When people think about marketing, they link it to lead generation. However, many sales organizations aren’t even relying on marketing for that, but rather turning to third-party companies for lead generation. Years of frustration at the lack of communication between sales and marketing and low quality and quantity in leads have led to a split between the two departments.
This divide costs organizations money.
In addition, it limits the opportunity to see market trends. A well-structured marketing and CRM strategy, with marketing and sales alignment, provides an overview of trends and permits your company to make plans accordingly.
By truly getting marketing and sales working in coordination, there are tremendous opportunities for market growth.
What are the outcomes desired?
Market growth can be pursued a variety of ways. These can include new products or services, new industries or customer groups, new territories covered, gaining more business from your existing customer base or taking market share from a competitor (including acquisition of their company).
Any of these approaches can be risky and require due diligence for actively pursuing them. By proactively reviewing aspects of your Customer Relationship Management (CRM’s) database, though, you should be able to determine where to dig deeper.
When marketing, sales and customer service/ customer success all work from the same CRM and keep aspects of that data visible to others, certain activity can suggest where the next opportunity is.
For example, when a company’s knowledge base is integrated and tracked in the CRM, the marketing department can look at the metrics for how many people are searching for certain features and articles. These metrics may provide insight on new functionality or offerings from competitors or new regulations in an industry. This data can illuminate opportunities for new markets or product development.
Cost per Acquisition, Cost per Lead
As a leader in your organization, you might set forth a goal to increase market penetration at a certain Cost per Acquisition, or CPA. Be sure to be specific, though, as we counted at least 28 ways that could be measured . We show at least 29 ways to record Cost per Lead (CPL).
As an executive, it’s important to provide clarification at the outset as to how exactly you want key metrics reported. This clarification will ensure that the right data is being captured and entered consistently. Your marketing team will need to be heavily involved in whatever approach you decide. They will need to set up their distribution plans, call-to-action buttons, click through rate targets, and other aspects of marketing campaigns to help capture the right information so that the cost of this outreach falls within the target parameters.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Content Marketing
Expanding into new industries, territories, approaching new audiences or offering new products or services to existing customers requires establishing credibility – and quickly. However, SEO is not an overnight effort. While getting indexed initially by the search engines will happen almost immediately, actually appearing in the search engine results page (SERP) for the desired phrase, product or service will take time. Generally, six months is a common time frame.
As part of this, be realistic and smart about for what you want to rank. “Being number one on Google” is what many business owners say, but for what? Do you need to be number one on Google for purple alligators? Probably not – it won’t help you expand into your target markets.
Thus, a strategic content plan is critical to help you rank for the right topics. These blogs (usually) should focus on useful, helpful, relevant information which helps a prospective customer understand their challenges and their options in the marketplace. By starting with an educational approach rather than a promotional one, you build trust. These kinds of materials will help you get into their list of prospective solutions early and can help frame the conversation.
Additionally, the right inbound marketing approach will leverage an integrated CRM to ensure that you know:
what content is being consumed
- by which type of buyer
- for which product or service, and
- their individual journey to learn more.
Armed with this information, you will have additional insight into where to target more of your marketing and advertising efforts, to gain more of that type of client.
Entering New Markets
Entering new markets is challenging and can be costly. By working closely with your marketing team, you can cut some of those costs by tracking what works with existing customers or the first forays into new markets. Armed with that information, marketers and sales teams can focus more of their energies on what is gaining traction and less on those that don’t. However, without an intentional process to track what activities someone takes on a website, this won’t happen.
When going after new markets, it’s also important to understand when pivots need to happen, including possibly abandoning a particular pursuit. The analytics looked at by marketers and the insights they can gain based on digital activity, especially on the company website and social media accounts, marketers can make well supported recommendations for what and where to expand next.
The shortcoming, though, is when marketers are not given access to sales and retention data. Without this critical part of the story, their recommendations may be accurate, but incomplete.
As a leader, you are in the perfect position to facilitate bringing marketing and sales together so that everyone can work together to identify realistic growth opportunities and the most cost-effective means of pursuing those goals.
Want to learn more about how marking can have a larger business impact? Read on!