Why is content marketing so effective in business growth?

Content marketing is the art of influencing highly targeted leads to take the desired action. It helps businesses because it converts their leads to clients.

Therefore, it is designated to be an important aspect of marketing strategy.

It differs from other marketing concepts, namely direct response and brand marketing as it is used to stimulate interest in a product or service by creating helpful, informative content rather than promoting a brand.

It gives the organization liberty to explore and decide different forms of representation of the information. To mention a few: infographics, videos, images, social media posts, blogs and more.

Why is content marketing so effective?

Three important reasons are:

  1. It tells a story

In reference to a famous quote, “In content marketing, telling is selling”

the focus is given to answering the target audience’s questions through demonstrating the product/service provided by the organization.

  1. Builds expert reputation

Through content marketing, when one receives positive responses – they gain the trust of the audience thus influencing business growth.

Gradually, they are portrayed to be experts in the field or specialty.

Hence, one becomes a valuable resource and attracts to-be clients.

  1. Creates engagement

Overtime, relevant information you provide interests your audience and they engage with you.

During instances where the audience,

  • Responds to a question you posed on social media platforms
  • Follows and constantly reviews your page
  • Replies to your blog post
  • Replies to a promotional email

You interpret the audience made the decision to reach out to you and the probability of their interest in your product/service is high.

This gives you the opportunity to deepen your relationship with them and ultimately lead to a sale.

Thus, opting for content marketing as a marketing strategy will help in the business growth.

How strong is your proposal process?

 

How strong is your proposal process?

  1. A robust process answers the most important questions in a proposal lifecycle, starting from the readiness to bid followed by the steps that need to follow. Of this, the readiness to bid ensures that you are well prepared and answers a specific set of questions.Who should do what?

It is essential to frame responsibilities of each individual who is involved in these processes. Clarity will save us time and resources.

  1. How will expectations be set?

It is important to clarify a set of expectations before planning these processes. An advantage of answering this question: unnecessary hindrance will be avoided.

  1. What guidance should people get in performing tasks? 

We are aware that it is insufficient to just assign tasks. One must prove to be capable of fulfilling it. If guidance is provided when required and demanded, one improves and provides better results.

  1. How do you measure and track progress?

This question is important as it reflects your position. Thus, implementing and maintaining tracking and feedback systems will keep you in line and aware of your deadlines.

  1. How do you estimate and track resources?

It is essential to build a tracking system for resources and an approach to estimate their need in the process. Wrong estimations leading to insufficient resources will result in proposal failure.

  1. What are the deliverables and how should they be prepared?

A proposal process requires deliverables like planning documents, review comments, forms, templates, and checklists. One must have a predefined set of deliverables.

  1. Are non-business requirements being met?

Some of them include food, lodging, recognition, feedback, and information.

  1. How do you validate that things were done correctly?

It is essential to build a system for validation in your process. This ensures work is checked and done correctly.

  1. How do you know if you’ve created the right proposal?

One must define what a right proposal is, and work towards achieving it.  You must utilize the measure and validation systems for further improving your proposal processes.

How strong is your proposal process?

  1. : A robust process answers the most important questions in a proposal lifecycle, starting from the readiness to bid followed by the steps that need to follow. Of this, the readiness to bid ensures that you are well prepared and answers a specific set of questions.Who should do what?

It is essential to frame responsibilities of each individual who is involved in these processes. Clarity will save us time and resources.

  1. How will expectations be set?

It is important to clarify a set of expectations before planning these processes. An advantage of answering this question: unnecessary hindrance will be avoided.

  1. What guidance should people get in performing tasks? 

We are aware that it is insufficient to just assign tasks. One must prove to be capable of fulfilling it. If guidance is provided when required and demanded, one improves and provides better results.

  1. How do you measure and track progress?

This question is important as it reflects your position. Thus, implementing and maintaining tracking and feedback systems will keep you in line and aware of your deadlines.

  1. How do you estimate and track resources?

It is essential to build a tracking system for resources and an approach to estimate their need in the process. Wrong estimations leading to insufficient resources will result in proposal failure.

  1. What are the deliverables and how should they be prepared?

A proposal process requires deliverables like planning documents, review comments, forms, templates, and checklists. One must have a predefined set of deliverables.

  1. Are non-business requirements being met?

Some of them include food, lodging, recognition, feedback, and information.

  1. How do you validate that things were done correctly?

It is essential to build a system for validation in your process. This ensures work is checked and done correctly.

  1. How do you know if you’ve created the right proposal?

 

One must define what a right proposal is, and work towards achieving it.  You must utilize the measure and validation systems for further improving your proposal processes.

 

 

 

Key factor in customer buying

While there are several factors that influence customer buying, research shows that “Sales Experience” is critical to get customers on the right side of your fence!

The sales field however has become more erratic and peppered with multiple influences and options, such as digitisation, which makes realising the value of rep experience become a lot harder. Steering decision makers through the complexities means sellers are required to express a deep subject understanding and possess the ability to quickly customise to each buyer.

Research has it that those who were quick to adapt to the needs of their teams and treated their sales teams like customers were organisations with the best growth.

With top sales leaders having a customer lens on their sales team, there are three important ways in which these leaders excel.

  1. They are methodical in concentrating on the intrinsics that truly matter.

Strong sales organisations require a mix of characteristics, which can differ depending on the situation. Sale leaders need to classify what attributes best align with the top sale performances. For example, an insurance company found individuals who were inherently more assertive and good at turning objections into opportunities. Contrastingly, a telecom company strongest performing reps were those capable at debating business issues, navigating internal resources and prioritising leads.

