An Inbound Marketing Agency's Evolution
Notice that I did not say revolution. Some readers and listeners may have heard me using the phrase revolution a lot lately. I feel that I should clarify a misconception. I have learned that a revolution is the culmination of, or turning point, in an evolutionary process. It isn't the type of thing that you are violenting overturning tables and established business processes.
When he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, Martin Luther King Jr wondered why a movement that had yet to acheive the equality and peace it sought was chosen to receive it. They had not accomplished their goal. He recgonized that;
"... the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time... If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation."
To overcome our challenges we must evolve. How is that any different for you and your business?
In the past decade of internet and inbound marketing I have learned that in order for inbound marketing to be successful, it has to understand the buying process of the visitor to get the right people for sales. The only way marketers can know who the right people are and what their buying process is, is for sales to tell them. Because sales is the one who talks to the customer. Whether B2B or B2C, the same concept applies.
The one thing that both sales and marketing both do, is listen to and tell stories.
The key to successful business development and growth is for marketing and sales to tell the same story (oh, and for it to be true of course).
The Art of Story Telling in Sales and Marketing
Some people regard story telling in sales and marketing to be like using a metaphor. Many people know I like to use dating as a metaphor for sales and marketing. It works, everyone can relate to it, we all do it, or want to, and it is fun.
But what I am talking about with story telling here, is the story of how your prospect:
- gives Attention to a need/want they have
- expresses Interest in finding a solution for it
- develop a Desire for something they find
- take Action to get it
- are Satisfied with the happy ending.
Sounds like Cinderella to me.
Why is Marketing so Critical for Successful Sales?
And Why Is Sales so Critical for Successful Marketing?
Who, what, when, where, why. When sales and marketing collaborate and are able answer to those questions about their customers and prospects, that is the customer's story is found.
For example, on one of our weekly client calls, the sales team was recalling a conversation they had with one of their prospects. They retold the story of how they were frustrated with all the hardware from another product that rusted internally and therefore meant they had to stock replacement parts for those products and it was an inventory nightmare. When they learned about the client's solution for that problem, they were excited that they might not have to stock replacement parts anymore and spend less time managing inventory that had a low profit margin.
That story helped the marketing team to develop landing pages and campaigns that targeted more of those prospects. Now when a lead is generated from that page, the sales teams knows what story is most relevant to relay to the prospect.
The True Goal of Conversion Optimization and Testing
During a recent live Marketing Experiments conversion optimization webinar, or #webclinic, as they term it, a question was asked by the presenter.
What is the goal of conversion optimization?
- Better conversion rate
- Higher revenue
- Improved clarity
My first reaction was higher revenue. What other metric really matters more? When the answer was shared, I didn't get it, at first.
Can you guess what it was? Can you justify your reason why? Share your guess below. But before you do, consider this:
Clarity with Closed Loop Business Analytics
"Knowing what to test is still more important than having the ability to to so." What does this mean? Just because you know that a red button gets a higher conversion rate then a green one, what does that tell you about your customer?
How do your tests bring clarity to the story of your customer's journey, or experience with your business? How do they help you to fine-tune the persona mode of who your customer is at the time they are looking for your product or service?
If you want to get sales from your inbound marketing leads, then check out our 12 step sales and marketing integration process, or smarketing.
If you need help with getting more inbound leads, then check out our smarketing service packages.