I plead guilty to enjoying a cold beer or two, and I’ve watched with amazement as the decade-long bull market in the craft beer industry shows no signs of abating.
Your team is running an optimized PPC campaign. Your efforts on social media are producing leads. Your Google page rank is steadily increasing. You’re on the first page for a variety of pertinent keywords. Because you measure your Web traffic and your phone traffic closely, you know that your Web traffic is up and your marketing is generating phone calls.
By any measure your marketing is working.
Your prospects are asking for more information, asking for product demonstrations or downloading content from your website. You have contact information about them. They raised their hand. They reached out to you.
That sounds like a great situation doesn’t it?
Sadly, there is a problem: your sales numbers are not going up. Your revenue is stagnant. Occasionally there will be a bump in the right direction but your sales success is not proportional to the marketing success your company seems to be generating.
What’s going on?
There are only a few reasons why your marketing success and your sales results are not aligning.
The Double-Cross– Among the most common reasons that marketing success does not translate into sales success is the double-cross or the bait-and-switch. Your ad, demo or material promises one thing, but your product or service delivers another. Your prospects are interested until they wipe the “marketing-speak” aside and see reality. This is a very common problem.
Fix It:Companies fix this by refining their marketing message. Get more specific about what you do and how you do it.
Forgetting the Phone– Did you know that you are significantly more likely to close business if a prospect calls you than if that prospect fills out an Internet form? Your team is much more likely to make the sale when someone calls.
With that in mind, you should integrate phone numbers into everything you do. Put phone numbers in PPC ads, social media, tradeshow and local SEO listings. Put phone numbers everywhere. It seems like a reasonable question, right? If someone is more likely to buy from you when they call, why wouldn’t you want them to call?
Fix It:Put phone numbers EVERYWHERE. Put phone numbers on your Facebook page, your website, your collateral, your cards and on any advertising you do, online or offline.
Ain’t Systematizin’– Every business has leads fall through the cracks. Who is responsible for leads once they come in? Are they assigned to someone? Are they automatically organized and updated in a CRM like SalesForce or Zoho? Or, on the other hand, are they lost in the process somewhere? Do your leads escape?
Fix It:Invest in a ‘system’ of some sort. And more important, make sure everyone actually uses it. We use Zoho, for example, and our rule is this: if it isn’t in Zoho it doesn’t exist.
Wimpy Sales Reps – Many salesmen are simply afraid to contact leads. For example: leads that signed up for a free eBook, White Paper or newsletter should be contacted by a sales rep. Too often sales reps overlook leads that aren’t ‘hot.’ They overlook these leads because they view them as a waste of time, or because they are scared of calling a ‘cool’ lead.
Poor Sales Skills– We’ve listened to millions of phone calls over the years and, unequivocally, this is the most common reason marketing success and sales success doesn’t align. Perhaps they’ve never been trained properly, or maybe the training they have didn’t stick. Either way, poor sales skills hurt a business.
Fix It:Improve their sales skills through training, accountability and measured performance.
Slow Sales Reps– How quickly does your team call leads once they flow into your system? Does it happen on the same day? Same week? Same hour? If someone is interested how long do they have to wait before someone calls them?
Some stunning research conducted by a private firm found that a lead is 21 times more likely to convert if the prospect is called within five minutes of ‘raising their hand,’ than if they are called within 30 minutes of raining their hand. Further, the likelihood of converting the lead is cut in half every day the lead goes without contact.
Fix It:If you get a lead, call the lead immediately.
Jason Wells is the CEO of ContactPoint. The company’s new product, LogMyCalls, provides inexpensive tools for businesses seeking to optimize marketing and sales performance. These tools – phone call tracking, call recording and call performance scoring – allow businesses to determine which advertising methods are effective and improve their ability to secure business over the phone.