So, you’ve got a great demand generation strategy in place. You’ve stocked your marketing channels with rich thought leadership content, your click-through-rates are the highest they’ve ever been, and people are providing their information in return for the insights you have to share. Your list of leads is growing by the day, which means your marketing strategy has been quite successful.
But then what? Who is qualifying these leads and turning them into buyers? How do you transition from marketing to sales and actually close the deal?
Perhaps you pass the list off to your sales team, who shares a clear definition of what an MQL means for your company. They follow up once, maybe twice, and discover that the leads just aren’t ready to buy yet -- so they’re dubbed unqualified (at least for now) and your lead development efforts are rendered useless. The potential client gets ignored and, once they are ready to buy, they decide to go with a competitor.
What you’re missing is the human element of personal engagement combined with a robust nurturing strategy in order to foster a relationship with your audience that will convert them from leads into customers.
At MarketLauncher, we take a multi-faceted approach to amplifying your inbound efforts and moving prospects deeper into the pipeline. Here are a few ways we help companies transition from marketing to sales, and how you can too.
1. Know your full market size and potential
Your sales team is focused on what they do best: connecting with prospects and delivering value through your core services. But do they fully understand the competitive landscape and all of the potential opportunities in the total addressable market?
Here's something to try: When you initially reach out to prospects, use the conversation as an opportunity to learn more about how they view their world. Ask questions that will help you determine if they are a true target that meets your ideal client profile.
You can also interview some of your current customers who have proven their loyalty to your brand. By gaining these insights up-front, you'll not only discover better ways to engage with the right decision-makers, but also new chances to improve your business model and fulfill customer needs.
Conducting truly impactful market research takes time and resources, which is why at MarketLauncher, we combine our research expertise with an array of tools that help us capture critical market intelligence so that you can make more strategic decisions when transitioning from marketing to sales.
Some of the questions we help answer are:
What are your customer’s pain points? What motivates them? How do they gather information before making purchasing decisions?
What is your customer’s state-of-mind right now? What are they worried about? Excited for? What are their plans for the future?
Is the market aware of your brand? What comes to mind when they think of your name, and who else comes to mind when they think of your industry?
What are your competitors offering and for what price? What methods are they using to connect with your shared prospects?
Are you hitting every facet of the market possible, or are there untouched verticals and geographies to explore?
2. Keep your marketing-to-sales funnel flowing after demand generation
There are many companies who are great at generating leads, but just because you have a prospect’s information does not mean you have gained their trust. In order to do that, you must invest in lead nurturing and keep your audience interested in your brand until they are ready to go to the next level of the conversation.
Take a look at your revenue model and the stages you’ve defined for your qualified leads. Are you creating content for them at every stage, or giving them just enough to get through the door?
Your audience should see a steady flow of targeted content no matter where they are in the funnel, and it should get more personalized the closer they get to a sale.
Inbound marketing is not built to close the deal alone, which is why we help companies develop lead nurturing campaigns that complement their inbound efforts. Through a combination of phone calls and personalized emails, we drive more eyes to your content and proactively follow up in order to nudge them closer to the opportunity stage and increase marketing funnel conversion rates. Thus, your potential customer develops a trusted relationship with your brand and is more likely to make a referral or engage with you once they’re ready to buy.
3. Arm your sales team with a strong pipeline conversion strategy
While your funnel measures the criteria that you’ve set for each stage in the purchasing process, your pipeline conversion strategy is the series of steps you take to move them from marketing to sales to closed deal.
A typical pipeline conversion strategy looks like this: You qualify the prospect, ensuring they have the right needs, budget, and decision-making power. Then, you schedule a meeting to discuss what you can offer, which then leads to a proposal and, hopefully, a closed deal.
However, it’s usually not that easy. In our decades of experience, we’ve learned that it can take eight to 10 personalized touchpoints minimum in order to move an executive-level buyer to the next stage of the funnel—and each one needs to provide value. How? With relevant content, and meaningful dialogue.
At MarketLauncher, we put effort into getting to know your audience and their motivations so that we can deliver the most relevant content at just the right time.
When we identify the prospects who are actively engaging with your content, we develop highly personalized follow-up conversations via phone and email outreach.
And with every call-to-action, we can see where we are getting more traction and we learn more about how you can better serve the needs of the market.
Keeping track of a multi-touch outreach strategy is difficult, so take advantage of the technology you have available. Your CRM should help you easily automate tasks for every touchpoint, and allow you to measure your prospect’s journey through each stage of the funnel. We've developed in-depth Hubspot strategies that help our clients make the most of their CRM, using it to close their marketing-to-sale loop.
4. Use metrics to flex messaging across marketing and sales
Did you know that 74% of companies who were not reaching their revenue goals reported that they didn’t even know their visitor, lead, MQL, or sales opportunity numbers? No wonder they can’t figure out how to get their content into the right hands, let alone close the deal. Fortunately, marketing automation has made it so that we can easily assess the performance of our efforts at every stage.
When you keep your eye on the metrics behind your outreach efforts, you can adjust your message to get the greatest return.
Pay attention to those messages with the most engagement and then use them to target your middle-stage leads at just the right cadence.
Those are the people who need to see your message the most, but who are also the most likely to unsubscribe if they feel inundated with content.
During your outreach efforts, keep adjusting your messaging based on the feedback you’re getting. You may discover that the way you phrase some of your service lines or the way you talk about the challenges your audience is facing just isn’t resonating; Or maybe you’ve identified a certain phrase or word that really moves people to action.
If you’re a sales team of more than one, share your insights so that your overall process can keep improving. At MarketLauncher, we hold regular check-ins between our marketing and sales departments to re-align messaging across all channels and to strategize our next move.
Closing the Marketing-to-Sale Conversion Loop
Your company could be a lead-generating machine, but without a solid conversion strategy to keep prospects engaged, you’re wasting your marketing efforts.
MarketLauncher’s experienced team of researchers and sales development specialists know how to hit every level of your sales funnel with just the right touch-points to close the deal and increase your lead to opportunity conversion rate. We’ll work directly with you to turn inbound leads into engaged and active sales opportunities, and we give you full visibility into all of the activity and the outcome of every conversation.
When you partner with MarketLauncher, we don’t just give you an extra boost to maximize your lead development efforts; we help you better understand your customers so that you can forecast your next move and reach your highest sales growth potential.
If you're looking to transition from marketing to sales in order to close more deals, consider partnering with our experts. Get in touch with our team.