“I need my phone to be ringing.”
“We need to get the customers into our store.”
“How do I know what we are doing is working?”
Have you ever said this in a staff meeting or a meeting with your marketing department? The real goal of any advertising campaign is to increase business. Agreed? But how do we separate the television commercial that promotes a one-day sale in the hopes of driving people in the door from a digital campaign that gradually works people down the lead generation funnel or builds your online reputation?
It’s all about goals. Before we create a proposal for a company, the first thing we ask is, “What are your goals for this year?” Without clearly defined goals, you’ll come to the end of the year and wonder what you actually accomplished. Maybe your coffers are more full than they were on January 1, but was it in sustainable business grown the way you wanted to grow it?
When you created your B2B website, did you consider your company goals? If you want to generate sales dollars through your website, do you have a functional online store? A local business now reports doing almost as much business through their B2B websites than through outside sales people. So what’s the point of those outside salespeople now? They are the face of the company. They check in on customers, talk about new products, remind them about the ease of ordering online. They no longer have to see every customer every week, yet their sales staff remains a crucial part of reaching their goals.
Is your goal to increase repeat business? B2B email marketing has taken a page out of retail sales and used the platform for reaching out to current clients to encourage them to buy additional products from a company they already trust. The Radicati Group reports email users will send or receive 116 business emails every day in 2016. That means your content must be head and shoulders above the rest to get noticed. High pressure sales tactics that work well for retail sectors will likely not accomplish the same results with your B2B customers. Directly selling through your e-mail marketing campaign may not achieve those sales goals, but it will put you top of mind when your sales staff comes to call again.
If you set sales goals for each B2B email marketing campaign you will likely see yourself come up short. However, if you encourage your sales staff to use the e-mails as a tool, you allow your sales team and your website content to be a valuable resource for your company.
It’s not about one channel or method carrying all the weight for all the sales. You wouldn’t expect one sales person to shoulder the responsibility for all your company’s sales. Don’t expect one e-mail campaign or Adwords run or even blog post to work without any help from you.
One of our clients uses social media posts, online articles and e-mail marketing just to build it’s name recognition so that when sales staff visit with customers or prospects, they will say “I”ve seen that company.” Their goals are not sales oriented on the front end, but they do rely on the work to add credibility to their sales staff and get them in the door.
So before you start pitting marketing vs sales, think about your goals for each marketing piece and how your sales team can use it to drive sales either on the front end through webstore sales or on the backend by using the name recognition it builds to grow sales.