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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
||18000 (Business Owners Ontario)
|Cost to Reach
||$1000 per month
||$50 per hour
||720 hours (25 calls/conversations per hour)
||$12000/ year or $1000 per month/profile
||$36000 ($3000 per month=60 hours)
|Connections/Calls per month average
||1500 invites=500 connections
||60*25=1500 calls/ 150 conversations (10% call/convers rate)
||30% Avg Reply rate
10% further interest = 15 monthly /future appointments
|150 conversation-2% appts = 3-5 appointments (optimistically)
|Cost per Appointment
“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!
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!
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.
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!
Prospect Solutions Inc.
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.
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.
SEO in 2019:
The importance of keywords, meta-data, and long-form content
Your website is one of your most important marketing pieces. It’s often the first place customers look to understand what you do, why you do it, and how you stand out from the competition. It’s important to create website content with your customers’ needs and questions at the forefront. You also want to write SEO content that will make it easy for your ideal customers to find your business. The rules of SEO are continually changing according to how we use and access information online. If you’re wondering what to do for SEO in 2019, well, keywords are still the best starting point. We break down what they are, and how to design your site to use them well. Remember, the ultimate goal of Search Engines is to provide searchers with the most relevant results. These tips are designed to help search engines do just that!
What do you want to be found for?
Whether you’re just creating your first business site or updating an existing one, a very important step is to sit down and think about SEO keywords before you begin. Taking time to understand exactly what you want to be found for can help you understand how to design and organize your website. If you’re not sure what your keywords are, a good place to start is taking a look at your competition – especially the competition that comes up in the top spots when you search. If your business is focused in a certain location, it’s often helpful to include the location in the keywords. Other keywords can center around specific services you offer that people might be searching for. Often, the more specific you can be, the less competition you’ll have on searches.
If you need help researching keywords, a good resource is typing something into google and scrolling down to the bottom of the page to see similar searches.
What is Meta-data and why is it important?
Every page on your site should have something called “metadata” included. Clear, well-written metadata that includes your keywords is extremely important for SEO. The metadata basically summarizes what your page is about for search engines, telling them which topics are the most important on the page. Metadata doesn’t appear on the page itself, but search engines read your meta-data in order to help provide the best results to searchers. The metadata on your site is split up into three key elements:
The meta title is the bolded first line that shows on google when someone finds your site. It also shows up on the top of your browser when you’re on the page and provides the default name for your page link when someone bookmarks it. Why is this important?
Because if you have a clear, well-written Meta-title that puts the most important keyword as early as possible in the sentence, it will help guide people to click on your site. Make sure your Meta-title is clear for the reader to get the most clicks.
If you don’t add a meta-description to your site, search engines will typically show a short snippet from your page content – whatever is the most relevant to a user’s search. But that snippet, grabbed mid-paragraph, or cut-off, might not be very helpful to people. When you write a clear, easy to understand meta-description, you’re helping potential customers decide whether your content is relevant to their needs, so you want to make this one count! You also want to consider, what kind of content will help your customer, but also lead them to click for more information, so give a hint on the kind of helpful information they’ll find when they click through to your site.
Adding meta keywords and/or key phrases tells google the key ideas that searchers will find on your web page. You want to identify keywords for every page of your site and list them in your meta keywords, separated with commas. Whatever keywords you specify, you’ll want to try to use them a minimum of 3 times on the page to make them count.
Using keywords on your web page.
Once you’ve identified your main keyword, and incorporated it into your meta-title and meta-data, you’ll want to make sure that you use it again, at least 3 times in your page content. It’s also a good idea to use it in Header tags, in bold, or in bulleted or numbered lists. All of these styles on your page have more importance than big blocks of text, so putting keywords in these sections will reinforce their importance to search engines.
You should also identify some secondary keywords or key-phrases. While you may not use all of your secondary keywords in your meta-data title and description, simply add them 3 times throughout a page.
The Value of Long-form content
While your general website might not always use long-form content, adding content that is around 2000 words long provides a lot of value for SEO in 2019. The reason for this is that search engines see long-form content as in-depth information that can answer searchers’ questions in one easy place. You can create long-form content on your blog, in help guides, and pdf downloadable resources. Creating long-form content is a great idea for your business, because it helps your clients, proves your expertise in your industry, and on top of that, gives your SEO a boost!
While there’s a lot more to the SEO in 2019, carefully considering and using keywords on your website, crafting good meta-data, and creating long-form content on your website will all help your SEO, and get more customers to your door.
