How to Convert Your Marketing Spend into Sales

How to Convert Your Marketing Spend into Sales

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Sales and marketing used to be like quarreling classmates drawing imaginary lines across the bench. Sometimes they get along but most of the time they want to keep the other off their territory. Yet this does not work in the digital environment. Marketing builds relationships and loyalty while sales bring success.

Digital marketing today aims at building relationships and helping a company’s brand remain relevant in its industry arena. Emphasis is on personalized content experiences. Yes, these can improve the time spent on site stats. Still, the greater goal is to engage the customer while gathering intentional information that helps the marketer provide an even better experience.

The biggest challenge for marketing and sales teams today is penetrating this web of information, such that you are still able to extend your message to your target audience.

The best way to overcome this challenge is to:

Align Marketing with Sales

Any approach or model that hinges on the transaction or the purchasing decision is bound to miss out on the limitless engagements made possible by digital technology. Content is key to these engagements. In fact, it is of utmost importance during that span of time our market has not reached out to our sales team. It is how we penetrate a web full of information and get our message across. And, further down the buyer’s journey, it is what we need to arm our sales teams with: engaging, useful content.

Sales and marketing must work together closely to share their insights into buyer needs, challenges, interests and to better understand what converts a prospect. So, in choosing a framework through which you can align the efforts of your marketing and sales teams, remember these:

  • The path to purchasing is no longer linear. Our customers follow a web of information and go back and forth before making a purchase. The buyer’s journey can takes months at a time or even a few seconds.
  • There are several dimensions to social influence. It is no longer the sole function of your marketing team to build your brand. Keep track of your online reputation. There are several free and paid tools you can use for this.
  • Do not disregard your advocates. Whether or not they are customers, these advocates have social clout that can be to your advantage. When planning your content and video marketing strategies, keep them in mind.
  • Focus on the relationships that you build with those you engage with through your content and video marketing. Do not put the transaction or the purchasing decision as to your end goal; the digital sales landscape does not work that way.
  • Measure your stat and growth. There will be a need to calibrate and re calibrate your approach until you learn the common paths taken by your customers.
Strategy to Build an Effective Sales Plan

Strategy to Build an Effective Sales Plan

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The success of any company is hugely depended on the management and implementation of sales. Therefore, having a simple and clear plan for sales activities is essential. 

If you have never written a sales plan before, the task might seem daunting. Fortunately, it is not complicated. If done right, it can help you take a more strategic, big-picture approach to growing your business

A sales plan can be made effective by understanding 4 key points. 

Goals 

Start by deciding what you want to achieve. The targets can be anything, jot down whatever that comes to your mind. Dream big at this stage. 

It is important when writing a sales plan to have a clear image of where you are as an organization and where you would like to be at the end of the year. 

Allocate resources 

With goals and targets in place, you now need to consider what is feasible. Consider various options and choose the best. Also, take stock of your tools and systems. You need to invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) system and in other kinds of marketing materials you need to support your sales team. 

Communicating your sales plan 

i)With the sales team 

The success of your sales plan rests on your sales team. Your sales team cannot accomplish your sales plan targets unless they totally understand the plan. Your sales plan ought to describe how you will communicate the plan to your employees and the way you will train them to implement your plan’s actions. 

ii)With the customers and suppliers 

It is also necessary to consider any impacts your tactics can have on your customers or suppliers. Understand the shopping patterns of your customers, supplier’s delivery and production methods and make a plan that helps you in communicating the changes to them.  

Monitoring sales plan 

Your sales plan will assist you to monitor your sales performance and make improvements. List your marketing objectives and establish the results you expect you are promoting to attain. These results are measures will act as indicators of whether you achieved your goals or not. For example: 

After listing your objectives and measures, establish in your sales plan how you’ll monitor sales results, who will record and check results and how frequently. This data will enable you to visualize your sales performance over time and modify your techniques to improve your sales. 

Planning is often an activity that happens on top of regular business. To keep moving forward, spread the planning process across a week or so, focusing on one section of your plan at a time. The key is to just keep working. Start off small and build a concrete plan eventually.  

