The digital world has changed the face of consumerism for all buyers. If you’re continuing to leverage traditional, funnel-based marketing and sales methodologies alone, you may be experiencing diminishing returns from your efforts.
Even with compromised performance, many marketers double-down and think that repeating these same outbound strategies in a bigger way will produce scaled-up results, including more leads and more sales. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. It’s been reported that “57% of the purchase decision is already complete before the customer even calls the supplier.”
Filling your funnel with more of the same doesn’t produce better results. Leading the customer from the awareness phase to the prospect phase—and finally to a sale through the traditional funnel—has lost much of its effectiveness. In a content-driven world where self-education has largely become the norm, it’s important to understand how to engage with prospects to drive them toward your solutions. Today’s business buyers tend to be self-educated and hyper-aware of their needs, pain points, and options. They also leverage experts on their teams and within their professional circles for answers and possible solutions to their challenges.
This shift in behavior is a growing problem for marketing professionals. How can we make our brands stand out among the competition to find qualified leads and close sales?
Warm up your audience. Modern buyers are a self-educating society. Websites, landing pages, emails, and social posts should offer visitors and prospects content that allows them to educate themselves. Content that answers their questions can start the conversation that can ultimately convert them from prospect to customer.
When creating content and communications, anticipate the needs of your customers and make sure you’re clearly illustrating the value propositions that make your product a unique fit for them. If you warm them up by providing the information they need in a way that lets them consume it at their own pace, you’ll have a better chance at setting up a sales meeting.
Focus your funnel. In the not too distant past, it was assumed that throwing more into the top of the funnel would generate more sales out the bottom. It was a numbers game.
However, the complex nature of business solutions leads to a much more complex qualification process. In tech, for example, not everyone is your customer, so adding more to the top of your funnel creates more work for your marketing team and sales reps. Qualified customers often get lost in the shuffle while your team spends time, energy, and money focusing on the wrong leads.
To maximize your marketing spend, tailor your efforts to focus your funnel with prospects that best fit your target audience. Take advantage of analytics and automated CRM tools to filter your contacts before the nurture and qualification phase. You will end up with fewer leads, but those who come to you educated and armed with the right questions are already closer to the sale. You also focus your sales team on the opportunities that matter most while giving them breathing room to better serve and build a relationship with the prospect.
Stay agile. As important as it is to stay on top of the latest technology, channels, and platforms to help you reach your audience most effectively, it’s equally important to stay ahead of the game with your value proposition and message to the market. By understanding market trends and how they factor into the needs of your target market, as well as anticipating your customers’ needs before they express them, you can produce highly relevant content that sets your brand apart. Additionally, you can proactively follow up with your customers and warm leads, pointing them in the direction of your proposed solution to their problems as they’re becoming aware of potential impacts to their enterprise.
Your ability to anticipate the needs of your customers’ industries and quickly deliver information and solution proposals to the right people can become the key to your marketing success. The better you understand your market, the trends in your industry, and your product differentiators, the more equipped you’ll be to attract your ideal prospects and convert them into customers.
An example to follow. EnerBank USA® strives to understand our market, industry trends and product differentiators. As the largest specialized home improvement lender in the country, we provide customers with a choice of unbeatable payment options to grow their business. We also have award-winning marketing experts who have developed education materials for home improvement contractors that provide in-depth training to teach sales teams exactly what to do and say to close more deals, resulting in business growth up to 50% when used on every sales call.
Our team of experts have also developed a consumer marketing kit for contractors that can be used, at no charge, to better position home improvement businesses in the market and ensure they have professional advertising materials that reflect positively on them. Everything we do revolves around our mission to help contractors grow their business.
To learn more about EnerBank’s unbeatable choice of payment options, visit us at EnerBank.com.