We’re going to try something new with this blog post.
We’re always pretty open and transparent. If you’ve been a regular reader for a while then you’ll know we’ve consistently championed being upfront with customers and the potential leads you’re looking to attract; especially when it comes to data collection and what you’re collecting it for in lieu of GDPR.
So, we’ll practice what we preach: As well as writing these blogs to reach out to people who want to learn about digital marketing (specifically inbound), they also serve another purpose.
Our blogs are a key part of our overall sales funnel, designed not just to inform and reach out to prospects, but to encourage potential customers to find out more about us, look around the site and – hopefully – get in touch to work with us.
There, we’ve said it. But that’s not a bad thing at all; in fact, it’s incredibly positive and what many agencies such as ourselves will always recommend that their clients do when marketing themselves.
Why, though? Because it provides numerous positive benefits for everyone:
- We’re able to express more of ourselves as people instead of coming across as another faceless agency.
- It helps us better target the people we would like to work with and who we genuinely believe can benefit and grow from our approach.
- It complements our wider social strategy and helps improve engagement on our end.
- Readers can get marketing tips and other information that may prove useful to them, entirely free of charge.
- Readers can keep in touch with industry happenings, changes and generate new original ideas through content such as blogs and emails.
And much more besides. As inbound marketing tactics go, there are few better ways to introduce people to your sales funnel in a soft, inclusive and creative way.
Why that approach is critical to your wider marketing efforts
- Over 40% of salespeople say prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process.
- 19% of buyers want to connect with a salesperson during the awareness stage of their buying process.
- 60% want to connect with the sales team during the consideration stage, after they’ve researched the options.
- 65% of salespeople who use social selling fill their pipeline, compared to 47% of reps who don’t.
- The top sales priorities are closing more deals (28%) and improving sales funnel efficiency (18%).
Most alarmingly, though:
- Salespeople spend just one-third of their day actually talking to prospects.
- 72% of companies with less than 50 new opportunities per month didn’t achieve their revenue goals.
- Only 24% of sales emails are opened.
- At least 50% of your prospects are not a good fit for what you sell.
Put simply, your sales funnel needs to be consistently worked on to improve how it targets and attracts the right people to grow your business.
How that works in reality
Let’s try and visualise all of those statistics into a real-world situation. Imagine a small business; a team of six that’s working hard to attract new clients and grow the company.
It’s very likely, according to HubSpot, that they’ll be making the job a lot tougher than it needs to be without a fully-strategised, curated and optimised approach to their own sales funnel.
The sales team will likely be distracted by side-tasks a lot of the time (hence only a third of their day is spent talking to prospects) which decreases their chance of approaching opportunities. Even then, half of them likely won’t be a good fit. Even worse, if they aren’t a good fit and you’re wasting time emailing them with offers they won’t find interesting, what’s the point?
That’s why we blog, and why it’s so important. You may think a simple blog may not do much, but that’s not the point.
We have a target customer in mind. We write around topics and common pain points that will specifically interest and help them out. We engage with them and share content with them on social. We do it on a consistent basis to show we’re always active, which also provides enormous SEO benefits.
That’s just from blogging alone. Focusing on that particular area can help attract the right people 24 hours a day, relieving pressure on the sales team as well as helping you better engage with people online and generating leads in natural, organic ways by introducing them to your sales funnel.
Why every part of your sales funnel needs attention
No one business is ever the same, and businesses with successful sales funnels experiencing a fast rate of growth will have worked incredibly hard to construct a sales path and journey that revolves around the people they want to target, provide for and work with most.
They’ll not just be producing blogs to tickle people’s interest. They’ll be doing other things such as gathering data with downloadable offers, qualifying leads to improve the accuracy of their targeting, and thinking both in the short- and long-term.
Measures such as content creation and social outreach are great for long-term sales success as you build your brand online, perfect its message and become more relevant to people the more you post and naturally solve their problems.
Putting some budget into your sales strategy can help to target people further along the sales funnel. Investing in social targeting and paid search, targeting people who are more likely to buy can be a great short-term solution to boost sales and improve your brand’s visibility as the more long-term and organic side of your sales strategy takes hold.
Once married together and you identify the people most appropriate for your sales funnel, you should start to see better results more often, and can also automate parts of the journey with the right software so you can focus more on building stronger relationships with your customers and growing the business.
Find out more about the amazing sales benefits of perfecting and optimising your sales funnel by speaking to a Web Presence representative today!
Working as a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2004, Lee helps SMEs win more business through developing effective digital marketing strategies. He is a dedicated Liverpool FC fan, dog lover and loves long country walks (and a cheeky pint) with his dog, Banjo.