Beware of Four Marketing and Sales Investment Loopholes

Beware of Four Marketing and Sales Investment Loopholes

Marketing and sales investment loopholes that companies must be aware of.

With work from home being our new reality, many businesses are struggling to get return on their marketing and sales investment. Our employees are working from home, trade shows and networking functions are either canceled or went virtual…So how do we make sure that our money is well spent?

Here are a few suggestions to consider:

1.Rethink marketing and sales investment in technology

We are all using CRMs, right? Do you want to know the dirtiest secret about CRMs? They take your staff valuable time in managing and reporting marketing data, which has no value to your business!

Sales and marketing people often drag along leads that are not active or will never produce anything. Why do we do it? We need to show our management that the RESULTS ARE COMING.

To avoid this endless cycle, do invest in CRM that is simple enough for you to read the results in real time. Many of the most marketed CRMs on the market are simply not user friendly, but sold for $$$ to you because of many functions and features that you do not need.

Do a simple test: go to your CRM and see how many calls, conversations, or updates was done by your team TODAY. Cannot see it? Ditch that CRM investment-you are wasting your money!

2. Compare: where the money goes, and where do your leads come from? Or is it all same old forever?

This is an especially important question. Make a list of all the leads you generated during the last 6 months and see where they are coming from:

Lead Source%$$ invested
Website and SEO  
LinkedIn  
Online Ads  
Email marketing  
Referrals  
Social Media  
Cold Calling  
Total inbound:  
Total outbound:  

You have the idea: the money shall be directed to the most ROI effective channels. Have not tried some of the channels yet-get a trial run. You may be surprised how effective they are for you.

3.Sales Performance Tricks: your sales closing numbers are another eye opener on how your hard-earned money was wasted.

LeadsDate Generated$$ closed
   
   

 

Sales Professionals are “tough monkeys” (joke). We are always in demand and first to go if ANYTHING goes wrong. If we cannot sell-we show ACTIVITY.  If your sales team is doing this – find the real reason why they are not closing. Most probably it is not their fault – there is something wrong with your company’s business, market and offering.

4.Keep my investments inhouse or outsource dilemma: Consider both.

Outsourced agencies are offering cutting edge strategies, ideas, and technologies. Your salespeople know your business and your customers on a personal level. BUT…(read below carefully)

There are many ways to optimize on how you can direct your sales and marketing money, staff, and resources. I believe that the mixed solution is the best, but there must be great rapport and cooperation between parties. Often salespeople see outsourced consultants and marketers as a threat. If it is so in your company – raise the red flag! This may be a sign of complacency, laziness, or withdrawal. The healthy sales team will receive this help with open arms. The unhealthy one will reject and sabotage it.

In conclusion:

Analyzing your ROIs and KPIs may be hard during our “unusual times”. You can use and hear many excuses such as “decisions are not made fast” and ” because of COVID”, etc. But can you keep going like this and stay in business?

Is this the time to change strategy or downsize? How long has it been since you revisited and re-evaluated your sales methods, proposals, offers, target markets, etc.? I personally believe in “Profit First” concept. Sometimes downsizing, rethinking and renewing is better that running loops and wasting resources.

Are you Doing Telemarketing During Covid-19?  5 Pros for Going Digital

Are you Doing Telemarketing During Covid-19? 5 Pros for Going Digital

When it comes to sales, marketing and telemarketing during Covid-19, the question is: shall we stop it, or shall we adopt and possibly succeed?  In my opinion this is the time to go digital, to work from home and to promote your brand among your prospects and customers.

It looks like we are all in this together, and it will be a while till we get back to normal, whatever “normal” it is going to be.  According to officials, COVID-19 quarantine may last weeks, or even months, and it will probably be back in the fall, if the vaccine is not developed. So, this is a new reality and we need to adopt to it.  On a good side, the times of change also presents opportunities to renew, rebuild, re-learn and reconsider what we do in our business and every day lives.

Many of us, small business owners, started our businesses in 1980s to early 2000s. We built them based on hard-core traditional marketing methods such as telemarketing, business networking, door knocking –  you get the idea. All of us worked hard, and got customers the old way and we succeeded. Why do we need to change what worked for us for so many years? Many of us are still skeptical of the new modern marketing methods.  Some tried it and failed, others found it challenging and time consuming to learn, and it can be hard to trust another marketing agency, which promises to make it all work.

