Did you know that the success or failure of your marketing and sales programs comes down to 3 simple things?
I’m not kidding. As hard as that is to believe, it’s true. Three. Simple. Things. What are they? That’s the question on a lot of people’s minds and it’s one of the topics we’ll discuss today.
3 Ways a business can grow organically
You’re already familiar with the sales funnel. For most businesses, there’s a top, a middle and a bottom.
Sales funnels have been working the same way for decades. First, you drop people into the top of the funnel. Then, as they engage with your brand, they move through the funnel. Finally, when they’re ready to buy your product or service, they end up at the bottom.
Now let’s talk about the 3 ways businesses can grow organically using the sales funnel.
Many businesses focus on the top of the funnel – they optimize their marketing campaigns to increase the number of leads being added to the top.
Other businesses focus on the middle of the funnel – they try to increase the speed at which leads move through the funnel.
And still others focus on the bottom of the funnel – they work to improve their conversion rates as a way to grow sales and revenues.
Interestingly, most businesses focus on #1 (adding more leads to the top) or #3 (increasing the conversion rate at the bottom). But smart, sophisticated businesses (like yours) are also beginning to focus on #2 (increasing the speed at which leads move through the funnel).
Interested in learning how accelerate sales by increasing the speed at which leads move through the funnel? Here are 3 tips to get you started.
1. Limit the number of leads you send to your sales team
I know it sounds counter-intuitive to limit the number of leads you send to your sales team, but once you understand the logic, it’ll all make sense.
You tell me – what happens when someone gets too much of something? In other words, what happens when a sales person gets all of the unsorted leads that come through your marketing automation campaign?
You guessed it – they get a little overwhelmed and don’t take all of them seriously.
But what would happen if you sorted out the bad leads and only gave them the warm and hot leads?
By limiting the number of leads, you actually increase the likelihood that the sales person will follow-up on the leads. In other words, since they know each lead is a golden opportunity, they’ll take them more seriously and jump on them quickly.
Which leads us to the next tip.
2. Shorten the length of time it takes to respond to a lead
Studies show that the longer a salesperson waits to follow-up on a warm lead, the less likely it is that that lead will close. When a prospect downloads an eBook or clicks on a link to the pricing page of your website, you know that those leads are warm (or even hot). Every hour that passes between the time they clicked on the link and the time a sales person follows up is money down the drain.
Given all that, it’s important that you put systems in place that will ensure a quick and rapid response. By doing so, you’ll improve the likelihood that your efforts will succeed.
3. Re-engage lapsed users
If you’re like most companies, some of your highly engaged prospects eventually lapse and stop becoming engaged with your brand. That’s a bummer, but all is not lost. In fact, you can use a simple little technique to re-engage them which can be quite effective.
The technique is to create a segment in your database of people who haven’t clicked on any of the links in your emails for 6 months or more. Once you’ve created the segment, you can send an email to them specifically referencing the time it has been since they last clicked.
As an example, your email would say “It’s been six months since you last read one of our blog posts. Is there anything we can do to change that?”
By referencing the amount of time in a very specific way (e.g., “It’s been six months…”), people feel as though the email is customized for them and are more likely to take notice of the email and will respond more readily.
We’ve covered a lot of ground here, so let’s do a quick recap:
- Most people just focus on more leads and a better conversion rate. But if you also focus on improving the speed through the funnel, you’ll see better results with your marketing automation campaigns.
- Some techniques we’ve discussed here – like sending fewer leads to your sales team – are counter-intuitive. But studies have shown that they work, so don’t be afraid to try them.
- Finally, be sure to measure the results of your efforts over time. By tracking your results, you can be sure to optimize and improve as you move forward.
How have you used marketing automation to accelerate your business growth – at any stage of the funnel? Tell us about it in the comments.