Sales pipeline

When we engage with a new client, one of the biggest challenges we hear from the marketing and sales professionals we work with, is that there are never enough leads to keep the sales pipeline healthy and full. Sometimes it can seem like no matter how many new channels you incorporate into your marketing campaign, things always just seem to just peter out. Using these 12 questions you can uncover where the leak in your sales pipeline might be:

    “What does the journey through my content and website look like to a prospect?”

With a Direct and Digital marketing campaign there are a number of possible journeys your prospects can travel to reach you. But if it becomes long tedious and convoluted a prospect is much more likely to give up without completing the process.

    “Are the touch points in my prospects journey well designed?”
    A key part of a direct and digital campaign are the landing pages and CTAs. If your prospect lands on a page but can’t understand what they are supposed to do, then it is much more likely that they will move on without interacting. Landing pages that draw your prospect in and CTA’s that prompt them to act are vital.

    “Do I have quality content to drive conversions?”

No matter how well designed your landing pages are, or how compelling your CTAs are, without quality content to back them up your sales pipeline will run dry. Content can be used to attract, convert and nurture your prospects as they move between your sales and marketing departments.

    “Does my content match the journey my audience will be taking?”

If you don’t understand who your target audience are then understanding the journey they will take and the content, they will be looking for then how can you prepare for them coming through?

    “Is my content fresh and relevant?”

Some content offerings can last the test of time; others just need a little spring clean every now and then, and there are some that can become quickly outdated. Tired and out dated content can give off the impression that your knowledge; skills and experiences are out of touch with the market’s needs.

    “What am I asking for in return for my content?”

Prospects can be enticed by the thought of a wonderful piece of content and drawn in by a compelling CTA only to be put off by the length of the form. Think carefully about the value your prospects would place on a piece of content and the kinds of information they would be willing to give up in exchange. You wouldn’t ask a stranger for their deepest secrets on the first meeting. The same goes for your prospects.

    “What position within the market place do my prospects perceive me to hold?”

Being considered as a thought leader in your market is what you should be shooting for. This leadership mentality should be cultivated throughout the organisation and every department should be able to convey your market knowledge, skill and experiences.

     “Do I have a sales pitch?”

We would be lying if we said you shouldn’t have one. However, it’s all about the context. Prospects don’t want to listen to the same rehearsed pitch, littered with buzzwords and facts about your organisation. They want to know what specifically your organisation can do to solve their challenges. Don’t forgot to consider where the prospect is in their Buyer’s Journey – don’t chase a sale when they’ve just identified a challenge, provide an insightful piece of content to inform their decision making. Your pitch is no longer just the time that you have them on the phone, but all the engagement points within your Direct and Digital Marketing campaign.

    “Have I been speaking to the company or the prospect?”

Your product or solution may be ideal for the company but it’s not the ‘company’ that makes the decisions, it’s a person. It is the interactions you have with the people behind a company’s decision making process that will determine who moves along your sales pipeline.

     “Do I aim for high volume dialling or intelligent dialling?”

Use the information captured about your prospect throughout their interactions with your content to understand their challenges and motivations. By doing your research you will be better able to deliver an intelligent sales conversation centred on your prospects requirements. It is here that the true benefits of visibility through the sales cycle come into fruition.

    “Do I give up too early?”

Badgering your prospects is a sure fire way to make them refuse to engage with you, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. research shows that on average it takes six attempts to reach a prospect. They also suggest that the best method for approach is a “drip feed” approach, using a combination of calls/voicemails and emails. To understand more read our guide to BASHO Emails.

    “Do I treat the gatekeeper as friend or foe?”

Many consider the gatekeeper to be the hindrance when trying to grow sales pipeline when in fact they can be a resource - they do have insider knowledge. By alienating these people, you lose access to this wealth of knowledge and can quite often put the decision makers out of reach.

A hybrid approach of Direct and Digital Marketing will enable marketing to provide sales with more leads, creating a coherent message and credibility within the marketplace. Your sales pitch starts with marketing.

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