Do you ever ask yourself why your marketing is not working or why is it so hard to run this darn business? Sure, I think we are all asking these questions. I know I am asking this daily. Over the years I have tried multiple sales and marketing tactics that have worked and some that have not worked.
So today I want to share 5 sales tips and 5 marketing tips to help grow your business. These are the “tactics” that have worked for me while growing my business. I also promise that these sales and marketing tips are not going to be your traditional, standard answers. Yes, inbound marketing is important to your business and being friendly is a great way to close a sale. There is so much more to sales and marketing.
5 Sales Tips For Business Growth
Let’s start with my favorite part of owning a business, sales. If you personally know me, you know this is a lie. In fact, this is one of my least favorite part of owning my business. However, it is one of the most important. So, here are 5 things I have learned over the years.
Find Your Wingman
This tip is mostly for the new salesmen. Maybe you are in a new region, a new job, or maybe it is your first sales job. The first thing you need to do is find your wingman, someone that you can count on to be at the same events as you.
When I first started selling, I feared I would walk into a room knowing nobody. Really, I feared I would be seen as that weird dude at the appetizer table eating all the food or creeper in the corner lurking in the shadows. You have seen these dudes before.
Your wingman gives you someone to talk to, someone to lean on when you are not making connections. It helps you look more important than you really are. People want to talk to a group, not an individual.
Start Your Own Networking Group
One thing that is consistent with sales and marketing, you want to be seen as the expert in your industry. Unless you are a bestselling author, nobody knows who you are. Starting your own networking group is a great way to be seen as the expert in the room.
Another side benefit of starting your own networking group is you are able to invite the right people. People you get along with. People you want to grow your business with. They say you are the average of the 5 people that you hang out with, so makes sure your group is full of awesome people. People that make you level up.
Never Sell At A Networking Event
Yes, I know you need to build your business. You need to make sales. You are out selling to build your business, I get it. Make sure you are not that guy that buys 1,000 business cards from VistaPrint and gives them all away at an event that only had 50 people. I have been there, don’t be that guy. This is not a shotgun approach.
Networking is about creating relationships, not giving our a box of business cards. The most successful salespeople have a long-term outlook on sales. It does not happen overnight. Trust me.
At your next networking event, make sure you are building relationships and not selling. People buy from people they like, not people that have that hard sale mentality. Remember, you do not want to come across as cheap or desperate.
Left Pocket, Right Pocket
Have a prospecting system in place. I use a system that I call left pocket, right pocket. If I met someone that I had a great connection with, their business card is placed in my left pocket. If it is someone that I do not intend on giving a personal contact, they get placed in the right pocket.
What do I do with the right pocket contacts? Great question. I place them into my CRM and they get the company newsletter.
The point is you need to have a system in place for your sales process. Develop something that works for you and helps you stay organized. The worst part about networking for sales is when you get back to the office and forget who you need to follow up with.
It Is All About Strategic Partnerships
I cannot stress this enough. Have a great partnership with multiple people. These partnerships take tons of time to create. However, if you can find 1-2 people you can always find a lead or two when needed. I have come to find that in B2B sales, a commercial real estate broker or business banker always have a great contact list.
Remember, it is not about creating a contact and asking for referrals. You are going to have to build trust over time and build this relationship. Start with a cup of coffee and see if you work well together. If you do, the sky is the limit.
One of the best strategic partnerships I have is with a sales coach. We have coffee 2 times per month and catch up on business. We have common goals, common target markets, and always try to share leads with each other. These relationships are most valuable in the sales environment.
5 Marketing Tips For Business Growth
Okay, we got through the hard stuff. Sales are hard, at least for me. Let’s talk about marketing your business. In my opinion, it should be the goal of marketing to deliver your value message to your target customer base. Marketing should also hand deliver quality leads to your sales team and help increase the close rate of your sales department (yes, your sales and marketing teams should work together). Here are the 5 tips I have learned about marketing.
Start With A Marketing Plan
Have you ever tried to build some IKEA furniture without the instructions? No, then why are you trying to market your company without a marketing plan? Your marketing must start with a plan and a strategy.
Now, I change direction as fast as the next guy, but I do have an overall plan with goals and KPI’s (key performance indicators) that I stick to. Your marketing plan does not have to be a 100-page document that outlines every step you are going to take over the next 10 years. Your marketing plan should be 1-2 pages with your goals and the tactics that you are going to use to achieve these goals.
I also use sub marketing plans. These are the plans for the tactics we are going to use. For example, if the main goal of the marketing plan is to increase web traffic by 50% year over year. One of the tactics to do this is blogging for business. Our sub-plan states that we are going to blog 3 times per week on certain subjects. This will increase our digital footprint and help drive more traffic to our website.
Know what your marketing is trying to do and how you are going to achieve your goals. Your marketing needs to start with an overall plan so you know if you were successful or not.
Know Your KPI (Key Performance Indicator)
This is one of the things that drives me crazy and also helps my agency make money. Most companies do not know what metrics are important to their company. Before you get smart with me, I know revenue is an important indicator of success.
However, what other metrics or KPI’s (key performance indicators) are you measuring to know your marketing plan is working or if you need to start over. Remember, marketing does not happen overnight. If you are just measuring revenue, you may give up before you see the fruits of your labor.
It can be as simple as stating you need to increase web traffic 30% year over year because you know that a 30% increase in web traffic is going to net 2 new leads per month. You also know that 2 new leads per month would help your company grow revenue by 2x over last year.
Your KPI’s are going to be different from my KPI’s, the goal here is to know what metrics are going to drive the success of your business.
Know Your Target Audience
This is a huge mistake I made when I first started my marketing agency. “Please, somebody, anybody, pay me.” If you are a business owner, you know what I am talking about.
The problem is that it is really hard to put together a marketing plan for everyone. Once you define your target market and know who you are trying to serve your message to it becomes easier to find the right customer for your business. The right customer is even more important than “any” customer.
Yes, you can have more than one target market or segment in your marketing plan. However, when you are just getting going, stick to one segment. This will help you focus on finding the right customer for your business.
Get to know your target customer pain points and where they gather their information. If a trade magazine is where they spend their time, then you need to spend the money to get your ad in front of them. If they use Google like the rest of the world, you should develop a strong inbound marketing plan. It is really that simple.
Knowing your ideal customer will help you find more customers and land more clients. Take it from me, been there done that.
Integrate Your Marketing Campaigns
Yes, integrated marketing is still a thing. We call this holistic marketing. This combines both your traditional marketing with your digital marketing to produce results that they could not produce on their own. Think of it like compound marketing.
Here is an example. If you are using inbound marketing to gather leads and a potential lead downloads an eBook about social media marketing, you should also send a hard copy in the mail of the eBook for them to read. Yes, that is right an old-school approach, direct mail. Now you would have to get their mailing address, but it could be what separates you from the competition. Go the extra mile.
Now, there is so much more we could talk about on integrated marketing, but you get the idea. Use multiple channels to target the same prospect. It really works.
Measure Your Results
I am not going to spend a ton of time on this because you will either get it or you will not get it. Please, measure your results. Again, know your KPI and measure what you are doing. If you are able to use closed-loop analytics and tie it back to revenue to your marketing tactics, please do so.
Final Thoughts on Sales And Marketing
Okay, here is the final tip for you. Call it a bonus. Your sales and marketing teams should work together and have the same goals. When sales and marketing win, the company wins. One of the biggest issues I see is that sales and marketing are not aligned causing tension between the two departments.
Grow your business with a great sales team and an even better marketing team. These 11 sales and marketing tips will help grow your business. Again, these are just a couple tips that I have learned over the years.