Three Key Tips for Converting the Right Leads
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Every business has a specific customer they’re looking for – preferably one who can afford their services and is ready to make a purchasing decision. For B2C companies, this customer might be clear to everyone. But for B2B companies and in particular industrial companies, often only the owner of the business inherently understands the profile of their ideal customer. Communicating this to sales and marketing teams, and making sure that you are converting the right leads, is a challenge.
Inbound marketing is a marketing methodology that addresses this issue. In contrast to traditional marketing or even digital marketing, inbound marketing involves creating a system that starts with understanding the ideal customer. This understanding then guides an entire process of communication. Here are three key steps you can follow to start building an inbound system:
1. Create a Clear Buyer Persona
Take the time to sit down and draft a persona for your ideal customer. What role do they hold within their organization? How educated are they about your industry? What specific needs do they have that your company can fill? Is there a certain size or type of order they might need?
For businesses marketing to other businesses, this means that your buyer is generally someone in management or procurement at another business. They’re generally well educated and have done at least some basic research about your industry. Define exactly who this person is so that sales and marketing are reaching people who can make decisions, have projects your business can complete, and are focusing on converting the right leads.
2. Ensure Marketing and Sales Alignment
Particularly when businesses focus heavily on a professional sales team, marketing may get less focus. However, marketing still plays an important role in making sure the message is consistent and that potential leads are aware of the brand. Regular communication between marketing and sales personnel will ensure that marketing isn’t over-promising the company’s capabilities and the sales team is presenting a consistent, professional image.
3. Create a Clear Sales Funnel
In a manufacturing company, there is a clear process required for each task within the manufacturing process. In the same way, creating a sales funnel where a prospect goes from a stranger to a customer makes sure you’re capturing the information you need to make informed marketing decisions. It also ensures you can properly analyze every lead that comes your way, focusing on converting the right leads that will become customers.
Start with a clear process to document and track leads and move them from someone who is just learning about your business into a prospective customer. Your sales team should also have a clear process to follow for approving and sending out request for quotes and handling changes requested by customers. Even a simple process can be useful to make sure you don’t miss any details and, if set up correctly, can scale as your company grows.
Handling the marketing aspects of a growing business may seem like you have to learn a completely new, and highly technical, subject. That’s why collaborating with an outside marketing firm that specializes in B2B sales such as StepUp Marketing is helpful. While you’ll still have to articulate clearly who your buyer is, they have the technical expertise to set up the marketing processes that feed directly into your sales funnel.
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