Patience and the need to nurture sales

Do you think there is a need to nurture sales? If not, you may be sabotaging your own revenue opportunities.

It’s important to recognize there’s a need to nurture.

Many startups are driven  by ‘revenue panic’ while other, more established businesses may be driven by the demand for quarterly revenue increases  – in either case they need to practice nurturing — and to not simply walk away from prospects that aren’t buying immediately.

Time versus Nurturing

In many cases sales may deem certain prospects unsuitable because they aren’t going to buy in the next quarter. This short-term view, driven by panic for cashflow or relentless revenue goals, needs to shift to a solid nurturing approach, with opportunities and prospects being added to a long-term nurturing process which is reviewed, measured and a part of the marketing plan.

Trust goes hand-in-hand with Nurturing

The importance of trust is well documented in the transactional sales cycle. Numerous studies over many years draw attention to it’s importance in winning more opportunities, prospects and ultimately new customers. But how do you build trust?

By relationship, little by little, via nurturing. Relationship building is good for everyone – good for both seller and buyer. We have all heard anecdotes of the customers that follow a good sales person elsewhere? That is the power of relationship – and the importance of nurturing it within the sales cycle.

As well as dissolving uncertainty and risk for the prospect, it ensures that you, the seller, are really listening. Whether it is the messaging you create, the communications you send or the calls you make; take the time to listen, nurture, build relationship.

How patient do you think you are with opportunities to nurture sales and to help your prospects at all stages of the sales cycle?

Want to ramp up your sales and shift your business results?  Sign up now for our 60-Day Sales Challenge.

Sales struggles: Are you holding onto sales or refusing to sell?

 

Why don’t you spend more time selling?

Sales. It’s the one activity that any entrepreneur can invest time in to yield consistently generated business results, connect you with the people you want to serve, grow your company, reduce business pressure and personal stress, lead you to what you WANT from life and make you happy.

It’s something that every entrepreneur knows their business needs, but it’s also commonly avoided.

Many business owners and entrepreneurs shy away from sales. They fill up their time with so many activities, and after a long and busy day they may feel exhausted – but they haven’t worked on the main direct revenue-generating, business-building activity – by which I mean sales. 

Do any of these sales-avoidance tactics sound familiar to you?

1)   I have a lot to do – social media, writing blogs, working on my website. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything

2)   I’m going to focus on sales more tomorrow / next week / next month / once the new website is up and running

3)   Okay, I’ll admit it- I hate people saying “no” to me so I don’t like to ask in the first place

4)   Salespeople are pushy, so I’m not comfortable doing that

5)   I don’t know what to sell

 6)   I don’t know how to sell

 7)   I don’t need to pick up a phone, that’s not how my business sells – I’m depending on inbound marketing

 8)  I’ve never liked sales, it’s not what I do as a founder or business owner (frequently accompanied with: “When my business grows, I’ll just employ a sales person and they can do it all.”)

  9)  I’m going to use social media to sell, so I don’t need to sell by picking up a phone or asking people if they want to buy from me

  10)  If I cut prices adequately enough, then someone will buy from me (even if they aren’t my ‘ideal client’).

Taking a long and thorough look at your perspective on sales can be the first step in making improvement – perhaps one step at a time – toward a more robust and fruitful business.

Want to prioritize sales in your business?  Then it could be time to look at what YOU want and how you spend your time.  If you want to clarify your goals and shift your results, then why not join us for our three-month personal transformation program, Butterflies and Frogs.

 

Content, Vision and Sales

‘Content is king’ is a used (and frequently abused) statement in marketing circles. (To me it’s also got an obvious element to it – like saying: ‘talking is about what you say.’)

We can agree – whether you’re a marContent, Vision and Salesketer, in business development, a business owner or a sales person – that content is important. I think we’re all on board with that.

But it’s important that content is two things: (1) connected to your vision (2) connects to your sales.

Vision is frequently not as clear as it should be (I’m sharing my thoughts on vision and sales in this webinar on May 5), in which case the company lacks direction which means that even the best-written content can feel purposeless.  And many people have a poor perception of sales, so worry about overtly-linking content to sales, so we skirt around this because we don’t want to come across as ‘salesy.’

It doesn’t matter what your business does, whether you make cupcakes, manufacture electronics, provide security for mission-critical software, or created an app that cooks dinner; you need to share messages that relate to your vision – to your WHY your business exists and its purpose.

And as well as connecting and resonating with your prospects, you also want to help them identify the best path to a solution – that’s where the sales element comes in. And it’s important that you are comfortable with this, and able to help your prospects – to assume the role of assistant buyer.

Stuck on how to articulate your vision and link it to your sales? Then we can help you – sign up for a free 30-minute strategy call with us to get your vision and sales aligned (so you can share it in your content).

Are You Working to a Written Marketing Plan?

technology marketing plan successDo you have a written marketing plan?

To some people this may sound like a ludicrous question, but having worked with more than 300 vendors (of all stages and sizes) over the past 18 years, I still find myself surprised by the number of vendors that don’t have an explicit and written marketing plan.

When I say ‘plan’ I mean something written, that has been discussed and is agreed upon by relevant stakeholders.

I see plenty of cases where there is no written marketing plan – and instead, marketing is done on a whim, a hope, possibly a prayer.

So if you don’t have a written marketing plan in place, my advice is to start on one – now

Yes, creating a marketing plan can take time (though it doesn’t need to be – in fact shouldn’t be – ‘War and Peace’). And while having a plan in place is a great starting point, the plan then needs to be executed – campaigns  are run based on the plan, launches are mapped out, metrics are in place, it’s measured and optimized.

Want some ideas on what you should (and shouldn’t) include in your marketing plan?  Sign up for a free 30-minute strategy session to discuss your marketing and sales.

Tribalist: List-building for technology companies

I recently met with the marketing team of a well-established company to talk about content marketing and list-building. I was surprised to hear that while they seemingly had a bazillion ideas for content, they didn’t have this mapped through to a solid and constantly evaluated list-building strategy.

It’s pointless creating content if it’s not part of a consistent list-building process to engage with your target audience. To me, list-building is a core and deliberate activity of any marketing department; a well-documented, carefully considered, highly useful and regularly reviewed strategy that analyzes the leads coming in — then sources and harnesses technologies to trial and split-test.

These are some of the common list-building mistakes we’ve seen and helped fix at technology companies. Are any familiar?

  • Little understanding of how to list-build, measure and analyze
  • Poorly defined market segments in your list
  • Not clear on target audiences, including specific pain points, specific behaviors for market segments
  • No focus on building relationships with the list
  • Information offered in content is about you – the vendor company
  • Prospects don’t read and think, ‘Ahh, that’s what’s in it for me’
  • Lists are not tagged, categorized or managed appropriately
  • Technology is not used optimally
  • There’s not enough concurrent list-building activities
  • Landing pages, lead boxes and squeeze pages are poorly implemented
  • There’s no ‘prospect path’ to nurture leads
  • Analytics are not used rigorously
  • List-building is seen as “the sticky end of the stick” (a direct quote from a VP of marketing) and not understood as a central and core activity which is crucial to the development and growth of the business.
Tribalist: List-buildingTribalist: List-building for technology companies
With these concepts in mind, we packaged up everything that we know about list-building in Tribalist, comprehensive list-building training for technology marketers.
This detailed program is composed of six information-laden modules accompanied with live calls, videos, checklists, cheat sheets, suggested resources and step-by-step guides. It’s specifically designed for technology marketers who are serious about considering, testing and adopting new ways to consistently list-build. Head over to www.tribalist.us to find out more and sign up to learn how to consistently and deliberately list-build.