It’s Not About Me, It’s ALL About You And Your Prospects
This might seem self-serving. Our company does provide a wide range of marketing- and sales-related services including technology support, but my comments have little to do with me and everything to do with you, our clients.
You find a few different flavors of agencies today. Some are like us, but more tend to focus their services on a specific aspect of marketing, like social media, search, video or pay-per-click. Others focus on verticals, so for instance, they might be experts at working with manufacturing companies. Finally, some firms practice only one kind of marketing (like inbound) or perhaps only provide marketing, while other firms only help with sales coaching and support for sales teams.
You want a digital marketing agency that can deliver a comprehensive program to match the buyer journey. The challenges siloed agencies face are the same challenges siloed in-house teams face — there is too much cross-functional work, too much collaboration and too much sharing of assets across the click-to-close prospect experience to keep anything siloed.
This is especially true when it comes to marketing and sales. Historically, if you needed help with marketing and sales, you had a marketing agency and a sales consulting company. Today, I’m encouraging you to break down those traditional barriers and consider a single agency that owns the entire prospect experience from click to close.
Here are the benefits of having one strategic revenue generation agency working with you and your team on everything related to revenue.
One Throat To Choke
It’s the low-hanging fruit in this conversation. If you have one team responsible for all aspects of your sales, marketing and revenue generation, you know who’s accountable and responsible. You have no other people to blame. Your one team gets all of the accolades when it works and all of the pain when it doesn’t work.
Some business leaders like to spread out the risk, feeling that if they have a few agencies, then they won’t be dependent on any one team. It makes sense, but today’s complex marketing and sales execution makes this a bigger risk than ever before. Now you should coordinate all of the agencies so that they work seamlessly and collaboratively, but this can be highly challenging.
Control Means There’s No Place To Hide
Our team wants to be accountable for results, but when we only control a piece of the program, we can’t be 100% accountable. For example, if you write your content or build your website and the program isn’t performing, your website or your content could be to blame. When we handle it all, we know it gets done when we want and how we want, so there’s no place to hide. We’re responsible and accountable for it all, and we’re responsible and accountable for making it work. No excuses.
Cross-Tactic Agencies Tie The Entire Experience Together
If you’re thinking about your marketing and sales as a full click-to-close experience, then you want to make sure that the experience is tight and complete. If you miss even one or two of the experiences, your prospects could feel uncomfortable or notice the disconnect and head over to your competitors.
Agencies that deliver the complete click-to-close experience (starting with advocacy and ending with proposal development or closing techniques) ensure your prospects are seeing a comprehensive and strategically designed experience. The impact on the business is visible in shorter sales cycles and higher close rates.
I want you to consider one more aspect when it comes to the click-to-close experience. Think about it like dating. Almost every relationship has a progression. You meet someone and you start getting to know each other. Almost immediately you’re making judgments. Do I want to get to know this person more? Do I want to spend more time with them? In the beginning, you might not be sure, but you give them a chance and they usually resolve your uncertainty one way or another. Then you decide whether or not you’re interested in seeing them more. The same happens with your prospects.
As you get to know someone, you get more comfortable, and eventually you might even decide to get engaged. You become so comfortable that you see yourself spending all of your time with that person. We want to create such a remarkable experience for your prospects that they want to spend all of their time with you. That’s how today’s programmatic approach to marketing and sales produces scalable, repeatable and predictable revenue machines.
Data Can Be Tracked Across The Full Funnel
You don’t want programs executed in silos and you don’t want data in silos either. You want to look at your entire funnel and understand the conversion points up and down the funnel and even across the entire funnel. For example, do you know your MQL-to-new-customer conversion rate? You should. Would you be surprised to know that most companies have an MQL-to-new-customer conversion rate of about .5% and that high-performing companies (as reported by Forrester) have a conversion rate of 1.54%?
I know you can get a variety of tools to provide reporting across tactics, across departments and across the funnel, but it rarely comes down to data. It almost always comes down to the insights from the data. To drive insights, I have to know what’s being delivered and how. Otherwise, it’s hard to know where the program can be improved to drive even better business results.
Vertical Expertise Has Its Pluses And Its Minuses
We haven’t talked about vertically specialized agencies yet. Hiring an agency that specializes in your industry comes with some benefits. The first advantage is you don’t have to teach them about your industry. The people at the agency already know about your prospects and how they buy. But that also leads to one of the greatest challenges associated with this approach: They tend to do the same thing for every client, regardless of specifics.
This isn’t great for differentiation. Do you want to sound like your competitors? Do you want the same or similar content offers, website templates, email marketing campaigns, etc.? Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not suggesting agencies reuse stuff or don’t create original work for all of their clients, but there is a tendency to apply similar thinking across all of the clients. There are a lot of similarities if everyone is in the same vertical, so it’s only natural to apply those assumptions as much as possible.
When you have an agency that works across a variety of verticals, you get to apply smart thinking in one vertical to a different vertical. We’ve been able to take what we learn in software and, in some cases, apply it to distributors or manufacturers. We’ve seen content work in health care and then applied some of the same practices for our professional services clients. The result is highly creative, unique and compelling marketing that pushes the envelope, engages prospects and drives results.
Getting attention, disrupting your prospects’ status quo, driving connections, building engagement, bringing visitors to your website, converting visitors into leads, ensuring those are high-quality leads that turn into sales opportunities and then closing those sales opportunities quickly — it’s all a highly complicated endeavor these days.
Your prospects have never been smarter or more astute when it comes to ignoring bad marketing and ineffective sales techniques. Plus, people have technology to help repel advertising, and they only welcome in the highest-value content. The revenue generation task companies face is more challenging than ever.
You can try to keep doing what you’ve been doing, you can experiment with some new marketing technology or you can even hire a specialist firm. But until you embrace the fact that buyer behavior has changed and the buyer journey is a single experience, and understand you should be designing marketing and sales tactics to perfectly match their journey, you’ll be disappointed in the results and you’ll miss your revenue goals.
Agencies that handle the click-to-close experience give you the best chance to build the strategy, develop all of the assets required to create that experience and then work with sales to ensure a seamless handoff and an equally amazing sales experience. Consider better matching your agencies’ skill set with what your prospects are asking for today.
Square 2 Marketing – Innovating Marketing And Sales To Match Today’s Buyer Behavior!