Why It Has To Be Everything When You’re Planning Your 2019 Revenue Strategy
Omni-channel marketing has some very specific definitions, but it is most readily defined as “seamlessly integrating an organization’s channels, processes and strategies to gain the ability to engage with consumers anytime, anywhere and on any device.”
As a RedPoint Global blog post explains, an example of technical omni-channel marketing is “if a customer at a physical store received an email with a discount coupon off their next purchase, or someone browsing an item online received an SMS offer when they enter a retailer’s brick-and-mortar store.”
But what if you’re B2B? Does it mean omni-channel is irrelevant? Far from it. In fact, we like to describe omni-channel in slightly different terms to make it more relevant for our B2B clients.
In our minds, every business has to execute omni-channel marketing to create the experience your prospects need to want to do business with you versus your competition, and then want to continue to do business with just you because your company delivers an amazing experience.
You’ll need a wide variety of channels to get their attention, keep their attention, tell your story, compel them to engage your sales team and have your sales team add enough value to make them feel safe. Once you sign them, your customer service team has to continue the experience through a variety of tools and techniques.
All of this has to be delivered through a variety of devices. This is omni-channel.
Here’s how you make your marketing, sales and customer service omni-channel.
We’ve been working with clients to deliver omni-channel marketing for years (ever since smartphones became a legitimate source for new visitors to your website). Today, you have to deliver an equally amazing website experience to people on their laptops, smartphones, smart TVs and other devices.
This is the same for email, content, social or video. The content you create has to be optimized to deliver an amazing experience regardless of where your prospects are viewing it.
But if you stopped there and think only about omni-channel as different devices or stores vs. online shopping, you’ll be missing a major opportunity to connect your prospects’ experiences in a more meaningful way.
What that means is your stories, messages and differentiation must be designed and crafted to be delivered in a wide variety of formats by a wide variety of tools.
Here’s an example: How you tell your story at an event is much different than how you tell it on Facebook, and it’s different than how you tell it in an email campaign, or on your website or in your podcast series.
You’ll need all of those channels, plus about 20 others to effectively get your story out, connect with your target prospects, bring them into your world, engage them in conversation and then help them understand how you can help them.
This has never been more complicated, more challenging for marketers and more confusing for consumers. Your prospects are stuck in a cyclone of content, opinions and options. Marketers are all looking for the shortcuts, and the result is companies struggling to drive leads, close new customers and hit their revenue goals.
Here’s how to start fixing it.
First, put on your prospects’ glasses and look at the world through their eyes. What are their struggles and challenges? How do you help them?
Now ask yourself: If you were them, where would you go for info? How would you like that info delivered? What formats, what devices and what frequency?
Before you know it, you’ll have all of your channels defined and you’ll be very close to designing the omni-channel marketing that includes all of the tactics (channels) required to reach your prospect as many times as necessary before they’re ready to engage with your sales team.
It’s going to be a big plan, it’s going to take a lot of cross-functional integration and it’s going to require a sound strategy. The tactics are probably going to require software that helps you implement the sheer number of concurrent tactics required to cut through the clutter and get your prospects’ attention.
Marketing And Sales Alignment
It’s critical that marketing and sales are on the same page if you want to pursue this omni-channel approach. If marketing is acting one way and sales is acting another way, or if marketing is saying one thing and sales is saying something else, it all breaks down.
The stories, the content, the supporting website pages, the lead nurturing emails, the videos and the approach to your prospect must be consistent when sales picks up the ball.
Typically, marketing is handling the prospect and their experience from the first time they hear about your company all the way through the Consideration Stage and down to the Evaluation Stage. This is usually where prospects need sales to answer more specific questions.
Roughly 75% of the experience is with marketing, while the remaining 25% is with sales.
Sales needs to be armed with (and you need to provide sales with) the tools or tech to allow them to deliver a remarkable experience. Examples include:
- Automated lead follow-up via pre-crafted emails stored and sent via the CRM.
- Content libraries connected to your CRM that allow sales reps to pull down content in context to their sales conversations and quickly continue to help prospects by educating them.
- Lead scoring that provides sales insights into a prospect’s potential, so they can tailor the experience and their involvement in that experience accordingly. Sales should treat everyone amazingly, but some high-opportunity prospects might get a slightly more personal experience.
- Automated lead nurturing that looks and feels like it’s personal. Put prospects into lead nurture campaigns specifically designed to stay in touch with prospects, share content, continue the conversation and attempt to move prospects through their buyer journey – all without any physical effort on your reps’ part.
It’s all possible. They’re all slightly different channels, but they provide one amazing experience. However, none of it is possible without tight alignment between sales and marketing.
Marketing is going to have its own KPIs (key performance indicators), like website visitors and leads generated. Sales is usually easy to measure based on revenue goal attainment and new customers signed.
But an entirely new world of analytics, data and performance metrics exists that tightly aligned marketing and sales teams can attack together. Specifically, measuring conversion rates and increasing those conversion rates produces exponential improvements.
As an example, doubling the close rate from 10% to 20% doubles revenue. Improving the quality of leads and increasing the conversion rate from sales-qualified lead to sales opportunity can also significantly improve revenue. Even looking at the number of website visitors to proposals submitted gives you a measure of how effective marketing is at impacting sales performance.
When you look at all of these metrics and start applying energy, time and investment in these areas, you get a compounding effect that produces massive results. But you need marketing and sales working together to realize this kind of growth.
Most marketers and almost all salespeople view the goal as getting the new customer. Once the paperwork is signed, they rejoice and move on to the next new customer. But the reality is the game is just starting.
It’s critical that everything marketing and sales promised is delivered (and then some0 by the services team. They have to be flawless in their execution, in their communication and in that delivery experience.
Your new customer is going to come full circle, sharing that service experience with other prospects (people you are trying to close). If they have an amazing experience, they will share it. If they have a horrible experience, they will share that with 10x as many people.
To us, omni-channel marketing means ensuring that every customer is an advocate and so happy that they are willing to be a reference, write a review or freely offer a referral.
These references, reviews and referrals are assets that marketing and sales need to drive more interest, more prospects, more leads and more sales opportunities. Without them, it’s like trying to drive a car with just three tires.
Put as much time, energy and investment into making sure your customers are thrilled as you do trying to get new customers. Make sure all of your communication is tight, your processes run flawlessly every time and your policies are customer friendly.
You can experience-map the customer experience in the same way we recommend you map the prospect experience. Who communicates with them? How do they communicate? What frequency? What tools do they use? What questions are they asking? All of this has to be remarkable and well designed, too.
Do this and you’ll be executing our version of omni-channel marketing. The result will be month-over-month revenue growth and the hockey-stick growth chart everyone is looking for.
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