Being the hero to your sales team means generating quality sales leads and using marketing media that produces results on a tight budget. In a sea of headlines about a challenging economy, we want to remind you of some marketing best practices that will help you succeed. Be on your way to marketing heroics, starting today.
Update Your Messaging
Don’t get bogged down in product details in your marketing messaging. Instead, focus on the value your products provide to customers. Most of your customers currently are focused on cutting costs and working on projects that increase efficiency and productivity. If you can weave these messages into your marketing, you will find more market opportunity. Explain how your products can help test current production processes; or reduce waste, rejects and energy consumption; or otherwise save money.
Here’s an example: if you offer higher quality/higher priced products, make the case that your products last longer and need replacing less frequently, which ultimately will help customers save money.
Eliminate Marketing to the Masses
If you want to get a better return on every marketing dollar invested, use marketing programs that specifically target the type of customer you need to reach. Reconsider the effort put into generating anonymous clicks to your Web site or broadcasting to a wide, unqualified audience through print ads. Ask your media partners to demonstrate how they have your target audience captive and the various ways you can reach that audience. Let them weed out the masses for you and deliver quality leads with full contact information.
The vast majority of the engineering and industrial professionals go online to seek technical information and research work-related purchases. Maintain an online presence on those Web sites, directories and search engines your customers use and the e-newsletters they read. You’ll gain the branding benefits of regular visibility and measurable lead generation benefits via online contact.
Focus on Lead Quality, Not Lead Quantity
If you focus on lead quantity over lead quality, fewer leads will convert, more sales resources will be wasted, and sales people will learn to distrust the leads that marketing gives them. Your sales team needs names and contact information. Re-allocate your marketing dollars to programs that deliver interested prospects and provide real contact information, giving your sales team leads they’re excited to follow-up on.
Nurture Leads You Already Have
If you’re not already keeping in touch with existing leads, start now. Prospects who once expressed interest in your company but haven’t purchased from you yet are the best sources of new business. They could be in wait and see mode now, but at some point will be ready to buy. Stay in touch and offer white papers, webinar invitations, case studies and other useful information to increase the likelihood they will do business with your company when they’re ready to buy.
Work Closer with Your Sales Team
Listen to what your sales team has to say about the sales tools, collateral and types of leads they need. Your job is to make their job easier. You can offer to help out with proposals, letters, custom sell sheets and more to help your sales team close more deals faster. Also, work together to identify case study candidates that will talk about cutting costs or gaining efficiencies.
It’s tempting to cut back on marketing during a down economy, and the reality is your budget may be tighter. But remember that buying is still taking place in the industrial sector, and you need to keep marketing so that potential customers keep your company in mind when they are ready to buy.
To keep marketing costs under control while still maintaining market presence, cut out programs whose performance and ROI you can’t measure. Instead, invest your budget in programs that provide reports that measure the performance of your marketing program and justify your ongoing marketing investments.
To learn more, sign up for the webinar "More Effective Marketing for the Industrial Sector", a free online seminar that will show you how to implement the right marketing mix to connect with customers and prospects.