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. 

Your Business Growth is Proportional to your Digital Advertising Cost

Your Business Growth is Proportional to your Digital Advertising Cost

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Modern means of communication and information acquisition has drastically changed marketing strategies. Though traditional social media marketing schemes are still working, it’s important to invest in paid digital advertising to expand your business.

How to start building a paid media plan:

Before you start making a concrete plan understand the following:

  • Your target customers
  • Customers’ buying process and decision making
  • Customers’ usage of social media
  • Your budget allocated for digital marketing
  • The message you are projecting

Develop a proper marketing and communication plan once you are sure about your goals.

Different platforms and their advantage  

Facebook

It is one of the best platforms to find and engage your target customers. Once you learn how to build your audiences based on demographics, geography and interests, you can easily attract new customers. Familiarize yourself with building campaigns and create a plan that works for you.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the best tool to attract decision makers. Paid marketing on LinkedIn also provides data that helps you see how your ads are working.

Search engine marketing

The biggest advantage of search engine marketing is that you can easily find people who are searching for your products or service. But this form of marketing has become increasingly complex and expensive. It requires some very advanced skills to be able to build, manage and optimize campaigns that get a solid return on your investment.

YouTube

YouTube advertisements are one of the best ways to attract attention to your brand and products. YouTube pre-roll ads should be short and attention grabbing. If they are long they should have a great story line which should engage the audience. YouTube ads are a great way gain new customers.

Digital Ad Networks

Networks such as AdRoll and DoubleClick place ads on websites where your target customers might be browsing. They place ads all over the internet. Companies must understand their goals and analyse how this form of digital marketing will influence their business.

Remarketing, Affiliate Marketing and Influencers

Remarketing is a very powerful tool that helps you gain more sales. Affiliate marketing is a technique where you offer up commissions to third parties for referral traffic to your website. Influencer marketing is more about product placement and using influencers to promote your product. Again, analyse your target audience and understand their social media usage before going for a product placement.

Remember to be unique and original to stand out. The message that your brand stands for must resonate with your audience. Developing the message your customers want to hear is a good investment. With proper planning and understanding you can develop a digital marketing strategy needed to stand out.

Strategies for Growth in a Sluggish Market

Strategies for Growth in a Sluggish Market

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It is extremely difficult to keep up in a changing economy. Business trends and markets are changing slowly. People are becoming more frugal and are changing their lifestyle and spending habits. How do you survive in such a market?

Given below are some strategies on how to thrive and grow even in a sluggish market:

Stand apart

When there is a diminishing customer base it is highly important to find ways through which you can distinguish yourself from your competitors. Make sure that you offer unique products and service. Consider your competition’s products and ensure that you are better than them. To stand apart from your competition make sure that your product is better, marketing is better and your customer service is the best that you can offer.

Marketing

Usually when things get tight most businessmen immediately reduce their marketing expenditure. This is a wrong move. The best way to survive in a bad economy is to invest more in marketing. The idea is to attract more customers. Spend more money on advertising and evaluate how you can improve your current marketing plan. This way you can attract more customers.

Introduce new products

Most businesses derive 80% of their profits from the sales of a main product. During hard times this dependency on a single product can make your business vulnerable. It is necessary to branch out and create stability. Here are some ways you can expand your business:

  • Entering a new market through a new product.
  • Offering a new product related to the old one and persuading customers to buy it.
  • Making a plan to build continuity revenue.
  • Taking on clients who are from a different market base.

Customer loyalty

During hard times it is easy to fall into quick fix schemes. Remember that these remedies are only temporary solutions. To stay strong in a market it’s important to have a strong customer base. Focus on building customer loyalty and trust. Offer the best possible customer services. Provide innovative and affordable solutions and products. Always keep your clients’ best interests in mind. This will greatly benefit the business in the long run.

Leverage

There are three primary forms of leverage available to entrepreneurs: automation, systems, and people. The key to success is to apply leverage on the well-established business processes. Consider how well you can utilize the available resources and how you will benefit from it. Leverage correctly applied can work miracles for almost any business. So determine how you can use leverage to get more results out of business processes that are already working well.

It might seem scary and hopeless surviving in a sluggish market. By applying these strategies any business can grow and proposer even in the most unsure market conditions. 

How to Tackle the Cash Flow Bottleneck?

How to Tackle the Cash Flow Bottleneck?

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Cash flow problems can eventually lead to the death of a business. Especially in a bad economy it can quickly descend into a bad condition.

Here are some ways to quickly to solve cash flow problems:

Identify and eliminate unnecessary expenses

Look through your recurring monthly expenses and identify those services which you no longer use. Monthly business tool subscription and software subscriptions can add up and increase the expenditure. Identify those subscriptions and services which are not being used anymore. Another way to reduce expenses is to replace expensive services with cheaper alternatives. With proper research you will be able to identify affordable services.

Collect on invoices faster

Collecting your payment is the fastest way to get quick cash. Offer incentives to customers who pay the full amount upfront or within a short period of time. The earlier you get paid, the better your cash flow will be. Another way to improve the situation is to pay your bills slower. By delaying the payment you will have more cash on hand. You can also pay using a credit card which will give you some more leeway before the final payment.

Outsource tasks that do not provide monetary gain

Focusing on activities that do not directly contribute to the revenue of your business will indirectly affect your cash flow problem. It is important to use your full energy and time on those tasks which will ultimately increase the company profit. Outsource the menial tasks to a reliable freelancer. Use a Virtual Assistant or the services of specialised companies to do the mundane and tedious tasks. Concentrate on doing things that maximize the monetary value of your skill set.

Always save

Once the cash starts to flow in its important to remember that changing economic conditions and business environment might drastically affect your business. Creating a reserve and saving some cash will help you in the needed hour. A good month of business does not ensure a smooth sail forever. Past performance is no guarantee of future earnings. Buying unnecessary products or investing in frivolous needs might radically affect your business in the future.

Keep track of the numbers

In both good and bad times it’s vital to keep track of the cash flow numbers. Learn to calculate Current Ratio and Days Receivables Outstanding. These ratios and metrics will help you predict when things are going to go downhill. It will act as a forewarning and even help you to prepare for such a situation.