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Lead Management Series: Drip Marketing Automation

Lead Management Series:  Drip Marketing Automation

Today’s topic is Drip Marketing Automation and Sales Intelligence: Increase your sales by 200% or more.

 

How this article webinar came about is through our effort to increase our client’s close ratio of leads.  What we’ve seen over the past two years is a big disparity in close ratios among our clients.   No matter how much we verified, qualified, nurtured and optimized a lead before sending it out, ultimately, high close ratios came down to the sales organization’s lead management. 

 A big reason for this disparity is that the nature of sales has changed over the few years.  It used to be you’d hired some feet on the street, give’m some business cards. 

 Today’s sales environment has become much more phone oriented and internet based.

 The exciting new is that there are so many new channels to communicate with your prospects and your clients.   

 This proposal will outline the most effective 21st Century sales strategies and technologies that you can take full advantage.

 

Closing Statistics: 

The most important point here is that 85% of your sales leads do not close within the first 30 days, and nearly all sales reps abandoned leads that do not close within 30 days. 

Second, Most sales reps will stop contacting a prospect after the 3rd attempt to get the sales process moving forward, however 75% of all sales are made after the 4th contact. 

Third, over the phone sales take on average 15 to 30 contacts to close.

 

What’s happening to these leads?   Somebody else is closing them, but not you. 

The three biggest mistakes sales agents make: 

1.      Abandoning leads too early

2.      Chasing whales – instead of hot prospects

3.      Not selling on the prospects buying cycle. 

 These are not entirely the sales agent’s fault.  

  

Why is this happening?

 You’ve got the two cycles. 

 The Sales Cycle vs. The Buying Cycle. 

 The disconnect is caused by the competing cycles.  The sales agent is anxious to get a sale.  He has quotas to meet and money to make, and not a lot of time to give. 

 This is almost the exact opposite in many cases with your prospect.   He’s looking for the best deal that fits into his schedule.  He is operating off of his buying cycle.  But the prospect may be at the beginning of his buying cycle and not ready to purchase.   Then it’s your goal to get your sales cycle in sync with your prospect’s buying cycle. 

 The challenge has become how does a sales organization work those long term leads efficiently and economically. It is time consuming to make follow up calls all day long.  Sales agents want to work on fresh prospects. 

The solution is a robust lead management system that includes Drip Marketing Automation and sales intelligence. 

 

What is drip marketing? 

It is a marketing strategy to remain relevant but not intrusive with the prospect over the long term.

 We probably all are familiar with the situation when the prospect says, contact me in 2 months.  I’ll be ready then.  You mark your calendar and call the prospect in 2 months.  The prospect says, oh, I’m so sorry.  I just signed with your competitor.  I wished you had called me last week.

 This is why it is imperative that you remain relevant with your prospects over the entire buying cycle, whether is 3, 6 or 12 months.  

This is the key to raising your close ratios over time. How do you stay relevant with your prospect over that long time period?  How do you do it without the process becoming time consuming and labor intensive? These are the main aspects that a good automated drip marketing system addresses.

Drip Marketing relies heavily on modern technology to save time and labor.  This is the automation part.

 

We created a flowchart for each stage of the sales cycle from introduction, proposal, application, application return, set up, after the sale.  For each stage, there are specific set of activities and emails aimed at building the relationship and moving the prospect toward the close.  We tend to focus in on email campaigns and phone campaigns.  Social media is also becoming a larger part of your activities.  Doing webinars, too. 

Always be selling is a great cliché.  In drip marketing you want to be subtle.  You will want to set up your campaigns based on these three categories.

1.      Promotional – in essence sales.  Free this or 25% discount if you purchase by Friday.

2.      Informational – News about your company. We offer mobile processing right from your smart phone. Awards - We got an A+ rating from BBB.

3.      Education – news about your industry.  Durbin Amendment

The goals are to remain relevant, to build credibility, and to move the prospect along the buying cycle to the close.

 

Sales Intelligence

 

You’ve set up your drip marketing automated campaigns.  Now, you need to know how your prospects are reacting.  Simply put, what are your prospects thinking?  This is where sales intelligence comes into play. 

 

Most sales teams operate in a black hole.  They send an email out, they make a few phone calls, but they never truly know how their prospects are responding.  What if you know which of your prospects were clicking on links embedded in your email, attending your webinars, liking your posts in facebook, linkedin and google +, and following you on twitter, spending time on your website, etc.