As a result of these postponements and hesitations, hundreds of thousands marketing dollars are wasted without positive ROI’s.

In this article, I invite you to reconsider your telemarketing during Covid-19  strategies in favor of digital prospecting via LinkedIn, Google and other social media channels.

Why to reconsider doing Telemarketing During Covid-19 Pandemics? See if I can persuade you here:

We do Telemarketing because our Customers are Not Present on Social Media Networks…because they are too small, too busy, not very educated, not technology oriented, etc.”

Surprisingly, this is a very common belief among late baby boomer’s generation and even early millennials. My counterparts were amazed when I shared my screen viz Zoom with them and presented the possibility of the Sales Navigator searches. One of my prospects was shocked when I presented them with a search showing over 18000 business owners in Ontario alone with 1-50 employees.

Marketing during Covid-19 presents an opportunity to tap into this huge pool of LinkedIn users, who now have more time on their hand, working from home and as a result are more active on their Social Media networks.

 

“Telemarketing is the only way to reach people – Our customers are not active on LinkedIn” 

  • According to statistics 40% of LinkedIn users use it regularly: https://kinsta.com/blog/linkedin-statistics/
  • People who are not active will not accept your invite. And it is OK! It does not take long to invite other prospects, who are just like them and are active on the platform.
  • You may choose to connect only with Premium profiles users. These type of users usually pay LinkedIn, so they are active on the platform for sure!

 

Money talks: LinkedIn Prospecting vs Telemarketing cost benefit scenario.

In addition to the benefits above, it has been calculated to be at least 10 times cheaper to deliver your message via LinkedIn rather than via Telemarketing. Here is the example based on the real numbers:

LinkedInTelemarketing
Target Market18000 (Business Owners Ontario) 

 

Cost to Reach$1000 per month$50 per hour
Timing12 months12 months720 hours (25 calls/conversations per hour)
BudgetYearly/monthly$12000/ year or $1000 per month/profile$36000 ($3000 per month=60 hours)
Connections/Calls per month averageROI/month1500 invites=500 connections60*25=1500 calls/ 150 conversations (10% call/convers rate)
EngagementReply/further interest/appointment30% Avg Reply rate
10% further interest = 15 monthly /future appointments
150 conversation-2% appts = 3-5 appointments (optimistically)
Cost per Appointment$1000/15=$65$600-$1000

 

“I get a lot of spam from my LinkedIn connections, nothing good can come out of this”

Yes, you may have spam if you are not connecting with the right people. Here are the reasons why you may have spam and how to fix it when marketing during COVID-19:

  • You are accepting connections without looking at the Invitees profiles – they will spam you with the message not relevant to your business.
  • Your Team uses LinkedIn Bots – Bots will connect you with wrong people.
  • You do not regularly clean up and audit your connections.

“I tried it, but I did not get any results.”

According to statistics 43% of marketers say that they acquired at least one customer out of LinkedIn.

To achieve results, you need to have the following:

  • Know your customers: Buyers Persona
  • Sales Navigator Search – Pay for it and use the filters to narrow down your search.
  • Do NOT Sell like a company. Be personal – connect first!
  • Pay attention to your communications be friendly and professional.
  • Keep conversation going and follow up, follow up, follow up!

Conclusion

In conclusion, I strongly believe that money spent on telemarketing during Covid-19 crisis shall be redirected towards digital prospecting, marketing and advertising. Digital prospecting on LinkedIn is unmatched when in comes to startinga connection and communications with our prospects and customers.

So, stay connected and stay healthy!

Ekaterina Spooner

Lead Generation in 2020: Where are we going and what to do to survive and thrive?

Lead Generation in 2020: Where are we going and what to do to survive and thrive?

What is in Store for Small Business Lead Generation in 2020?

Happy New Year! After a Holiday hangover we are all back to business: paying credit cards, completing year ends and filing taxes. So, what Lead Generation in 2020 has in store for all of us?

I don’t know about you, my fellow business owner, but I feel like we are going into another recession. The main indication of this to me is not what I hear on TV and radio, but the fact that my prospects and customers are cutting their spending on marketing and sales by almost 50%.

