How To Increase Sales Leads With Digital Marketing

How To Increase Sales Leads With Digital Marketing

Posted on December 13, 2016 Mary Merritt

Digital marketing is not just for eCommerce businesses. It can feed your sales team's funnel with qualified potential customers!

All day long, millions of people do their research on the internet to find products, services, templates, videos, guides... KNOWLEDGE, for the most part. In many cases, these people are looking for what you have to offer, but not necessarily you. This is the foundational concept that makes expertly managed digital marketing one of the handiest sales tools in the entire sales tool box. Digital marketing mixed with a talented sales team who is adept at closing is the spice of business growth.

Let's take a side step for a moment, if you please. The key to successful marketing is remembering to acknowledge the human being's needs first. Where are they at this very moment? How do they feel? What's their social status? What problems do they have? It's been said before, but it's true: People don't buy products, they buy outcomes.

So the real first step is showing them that you genuinely want to give them the outcome they desire (and that you understand their current situation well). When people are researching what you have to offer, but not your brand necessarily, it's presumptuous to think that your particular solution is what they need, right? Don't ask them to marry you on the first date! Have some coffee (translation: get them to sign up to your newsletter by offering them an awesome, free how-to guide). Buy them some flowers (translation: send them amazing content from time-to-time that showcases your undying love). Have a laugh or two (translation: make them smile with some really smart, funny, relevant content if applicable). You get the idea. You have to optimize the value that you are offering first-time visitors and loyal visitors alike. The value has to be real, too.

We're simplifying this a lot, but there are 4 basic ways to grow your business:

  • Same products, same markets (sooner or later, markets get saturated...)
  • Same products, new markets (this is usually the easiest way to grow)
  • New products, same markets (this is how you keep your company YOUNG)
  • New products, new markets (this is usually the hardest way to grow)

With this being said, one of the best reasons to love digital marketing is because it can bring your products and services to new markets in relatively simple fashion - which is one of the easiest ways to grow your business. Holistically speaking it is important to think through your current sales funnel. Like I said, if you are in business, this is working for you and your sales organization is awesome at driving revenue.

They probably employ a process that looks something like this:

  1. Business Development (creating opportunities, essentially) >
  2. Lead Generation >
  3. Qualification >
  4. Demo >
  5. Proposal >
  6. Close >

In the first step (#1) - the team is creating opportunities. That mix normally looks something like this:

  • Cold calling
  • Scraping emails
  • List buying
  • Trade shows
  • Speaking gigs
  • Direct mailers
  • Holding events

There is absolutely nothing wrong with these tactics. They might be a bit more expensive. That, and cold-calling can sometimes give a potential customer the wrong idea about your brand. It's called "cold" for a reason - brrrrrrrrr! Our overall argument is that adding digital marketing to your mix will bring in warmer, more educated leads. Also due to the amazingly iterative and malleable nature of the web, we can craft pre-funnel sequences that start building a community around your brand before the formal sales process even begins.

We start by targeting people who are doing the research. If you're not doing this, you should start right away.

The best thing to consider in this approach is that the close rate will increase for leads that were once researchers. Why? Because these folks are already interested in what you have to offer. They were doing research around the topics, so we've captured their attention, educated them, given them actual value, and shazam. They are now in your system - the system where you offer them value time and time again, like honest business owners.

Increasing your average customer value is another great way to grow.

Your average customer value can always be improved upon. Most folks who engage in a traditional sales model seem to think that everything ends when the sale is made. Let's destroy that line of thought. You want to re-engage your customers regularly. You can ask them for feedback, offer them super engaging content to remind them that you're there, ask them for stories so you can build social proof, request product reviews, and more. Post purchase customer service and community engagement is something that is surprisingly overlooked.

Enough talk, how do I do this?

If you don't have the experience and/or the time, you will need to bring in outside expertise (or hire someone in-house). That's the bottom line. In most cases, for less than the cost of a new sales team member, you can get an entire team of digital marketing experts at your fingertips. If you MUST do it on your own, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Do your keyword research - find out what terms are highly searched in your industry. The more relevant, the better. There is a whole process here, and we're planning on launching a sweet guide that outlines our process for you (offering you value, hopefully).
  2. Re-think your website navigation. If the current site navigation doesn't support your potential customer's needs, then you'll have to update it. It should also support great onsite SEO - so do this part after your keyword research is completed for the quarter.
  3. Engage in some onsite optimization as a foundational tactic with the expectation that this is a longer-term strategy. It will take time for your site rankings to build up, and it takes more than just an onsite optimization exercise.
  4. Create some paid campaigns around your keyword findings in Google AdWords and Microsoft AdCenter. If you don't know what you are doing here, it can be super intimidating. Is it hard? NO - but it does take some experience.
  5. For your paid campaigns - craft some specialized landing pages that are TRULY relevant to the user's query. Make sure there is a strong call to action, too. A phone number and/or a contact form that leads right into your CRM is the best case scenario. Just be sure to offer them something of VALUE (I do apologize for how many times I have mentioned this in the post, but the concept is just so gosh dang important).
  6. Track, track, and track. Track phone calls, form submissions and more. Understand how digital marketing is increasing your bottom line. It's going to work, but how well does it work? Which tactics work best? Worst? Adopt the "fail faster" model. It's iterative and intelligent.
  7. Constantly think about the common questions that potential customers have in the sales process. Let's get those questions answered on the website so the leads from the site get warmer and warmer.
  8. CUSTOMER VALUE OPTIMIZATION. You can buy traffic all day long, and you can craft SEO campaigns that drive traffic until the cows come home...but what are you giving those visitors? I challenge all of you to think about that. Creative content that captivates your audience is the only way to go these days. It just HAS to be real.
  9. Once you have found some compelling campaign language and your landing pages are performing the way you want - brainstorm, explore and plan digital marketing campaigns on other platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and more. Experiment by advertising in places relevant to your audience. Places you never though of like Spotify, Pandora, Hulu and more. It's all a gamble, but you can still be scientific about it and make safe bets.

To summarize everything...

Digital marketing is an amazing business development tactic that can feed your sales team all the leads they can handle. With a higher close rate and more value per customer, the potential for growth makes me smile. Particularly if you have a sales team that is adept at closing deals with these leads; our work is only as good as your sales team. Additionally, our work is only as good as the conversion rate on the website. So undergoing a website redesign is usually just one small step in a much larger, strategic set of moves.

A wise person once said: "Great marketing makes selling irrelevant." It sounds a bit harsh when you first read it, but think of it this way: If the potential customer is interested and educated by the time they reach the salesperson, will they have to "SELL" the person on the deal? Not likely.

Now, go forth and grow your business! May your campaigns be fruitful.