Your marketing team is busy as bees, getting the word out all over town about your awesome products and services. People are responding and your sales team is following up on leads generated…but your conversion rate is still much lower than you expected.
Result: You're spending way too much money on too few sales.
What's going on? Well, you might just be guilty of some of these common marketing mistakes…
Mistake 1: Quantity over Quality
In far too many businesses, there’s a significant disconnect between the marketing and sales departments. Marketing does one thing, sales does another, and the teams never pow-wow to hash out the details. In that atmosphere, you're more likely to generate finger-pointing than sales. Marketing may argue that they’re sending over tons of leads; sales answers that most of the leads are useless. Each team has a valid point.
It's not enough to just gather information. Rather, data gathered has to be useful, current, and relevant. Effective data capture and analysis can help sales nudge customers to a buying decision at just the right point in the decision process.
The key is to not only collect the right data, but to understand it.
By opening the communication pipeline to unify your sales and marketing teams, you can build an effective lead profile that allows marketing to gather the information sales needs, so sales can stop wasting time on leads that are never going anywhere.
That's what Growth Cycle Marketing is all about: information-driven marketing at each stage in the buy cycle. When marketing correctly identifies ready-to-buy leads, they can hand off key information to sales at just the right moment. Sales can then win over that new customer with a great pitch backed by the informative content they need to make the decision.
Mistake 2: Lack of Customer Service at the Earliest Point of Contact
We live in a world of instant gratification. The early bird really does get the worm, so if your competitors get there first, you lose. The web has given customers a sense of immediacy never before possible, and they expect lightning response. If you don't give it, your competitors will, and you'll lose the sale.
Your sales team must be on the ball, ready to respond to each inquiry with a personal answer—right when that question comes in. If you're using an email form with an autoresponder to explain that someone will get back to that potential customer sometime in the future, you're sending an invite to the customer to try another company.
The decision to buy is not a single moment in time. By the time your potential customer fills out an inquiry form, it's already been a long journey. That primed lead has already checked out you and your competitors, evaluated prices and products, and made a conscious decision to give you their valuable contact information...and their business. At this point in the buying process, a lack of response is downright insulting.
One way to ensure all inquiries are answered is to send each question directly to designated salespeople and not to a catchall inbox. A simple redirect could save lots of dropped leads.
Mistake 3: You're Missing your Target
One of the most important things you can do is hang where your audience hangs out. You have to know where to find your target audience and how to speak their native language. To know that, you have to listen and then act. Social media is a goldmine of information for companies who bother to pay attention. Find the right platform and your customers will respond to content they like, participate in polls and silly stuff like Instagram contests, and they'll share content they find interesting and valuable.
This gives you an army of volunteers ready to advertise your product...but only if you find them. Know who your target audience is and where they hang out on the web. Build community, not followers. Ask for their participation.
How you interact with your followers depends heavily on who they are. If your audience is C-level execs, ask for their advice on thought-provoking, relevant and recent industry hot buttons. If you're seeking chefs, ask them to share recipes or pictures of successful dishes. By re-sharing to a larger audience, you give personal response, show your customers you care about them, and bonus! You get free content to enrich your social media presence.
Mistake 4: No Follow-up
Last year, the Baymard Institute analyzed 27 reports documenting online shopping cart abandonment rate and found an astounding 67.91% abandonment rate on average. That’s a LOT of missed opportunity for follow-ups. Think about that for a sec. For every 100 potential customers who visit your site and place items in a shopping cart, 67 of them leave without making the purchase. YIKES.
Whether you’re in retail or manufacturing, many companies are guilty of follow-up failure, often at a crucial state in the purchasing process. People who abandon shopping carts are not the only potential customers who deserve some extra love. Reach out to people who send inquiries, submit entry forms, or even those who visit sale pages.
Don't let potential sales slip through your fingers. Make sure your sales and marketing teams are working together—not playing tug-o-war—and use customer data to build intuitive knowledge about your customers' needs and wants. Add a fast-response policy and a great follow-up procedure and you'll see those conversion rates soar.