Marketing vs. Sales vs. Smarketing

Blair Pettrey - Pettrey - Inbound Marketing BLair Pettrey - Inbound Blair

(AKA – Attract your clients, customers, and potential leads with marketing – and close them like a boss with sales and combined you’ve got smarketing!)

When I first began digital marketing years ago, perhaps I was one of the ‘rare lucky’ ones, or at least when it comes to most companies & businesses.

I came from the world where my marketing funnel went from Top of Funnel (TOFU), Middle of Funnel(MOFO), to Bottom of Funnel (BOFO). At which point if the potential lead was considered a true lead – and at the ‘BOFU’ they were passed on to the dedicated sales person. Otherwise, as a marketer, it was my job to continue to nurture and work with them through the process to make them become a ‘BOFU’ worthy lead.

In all actuality, my goal with every single lead I ever received, was to try to nurture them in an online way in every capacity possible before having to have a salesperson get them on the phone – so that I was not wasting my sales person time. My ultimate goal was to make it so that potential lead was so nurtured and aware of whatever product or service we or I provided was so worthwhile, at the point they talked to a salesperson, all the salesperson had to do was say ‘This is the pricing, and this is where you sign.’

Let’s be honest: most true marketers (especially online marketers) weren’t meant to be the salesperson. Marketers weren’t meant to be the closers (which is why we have sales staff!). I know for certain that is where I fall short in my own weaknesses, and thus that is why I focus solely on generating leads, qualifying them, and then nurturing them. AND THEN – gladly passing them off to my sales personnel, who knows how to do demos, who knows how to share pricing without ‘eeeking,’ who knows how to say ‘sign on the dotted line.’

Yet for many business owners, companies, and the like – when generating leads in the online world, it’s hard to know when to shift that ‘marketing qualified lead’ (MQL) to a ‘sales qualified lead’ (SQL), and how to give both credits. Even more so, it’s hard for many to grasp the concept that inbound marketing goes beyond just the initial lead generation.

Inbound marketing is absolutely about connecting, collecting, and generating leads. We as inbound marketers are drawing people and leads to whatever company and business through many avenues – paid, social, content, etc. However one of the biggest components that are often misunderstood by business owners is the fact that as inbound marketers, we continue to nurture leads. Whether it’s sending follow-up leads. Or it’s actually placing that phone call (which heck, I don’t like to do, but I often do just so I can know why a client may think not or share how we can be the best option!) It’s about continuing the conversation far past the point of a form fill out at day one.

Inbound Marketing is far past the point of filling out a form.

Sure, I’ve gotten a lead, WOOHOO! I can pass it on to my sales person and count it towards whatever my target goal may be. But are they converting? Are they becoming a sale? Are they becoming a client?

Are they becoming a client?

This is the most important question to ask and to have answered – and why it is so important that sales and marketing teams work together (aka smarketing). Because if perhaps a typically qualified “MQL” that turns into an “SQL” but then does not end up becoming a SALE – should you just drop the potential lead? Of course not!

However! This means that your sales team and marketing team must be hand in hand in communication and efforts. Perhaps the lead didn’t sell this time. Well, your sales team should tell your marketing team to continue their nurturing process so that perhaps next time, they do become a sale. That’s not just a win for marketing or sales, that’s a win for the business.

Marketing can’t help Sales without Sales helping Marketing!

The point of all of this is this: if marketing passes on a potential lead to sales – but is failed to learn about the follow-up connection – whether that person became a lead or not: why that person DIDN’T become a lead or not, etc. There’s a huge missed opportunity for all.

Marketing cannot continue to potentially nurture the nonqualified lead in the future, that could have become a SQL (sales qualified lead).
Marketing is missing opportunities on potential content, conversations, and failed to potential examples of clients as case studies – all of which reinforces the circle of the success of sales and marketing working together.

In Conclusion

The point that I am trying to make – and any marketer and salesperson together should ever make, is that there needs to be a ‘smarter’ approach. A written, defined, understood way to what happens to each lead that comes through the funnel. No marketing funnel stops at the top – no matter what, just like no sales funnel ends at the bottom.

