There’s a big difference between attracting an enquiry and closing a sale

The differences between sales and marketing that you need to know in 2020

PART 1 by Chris Nelson, Managing Director & Digital Strategist for Juicebox.

Most SME businesses believe they can sell their own product or services. I know we do. If it’s not the owners themselves, it’s a BDM or a sales team in which they have full faith in. Why would they hire them otherwise? For that reason, when the average client engages Juicebox for marketing the directive is clear – “just get me the right leads and we’ll close them”. There’s very little time spent reviewing the sales process and often, soon enough, there can be criticism around the quality of the leads and a belief that “it doesn’t work”.

My business runs on referrals, my ideal client wouldn’t come through the web. Social media marketing attracts the wrong people (“battlers”). The cost per enquiry is too expensive compared to our price point. We’ve heard it all and whilst there can be truth behind those statements, it’s short sighted to rule a line through an entire channel or activity without properly exploring the journey of a prospect to a customer.

In 2019 there weren’t many businesses who hadn’t caught wind that producing content, with an aim to grow their database, was a sound strategy. With more content being produced than ever, creative and engaging content has never been more paramount. Once you had them in your funnel, it was a case of retargeting or crafting nurture campaigns to strengthen your brand’s relationship with the potential client or customer. Automating the “hard yards” of a building a relationship.

Recently we explored a client receiving an above adequate amount of enquiries for their product and service, yet with a scepticism around the marketing effectiveness. As an agency we were really satisfied with the digital strategy, marketing and results we had in place – it was holistic and it was working. The attribution was clear and the numbers were there to prove it.

In terms of their business, what they sold couldn’t be sold online as it needed a detailed quote produced and there was a service relationship that existed with the customer after the initial sale. Customers were often shopping around for the best deal and therefore a sales team was in place, dedicated to converting these enquiries (nigh “orders”) into customers. Surely a well oiled machine.

The scepticism actually arose from the lack of sales conversion. The leakage of leads. The fact that the high volume of enquiries weren’t impacting the bottom line. Tipping more budget into marketing spend even led at times to diminishing returns.

As a branding agency we pride ourselves on crafting customer experiences but this was a conversation of another sort. We as an agency had opened the floodgates, why wasn’t the water rushing?

PART 2 by John Blake, Sales Growth Strategist

My primary aim when I work with business owners is to help them convert more of the enquiries they get (from their investment in marketing) into paying clients.

If metaphorically speaking, leads (in this case from your digital agency) are represented by water contained in a bucket, in my experience, almost all businesses have many “holes in their bucket” where potential buyers “leak out” of the bucket that could otherwise have purchased had they been treated differently.
Some examples of these holes are as follows…

How many times does a sales team member try to contact a web enquiry or follow up with an enquiry that didn’t buy straight away?

What we know is 50% of potential buyers will make a purchase within 18 months of their initial enquiry but only 15 – 20% of those enquirers will buy on average within the first 90 days

The disconnect here occurs because after the 90 day mark almost no businesses will persist in following up with a potential lead or even with someone who has enquired, been given some sort of quote but hasn’t bought.

This hole alone is worth 100’s of thousands in lost sales in most businesses

Is there a sales process that maximises the possibility of someone making a purchase?

This is also a massive hole in many businesses buckets in terms of lost sales revenue.

Believe it or not many customers “endure” a buying process in order to make a purchase. In this scenario a sale happens in spite of the sales process not because of the sales process. Sometimes this is jokingly referred to as the “order prevention department” or when a team of sales people are simply “order takers” instead of sales professionals.

What is the 100 day experience for a new client?

Most businesses can cause huge upward shifts in their profit through better retention and reduced churn of their existing clients. However unless there is a process designed specifically for maximising retention, marketing costs will continue to go up and profits will either flat line or decline.

There are typically between 6 – 8 of these holes that can easily be plugged in most businesses, any of which can cause huge upward shifts in profit and revenue.

Sadly, as a business, if you keep putting more water in a bucket that has holes in it, without addressing your sales process for conversion and retention once they enter your ecosystem, your rate of loss will accelerate along with increased pressure and possible eventual burnout of your team.

With most businesses, the opportunity to double sales with existing lead flow well and truly exists, even the opportunity to reduce advertising spend while still doubling sales revenue and profits is a definite reality.

Like anything, it simply requires an unbiased, objective look at the existing systems in place. Some dedicated focus and some changes to the process followed by reviewing and refining to ensure the changes made are delivering the desired results.