A week or so ago, I posted a LinkedIn poll asking whether salespeople would rather have more leads or more deals?
As you can see, the overwhelming majority voted for more leads.
The truth, of course, is that leads in and deals won are very closely linked to the garbage in, garbage out principle.
Corporate marketing especially, can be a minefield and that's why I'll be highlighting a new client and why she came to us (further below) for help.
If your sales team are hampered by poor quality leads, you are going to end up with frustrated salespeople, wasting precious time spinning their wheels with prospects that are never going to do business with you.
To Get Better Leads: Start with Why
But, in order to get better leads in, you need to ask why you’re getting poor quality leads in?
The answer could be something you're doing (or not doing) at the beginning of your sales process - possibly poor messaging from your marketing function.
If you're appealling to the wrong audience, wrong demographic, wrong anything, that’s why you’re getting leads in from the wrong people; leads that are never going to convert in your favour.
Leads where the prospect either won't buy, or worse, will buy from your competitors
A Clear Message Is Vital
More often than not, poor leads are poor due to lack of clarity in the message - the message too "waffly" or getting lost in the crowd of other messages your audience is bombarded with - it fails to stand out.
Worse, the message could cut through but is unclear, confusing, conflicting or it could be a clear message but aimed at the wrong audience.
This is as bad as being the wrong message and will yield similar results - i.e. poor.
The 1st sales module I ever created (Value-Proposition) told the story about the captain of a ship, about to set sail from Southampton Dock here in the UK to New York.
All was looking good. They had beautiful weather, calm seas and a full complement of passengers on board for the journey.
But there was a snag; the navigation equipment hadn't been properly calibrated and, instead, of arriving in New York, they found themselves in Bermuda.
Now, some would say: “Bermuda?” that’s okay with me - but that’s not really the point is it?
The point is that New York receives 62.5m visitors every year whereas Bermuda gets just 1.5m - imagine finding yourself in a target audience which is 40 times smaller than you hoped for?
Whichever course you take, you will arrive at a destination...but it may not be your intended destination
The same is true for sales and marketing messaging - if you set sail without the right tools, your campaign is done-for from the start.
4 Tips to Get Your Marketing Back on Track
So, before you burn any budget on FB ads, Consulting or anything else, you absolutely, definitely, positively must have all of the following:
This is the very beginning of the sales process so it's important to get this right - getting it right takes time and lots of thinking about.
You need to figure out exactly what benefits your product or service delivers to your customers and distil it down until you decide whether it benefits your customers by helping them to increase sales or whether it helps them reduce costs.
If you have the resources, it can really help to hold a focus group session to test out your various messaging options.
Write for your target audience. If your audience is solopreneurs for instance, using corporate speak is probably not going to resonate with them.
If your target audience, however, is large corporations, then corporate speak, will be more acceptable and they will find your content more engaging.
Not that long ago, there was, there were only three options available to present sales messages - over the phone, writing a letter or knocking on doors.
Nowadays of course, there are a dizzying array of options for us to present our sales messages - e.g. social media, website, messaging apps., in- person, at networking or trade events etc and, still, the good old telephone.
For instance, if you are selling technology to investment banks, you would select a very different channel strategy than if you were selling, say, make-up to teenagers.
If you’re writing for a specific target audience, you will need to be across all the issues that matter to that target audience, and all the market conditions that may be affecting them right now.
So, if you have a value-proposition that’s positioned around reducing cost in the short term, then now is a good time to be promoting that message.
If your sales message is that you help your customers increase sales then, whilst many businesses want to increase sales, that may not be the primary focus of the Chief Financial Officer. The CFO is probably more focused on containing her/his costs - protecting what they already have - in the short term to satisfy their shareholders.
Summary and 4 Top Tips
Top Tip 1: Right message - what problem do you solve for your customers?
Create your sales message as though you were sitting in the same room as your ideal customer and discuss issues specific to them.
Top Tip 2: Right audience - who is your ideal customer? what do they buy from you and why do they buy it? Write for your audience, not for likes!
Top Tip 3: Right time - get to know exactly when your target customers are "hanging out" on social media - a great opportunity to engage with them directly
Top Tip 4: Right channel - know where your target customers hang out. By hanging out, I mean where they go to get their news, business information, what social media channels they use etc
So, if you’re getting poor quality leads, you’re going to have to ask yourself why, what are your audience responding to and what can you do to change things?
And, once you've nailed that, you will naturally win more deals because you're talking to the right audience all the time!
Are your team making offers that fail to inspire or confuse your audience?
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