Close the Loop for Marketing Payback
Individual marketing tactics provide temporary "lift". Complete closed looped campaigns incorporating sales follow up and feedback provide a structure for sustained growth and a defendable market position.
It's the difference between a limerick and an epic poem, a ditty compared to a symphony. There's just more substance and longevity to the more substantial effort.
In its most simple form, think of closed loop efforts as those that follow the process all the way from Education & Awareness through a proposal and completed sales cycle. It incorporates both marketing and sales and transcends "silos".
Indeed, it requires coordination between the two disciplines and and requires cooperation (especially at the qualified lead handover stage). The slide below shows a cycle in it's simplest form.
The Cycle above will not be Yours
Every organization has different products, sales forces and distribution networks, therefore, you should spend time in a discovery process and determine your unique closed loop cycle(s). Once determined, any break in the cycle means efforts will be wasted. They have to be linked and culminate in a sale or lost sale in order to be measured and/or deliver ROI.
To execute, the general cycle needs to be refined for specific marketing efforts should they be direct mail, advertising, e-mail blasts to PPC and other digital efforts. Thus, the next level of definition, assignments and responsibilities needs to be clearly articulated and readied.
Given the prevalence of the internet in initial stages of research by prospects (both B2C and B2B) and the preference of digital lead generation by most marketers, below we have developed a closed loop cycle which is fairly accurate in terms of the basic components of any digital campaign.
* If you would like to receive information on the research on contacting prospects quickly, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with the title "Send Sales Contact Research" and we will forward the information to you. If you'd like to chat about your specific situation or explore a Closed Loop discovery process, call us at 616-634 3498 or e-mail me, Michael Byers directly at email@example.com
Copyright © 2014 The Byers Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
The New Mantra - "What's the Call-to-Action"?
To initiate any relationship with a prospect there needs to be interaction and engagement. Marketers have known this for decades starting with the old adage, "and if you order now!..". However, with today's savvy purchasers the offer has to be intelligent, insightful and aid in their research and procurement journey. If not, it is SPAM and junk.
Thus, many times these are carefully crafted e-documents created for specific stages of the sales process and can include whitepapers, checklists, helpful hints, ROI calculators, etc.
The key is that whatever you offer, it has to have enough value to overcome the fear of the prospect in providing their contact information and taking the next step into a relationship with your company. Without this important first step, the cycle doesn't start.
So unless you are executing brand building tactics (and hopefully you are pre and post awareness testing if you are) or legitimizers (inserts, product sheets corporate overviews, etc.), be sure you are asking your marketing team about the call-to-action in their campaigns...it is the only way to start down the road to converted sales.
Don't waste the money if you aren't going to connect quickly
There are some amazing statistics on sales conversion if a web site visitor/IP downloader is contacted within 30 minutes (an MIT study says it has to be 20 minutes). Conversely, the rate plummets after an hour and the web lead is virtually useless*.
Span of attention and the next set of web site visits serves to quickly cloud researching prospects' minds, so the window of clarity for them is very short.
Clients are always looking for a "silver bullet" and an easy solution. The reality is that marketing for sales has become more complex and requires a higher level of collaboration between sales and marketing than at any other time in history.
Prospects are better equipped with more information at their fingertips and a sophisticated ability to filter out flotsam from real data. They are wary of sales people and not easily persuaded.
For those who wish to be successful, they must look beyond the "tactic" to a much more holistic, closed loop approach that matches the prospect's purchasing journey.