Tips to Build Good Customer Relationships

Tips to Build Good Customer Relationships

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Building relationships is key to learning your customers’ needs. You can gain more returning customers, referrals and net income in the process. If a business does not know the likes and dislikes of their customers it becomes a tedious task to grow your business. 

Here we will describe a few ways by which you can improve your relationship with your customers

Connect with your customers 

An age-old way of making human contact has been to find a common ground, a shared interest, or anything that shows you can empathize with them in some way. This helps you to build trust with the customers. 

Communicate 

Like any good relationship, communication has a major role in building customer relationships. Communication is not just a series of emails. Try to analyse the customer and understand how you can customize and create a personalized message for your customer. Example: From a bit of analysis from past data you can know what products the customer is interested in and then customize your messages to that. 

Not all of your communication should be about your company trying to sell something. Have communications reminding customers about special features that you have noticed which they are not utilizing. Let them know about developments in your industry. Create a personal relationship. 

Exceed Expectations 

The key to a better and stronger relationship with the customer lies is going above and beyond their expectations. Giving customers more than what they expect will delight them and make them come back to you. Make sure they walk away fully satisfied. Listen to your customers, acknowledge their concerns and resolve any problems they encounter. 

Feedback 

Feedback is a great way to understand your customers. Invite customers for surveys and ask them to share their opinion. You can identify the specific needs of your customer and find the best solutions to their problems.  Offering unique and personalized solutions will ultimately help your business prosper. Always pay attention to the comments and feedback and respond promptly.  

Show appreciation 

Reward loyal customers with special discounts and offers. Retaining customers is the best way to boost revenue. Build a business that offers the best customer service. Make sure that your products and services are always available.  

Customer relationships are more important than ever in today’s digital age. In an era where customers can easily give their views and opinions it becomes highly important that a company maintains a good relationship with its customers. Just like any relationship, strong customer relationships require work but the payoff to your businesses’ bottom line is worth the efforts. 

Effective Business Performance Metrics

Effective Business Performance Metrics

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Every entrepreneur looks at the financial structure of their business. One way to quickly understand the financial health of your organization is to look at the various financial ratios. Financial ratios provide insight into cash, credit and inventory situation. They reveal the stability and health of your business. Businessmen must review these ratios to understand the changing trends in the company.  

There are four basic types of ratios. They are: 

Liquidity ratios 

These ratios measure the amount of liquidity (cash and easily converted assets) that you have to cover your debts. 

Current ratio also called working capital ratio is used to measure your company’s ability to generate cash to meet your short-term financial commitments. Quick ratio measures your ability to access cash quickly to support immediate demands. A ratio of 1.0 or greater is generally acceptable. But this ratio depends on your industry. A low ratio means your company might have difficulties meeting obligations or taking advantage of opportunities. Higher ratio means it’s time for you to invest more of your capital in projects. 

Efficiency ratios 

These ratios are measured over a longer period of time and provide additional insight into different aspects of the business

Inventory turnover looks at how long it takes for inventory to be sold and traded during the year. This ratio will help you in understanding where you can improve in inventory management.  

Inventory to net working capital ratio can determine if you have too much of your working capital tied up in inventory. It is better if this ratio is lower. Evaluating inventory ratios depends on your industry and the type of business. 

Average collection period looks at the average number of days customers take to pay for your products or services. You can improve this ratio by establishing clear cut credit policies and also providing incentives to encourage payment. 

Profitability ratios 

These ratios help in understanding the financial viability of your business. You can also gauge what your position is in the industry.  

Net profit margin measures how much a company earns relative to its sales. Companies with higher profit margin are generally flexible and efficient. 

Operating profit margin or coverage ratio measures earnings before interest and taxes. Through this you can assess your ability to expand your business through additional debt or other investments. 

Return on assets (ROA) ratio tells how well management is utilizing the company’s various resources. Return on equity (ROE) measures how well the business is doing in relation to the investment made by its shareholders. Profitability ratios are also compared with several companies from the same industry to know where you stand. 

Leverage ratios 

These ratios provide an indication of the long-term solvency of a company and extend of your use of long term debt to support your business.  

