Here are your inbound marketing assessment results
Share Your Results:
"What Does My Score Mean?"
OK, if we’re being honest, things aren’t looking too great at this moment, but now isn’t the time to worry. Instead, it’s time for you to take action! So, let’s talk about what you should be doing.
Based on this score, your first step is likely addressing the issue of buy-in. Remember, everything starts there. Everything.
Lack of buy-in (especially from leadership and sales teams) is almost always the root of all dysfunction and failure within the world of inbound marketing and digital today and that should be no surprise. If you don’t have company-wide buy, it trickles down to things like not having a content manager or not having video and content incorporated into your sales process.
Although a lack of buy-in is a serious challenge, there are three things you can do to address it:
Have your team read the right books and watch the right videos.
Bring your team to events where they can hear from experts outside of their organization, and learn about how becoming a true inbound organization will fuel significant revenue growth.
From there, everything will start to fall into place. But here is what you’ll need to do next based on your response.
OK, let’s rip off the bandaid: Things could be looking better, but they also could be worse. (Much worse.)
You’re seeing some momentum, but we still have a lot of work to do. Let’s start with what’s going to truly generate the best results in the long-term — getting buy-in.
Currently, getting buy-in for all things inbound and digital is the biggest issue marketers are facing today — And if you think about it, it makes sense.
If your sales team isn’t bought in, they’re not going to use content in the sales process or use the CRM as intended. If your subject matter experts aren’t bought in, they won’t make themselves available to create content. If leadership isn’t bought in, they won’t give you the budget to make the hires you need.
Based on our experience, there three things you can do to address a lack of buy-in:
Have your team read the right books and watch the right videos.
Bring your team to events where they can hear from experts outside of their organization, and learn about how becoming a true inbound organization fuels significant revenue growth.
Trust us, you can’t skip this step of getting buy-in (as outlined above). Many have tried, and it never, ever works out. Next, it’s time to focus on the activities that will immediately bear the most fruit for your company, based on your score.
First, nicely done! Granted, we’ve still got a way to go, but, truth be told, you’ve just scored better than 50% of your peers.
Clearly, you're getting some traction. You likely have the support of your team and are successfully creating content, but there’s certainly some steps to be taken to truly dominate your space and become the voice of your industry. Now is the time to level-up what you’re doing, so you can go from good to great.
Here is your plan of action based on your answers.
Give yourself a hearty pat on the back — you are in the top 15% of your peers! This is seriously impressive and quite rare, to say the least.
But now isn’t the time to rest on our laurels. There is still work to be done to maintain your performance and even kick it up a notch further.
Here is what you need to do to keep the momentum going based on your score.
Wow. Seriously, just wow. You’re now officially a member of a very exclusive club of the top 2% of your peers.
To say you’ve been doing a great job would be an understatement, but now, this begs the question, “What’s next?”
As you know, there are always ways we can improve, iterate, and innovate. Here are the recommendations we have for you based on your answers.
Take action. Improve your score. Drive more sales.
Customized recommendations based on the results of your assessment.
1. We’re clearly and transparently explaining on our website how much it costs to work with us.
Why is this so important? Talking about cost/price builds trust. Many businesses are afraid to say how much working with them costs, fearing it will scare sales away, but frankly, hiding your cost is worse. You could end up wasting valuable time on prospects who can’t afford you, or even lose qualified buyers who can because they didn’t want to have to get on the phone to find out.
When we write blog articles explaining cost and put pricing pages on our websites, we give serious prospects the honesty and transparency they need to feel comfortable buying. They see we’re not trying to trick anyone into a purchase that isn’t right for them. Not only does this build more trust with potential customers, but talking about cost/price on your website has been proven to drive more qualified traffic and leads. So why wait?
2. We have someone on staff whose only job is to create content for our sales and marketing. This person’s job title is content manager (or something similar).
Why is this so important? Over the last decade, we’ve helped hundreds of companies realize a content strategy isn’t just something that can be outsourced or thrown onto an existing team member’s plate on top of other priorities. It needs to be the sole focus of someone in-house.
Just think about all the questions your buyers are asking during the sales process. There are hundreds if not thousands, all of which need to be addressed in articles or videos. In fact, in 2021, 67% of respondents said they relied even more on content to research and inform purchase decisions than they did in 2020. If you’re not giving them this information, they’re going to go buy from a competitor that is.
To make sure you’re creating the consistent, high-quality content you need to drive traffic, leads, and sales, you need to hire a full-time, in-house content manager to own your content strategy.
No one will know your organization as well as someone working in the company, day in and day out. So, when you outsource your content you risk losing your brand’s unique voice, authenticity, and creating process bottlenecks.
Not only will your in-house content manager ensure content is published regularly without fail, but they will also:
Obsess over creating high-quality content that accurately reflects the true tone and spirit of your brand.
