1. DEFINING YOUR IDEAL BUYER PROFILE
Chasing unproductive leads is one of the most time-consuming and unproductive things your sales force can do. Those leads will never purchase anything from your company, no matter how skillfully you nurture them.
To be effective when you market your business, your sales rep needs to have a good profile of the type of customer who most often interacts with your company: the ideal buyer profile.
This really only exists in the B2B environment, as B2C should jump directly into developing their buyer persona, or a specific outline of the people they aim to work with.
When building your ideal buyer profile, think of all the characteristics about your clients that make them a good fit for you.
What patterns do you see? Make sure you take into account things like location, demographics, industry, employee count, revenue, and more.
This doesn’t mean you’ll never have a customer who fits outside of these high quality parameters.
It just means that your sales team’s time is better utilized focusing on those who are most likely to become customers.
There are three key steps to creating a solid buyer profile.
- First, you need to agree on what your company is about and what you want to concentrate on selling. Is there one core service or product you want to highlight, perhaps a highly profitable or particularly successful option?
- Second, make a list of your existing customers that are already using this product or service. What patterns emerge about the kind of companies and people you’re working with? What did the buying cycle look like?
- Third, Write out a list of the characteristics that make this ideal buyer profile a solid fit. You’ll find that each category might have multiple options. For example, companies that are 100-500 employees might be your best fit, but the second best fit might be 1000 or more. It doesn’t mean they are a bad fit if they don’t fall in the 100-500 category; it just means we want to prioritize them over others.
2. KNOWING WHEN SOMEONE IS ENGAGING WITH YOUR COMPANY
Another sales strategy example is knowing when a prospect is “raising his or her hand” or simply filling out a form or visiting a few web pages out of curiosity.
For example, someone opening one email message or filling out one form is not showing signs of “high engagement.”
On the other hand, someone filling out multiple forms, clicking through several emails and/or visiting important pages on your site (like pricing and features pages) multiple times indicates that this person is a highly engaged marketing qualified lead (MQL).
These parameters will be different for every company.
You want to make best use of your sales team’s time by passing these MQLs to them instead of just sending every lead (no matter how qualified) to the sales team.
When you send too many (unqualified) leads to the sales team, you can actually make them less productive – not more cost effective.
You also risk affecting morale, since sales agents will likely have to talk to more people in order to get a sale.
The key to a good qualified lead strategy is to define the threshold where a lead becomes an MQL(marketing qualified lead).
This, too, will be different for every company.
For instance, it could equate to making five unique visits to important pages on your website, or requesting a free trial of your product or service, or downloading multiple premium content pieces.
3. BUILDING A TAILORED MARKETING AUTOMATION PROGRAM AROUND YOUR MQLS
Yet another common marketing challenge is how to move someone from the awareness stage to the consideration stage in the sales funnel.
A good way to keep them interested and progressing toward becoming a satisfied customer is to send them tailored content around specific solutions, especially content that pushes on their pain points, while also sending the lead to your sales team.
Improving your marketing strategies doesn’t have to be a time-consuming and laborious task. You simply start with a solid foundation.
These three examples of effective marketing strategies not only help conversion rates, but they help align your sales and marketing plan as well.