 You collect all this information and behavioral activities of your prospects and score them appropriately. For example, 10 points for opening an email, 20 points for clicking on a link, 50 points for spending 2 minutes or more on your website.  50 points for downloading one of your whitepapers.  10 points for liking a post in facebook.  50 points for following you on twitter.  100 points for attending a webinar. 

 This behavior scoring allows you determine which prospects are the most responsive to your drip marketing campaigns.  Those most responsive are most likely to interested in your product or service, so you will want to allocate more time and resources on those prospects.  Instead of chasing whales, you will have a top 10 or top 50 list of hot prospects, which have been most responsive.  It makes more sense to go after them first. 

 

The benefits to Drip Marketing Automation and Sales Intelligence

 We’ve seen clients improve their close ratios by 200% or more.   It makes sense because before they were just going after the low hanging fruit and dropping the long term leads.  Now they are going after 85% of the leads that they use to ignore.  They’re pipelines are always full and they are closing them over time. 

 Now, I’m going to show you the math behind this systematic approach.  In the first example, I showed you earlier, the sales team was not carrying over leads month after month.  Now, in this example, they are.  The sales team has a systematic way to work these leads that is not labor intensive or time consuming. 

 The closing percentages are realistic targets.   If you can close 15% of the leads received each month, and then half that percentage for each subsequent month, so that by month six you would need to close 0.50% of the first month’s leads, you will have a close ratio of 36%.  

If you can close only 10% of the leads received each month and then half that percentage for each subsequent month, you will have a close ratio of 30%. 

 In either case, you have a sustainable lead program.  You’ll end the lead generation merry-go-round.  

If I could get all my clients to a 30% close ratio or higher, I would have them for life.  The fact is that most sales teams fall into the 15% trap, abandon 85% or more of their leads, and jump from one lead generation company to another.  Try one marketing gimmick after another.  They are wasting time and resources, when the solution is right there.  They just need to tweak their strategy and implement the proper labor saving technologies to get ahead. 

 

Where does Blindbid fit into the picture?  

Our company was presenting a similar webinar and we were pointing our clients in the direction of several great drip marketing software companies.  However, we realized there was a gap in service.   No one was providing a customized turnkey solution for your industries.  Our clients got the software, but it wasn’t being implemented properly or being used.  No one was providing the content.  The clients were expected to write the emails, and the whitepapers and the webinars.  They were expected to design the drip marketing campaigns.   Then they were expected to learn the software.  They did not have time for this. 

I used to work for a $29 billion dollar company and they gave every sales rep a salesforce account.  They probably spent over a million a year on that software.  And yet, they could have saved themselves the trouble and expense by using a free program like google docs.  All they were doing was storing data, storing contacts.  The managers did not know how to use the crm, and didn’t care to learn.  They never monitored or managed their agents’s accounts.  It got so absurd at one point that a regional manager demanded weekly reports be done an excel spreadsheet and threatened to fire agents who failed to submit their reports on time.  All the while, this manager had access from a macro and micro view of every rep 24/7 through the crm. 

So that is why our company decided to step in and offer a customized turnkey solution, from set up, marketing content, training, to management.  As Steve Jobs used to say, we want to turn complex into simple.  

What we do is create the content, the emails, the white papers, and the webinars.   Then we integrate the content, your social media sites and a phone calling schedule into your crm.  We set up behavior scoring system to track your prospects’ responses and activities, which we used to create your hot prospects list.

Finally, we will train your sales team on how to use the drip marketing and sales intelligence features. 

One last word on management.  This is a critical component of making this whole system work.  Someone needs to be watching the hen house to ensure the lead management system is being used by the reps and by the managers and being used properly, not just a place to store contacts. 

I’ve worked with hundreds of ISO’s over the last 3 years.  I’ve worked in some of the largest corporation.  They are still running old school sales organizations.  They have yet to embrace or try to even understand this new technology.   I’m thanking you for joining this webinar, but also I’m giving you an opportunity to leave your competitors in the dust. 

If you implement such a system today, You’ve to a two to three year head start before the others follow suit.   I encourage everyone to serious consider getting and utilizing this technology today.  It will make a tremendous difference in your sales and in your bottom line. 


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