Monthly Archives: May 2015

Make The Most of Your Sales Off-Season: Optimize Four Key Digital Marketing Areas

Many businesses (especially startups) develop tunnel vision when it comes to sales. When deals are closing left and right, it’s time to hire and invest in marketing; when it’s the ‘off-season’, it’s time to pare down operations and quietly wait it out until things pick up again. If this is your approach to handling the fluctuations in sales, then you’re missing out on a big opportunity to use the relative peace and quiet of your off-season to ramp up your marketing in four key areas.

1.     Website Traffic

Are the right people finding you online? Are you missing out on any potential customers or trends? Search habits change, so it’s important to regularly review your data and compare it to overall search trends and your competition to make sure you’ve got your bases covered. Now is the time to optimize your paid search, SEO, and social media marketing strategies.

2.     Conversion

Is your content performing? Are website visitors converting where and when you want them to? A surge in website visits doesn’t mean much if those visitors aren’t doing anything when they get to your website. There’s always room for improvement, and now is the best time to try out some new tests and dive deep into your data. Continuous optimization is important for businesses in competitive fields or industries that are constantly changing—you want leads and conversions wherever you can get them.

3.     Customer Value

How much revenue does each of your customers represent for your business? How can your current client base help you make more sales? Referrals, testimonials, upsells—your best customers could also be your biggest opportunities.

 4.     Data Analysis

One area that tends to suffer during the busy times is data analysis. You need time and focus to really dig deep and discover the insights hiding in your analytics data, and your ‘downtime’ is the perfect opportunity. And we’re not just talking about website traffic: evaluate every data point you’re tracking in your CRM tools, customer survey results, and client reports. Any one of these could hold valuable information.

Capitalize on the relative calm of your off-season by resting, reviewing, and implementing new strategies. By the time sales pick up again, you’ll be in a prime position to overtake your competition and maximize your sales.

 

How To Nurture Leads Into Sales At Every Stage of the Funnel

If you’ve engaged in any kind of digital marketing, you (or your sales team) probably have a way of categorizing your leads. Everyone has a different system, but there’s always one basic distinction that must be made: the wheat must be separated from the chaff. The high-quality leads and low-quality leads are sorted and followed up with accordingly.

Examine The Source

Identifying a low-quality lead and making too little of an effort to help it develop can feed into a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you get a lead that isn’t a qualified consumer poised to buy, that’s your cue to nurture its potential. There are myriad ways to generate leads online: form submissions, of course, but also phone calls, free trial signups, newsletter signups, survey responses, etc. The source of the lead should tell you where that prospect is in the buying process: top of the funnel (ToFu) leads often come from free offer signups or downloads because they’re interested in the information, not necessarily in your brand or your offering—yet. That may feel like a low quality lead, but it’s not. It’s simply a consumer who’s early in the buying process, and they need a little nudge from you to progress through the funnel.

Follow Up

So, how do you nurture a seemingly low-quality lead into a paying customer? Here are three simple ways:

  • Email marketing. The source of a lead should tell you what they’re looking for. Give them more of it (or introduce them to resources or services similar to what they’ve already expressed interest in.)
  • Be ready to follow up on the follow up. Marketing automation is a wonderful way to keep your follow ups consistent, but remember that one-size-fits-all won’t work when you’ve got leads from multiple sources and at different stages of the purchasing process. Make sure that all of your communications are suited to the prospect and that you have a plan for those that show positive engagement as you nurture.
  • Track everything. This benefits you in the long run. The more data you have about the different types of leads you generate and their journeys through the sales funnel, the easier it will be to see patterns and optimize your lead nurturing strategy accordingly.

Reap The Benefits

So there you have it. Everybody loves qualified leads, but you can’t afford to ignore leads that don’t fall squarely into the “hot” category. The nature vs. nurture debate need not apply to lead generation: you’ll need to work on both angles to get the most out of every lead.