Did you hear the joke about the toothbrush salesman? I recently came across this joke and it speaks volumes about the importance of a sales mindset. The joke goes something like this:
A boss asked it’s company’s top toothbrush salesman how he managed to sell so many brushes. The toothbrush salesman replied, “It’s easy” and pulled out a card table, setting his display of brushes on top.
He told his boss “I lay the brushes out like this, and then I put out some potato chips and dip to draw in the customers.”
After the chips and dip were laid out the boss said, “That’s a very innovative approach” and took one of the chips, dipped it, and stuck it in his mouth.
“Yuck, this tastes terrible!” his boss yelled.
The toothbrush salesman replied, “It is? Want to buy a toothbrush?”
If we all took a moment and considered the primary responsibility of marketing, we should all arrive at the same conclusion – sales. This joke illustrates the four points of sales: plan, setup, execution, and results.
At the recent 2016 Chicago AMA MarketingTech Smart event, Matt Bailey presented as one of the expert speakers with his session: “Six Steps to Marketing Automation.” In his session, Bailey alluded that marketers tend to structure their strategies and plans around the tactical use of technology for the purpose of generating likes, follows, friends and building lists. This might not be the right approach. Consider Matt’s critical points on marketing automation: human factor, redefine success metrics, get sales training, define and refine process, and develop customers for life.
#1 – The Human Factor
Matt recommended that we consider “The Human Factor” when we build strategies. The convergence of a mature martech, we now have access to 10,000+ sites, platforms and tools to possibly leverage. To compound the situation, Matt suspects that the current success metrics may be focused on the wrong data points.
#2 – Redefine Success Metrics
Redefining your metrics requires research and the first action item is to listen to your customers. Matt suggests that you start with your internal sales team as they deal with customers on daily basis and have a healthy perspective on the sales funnel and the customer’s journey from lead to advocate.
With your newly gained customer-focused insight, you will likely have an opportunity to redefine your success metrics. With marketing automation tools, you can take the newly defined metrics and start crafting workflows, triggers and responders which can gauge and assist in customer engagement.
#3 – Get Sales Training
To marketers like you and I, sales training may seem unnecessary. However, to truly understand what customers are looking for and how to encourage them to purchase your products, services or information, you will need sales training. Sales training from your sales team will provide you with crucial insights that have the potential to redefine your marketing strategy, plans and tactics. By learning from your sales team, you will have new data points to test out.
#4 – Define and Refine Process (Marketing Automation)
Four steps to identify, define and refine your marketing process:
- Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up
Engage customers and subscribers via Automated Drip Campaigns (ADC). ADCs can be designed to trigger automated emails, texts and direct mail pieces customized to the recipient.
Example: If a customer has not visited the site in 30 days, the system can send a reminder of what they previously browsed and ask if they are still interested in completing a purchase.
Key Fact: 80% of sales happen after the 5th contact with the customer. *
- Ask the Right Questions
Each time your reach out to customers and subscribers, ask questions to learn more about them. Segment your audience and measure their responses.
Key Fact: Marketing to a segmented audience increases open rates by up to 57% and click-through rates by 25%.*
- Build the Relationship
Identify key relational objectives for your customers to meet. Help guide the potential customers from initial engagement to becoming advocates.
Key Fact: The process of building a relationship with your audience can drastically increase the health of your marketing effectiveness. However, the objective must clearly be communicated to your audience.*
Examples of call to action messages: Follow us on Twitter, Sign-up for the Webinar, Share the Blog Post, etc.
- Ask for the Sale
Marketing automation and drip campaigns make a difference.
Example: A known user abandons a shopping cart and an automated email to that user is sent asking for the sale. Or, a customer bought coffee 30 days ago; an email reminder is sent to them asking for the sale: “Your supply of coffee may be running low, click here to replenish.”
Key Fact: Asking for the sale is the #1 way to get individuals to buy online and in-store.*
#5 – Develop Customers for Life
Develop customers for life by leveraging lead scoring. As we become more efficient at closing sales, building healthy trusting relationships and having frequent and relevant conversations with our customers, we can develop lifelong customers. Start by collecting customers’ implicit and explicit data.
- Implicit Data (dynamic action): An individual’s interests, status, interaction and responses
- Explicit Data (static information): Name, Location, conversation details and basic facts
- Define how individuals interact with your company and why.
- Compare your collected data and defined interactions with engagement and sales figures. How do they match up? Are you able to segment and identify your company’s most profitable relationships?
- In the process of developing your lead scoring, learn what makes relationships successful for your organization. Next, outline this information in a scoring matrix to compare to your prospects and customers.
- Finally, design marketing messages and campaigns that enhance relationships to the level of lifetime advocates (your most profitable relationship).
The key to marketing success is not the number of likes, follows, friends and lists but rather, the key to marketing success is, and should always be linked to sales figures. Sales are the lifeblood of any organization. Without sales, organizations would cease to operate. We need to make marketing relevant, engaging and sales-focused.
*Key Facts: Presented at 2016 MarketingTech Smart Conference
Matt Bailey has taught Google employees how to use Google Analytics. He has shown Experian how to present data. And he has led workshops in digital marketing at Disney/ABC/ESPN, HP, P&G and IBM, to name a few.
A recognized digital marketing expert, Matt is an instructor for the Direct Marketing Assn., Market Motive, and the Online Marketing Certified Professional program. He is also founder and president of SiteCore, a marketing consultancy, and he has published three books.
The Direct Marketing Association said of him, “No one else has approached the plain-English demystification of building an effective online presence as cost-effectively and time-effectively as has Matt.”
About the Author: Nick Rich is an Enterprise Architect and Thought Leader on web, social, and mobile based technologies. Nick currently consults and advises clients on content, collaboration, communication technology, and how to foster corporate adoption.