There is a trend going on in a number of industries. Long-established, successful companies are starting to realize their marketing is not where they need it to be.
This realization is being driven by the competition. It’s being driven by changes in how marketing is executed. It’s being driven by the knowledge that marketing and sales need to be completely aligned. Primarily, it’s being driven by how prospects want to buy.
This means the pressure is on. If your marketing is not digital, if your sales process is not documented, if you’re not using marketing, sales and customer service platform technology and not making marketing decisions based on data, then you’re likely to fall behind.
Now is the time to ramp up your marketing and take advantage of the new ways companies generate leads, drive sales opportunities and grow revenue.
Here’s why ramping up marketing must be at the top of your company’s priority list.
We’ve been screaming this key point from the tops of multiple mountains (and a ton of conferences) – people don’t buy from salespeople anymore.
If you have 50, 60 or 70 sales reps, you’re probably not using them the way you used to, and I’ll bet you might be able to do the same revenue or more with half the reps. Wow, that’s a big statement, right?
Think about it. Are they going to visit prospects like they used to? Are they making calls and getting through like they used to? Are they bringing in net new customers like they used to? I’m guessing no.
If you have an old CRM that no one uses, a CRM that you can’t customize or a CRM that doesn’t provide any data or insights, you’re flying blind.
If you don’t have marketing automation, or if you’re using a handful of point solutions for email and social media, you’re flying blind.
If you can’t quickly hop into your website and change some copy on your pages, write a blog or spin up a new landing page, you can’t possibly keep up with the pace of change needed to match your prospects’ needs.
If your customer service teams don’t have access to the right tools to create an amazing customer experience or instantly respond to issues, you’re going to lose them to someone who does and can.
There are a few areas where technology shines bright in terms of what you need to do in 2023 and beyond to generate leads, drive new sales opportunities and close business.
First, it provides a ton of automation. This means you can do more with less. Set up automated email nurtures, automate tasks for salespeople, set up sale sequences so prospects receive educational content regularly and keep your social media outlets live with rich educational material.
Next, get access to data and make better, more intelligent decisions around marketing, sales and customer service. Stop guessing at your close rate, your sales cycle days and your forecasting. Stop guessing at how your website is doing, how well your content converts visitors into leads and how many leads you’re actually getting. Watch this video for more info on using data to make smarter decisions.
Stop arguing about the quality of the leads and start scoring them. Set up an agreed-on scoring model that puts all the ambiguity aside and gives reps high-quality leads for them to follow up with.
Before you know it, you’ll be doing more marketing, having better sales follow-ups and getting much better results with fewer people and in less time. This is how you do it in 2023 and beyond.
If you want to get really advanced, consider this. You have systems for so many areas of your company. You pay your bill systematically. You make purchase decisions with a system. You hire and fire within an agreed-on system. But when it comes to revenue, there is no defined system.
Now that can change too, and it has to change. Revenue generation can be systematized if you have the right pieces.
There are six components to installing a system around revenue generation. You’re likely missing at least one of these components, and that’s holding you back.
1. Strategy – There is no ignoring it. You need an emotional, compelling and disruptive story. Your company needs to be remarkable when compared to your competitors. You need to have an agreed-on level of investment around revenue, and you need a set of agreed-on and defined metrics to measure your progress.
2. Process – Certain flows need to be executed weekly, monthly and quarterly. You need a regular weekly revenue team meeting that includes leaders from all the teams that influence revenue. You need a set agenda and a structure for running these meetings. People need to be accountable.
You need a monthly work planning session; we call those sprints. Everyone agrees on priorities and on what can get done with the resources available. Then you’ll need a quarterly strategy session where you review the competition, company plans, longer-term initiatives and how the revenue team needs to support the company strategy.
3. Resources – You have to think differently about your resources. Do you have the right people in the right seats to drive to your revenue goals? Do you need outside contractors to fill in the gaps or an agency to bring more resources and experience to help you hit your goals more consistently?
4. Tactics – You have to select and execute the right tactics. Not every company needs the same set of marketing and sales tactics. These should be selected based on your goals. What is the best way to get in front of your prospects? Set up the tactics and start executing them.
5. Campaigns – The tactics need to be orchestrated into multi-channel campaigns where you use the same story and the same offers across multiple channels like email, organic social, paid social, organic search, paid search, web, referral sources and more. Getting your tactics organized into campaigns will improve performance and eliminate any hit-or-miss marketing.
6. Technology – Finally, you need a tech stack. As we mentioned above, it’s impossible to do everything that needs to be done without some automation, and it’s impossible to analyze the data without tools.
All six of these components need to be pulled together in a system and deployed for your company to grow. Learn more about the system Square 2 uses and how we train clients on this system to help them grow.
A lot of information is swirling around about data. But the short story is that it’s going to get harder to use data you purchase to drive revenue. Instead, you should start to collect your own data now.
This first-party data is yours, and you can do what you want with it. No need to worry about any technology or government entity getting in your way.
But collecting, curating and managing this data is new to a lot of companies. You need to segment the data by your personas. You need to keep the data clean and accurate. You need to supplement your data with more data so that your marketing and sales effort can be highly personalized.
Data has to be a top priority for every organization and treated as a highly important corporate asset. Building your database should be a top priority for every company that wants growth in 2023 and moving into 2024.
This article has a lot of challenges identified, and if you’ve never focused on alignment, data segmentation or technology, it might seem like a major lift. But the good news is you have more access than ever to resources that make your effort here much easier.
Yes, this might mean adding a revenue operations (RevOps) person to your team. Yes, it might mean beefing up your marketing department. It might mean reducing the sales team, cutting out the lowest 20% of performers and helping the top 20% be more efficient.
Hiring full-time is the traditional approach to getting access to new skills and more experienced people, but today other options exist.
There is a huge market of freelancers and contractors who typically have gotten a bad rap but today include highly smart, employable people who want to work in the gig economy. If you need help, don’t shy away from bringing on a contract team member.
Last, there are very effective agencies that bring not one person but a team of people to your efforts and quickly help you get moving in the right direction. They walk you through strategy exercises, get your website and content fixed up, launch orchestrated campaigns and help you track the successes.
Besides the team, they bring a ton of experience. They teach your team about process, they teach and train your team on technology, and they give you tools that your team can use like templates for email, landing pages, website pages and more.
Regardless of how you get your revenue generation efforts ramped up, now is the time to do it. Don’t wait until you realize your competitors are killing it. Instead, set the bar and make them catch up.