Marketing vs. Sales vs. Smarketing

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(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!

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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

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Facebook’s New ‘Call to Action’ Button!

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Blair Pettrey, BlairPettrey, Inbound Marketing Maryland, Inbound Marketing DC, Inbound Marketing Virginia, Facebook Call to Action, Facebook Call to ACtion ButtonIn case you live under a rock – and I admit, I am delayed in the amazingness – Facebook has recently introduced (in a slow roll out, sadly none of the pages I administer have it implemented yet…) a “call to action” option.

Blair Pettrey, BlairPettrey, Inbound Marketing Maryland, Inbound Marketing DC, Inbound Marketing VirginiaLocated next to where a potential fan would typically ‘like’ your page, you can now add 1 of 7 new ‘Call to Actions’:

  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Use App
  • Play Game
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch Video

As a huge conversion & lead generation lover – this brings yet another way for Facebook to help you rock your marketing funnels and gain information and potentially help you bypass steps in the funnel you would have had to cross bridges with social media prior.

To add the ‘Call to Action’ you visit your page’s cover photo section, and it will be located next to the “like” option. As I mentioned, I haven’t received access to the exciting tool yet – but Facebook promises it will be rolled out worldwide by the end of the year. (Ha!)

Have your page received the ‘Call to Action’ button yet? How are you utilizing it and what gains have you seen because of it? Leave a comment with your experience

6 Steps to Organically Growing Your Social Media Following

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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!

Digital Marketing Websites…. Wha? (South Carolina edition)

I remember meeting with the infamous Matthew Roda of Roda Marketing – when he had asked me (after reading my Lancaster, PA edition of Digital Marketing Websites…. wha?) if he thought I was searching for the same terminology that others ‘not in the field’ would be searching for.

In the moment – I thought of course?! What small – mid – ( or even large) sized business that needs digital marketing efforts doesn’t look up things like “Digital Marketing” or (internet/online/some variation of such). However, the reality is, Matthew might have been onto something… Or AT LEAST, I’m hoping… Because as it turns out? South Carolina might not be a haven for digital marketing.

But alas, as always – here’s what I was looking for:

  1. Responsive Website Template

  2. Social Media– Links to share, and links to company pages

  3. Content– The ability to manage & create engaging content

And how did ‘South Carolina” measure up? (Or some of the major metropolitan areas within since the term South Carolina wasn’t so … helpful….)?

Continue reading “Digital Marketing Websites…. Wha? (South Carolina edition)”