It's data. Data is king. Data is knowledge. Without data, how can you move your company forward?
Let's first take a look at the 'buyer's journey' and how it's changing right in front of us.
The way we engage with our buyers online needs to change. Currently, the foodservice equipment industry is disregarding two very important phases of the buyer's journey, which hinders our ability to sell. We must engage with buyers well before they are ready for a quote, but how?THE BUYER’S JOURNEY CONSISTS OF 3 KEY STAGES:
The buyer is experiencing some type of pain or challenge. Maybe he or she is not even aware of a problem. That person will take to the web to either find out what the problem is or to look for solutions from other people having similar experiences.
The buyer is considering YOUR product, service, or solution versus the competition in order to solve the problem of which he or she is now aware.
People decide only after going through the first two stages above.
Marketers and sales folks are completely missing out on the first two phases of this buyer's journey. With 60% of the decision process happening prior to speaking with sales, why would we neglect these stages in such a sales-driven industry?
In the pre-sales process, if you are not engaging with your buyers in the Awareness and Consideration stages, you are not finding out who these visitors are, what they do, what’s their title, role, and what their challenges are. So how can we nurture leads by feeding them information relative to their role, market segment, pain points, and challenges if we have no idea what those things are? We can't.
This is why it's important to gather information and ask specific questions as users digest information on our websites. We can ask specific questions, just like salespeople do when they are qualifying a lead. For example:
- What’s your biggest challenge as it pertains to ventilation?
- What’s your biggest challenge behind the bar?
The answers to these questions will help us guide the lead down the correct marketing path. We can ask questions BEFORE it gets to sales, identifying challenges and feeding content to leads relative to their needs. Providing relevant information is essential whether the user is an end user, consultant, architect, or dealer. To be successful in this, we need to live on the line where content meets context.
At the end of the day, this is marketing’s job: To generate sales qualified leads. That’s the bottom line. Your marketing team (whether it be one person, a team, and/or an outside agency) should be the lead generation arm of the company.THE DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM
The industry is now using and evaluating a wide range of tools and systems, but what is the ultimate goal? What's the common thread? What needs to come out of these systems? What's the end goal to have them working in unison? Eventually, this digital ecosystem of software tools HAVE to share data between platforms. For example, we should automatically feed sales-ready leads with a process that funnels into ORGO and/or your CRM.
Today, this industry is realizing that technology is the future, and at the same time, we are still stuck in the spreadsheet world. Spreadsheets are how leads are managed today. In a lot of cases, a factory sends a spreadsheet to the rep asking them to report back with a status. It’s a good starting point, albeit dated.
With software available to us today like HubSpot that feeds important sales data into ORGO and/or your CRM, we can fully understand the customer before they are ready to buy and close the loop on that sale. We can determine where the opportunity comes from. We can determine the deal amount. We can manage separate pipelines. We can forecast revenue. We can expeditiously follow up with Sales Qualified Leads. We can determine which marketing efforts worked. And we can determine the ROI of our marketing efforts, and double down on what's actually working as supported by real data.
The answer is DATA. Data is king.
Without the data, sales will be stuck in their old ways. And that's not what buyers are demanding in 2018.
Everyone is testing out software and creating their own ‘system.’ Whatever the software or tool, though, it doesn’t matter until you have a defined sales process. This is the most essential part of getting that software to actually work for you.
As you can see, there's a lot of work to be done. And it won’t be easy. But rest assured, TMC Digital Media will be helping lead the way (pun intended).
Find out how other companies are creating their digital ecosystem. Let's talk sales process and software tools. Book time with me today.