Have your marketing programs and lead processes kept up with your customers? That’s one of the topics explored by experts in this on-demand webinar: “Seven Results-Generating Ideas Printers Can Implement Today.”
“This is a big idea,” said Joe Rickard, webinar speaker and founder of Intellective Solutions. “We’ve seen this with clients’ sales and marketing programs. The buying process and expectations of customers have absolutely changed, but many of us haven’t.”
Buyers go online and onto social media to research, and they don’t always know what they want. By the time they get to a sales person, a lot of their perceptions are deeply embedded. “Unfortunately, as we’ve seen with our clients, this change has happened gradually, and people just haven’t made adjustments in terms of their internal organizations, whether it’s an in-plant or a commercial printer,” says Rickard.
Assess Your Lead Process with these 9 Questions
So what’s going on with your lead process? Is there a breakdown? Where’s the gap? Rickard has recommendations to make sure your marketing and sales processes are in sync with today’s digital buyers.
Start with basic questions like these nine:
- How do we engage customers?
- How are they getting to us?
- What’s generating the leads? Are they coming from:
- The website?
- Direct mail pieces?
- Existing customers?
- Outbound telemarketing?
- Are we capturing the leads?
- How do they go through the pipeline?
“That seems so obvious, but 90 percent of the time when we work with clients, there’s a break somewhere. That’s something you can easily test. One way is to have someone call a lead into your own company (I use family and friends) and see how long it takes for response. It’s frightening. After a blind call and getting the lead, it could take two days for someone to get back. Then it’s not a lead anymore. By that time, they’ve moved on or talked to somebody else.”
Buying Has Changed. What About You?
The sales process hasn’t changed, the buying process has. “That’s the key message here and something we all have to think about in our business models,” declared Rickard. “We hear all the time that the whole paradigm of marketing has shifted. It’s no longer you tell them information about you; it’s all about the customer and the buyer. They’re 100 percent in control, and they choose their channels.” With control now in the consumer’s hands, how do you adjust your approach to marketing and to sales?
In many cases, because customers have already done research on your website or Facebook page, an email comes in. “When someone introduces a lead into your company, you’ve got to respond immediately with an email. If you don’t, you’re out of sync with many of the great marketing companies,” Rickard declares.
While you’re doing a reality check for your lead processes, it might also be a good time to look at other areas like positioning, sales, marketing, IT and social selling. You’ll find good advice in this blog: “Thriving in Today’s Business Landscape: The Five Critical Success Factors.”