Interview your company’s subject matter experts and capture their insights (and your company’s unique perspective) and integrate it into your content.
Work directly with the sales team and help them integrate content into the sales process, allowing them to close more deals faster.
Monitor your organic search performance and routinely improve ranking and traffic results.
Update existing content to ensure it remains relevant and effective.
Oversee the other areas of your sales and marketing initiatives where content is critical (including your website, email, and social media).
Work across departments and act as a central role between leadership, sales, marketing, and business development.
Ensure everyone in the company is meeting their deadlines for content, including the boss!
3. Our marketing/content strategy focuses more on bottom-of-the-funnel content (content used to help sales close deals) vs top-of-the-funnel content (used primarily to drive search traffic).
Why is this so important? This is content that actually makes money. Though fun, broad keyword-focused content may drive traffic to your website or garner likes and shares on social media, most of this traffic will never actually buy from you. Unfortunately, this is where most marketers doing inbound have been misled.
On the other hand, creating content around topics/questions real buyers ask while they’re actively in a buying process, such as cost/price, reviews, problems with products like yours, the best/top options, and product comparisons, often attract real sales leads and have a direct impact on whether or not someone buys from you.
By addressing real concerns, this content builds trust, yet it’s amazing how many businesses shy away from it thinking that sales can just talk about it once they’re in conversation with a prospect. Research actually shows 70% of the buying decision is made before sales even enters the picture, which means the companies willing to answer the questions buyers are asking when doing their research will be found and contacted more frequently. And they do, over and over again. That’s the foundational power of the They Ask, You Answer framework.
4. Members of both our sales and marketing teams from various levels meet regularly (at least twice a month) to stay aligned on a single sales and marketing strategy and discuss ways they can better support each other.
Why is this so important? If you’re like pretty much any of the companies we talk to with separate marketing and sales teams, you’ll agree that the two are not as aligned as they could be. They likely have no idea what the other is doing and blame each other when sales are not where they’re supposed to be.
The best way to solve this is to have the two teams work together as one, unified revenue team. When sales and marketing are working off the same inbound playbook, and co-creating content and video, it’s a game-changer. It sounds simple, but the impact on actual sales is huge.
Our clients will be the first to tell you that this meeting is the most valuable one they have all week and it's where all the inbound marketing magic happens.
5. We’ve integrated content and videos into our sales process specifically to reduce the time sales reps need to spend working with prospects.
Why is this so important? Content and video move deals across the finish line faster. The process of intentionally using educational content about your products and services to resolve the majority of concerns and questions prospects have during sales conversations is called assignment selling, and it saves sales reps hours of time qualifying leads and closing deals.
We have learned first-hand and through working with hundreds of companies that the prospects that close the fastest tend to be those who are the most educated. They’ve read more website pages or blog articles. That is why assignment selling is so important; it helps prospects feel better informed and more prepared to have sales conversations and make a confident purchase decision. It also makes them trust you more as you didn’t force a sales pitch on them; you gave them the facts to come to their own decision.
If you’re not educating your prospects through the sales process, not only may deals take longer to close, but you may end up wasting time on unqualified leads or even closing poor fit customers.
6. Our sales team uses the company’s CRM the way they’re supposed to.
Why is this so important? CRMs can be expensive and time-consuming to implement, but when used correctly, they are an invaluable tool, fueling your reps with lead intelligence and enabling them to prioritize deals, stay organized, and report on performance. CRMs also give leadership the data they need to make smart and strategic business decisions.
But let’s face it, no matter how useful, getting sales reps to use a CRM, let alone any new tool, correctly is like pulling teeth for most companies. It requires a cultural change, new processes, and, most importantly, training.
Sales teams need someone to show them the way, to show them the real value, and to hold them accountable to their new habits — something we’re proud to say we’ve helped sales teams across the country do to great success.
7. We have a videographer on staff who’s publishing videos on a weekly basis to be used for sales and marketing.
Why is this so important? Your immediate reaction upon reading this is very likely the same one we’ve heard from many business owners and managers over the years: “Why would a business like mine ever have the need for a full-time videographer? Are there really 40 hours of work per week for such a position in my niche?”
Here at IMPACT, we’ve worked hand-in-hand with organizations across a wide range of industries to implement video, and never have we seen a situation where someone said, “You know, there simply isn’t enough work here for a videographer to work full-time.” In fact, we’ve found many clients end up wanting to hire more than one employee for this function.
Between educational videos for your website and YouTube and sales enablement videos used by reps to close deals faster, there is certainly no shortage of video content to create.
Plus with 84% percent of people saying they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a video, not adding video to your toolkit is like leaving money on the table. In addition, an overwhelming 92% of video marketers feel the level of noise and competition has increased in the last year. If you don’t start creating videos that help your buyers make smart purchasing decisions, your competitors will win the business. Don’t get left behind.
