Welcome back to Funnel Friday, or welcome if this is the first issue you’ve seen.
If you missed the introduction, this is a series of tips to help business owners and sales people primarily in B2B selling to help you work ‘on your sales funnel’ not just ‘in your sales funnel’. If you are able to pick one or two ideas from the suggestions below and action them today or next week you’ll be making progress to improve your sales funnel.
NB. There’s a link to the previous issue at the bottom.
1. Attract new customers, leads or prospects:
With so many different places offline and online where your prospects might visit it’s beneficial to check periodically where they go. You can do an internal check – if you record lead source take a look at the trends. If you don’t measure the source make a list of the last 10-20 deals and where the initial lead came from. Was there a bias towards online or offline, outbound or inbound, repeat opportunities from customers or new name new opportunities. This will reflect your previous campaigns of course.
You could learn a lot by briefly looking at what your main competitors are doing, or a similar business in a different geography, such as the USA. Maybe you can find out what their Chief Exec or senior management do through Social Media such as LinkedIn. Their website might indicate conferences or exhibitions they attend, keywords they use for SEO, online offers for registration etc. This is a very useful, and quick, way to keep your finger on the pulse and gain new ideas, that you might want to adapt into your own marketing and lead generation.
Can you create a quick profile of what 2-3 competitors are doing, from their website and social media, and identify 2-3 ideas you would like to pilot?
2. Engage with people and gain permission to communicate with them:
One of the website design changes that has occurred fairly recently is to add a call to action and a contact form on the bottom of some blog posts and web pages. These are sometimes referred to as ‘Landing pages’, or ‘Squeeze pages’.
This can create a much more connected ‘customer journey’. It means there can be a more targeted and tailored message, through the three key steps, linking from how people found the specific page (Search (keywords), Social Media (phrases), PPC advertising (wording and targeting of adverts) etc.) through the web page message to the Call to Action, and into a more specific follow-through message and actions. The follow-up might be a ‘thank-you page’ with relevant value such as a video, whitepaper download or other ‘reward’ for registration, and then an email marketing sequence. This structure allows mini campaigns to be created relatively easily. I’ll expand on this in a later edition of FunnelFriday.
Can you create an ‘offer’ to gain prospects email addresses. Offer something that’s relevant to your proposition and your target audience, and with a long term validity. Then create a sales message, set-up a landing page and promote it? It’s more than an hour’s work but done well and it’s worthwhile in the long run, as long as all elements work well.
NB. this Sales Funnel series of tips comes into this category.
If you would like help planning your own mini-campaigns send me an email to: email@example.com
As you read articles relevant to your proposition and sector (and since you’re reading this I take it that you do), make a point of thinking ‘which of my customers and prospects can I share this with?’
Having an easy way to to this, such as the Social Share plug-ins for your Browser, make this a simple and quick task. The LinkedIn Browser Toolbar for IE and Firefox is a very good way to achieve this.
Once installed you click it and it opens up the share options – to post as a status update, post to groups or send to connections via email.
If you don’t have a browser toolbar to share links the task is to find and install one.
If you do, or once you have, make a point to post page links to say 10-20 of your prospects and customers, with a short personal message.
4. Sell and secure business better:
You may have heard the expression ‘Sell the sizzle, not the sausage’ or similar, as a helpful message for sales, and for marketing too.
This is about communicating what your offer, product or solution is going to do for your prospect, and how they will feel as a result, rather than dwell too long on what your product or solution actually is. Sure, there needs to be credibility about your solution, but it’s results that really win people over.
This approach should be applied to each step in the journey. What will giving their email address to you do for them? How will they feel after attending one of your webinars? will do for them, what attending a webinar will do for them and so on.
NB. This approach applies to people as well. We can communicate this through our profiles on LinkedIn and elsewhere. So the benefit of following and doing business with Mark Stonham and Wurlwind is you’ll increase sales, be more productive and turbocharge your sales funnel.
You can find a summary of how to tap into Four Essential Buyer Emotions to improve your Sales in a write-up I did about a lesson I learned recently from Topher Morrison, a professional speaking coach.
Take a look at your recent proposals and quotes. See how they measure up against this approach. Then make some improvements next week.
5. Deliver and help customers get value more quickly:
People appreciate the personal touch and this can really make a difference once they become a customer. If you are personally involved in the delivery process then you are in contact with them anyway, but maybe not with the decision-maker or sponsor. If you supply a product, or you have a delivery team that takes over after the sale, there is a danger of losing contact.
If you don’t already have one, initiate a process change to remind you to contact your senior customer contacts at an appropriate time after they have bought. The timing might be hours, days or weeks after the purchase. The manner of communication will depend on the nature of your business, so it might be a phone call, a personal letter ore postcard, an email or an SMS text message. This may take just a few minutes a week, or an hour a month, but pay big dividends.
Most CRM systems will facilitate this, and InTouchCRM* is a good example of a multi-channel, multi-touch system for small and mid-sized businesses.
* This is an affiliate link.
6. Promoting the work you’ve done for customers:
If you head up a company that works on projects for larger companies this tip could be extremely handy for you. It uses a facility that is openly available within LinkedIn to enable you to gain significant exposure through association with that company. However, since it’s a bit of a ‘back-door’ technique I want to be a bit circumspect about how I reveal it.
If you would like details drop me an email, to firstname.lastname@example.org, asking for the LinkedIn ‘back-door’ technique and I’ll send you details.
So, to wrap up this issue of FunnelFriday …
Which of these tips is most useful to you, and easiest to complete in an hour or so (or longer for tip 2)?
If you found these tips interesting and helpful please share through your favorite Social Media, using the Share buttons below. If you share via Twitter adding #FunnelFriday would be fantastic.
Have a great week.
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