quality-leads-300x300Are your reps happy with the quality of leads marketing provides? Lead quality is one of the biggest complaints we hear from our clients. It’s the excuse given for lack of follow-up. How can a marketing leader fix this? The answer lies within your current customer base.  This is where the best leads can come from.

 

Last week one of our guys scheduled a meeting with the CEO at one of our clients to discuss additional projects.  The best part? Marketing did 100% of the work to secure the appointment. The quote from the CEO was “Hey, I’ve been getting your messages around our upcoming launch. I would love to get your input on it. Can we schedule a meeting in June to go over?” The rep got the meeting thanks to his marketing support. 

 

So, how does the marketing team “sell when the rep isn’t present”? Or in this case, educate clients about product offerings they might not know about.  The idea is pretty simple.  

 

There are two pieces to this puzzle.  First you must learn to market to your current accounts.  How do you do this?

 

Build Trust

 

The “batch and blast” emails don’t work here. Your customers won’t respond, and even worse they won’t feel important. Content sent to customers should follow these guidelines:

 

  • Customized content – send only what they care about. Study their behavior. What are they currently consuming? What have they mentioned casually in a conversation? Think about what’s important to them, and tailor the content to their needs.
  • Timing – think about how often it’s appropriate to reach out to your customers. You don’t want to bombard them, but you don’t want them to forget about you either.
  • Understand their goals – what are their goals? What can you offer to help achieve those goals? Be outward-in in your approach.
  • Closing the deal – go for the “ask” only after you have built trust and contributed to your customer’s success. If you’ve done it correctly, like in our example above, they will do the asking themselves.

     

The second piece is about leveraging your clients to help you secure new business.  How do you do this?

 

Encourage Advocacy

 

According to Marketo, 80% of all consumer and B2B purchases include some form of word-of-mouth. This means customer advocacy is no longer a “nice to have”. It’s a must.  How do you encourage your customers to become your advocates?  Here are a few simple tips:

 

  • Not only should you “stay in touch” with your customers, but you need to have meaningful, two way conversations. Consumers today are overloaded with “noise”. You must provide enough value to stay top of mind.
  • Understand their willingness to act as a reference. Are they happy with the product or service you provided? If there were issues, were they resolved quickly? Make sure you understand their relationship with your company.
  • Make it easy to be advocate.  One quick way to do this it be sure to include social sharing on everything you send them. This allows them to effortlessly share with their peers.
  • Show appreciation for their advocacy. How can you thank them for a referral or reference? Be sure to acknowledge their help in growing your business.

     

Next Steps

 

We all know that marketing is expected to contribute to the bottom line. Use and follow the tips in this article.  The results will be a happy sales team, and increased contribution from marketing.