Sales and marketing must be a collaborative force, that works together, to better achieve not just their own goals – but the goals of the businesses they represent.

Happy Smarketing!

Advertisements

The Power of One – by Blair Pettrey

Blair Pettrey - the Power of One

Blair Pettrey - the Power of One

If you don’t already, you need to subscribe, follow, read and watch Gary Vaynerchuk on anything and everything.
(In no way am I being paid, reimbursed, bribed, or anything else to tell you that! I’m merely trying to tell you FOLLOW THIS AMAZING MAN if you want AMAZING inbound marketing tips, digital marketing tips, personal branding tips, etc.!)

I know for me, personally, I hit a link – a blog – a website – and if it’s informative enough, or seems ‘hip’ enough – I’ll usually follow through on their immediate ‘call to action’ (as every inbound site of course has, right?) and give them my email address, and subscribe to their newsletter. By the 2nd round of emails (if I even make it past the first email they send) – I’m 99% likely to hit that unsubscribe button. While they drew me in enough to get me to give them my email – they have failed to hold my interest. Whether it’s because their emails are boring, they failed to correctly personalize (i.e. my experience with Ebates.com), or whatever reason – VERY FEW newsletters that I sign up for, do I ever read the first – even fewer make it past the 2nd email.

Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the VERY few that passed that test.

In fact – even my ‘marketing idol’ (inbound marketing hero? Digital marketing expert? Whatever you want to call the amazing Seth Godin); I don’t subscribe to his emails.

I digress.

The amazing Gary Vee recently sent an email out… sharing an old video he once did, titled ‘One is Greater than Zero‘.  If you haven’t watched it; watch it now!

But this is something I have been ‘doing, believing, and preaching’ for years. Because while I measure everything (after all, I’m an inbound marketer!), I purposefully do not focus on the amount of views or leads or comments or shares or retweets or bounces or anything on my own personal domain. Because, I know that whatever I am doing? It’s working. It may not be going viral – but it is helping those who may not know much about digital or inbound (i.e. my most successful posts have been the ones where I wrote merely tips to help businesses grow; i.e. 6 Steps to Organically Growing Your Social Media Following or (Competitor) Ignorance Ain’t Bliss Honey… or What is “Inbound Marketing” aka – “Sell Me This Pen” or Stalking Not Necessary… How to Stay on Top of Your Competition!) I didn’t write those to attract, or count, or convert or build an empire – I wrote those merely to share and help others. Others who may never become clients. Others who may never spend $1 with me. But I wrote it for them – and not for my own purpose, not for my own numbers, not for my own gains. And yet, those (and other similar blog posts) are the reasons I’ve landed new clients. Are the reason I’ve attracted employers and opportunities that I thought were “way out of my league”.

And yet – I write other posts – where only 1 person reads it; and they even bounce. Or I get 10 visitors, and only 1 comment. Or I get no comments.

But I still write.

Because ‘The Power of ONE’ is influence enough. Maybe that ‘one’ will become my next huge client. Maybe that ‘one’ will refer someone to my blog, or to me. OR maybe, just maybe that ‘one’ was about to give up on their business – on their own success and growth – and instead learned something unique and valuable enough to help keep them going.

Don’t write or create content merely for the numbers. I promise you – if what you share is valuable – you will get more than 1. But even if you write the most AMAZING blog post, even if you create the most AMAZING video, graphic, ebook, etc – and it only gets 1 view/click/download – you never who that ‘one’ is.

And ONE is GREATER than ZERO!

Reality of SEO…

blair pettrey

blair pettreyThe reality? The best place to hide a dead body? Page 2 of Googlesearch.

80% of people don’t look past the top 3 results on Google, 90% don’t look past page 1.

Where does your business’ page land?