8. Our sales reps are just as effective, or more effective, selling over Zoom (or a similar platform) post-COVID vs. pre-COVID selling methods.
Why is this so important? Prior to 2020, many businesses were still able to hit their revenue targets with more traditional “nose-to-nose, face-to-face” sales practices – business trips, in-person meetings and lunches, proposals delivered to an audience in a conference room, and so on. Then the pandemic struck.
In its wake, business leaders around the world were forced to innovate new ways to avoid catastrophe, and sales teams had no choice but to embrace virtual selling, transferring in-person sales conversations, brick-and-mortar purchasing, and on-site showroom experiences into a video environment.
Even with some regulations relaxing, virtual selling is here to stay, and many of your ideal buyers do not want sales processes to go “back to normal.” In fact, according to research from McKinsey, only about 20% of B2B buyers say they want in-person sales to return.
That means to succeed and drive the revenue growth you need today, tomorrow, and well into the future, your sales team must be equipped with the digital communication techniques, 1:1 personalized video strategies, virtual sales training, and video selling technology they need to close deals effectively in a virtual, video-first world.
9. Our website hosts a wealth of information that helps our customers make better buying decisions.
Why is this so important? Too many businesses still think their websites are about them. They talk about how they were founded, their products and services, their awards, describe themselves with empty words like “quality” and “premier,” hit publish, and then never touch it again.
They don’t offer prospective customers the information they need to feel comfortable making a purchase, let alone enable them to engage with you or get the buying process started. This is what modern buyers demand.
To succeed with inbound marketing and They Ask, You Answer, your business website needs a specific user experience and unique features you may have never considered before. This includes what we call a learning center to house all of your educational articles and resources, as well as self-service tools that guide prospects to the best product, service, or information for their needs.
With these features, we’ve helped companies all over the world engage and convert their visitors. Your business website too can be your No. 1 salesperson, driving traffic, leads, and sales every single day of the year, after hours, without ever needing to take a day off. But without the proper setup, you could lose countless opportunities.
10. Senior leadership is fully invested and excited about our company’s inbound marketing plan.
Why is this important? When senior leadership doesn’t understand or support what you’re doing, there’s no way it can succeed long term. If they don’t buy into the vision of inbound marketing, you likely won’t obtain the budget, resources, or autonomy you need to fully put your strategy into action. Only then will they also make it a priority for the entire company.
If you feel like your marketing team members are the only ones buying into the power of inbound marketing, you need to get the entire company aligned on the vision, especially leadership and sales. With hundreds of people across the globe, we’ve found there’s no better way to do this than by holding an inbound marketing workshop.
With an inbound marketing workshop, everyone in the company will understand how buyers have changed and how that affects your business. Your sales team will learn how content will help them sell way more in less time, as well as their role in helping the marketing team create it.
This is especially true when facilitated by someone outside of your company. Think about it: How often have you felt like you weren’t being heard by your team, especially when it came to something culture-shifting like inbound marketing? You’re not alone. As Marcus Sheridan says, “You can be a prophet to the world but no one will listen to you in your own backyard.”
Once everyone understands how inbound marketing will help your business and sees examples of how it has helped others, they will be excited, engaged, and committed to the strategy and their roles in it.
11. We’ve invested in ongoing training and education (either online or hands-on) for our marketing and sales team that ensures we’re using content and marketing technology effectively.
Why is this important? It's amazing how many companies spend the time and money to hire amazing talent, only to fail to give them any resources to be successful and actually achieve their goals.
How can you make sure your marketing team is writing articles that will actually attract traffic, leads, and sales? How do we engage the entire company to create powerful sales and marketing videos that help close deals? How do we get the most value out of the software we've invested in? How do we make sure our sales team actually uses the CRM like they're supposed to?
Invest a little more and get your team the proper support and training they crave, deserve, and frankly need to make your strategy triumph.
Your team needs the time and access to the right resources to really hone their craft. Ongoing training and education, whether it’s online with a community like IMPACT+ or with an expert coach, helps your team master the skills they need to succeed in their individual roles and accomplish what your organization needs them to.
12. We’ve invested in coaching for our senior leadership to ensure the company stays aligned and avoids common blindspots.
Why is this important? While ongoing training can help members of your team get and stay sharp in their roles, coaching is what senior leadership needs to stay aligned and continuously level up.
Unlike training, coaching doesn’t simply educate leaders on what to do, it also gives them access to experts who can help guide them along their unique journey and also remind them to trust the process.
Successful inbound programs require big investments and a lot of blind faith. Although many of the clients we work with see an impact on sales within the first month, having long-term success with inbound content marketing takes patience and discipline.
Our clients have reached their goals because coaches help keep them on track. They give leaders someone to run ideas by, to help them avoid common mistakes, and, more than anything, hold them accountable for establishing new habits and staying true to the inbound methodology and principles of They Ask, You Answer even when things get rough.