed, personalized marketing messages to keep them coming back.
By prioritizing your most active buyers, you will be investing time, effort and resources to a proven demographic and a winning strategy. In other words, no more reinventing the wheel trying to get people on to your website, social media, or mailing list. Continue developing the trust and loyalty you already have with your top 20 percent of customers. Let them know that they are your priority with targeted messaging at every cycle of communication and outreach and automate the process to avoid mission creep.
Adopt the Inbound Sales Mindset
The Internet has changed almost everything. Your potential customer has access to more information than ever as well as more alternative options. The good news, however, is that it has also provided business owners with the ability to invest marketing dollars only where they know their customers will be paying attention. No matter what your product is, odds are that almost every one of your most qualified prospects are seeking the information they want about your product on the internet. The right inbound marketing approach will naturally begin to populate those areas they are searching with your information. In many cases, inbound marketing content alone can close the deal.
Don’t Sell, Help
Remember, it’s not about the product or the sale- it’s about what the product or service does for the customer after they have completed their purchase.
Review the assets and knowledge you currently have. There is always some piece of information you have on hand, or some tool you can use to help the customer right now. Use it to enhance their loyalty- then move toward the sale. Look for a personalized way to help the customer or keep them interested. Find out why they are interested in your product or service and help them understand how to get the most out of it. Consider uses that they haven’t. Show them interesting statistics. Do anything that helps make you their primary source of information related to what they are interested in and when the time comes they are ready to purchase you can bet they are going to make you their first stop.
Develop Strategy Around Time Saved
Find out what functions consume most of your team’s time. Is it importing and exporting data? Is it inputting? Content development? Social media engagement? In the 80/20 mindset, maximum effectiveness requires divesting in anything that takes away from time spent serving and messaging your 20 percent demographic. It’s about rerouting the ways you maintain productivity from the least to most optimal uses of your valuable time.
If you’re spending too much time on anything that isn’t directly related to serving and growing your 20 percent target demographic- then you probably want to streamline or reduce the time you spend on those activities. That does not have to mean elimination of the activity entirely but if you’re spending time and resources that could be getting used in a way that makes a better return…what’s the point?
Note, however, that inbound marketing tools and tactics can be overwhelming to implement. Business owners already wearing several hats will inevitably find difficulty and frustration in their initial efforts. In these cases, it is best to find a partner with experience and tools to get it done right. Follow the button below to learn some of the ways SWTC can help your business with inbound marketing.