So, what do we do to thrive and survive in the challenging 2020 business landscape in Canada? Here are the marketing trends to watch, observe and follow.

1.B2B Lead Generation 2020 Goes Digital:

If you have not heard about LinkedIn Prospecting yet, I strongly suggest you get on it! Traditional lead generation such as email and telemarketing alone does not produce the enough engagement anymore. LinkedIn is number one communication tool in B2B today because it allows large coverage, high deliverability and great engagement, which surpasses any other marketing channels. To compare: telemarketing engagement is less than 5%, email less than 1%, while LinkedIn messaging engagement is over 40%.

2.Many Touches to Gain Trust:

Is still good old: “One touch is not enough”. One call is not enough, one email campaign is not enough, one LinkedIn text message is not enough. It takes on average 7 messages to get a reply from a qualified prospect. So carefully construct, fill and monitor your sales funnel with scheduled follow ups.

3.Take it Offline and Make it Personal:

If LinkedIn is the best channel to start a conversation, it is important to take it offline at the earliest opportunity. Follow up with telemarketing calls, send them a personalized e-mail, book coffee meetings, invite your prospects to your lunch and learns. Add your voice, face and personality to your connections. Chat, laugh, joke, communicate and relate. If you market is outside of your geographic area, use video conferencing and webinar technology to meet your prospects.

4. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up!

With digital tools under our fingertips it is way easier to get interest and attention, but with slow economy and cash flow challenges many sales professionals and business owners experience delays in closing on their proposals and contracts. It may be tiring and frustrating, but don’t give up! Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up!

5. Do Not Abandon Branding:

Even you are a tiny, small consulting business you still can afford branding! It is not only for big guys anymore. With digital tools under your fingertips you can look big, even while being very small. It starts with your website – make it user friendly! Make it easy for your visitors to navigate and read, whichever gadget they prefer to use. Put great information with easy to follow format, make sure there is call for action and other engagements tools such as forms and chats. Make it interesting! Brag, educate, interact and lead visitors to your contact us forms.

Make sure that your site has a blog and connects to social media channels.

Conclusion:

I hope this is helpful for you my fellow business owner. If you need a word of advice, or marketing help book your Free Consultation with one of our consultants. We would love to hear from you.

Happy 2020 again!

Ekaterina Spooner

President

Prospect Solutions Inc.

Why Social Networks’ Health is Important For Your Business?

Why Social Networks’ Health is Important For Your Business?

Why Social Networks’ Management is important for your business?

Being an agency owner, I often come across the issue of my clients’ Social Networks’ health. Many of our clients had previously accepted connections requests on LinkedIn, friendships requests on Facebook and followers on Instagram who are neither qualified or relevant to their business.

Why is this an issue?

I strongly believe that the purpose of Social Networks management is to communicate with your prospects and customers effectively. Your networks are your most valuable business asset because it allows your messages to be delivered to the right audience, reduces your e-mail inbox spam and drives most valuable and qualified web traffic to your website.

Social Networks Management: Delivering your messages to your prospects and customers:

Social networks audiences are presenting unique opportunities for delivering your messages, information and offers to your prospects and customers. Comparing to any other marketing communication channels, correct Social Networks management presents the highest opportunity for engagement: up to 60% engagement, compared to e-mail (less than 1 %) and telemarketing (less than 5%).

And the best of all, these messages are delivered to your qualified recipients for free! Compare this to the cost of web marketing, Search Engine Optimization or advertising.

In addition, your social networks contacts are highly monetizable business assets. Yes! If you decide to sell your business, these contacts and the quality of your engagement with them will be measured in a high dollar value.

Social Networks Management reduces spam across all channels:

We are all irritated from the amount of spam coming off internet in a form of e-mail, voicemail and unwanted telemarketing. It makes our mailboxes clattered, make us miss valuable information, waking us up in a middle of the night and infuriate us by interrupting our meetings.

Why do we get so much spam? Look at the qualities of your networks! Did you know that your first LinkedIn connections have access to your contact information, which can be easily downloaded to Excel and imported to any CRM, dialer or other communication software?

So, if you would like to reduce spam-clean up your networks first.