If you need help with your SEO, we’re the experts! Learn more about Prospect Solutions’ SEO services.
What is Corporate Brand Marketing?
Unlike Personal Brand Marketing, Corporate Brand Marketing is a way to market your company and establish brand reach, recognition, and loyalty. While your company may be your baby, it is a separate entity from yourself, and has its own family, history, voice, and traditions. Your brand’s personality goes far beyond the established corporate name under which you do business, and what your brand means, and stands for, affects your customers, your industry and your employees.
Corporate Brand Marketing communicates your brand to the world via your company website, social media pages, email, telephone, video, photography, colors, copywriting, etc. All of these elements come together to create a consistent feeling and message about your business, what you offer, how you work with partners and clients, and why people should choose you over the competition.
Corporate Brand Marketing also uses social media channels to help connect with clients and deliver great brand experiences, but it takes a different approach to using those tools, and integrates them with other channels to establish your brand and reach customers:
Corporate Brand Marketing on LinkedIn:
Your business page on LinkedIn can be used for a few different things. It helps establish the HR side of your brand, connecting to employees and sharing more about your corporate and work culture to attract excellent potential new hires. It’s also a great advertising platform, especially if your business is B2B-focused, and your target markets are using these channels. You can help reach and connect to customers through posts, but if you want to extend your reach, you can also use LinkedIn’s paid advertising and job-posting options.
Corporate Brand Marketing on Facebook:
Your Business Page on Facebook is also a great place to advertise to potential clients through Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, and to share content from other platforms, like your blog, or website. You can use it to highlight current promotions, engage followers to sign up for newsletters, and much more. One of Facebook’s best features, however, is Messenger, which offers a direct chat option with clients. This means you can offer live conversation and customer support, and be available to customers on one of their most used platforms. You can also set up a chatbot in Messenger to help automate responses to specific keywords, making this communication process more seamless. It’s important to remember that your responsiveness as a brand is an important part of your brand personality, and building client trust and word-of-mouth. Facebook business pages also include options for online selling directly through Facebook. As social media platforms go, Facebook continues to be one of the most multi-featured, offering a variety of tools to support your business.
Corporate Brand Marketing on Twitter and Instagram:
Twitter and Instagram can also both be used for direct communication with clients, but they’re also great platforms to share branded content that establishes your company’s brand personality. Since Instagram does this through images, it should connect with your overall brand feel and colour scheme, and emphasize the visual aspects of your brand. In contrast, Twitter, is more about sharing ideas, and having online conversations, making it a great place to develop and share the voice of your brand personality. It’s also a visible platform for talking to clients, publicly showing how you respond to the customer.
Corporate Brand Marketing on You-Tube:
You-Tube is one of the most creative tools you can use for Corporate Brand Marketing, and often requires the most skill to get it right. You-Tube can be used for sharing your own corporate videos, or you can access You-Tube advertising options and put your ads in front of a wider audience. Corporate videos can showcase products, share corporate events, highlight company values, or demonstrate company culture to help hiring. Whatever they do, they need to do it well in order to engage your audience, so it’s worth investing, time, thought, and money in order to get the most out of branded company videos.
Setting up an ongoing e-newsletter is a great way to increase your brand reach, and connect with some of the most qualified contacts. Sending regular emails puts your brand directly in customers’ inboxes, and since customers actively sign up, you know they really want to receive it. E-mail marketing is a great tool to provide value to your customers though tips, expertise, promotions, brand stories, and more.
Your company blog is the place to establish the expertise of your brand, and provide added value to help your potential customers. Establishing a blog helps drive SEO to your website, but more importantly, it helps customers to move down the sales funnel, and/or become repeat customers, by providing information they need to make decisions about your brand, or to get the most out of your products or services. Creating ongoing blog content also supports all of your other social media platforms, as you can re-share this valuable information on a variety of channels. And if you have a sales team, blog content is a great resource for them to share when clients have questions.
The important thing with Corporate Brand Marketing is to create consistency throughout your social media posts, web content, visual and written messaging, and in the the way you do business. With so many online tools and platforms available, companies have a lot of power to establish the strength of their brand and reach clients. But at the same time, clients have a choice, and these very public and conversational channels allow customers to dialog with your company when they’re happy, and when they’re not. This means how you do business, how you communicate with customers, and how responsive your company is, all play important roles in your Corporate Brand Marketing, and brand image.
If you need help with your personal brand marketing or corporate brand marketing, get in touch!