  1. They identify the skills that matter and tailor their training accordingly.

Strong sales organisations customise the trainings to different sales roles and spend substantial time on development. Also, they are highly likely to spend more on technology and support for various sales-team members, leading to stronger abilities in all key skills.

  1. They make it easy for their people

The most effective businesses appreciate that lumbering customers with painful sales processes is the easiest way to lose them. Alternatively, they look to have a process with minimal disruptions and steps to get past in order to have the smoothest and easiest experience for their customer. In a similar fashion, the best sale leaders try to make things seamless for their reps, allowing them to sell more.

In summary, organisations that respect and value their sales force and ensure their environment is conducive and hassle free experience a significant increase in sales performance.

Why is sales management important?

Sales management can get tough at times, However, it is important for two reasons:

  1. For appraising the performance of the organization
  2. To meet the increasing competition

Some clients  take advantage of a sales conversation – free advice, leverage for a better deal elsewhere and demand concessions.

Result?….

They put you off, never arrive at a decision, beat around the bush, dance around issues, avoid confrontation etc.

With experience, you will develop the ability to identify the difference between a client who’s being straight and the one who’s not.

Most sales personnel will just make coffee conversations about the “time-waster” clients, but choose not to take action.

While it might be an interesting story, if you want to improve your sales tactics, you must do something. A good start will be to be forthright and ask the client directly, without being rude, of course! If a client is not convinced or is avoiding you, ask them if they are stuck or the reason which holds them back. More often than not, the client will appreciate the straight forward approach and open up with the real issue.

It is important to build a relationship with the client -one that can be trusted.

What you can do to maintain a good relationship with your clients?

  • Every time you meet your client make sure you,
  1. Do your homework
  2. Address the right problem
  3. Avoid competition criticism
  4. Don’t rush, invest time and give them time to form an opinion
  • Be confident and most importantly – HONEST

Remember, you cannot build a good relationship without honesty.

  • Base the relationship on serving the client and his requirements

If they trust your organization, they will be loyal.

  • Set up a process in place for them to share feedback

Attend to the red flags of the existing clients.

These are attributes that you must value, because your client values them even though they don’t tell youOnce the client feels confident that they are dealing with a decent person with strong integrity, the deal is more than half done and you have won yourself a client!

 

When Business Development and Marketing are in sync

Business development and marketing are two distinct entities that go hand-in-hand. Both have a common goal: BUSINESS GROWTH.

When synchronized, an organization sees an increase in visibility, growth, profitability, expansion and more.

For this to occur, each team must collaborate to understand & support one another.

How different are they from each other?

  • Business Development – Responsible for forming partnerships, strategic relationships, and other professional contacts in target markets in order to bring in new clients.
  • Marketing – Responsible for understanding the needs and wants of the target market and developing a strategic plan to establish the organization’s overall benefits & capabilities and for communicating these out to the target audience.

Here, both address the same issue – how to engage prospective and current clients, but they have different reasons and adapt means to do so.

A contrast between the two teams,

Business Development Marketing
Business development team requests the marketing team for more and better qualified leads

They inform the marketing team about the industry trends and client pain points as they are involved in daily interactions with the clients

Marketing team requests the business development team to improve the way they nurture and close leads

They create content and collateral that will resonate with clients and prospects, which generates interest in the business

 

 When are they in sync?

There are opportunities for collaboration that align with client-focused priorities, to name a few:

  1. Strategy development

Both teams collaborate to determine the best strategy for communicating the organization’s mission, following up with leads, and measuring the results of both teams’ efforts.

  1. Content development

The marketing team creates educational content like blog posts, articles and webinars on topics which the business development team believes will resonate with the client.

  1. Campaign development

The  role of the marketing team role is to create, promote campaigns & events, while that of the business development team is to interact and follow up with the client.

  1. Speaking engagements

Both teams collaborate to speak at industry events and conferences. Also, they are likely to meet prospective and current clients at such events whom they can follow up with afterwards.

Their collaboration builds momentum and fuels the growth of the business.

Get your client value, what you value!

Sales management can get tough at times, to pursue that client to buy your business might be the most difficult task for you. But one needs to understand that people get skeptical more often than not. This happens as there is lack of trust and honesty.

The client often intrinsically takes advantage of a sales conversation. Free advice, leverage for a better deal elsewhere, and demands concessions.

Post which they can put you off, never conclude with a decision, beat around the bush, dance around issues, avoid confrontation etc.

Hence, over time you can get cynical. You will develop the ability to identify the difference between a client who’s being straight and the one who’s not.

A simple approach when adopted can get you better results is to build a relationship with the client. That one that can be trusted.

Make the client value what you value – the relationship.

To start with, be confident and most importantly – HONEST. Remember, you cannot build a good relationship without honesty.

If a client is not convinced or is avoiding you, go ahead and ask them if they are stuck or the reason which holds them back. There is a good chance they might uncover and trust you to give them a suggestion.

Conversations help build relationships!

And this is what we ultimately strive to achieve. Once they realize that you value the relationship, they positively reciprocate to you.

Using this approach, you’re likely to earn their respect and gain their trust.     These are attributes that you value, what your client values, even though they don’t show it.

So be honest. Be genuine.

Now you’re on your way to building a relationship that can reap positive results in a sale.

No relationship. No sale.