Social Networks promote your website with Search Engines:

In is no secret that Search Engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo are monitoring and constantly accessing your website traffic and its behaviour patterns on your website. If majority of your visitors are relevant to your business keywords and their time on your site is higher than your competition, Search Engines will promote you to the top of their pages. This mean a lot of new business for you!  Do you know that #1 position in Google sites draw almost 85% of all traffic, #2 gets about 10%, and #3 all the rest? If you are lower than this – you pretty much get nothing at all. This is why companies invest thousands of dollars to their websites and SEO.

Your social networks’ referrals are the most valuable traffic, which also has the highest conversion rates. In addition, the ability of your website to generate sales leads is one of the most valuable business assets. If your site is on top of the search engines for your business keywords, you can sell it alone for tens of thousands of dollars.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, do not overlook your regular social networks management: clean up, engage, re-engage, segment and qualify your contacts, friends and followers.   Remember, behind each of social media profile is a human being, a business professional, a potential customer, a source of referrals and new friendships for you. Clean up and segment your networks, introduce and re-introduce yourself multiple times, communicate informally, tell them about your business and ask questions. Please do not forget to measure and evaluate your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), to ensure that you are on the right track.

At Prospect Solutions, we help our customers with social networks management and lead generation. We manage our clients’ networks, run lead generation campaigns and report KPI’s. Can’t afford agency rates? No problem-we have comprehensive training and marketing temps’ programs.

The New Way of Prospecting

The New Way of Prospecting

How To Generate Leads in 2019?

Many of my fellow business owners are still confused how to prospect and generate leads in 2019. Some rely on good old telemarketing, some invest their money in SEO, go to business networking events, or do door to door prospecting.  Unfortunately, the silver bullet “one makes it all” in lead generation has not been invented yet. Otherwise everyone would be rich and the time of leisure and prosperity would come on all of the entrepreneurial crowd. It is not here yet.

In this article I would like to share a secret with you. You will not learn magic, but sure enough understand how to achieve the best ROI, as well as how to build your business by leveraging and combining digital and traditional lead generation techniques.

Digital and Traditional Lead Generation Techniques

Before we begin, I would like to give you a bit of history. I own Prospect Solutions for 16 years. We started as a boutique telemarketing firm in 2003, and ever since our livelihoods depended on how effective we are at providing ROI for our clients’ marketing dollars. This is a steep and challenging  battle that it is hard to win… But the good news is that we learned a lot, and unlike our competitors we are still in business, which means that we learned to do something right.

In 2003 marketers’ life was different. It was enough to send 100 faxes to gather 20 people for a breakfast seminar or make a quick call to get a sales appointment. Business owners were getting information from salespeople and picked up their phones all the time. The seller had way more power over the sales process and the buyer was left “to beware”. For better or worse, those days are long gone. Fax campaign in business are long gone. Telemarketers are speaking  mostly through answering machines and tecom systems, because now most of the decision makers do not pick up their phones unless they recognize the number.

As a result of technology innovation telemarketing campaigns have become ineffective and often counterproductive to their goals. Buyers have more power over the sales process and use internet for research and information. Business networking events are full of non-qualified people, whose main goal is to sell their products and services to fellow attendees. They are time consuming, ineffective and costly, and therefore not sustainable to achieve your business development goals. Door to door  marketing falls into “survival of the fittest” marketing category. It requires a lot of time, patience and stamina, which makes it almost impossible to find a quailed marketing representative to do it.

So how do we generate leads in 2019?

The answer is by eliminating a marketer from the process whatsoever. Business people want to speak with fellow professionals, but not with marketers. Period. They do not want to be prospected, phoned and subjected to pressure appointment booking conversation with someone who does not even know what they are talking about and whose sole goal is to create an appointment. This often comes out as meaningless for both parties.

Good marketers learned how to use digital technology and traditional communication channels together to achieve results for their employers and clients. This is called Integrated Marketing and Lead Generation, or Multi-Channeled marketing.

At Prospect Solutions we are combining telemarketing, business networking on LinkedIn and door-to-door representation into one customized marketing campaign, designed to generate the best results for each individual client.

Would you like to know how this may work for your company?
Book a free consultation with one of our senior consultants today!