As fanatical skiers, Jules and I are keen to get our two boys on the snow as early as possible. Noah, who at 4 is already an accomplished skier having skied the baby slopes on a number of mountains. Arlo who is only One and a half and has been walking for six months now we are keen to get him on the skis too.
What does kids skiing have to do with sales and marketing? The journey we had undertaken to get both of our boys on the snow followed marketing and sales funnel.
With marketing informing and attracting leads and prospects to your company and product or service. Sales, on the other hand, works directly with prospects to reinforce the value of the company’s solution to convert prospects into customers.
Our potential market is our two boys, and the service that we are offering them is skiing.
Let’s talk about marketing.
At the top of the marketing funnel, your customers need to know your service or product exists, market awareness.
The awareness campaign started early with a campaign of watching YouTubes of kids skiing and some of Dads favourite ski and snowboard movies.
We also used social proof and influences (Mum and Dad) to convey the joy of skiing. Now that our target market was excited interested they had become prospects.
The next step of their journey was to convert and close them from leads to customers.
This is where the sales process was personalised for the market segments. In this case, we have two different customers, the older boy who is a repeat customer. He likes what we are trying to sell him (skiing) but is hesitant to be upsold on chairlift rides.
Whereas, his younger brother is a new customer but very excited by the concept of skiing snow and wearing his snowsuit has objections to wearing gloves and the clunky ski boots.
Because he is very young and much more of an emotional consumer, we utilized the puppy dog close. We let him stomp around at home wearing them for a few days and he became emotionally attached to these clunky boots.
So that when the time came for the close (wearing them on the snow) he was already a convert.
The older boy, a more savvy consumer require a more complex sales strategy. We needed to uncover his objections, assign his fears and sport him through the purchase process (The chairlift ride). Neil Rackham’s, Spin selling would be an excellent tool for this type of sale.
We needed to deliver on the promise of fun and enjoyment along with praise and excitement and plenty of hot chocolates. Arlo ski on the magic carpet at the Remarkables and Noah is now an accomplished chairlift rider.
Looping back to business.
First, you need to get the attention of your target audience. That means using the right content in the right channels. You need to understand who your potential customers are to create compelling content.
One proven approach is to create customer personas so you know who wants your product, what their interests are, and where to find them. Once you know what appeals to your audience, you can attract them with compelling content. Blogging and offering information that attracts the right visitor is a great way to launch an inbound marketing campaign. Use blog content to feed social media channels, which are the best ways to find prospects.
Also, make sure you are using keywords and that your web pages are optimized for search so that you can be found by potential customers. The objective is to use inbound marketing to turn Web strangers into visitors, and ultimately followers.
Once you have attracted interested visitors, you need to convert them into leads using a call to action. Typically you use landing pages to get visitors to surrender personal information, such as an email address and telephone number, in exchange for something they want, such as a white paper or webinar. The best conversion tools are unique and informative; if the offer isn’t attractive enough (i.e. valuable), then you won’t convert the visitor to a lead.
Closing a converted lead can be a long, delicate process. It typically takes from 7 and 13 touches to convert a lead to a sale. Start by ranking your leads using lead scoring or some other approach. Once you prioritize your leads, you can bring them through the sales process using a series of emails. You also want to keep track of which conversion tools work best for you. Closed-loop reporting using marketing automation tools lets you follow the lead from capture to close so you can refine your marketing program based on what works.
Your marketing program shouldn’t end once you have made the sale. You now need to nurture the customer; reassuring them they made the right decision when they wrote you a check. Continue to offer superior content. Use social media channels and email and continue to engage with customers, offering content that interests them. Delighting the customer is the best way to upsell them, keep them coming back for more, and most importantly, convert them into evangelists who will spread the word about your company and its products.
Ross Allen is a Co-Founder at Leverage.
Leverage is a full-service digital agency that helps overworked business owners reclaim their lives, and grow their businesses.
Our core offering sits into three key service offerings.
It all starts with strategy, understanding the business and market ensuring that the ship is pointing in the right direction. Identifying growth opportunities, and shoring up weaknesses.
2. Design & Marketing:
Design and marketing attract customers through developing a visual identity, promotion & lead generation techniques. This is a logical progression from Business strategy and feeds directly into Technology.
Using technology to achieve business success. – e-marketing, strategic use of websites, the Internet and other technology as marketing tools