Debt-to-equity and debt-to-asset ratios are used to see how your assets are financed. It can be financed from creditors or own investment. 

The ratios mentioned above will help you determine your financial position. Closely examine other factors and data to fully understand your business performance.  

What role does your website play in your Business Growth?

What role does your website play in your Business Growth?

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Long gone are the days when your website acted as an online brochure. Nowadays, websites play a vital role in expanding your business. Websites can be very complex or simple but they help in carrying out many sales and marketing strategies. There are innumerable benefits that a website provides to your business.

Given below are some of them:

Marketing

Having a website is the basic requirement for online marketing. Your website should house all your great content and offers. It should provide all the needed information regarding your brand and products.

When using social media marketing or email marketing, the links provided should all lead to your website. This is where you engage and attract new audience. Optimizing your site will also increase your chance of gaining new customers.

Sales

Improving sales will benefit the business greatly. Websites are an efficient way to reach more consumers. It increases your sales opportunities. Having a website will also increase your availability.

Consumers can have access to your products and services around the clock. You will have a global reach. Customers can get the information they require from the website regarding the benefits of the product. This will help them in their decision making.

Credibility

In today’s digital space, a business without a website might seem less credible. Consumers need to see what your brand stands for. By being open to your customers, you can easily build trust. Use your website to establish authority and credibility through the content you create.

Be educational, informative and engaging. Ensure that you stand apart from your competition. Through your customized content you can show consumers what sets you apart from other companies.

Accessibility

Website is the best way to reach and engage with your target customers online. It will be available 24/7. There will be sales happening around the clock. Customers can learn about your brand and products any time they want. They can quickly and easily browse through your products.

Your website acts as a digital sales person. You need not be physically present to ensure that a sale takes place.

First Impression

Your website will be your customer’s first impression. Clients usually research about the company before buying the product.  Make sure that your site is user-friendly and easy to navigate. It should have great content and attractive designs and graphics. Get help from web design agencies to create a professional looking website.

A website can be created for various reasons. It can be used to launch a new product, build awareness of a product or even help support a marketing strategy. Regardless of its various uses, a website ultimately plays a vital role in the success of a business.

Mistakes to avoid when taking a Business Loan

Mistakes to avoid when taking a Business Loan

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Taking a loan is one of the quickest ways to propel your business forward. But make sure that you look into a few things before applying for a loan.  

Given below are eight common mistakes that entrepreneurs must avoid when taking a loan: 

1. Not looking into the credit score 

One of the important factors that determine the approval of your loan is your credit score. Knowing your credit rating will show your where you stand. Get your credit score from several credit bureaus. 

2. Not having a business plan 

A concrete business plan is important to show the lender your future business goals. Specifically how you plan on achieving these goals. A plan helps convince the lender to invest in your business. A well written business plan will have information about past performance, competitive advantages and proposed project. When starting a new business, a detailed plan will determine the approval of the loan.  

3. Not providing adequate collateral 

Providing collateral is important should there be a default in payment. Collateral acts as the lender’s insurance policy. Use your property and assets as collateral and it will increase your chances of getting a loan. 

4. Not explaining what the loan is for 

When applying for a loan make sure that you explain what exactly the money will be used for. Lender will need to know how the money will be put to use and how it fulfils your wants and needs. 

5. Not prepared with financial documents 

You should always apply for a loan with the proper financial documentation. Apart from your credit score lenders look into your cash flow statement, six months of bank statements, tax returns, the most recent balance sheet and profit & loss statements. Therefore, always maintain a record of your financial statements and documents. Make sure it is up-to-date.  

6. Only focusing on the interest rate 

Interest rates keep fluctuating. Make sure you lock in on a rate you are comfortable with instead of waiting for the rate to change. Focus on other aspects of the loan like the term, lender’s flexibility on repayment and the amount needed for collateral.  

7. Not reading the contract 

Do not hastily sign any contract. Before you put your sign over the dotted lines make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions of the transaction. Once you sign there is not going back. Therefore, clarify any queries and do not assume anything. 

8. Depending on one lender 

Being fully dependent on one financial institution can make your business vulnerable. Instead focus on meeting other lenders and consider other financing options before you make a decision.