You’ve got good products and services, an expert technical team, and in-house marketers contacting every possible lead that you’re able to generate – so why aren’t you making more money?
It’s the eternal question of business and, in the IT sector where the right qualifications and know-how can seem like a license to print money, it can be difficult to work out what’s going wrong, when those revenues do not come rolling in.
However, as long as you’re confident in the quality of your products and services – and in the level of market demand for them – as well as in the expertise of your technical staff, then you probably need to look to your marketing team to up their game if you want to increase your ROI.
Luckily, there are several things you can do, but which many in-house teams overlook, making it often a good decision to approach an outsourced marketing agency or consultancy for assistance.
Perhaps one of the main concerns is lead quality; you can spend all day on the phone to ‘prospects’, but if none of them are really relevant to what you do and what you have to offer, you’re unlikely to make many sales out of it.
This is why; in marketing, ‘lead generation’ is often viewed as a stage in its own right: at this point you are simply (and ideally quite rapidly) running through potential prospects, finding out if they are interested, and moving on quickly if they are not.
Generating good-quality leads is about singling out those who have a tangible interest in your goods and services – because after all, why would you want to waste time trying to sell to people with no need for your products?
Nurturing is at the heart of a long-term approach to marketing, and too often short-termism leads to sales being lost simply because the time isn’t right for the customer.
Just because they’re not ready to buy right now, it doesn’t mean they will never be interested in your products or services – and it could just be a case of keeping an open dialogue with them until they are ready to commit.
Think of it in terms of a subscription service that offers you a six-month discount when you sign up for a year – you make less money in the short term, but by keeping that customer engaged, you can get a return out of them in the end.
Finally, make sure you know what’s working and what’s not – which can be difficult when you’re combining online and offline techniques to drive sales.
Telesales can have clearly defined impacts, and online channels can be tracked through analytics platforms, but take efforts to identify where word of mouth and long-term branding effects have helped too, so you know where to place your investment budget in the future.