In our previous blog, how the internet has changed sales, we discussed how the internet has become the medium in which your company and its products and services are now likely to be discovered and assessed by a potential buyer. The success of any business falls to its marketing.
This can come in many forms such as websites, cold calling, social media, word of mouth, advertising and public relations to name but a few. Essentially marketing is the process whereby your product and service is introduced and promoted to potential buyers. Without some form of marketing, you can have the best products and services in the world, but who will know about them and just as importantly who will know about your company.
So why is marketing important to sales, first of all one the key drivers is to ensure the company is known or that the prospective buyer has heard of you. As a sales veteran I know that, when you contact potential buyer, the chances of them engaging you increases significantly if they have heard of your company, products and services. In a sales environment the more people you speak to the higher the possibility of an opportunity. The more opportunities equals more proposals and subsequently more proposals lead to more sales. In addition there is a direct correlation between closing ratios, brand awareness and trust. In the IT industry the average sales persons' proposal to closing ratio is 1 in 5, but where a company’s marketing activity has established that their company is credible, reputable and the sales person has gained the buyers trust, the closing ratio can be increased to 1 in 2, therefore significantly increasing sales.
So, now you have an understanding why marketing to raise awareness of your business is important to sales. BUT, marketing should also be delivering opportunities into your sales team.
Think about it, in the old school world of sales, your team is likely to be hammering the phones all day making 100 dials to uncover 1 or 2 leads and opportunities. With brand awareness marketing you could increase this to 3 to 4 leads and opportunities, but that still seems like a lot of time, effort and money (we all know good sales people don’t come cheap). By the time you have fed those opportunities through the sales pipeline process you have a few deals at the end of it for an awful lot of work. With an effective marketing strategy a business can cut out a lot of the effort and utilise the marketing function to generate leads and opportunities. Think about those great sales people you have right now who are spending 75% of their time farming your data trying to uncover leads and opportunities for you. Now visualise how different your business would look if those same sales people spent their time closing leads and opportunities instead of trying to find them. It's good isn’t it.
Marketing can be the catalyst that sends your sales figures into the stratosphere. It’s the perfect medium to cut down the sales cycle for your sales teams and increase your sales figures. In addition it can reach more people more quickly and at a lower cost that a sales person.
To find out more about how a well thought out inbound marketing plan can help you grow your business why not download our free guide.