Blair Pettrey

www.inboundBlair.com

www.BlairPettrey.com

www.facebook.com/BlairPettreyforhire

www.linkedin.com/in/BlairPettrey

www.twitter.com/BlairPettrey

6 Steps to Organically Growing Your Social Media Following

Inbound Blair, BlairPettrey, Blair Pettrey, Social Media Tips, How to grow social media following, inbound marketing dc, inbound marketing charlottesville, inbound marketing frederick, inbound marketing columbia, inbound marketing maryland, inbound marketing washington dc, inbound marketing virginia, di

 

Social Media is a wonderful mufti-faceted innovative way for businesses to grow and develop leads. It helps search engine optimization, it helps build brand awareness, engage with clients and/or potential clients, and more! And with the changes in Facebook in recent years as well as many of the other major social media platforms – the success and growth of your business on these platforms, all depends on your audience reach.

So how do you grow your following without paying for advertisements and clicks? Implement each of the steps below and I personally promise you will see a drastic increase in your reach!

  1. Connect (and actively engage!) with audience – both fans and similar businesses (i.e. like businesses in your local area).
    1. Ask engaging questions
      1. “What’s your favorite website”
      2. “What are the first 3 websites you visit each morning”
      3. etc. etc. etc. etc.
    2. Respond when people comment/post on your page, etc.
    3. Respond to other business page’s!
    4. Share/Re-tweet valuable/unique/interesting info, not just business specific
  2. Utilize Hash-tags!!!
  3. Make it personal
    1. “Happy 11 years to XYZ Business today… #TBT”
    2. Happy Birthday to our Employee, Sam McGuire (i.e.)
    3. Share photos! Share your culture. Instagram it! HASHTAG it.
  4. Repeat. Re-post. Re-purpose.
    1. Make interesting blog posts into infograms and/or graphics for Facebook/twitter/etc.
    2. Turn a blog post into a podcast
    3. Share it on Facebook.
  5. Track/Measure when your followers are most likely to engage with you – make sure you are posting valuable info (or re-sharing,etc) through out the day, but especially at these times.
  6. Share info for potential clients – not just current clients (or those in the same industry as you). Ideally social media will attract other businesses/potential leads to hire ImageWorks (or whatever business you’re managing the social media of).

Don’t forget to track and measure your growth! Both Twitter and Google have free insights and analytic ‘s for you to utilize when measuring your reach and fans/followers!

Happy Growing!

Damn…. it works! (The Digital Handshake)

Digital Handshake + Blair PettreyThey (the hauncho’s – the agency owners – the ‘targeted demographic’  – the CEO’s & Executives – all those who I was hoping to learn something from…..) always told me that it works – but I never wanted to believe them. I wanted to believe the entire world would be drawn to me and I would never have to make an effort to attract, engage, or connect.

While the best of brands make that happen – THEY even continue to build, connect & engage. 

So the fact that I, as little ol’ Blair Pettrey – would refuse to do such – and expected to see such results? Is almost as ridiculous and idiotic as the small business that refuses to invest in an inbound marketer.

Because remember – as I defined and explained in this post; Inbound Marketing drawls and attracts through engagement, connection, and reasoning. 

And in the past few weeks, not only have I entirely focused on the traffic that I bring to my blog through the efforts of active engagement, content, updates etc – I have also gone out on a whim and reached out to those I desired to connect with. Some it was a beyond crazy hope of trying to connect – but ya know what? It’s turned out on more than one (and truly, more than 80% of the times I have tried) – not only have I received acknowledgement and response back – regardless of their desire or abilities to help connect me in my field – they’ve proved resources for me to connect with others. The who’s and the how’s. Offering to connect on my behalf, offering to give me the opportunity network through a list of the connections & they be an introduction, suggestions to better engage and ‘sell’ my own self to others.

Thus, truly – while BlairPettrey.com is my attempt to display myself, my skills and abilities – it also has become a valuable resource from others (I’m told on a daily basis) of connecting with those who are also looking for that ideal career -whether as an entrepreneur or as an individual hoping to be recruited and join their dream company/business/etc.

So from one individual who has helped countless clients and businesses grow and sell themselves or their products – through inbound marketing, paid – per -click advertising on facebook/AdWords/BingAds, SEO measures, link generation, and more – let me remind you the #1 thing that works:

Connection!

And you can’t be scared to go out on a limb and make that connection. After all – what’s the worst thing that could happen?

 

Follow me on Twitter + Facebook + LinkedIN for more!