Let’s Face It: The Market Is Much Different Than It Was 20 Years Ago
In this day and age, it’s important for businesses to stay competitive. To do so, they must casro annual what it takes to remain relevant, top-of-mind, and respected by their audience. Cold-calling and brochures alone won’t do the trick anymore. Whether you’re selling products, services, ideas, or technology, your company represents solutions to the problems of prospective customers and your brand can satisfy a want or a need, compelling them to make a purchase. Depending which industry you’re in, the length of a typical sales cycle may vary and, it’s up to your company to nurture prospects along that journey by fostering awareness, creating interest, building a case for why your brand meets their needs, presenting solutions, following up, and winning the customer.
Enter Stage Right, Marketing
Today’s sales people have many methods of closing deals, and for some it’s easier than others. A lot of it depends on the quality, price, and demand for your product or service, all of which can be amplified with the right tools. More companies than ever are turning to the continually evolving world of marketing to create resources for their sales teams and to generate or increase brand awareness. Marketing – and its parallel relationship to sales – are about so much more than creating fancy flyers about your latest product or promotion. Marketing does something that a sales team alone can’t do: create opportunities where there were none by increasing brand visibility on all fronts and then supporting the sales team with the resources necessary to enrich the selling process by speaking to the needs of the customer on a personal (or organizational) level. This requires insight, data, the ability to relate and identify with consumers, story-telling skills, and the creation of compelling content that will lead to conversions.
And what many companies don’t understand about this process is that it often works as much (if not more) behind the scenes as it does outwardly and in-your-face. So much of the marketing world is measured by its effectiveness in capturing leads that convert to sales in an immediate way; however the unseen, intangible results (the part of the iceberg that is under the water) are just as crucial to a business’s success. For every opportunity captured there are multiples more being born, and the length of time it may take to nurture those opportunities into full-blown customers may depend on the prospect’s budget, company initiatives, workload, decision-making ability, and the effectiveness of your company’s sales team.
So think of marketing like the lifecycle of the butterfly. Most people would equate victory with only the emergence of the beautiful monarch, not recognizing that the butterfly wasn’t born looking so regal and enchanting. While the finished product or end result is what most companies focus on, the formative stages that often go unseen for weeks or months are what a marketing department is continually working to build.
Many sales-focused organizations miss or fail to recognize the metamorphosis that is about to occur while the “butterfly” is in its caterpillar or chrysalis (cocoon) stage, equating ROI only to spikes in the sales forecast.
This can make marketing impact and metrics a little more complicated to measure – it’s not always so black and white. Much of the transformation of opportunities to sales also depends on the relationship between sales and marketing and how well strategies are communicated and executed. A well-supported marketing program hands-down makes your sales team more effective and helps them catch more butterflies.
Here’s How to Nourish, Preserve, and Grow Your Butterfly Population
Use original content – Always!
An investment in a team member with a strong background in writing, an understanding of your industry and subject matter, and a creative spirit is one of the wisest and most profitable investments your company will ever make. Nothing will stunt your growth faster than failing to invest in the marketing of your company. Without a copy writer or a team of marketing professionals, some companies try to take the DIY approach to branding and communications and don’t understand the risks involved.