It's easy to feel complacent after putting the things in place necessary to succeed.
Your team has developed well researched buyer personas.
There is a variety of premium content throughout your site.
Your pipeline is full of new leads, and lead nurturing, workflows and automation are all in place.
It seems you’ve done everything right. Yet sales have either maintained their pre-HubSpot numbers, or even worse, gone down.
With a large investment in HubSpot and a CRM like Salesforce, it’s imperative you get this back on track.
But where do you start?
Assuming you have well researched buyer personas (You don’t? Develop them now) content creation, although time consuming, needs a clear purpose and goal.
Solve each personas pain points and educate them and effectively shorten their buying cycle and establish thought leadership.
For example, if you are trying to attract enterprise companies, is this clearly communicated throughout your site, on/off page SEO, and messaging across all media channels?
If you are not 100% sure of this, it's likely your audience is also unsure of who your company serves and why they should even bother listening.
Poorly targeted content is a prime culprit for an uptick in traffic and leads but little change in revenue.
So the question is, does your content and positioning align with the company goals and your target personas needs?
Has your company expanded service offerings?
Have you scaled to a different sized market?
This is arguably the biggest reason to update and even expand your personas over time. You must reexamine positioning and content regularly or sales will be bogged down with the wrong people at the wrong time.
It's also important that you diversify your personas.
Are you considering influencers and users?
CEOs aren’t always doing their own research. In fact, very often they task these responsibilities to management and interns. Does your content speak to them as well?
Empower these people. Give them the tools such as checklists, infographics, ebooks or even a simple document they may present to their boss to grab his or her attention.
This is a simple concept that is often overlooked but can be a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.
Are sales and marketing properly aligned?
This brings us to an age old issue: A disconnect between marketing and sales.
How fluid is this relationship at your company between the two departments?
Is there open communication other than the standard meetings?
Have you sat down and put together a service level agreement (SLA)?
An SLA details the marketing goals (leads, qualified leads, pipeline) and the sales activities (following up with leads generated by marketing) each team agrees upon in order to support each other.
An effective SLA will:
Determine the dollar value of a lead
Set metrics both departments are responsible for
Track monthly lead generation by channel
With no defined SLA, 3 things happen:
Sales will waste time with cold or poor quality leads causing frustration, tension between departments, and employee churn
Your lead nurturing, workflows, and automation are misaligned and aren’t working the right leads at the appropriate time
It’s much harder to discern any ROI from your marketing efforts
Excited about building an SLA but not sure where to begin? Check out this great article from HubSpot.
A solid SLA is only possible when the departments have agreed on a clear definition of a sales ready lead. With a clearly defined lead, marketing can determine when to pass the lead on to sales ensuring time is not wasted working cold or uninterested leads.
Is your sales process inbound?
So you have defined a quality lead and the sales team is working hard.
Do you have a well documented inbound sales process?
This is the single most important document behind a well rounded inbound campaign. It’s also the most overlooked, as many companies that transform the way they market their business neglect to also transform the way they sell.
Consumers shop differently. They buy differently as well.
The inbound sales process document should outline at minimum:
The follow up schedule from initial form fill or phone call, correct channel of contact (Phone, email, social) and content / context of each interaction including desired outcome
How / what data is entered into your CRM
How to ask for referrals
How to delight this client and develop an evangelist / happy reference for future prospects
Sometimes companies that do have a written process spend more time making it a beautiful PowerPoint rather than testing and proving its worth.
It is often one sided and not developed around their typical buyer's journey. You must reevaluate and test to make sure you're getting the best results possible.
Companies without a documented inbound sales process are usually in the worst shape when we evaluate their process. We usually hear things like, “we have plenty of leads, but they're not good quality or sales cannot close them.”
Now both departments are pointing the finger and everyone loses. Before you know it the higher ups conclude that inbound marketing is ineffective and resources dry up, sales goes back to cold calling, and marketers end up right back at square one wondering how to get found.
It is imperative that sales and marketing go through each iteration of the buyer's journey together. This will ensure consistent positioning is used and the follow-up schedule matches the buying habits of your target audience.
Entire books and seminars are spent on this subject and should be researched further. This blog post will start you in the right direction.
Now that you have an idea of some of the common issues many companies face from within, start a pot of coffee and get to work. Let me know how it goes.
Too little time, too little resources? Give me a call or fill out a request form to see how IMPACT can help you course correct.
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