All businesses that are focused on growth should measure the effectiveness of their sales and marketing strategies. In an increasingly digitised world, the quantity of data elements to analyse has risen steadily. Moreover, this huge quantity of data is disjointed. Your measurement calculations can go skew-whiff rapidly, due to the diverse metrics and channels involved. This results in costly, substandard marketing. Happily, it is possible to manage this overabundance of data – by realising that some of it is not important, and concentrating on the aspects that are.
Every company needs to be forward-thinking in order to grow. What this means in practice is adopting and maintaining a mind-set for growth, proactively seeking out opportunities and embracing change as an opening for improvement. If you'd like to take your B2B business to the next level in 2020 – and yes, it is possible, despite Covid-19 and whatever else – here are the essential steps to take.
Well-researched marketing techniques can pay dividends for your sales effectiveness. However, there is nothing quite so effective as personal referrals for drawing in customers. Research by Nielsen indicates that around 9 in 10 people trust referrals from their own social or business circle, leading to improved receptiveness to marketing, significantly higher conversion rates, and faster sales closures. The reasons for this are obvious: people perceive such advocacy as based on personal trust rather than sales incentives. How, then, do you turn existing customers into brand advocates
For many business owners, their LinkedIn profile is not seen as a primary marketing platform for the business itself. LinkedIn is seen as useful for personal and business connections, sourcing project opportunities and promoting the individual image. As such, your LinkedIn profile, which may have developed organically over many years, may appear more like a rambling CV or project resume than a honed business development tool. However, we also need to consider that the personal brand of the company CEO/MD can be very beneficial for generating leads and sales for the business.
It is crucial to respond to your customers and where their needs are at this point in time. This might sound too obvious to repeat, but, still, many business owners compare their companies against what their competitors are attempting to offer, rather than aligning with their customers' goals. Customer metrics can all too easily become an abstract calculation, but without a deeper understanding of what drives their behaviour, it is difficult to know how best to serve them personally.
It is hard to overestimate the value of word-of-mouth recommendations for businesses. People trust recommendations by their friends and associates much more than they do the claims of marketers. Testimonials, the recorded experience of real customers, step beyond informal referrals to give what marketing experts call the 'social proof' of a business's offering. Unsurprisingly, a glance at the websites for any number of industry sectors indicates the value placed on testimonials.
While things aren't back to normal for the UK's businesses yet, many companies are ramping up their operations again – and the good news is that the economic hit hasn’t (so far) been as bad as many people had feared. Therefore, if you want to strengthen your hold in the marketplace, you need to show people that you're ready to do business today. Whether you've continued, reined in, or even halted your marketing activities during the Covid-19 lockdown, you should increase your efforts now. Read on to find out why.
While the modern business world has dealt with downturns before, the current situation is unlike any that we've previously experienced. This doesn’t mean the worst predictions are necessarily accurate – they rarely are – but it's hard to predict what's going to happen. However, by taking steps to maximise the return that you're getting from your investment in sales and marketing now, you'll be better placed to grow your business whatever the future brings.
Lockdown measures for most sectors continue to be eased, so at long last it's time to get back to doing business. However, with social distancing still in place and experts claiming that we could be entering a recession, how can you find the customers you need to fulfil your growth plans, or to sustain your current position?
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected virtually every business owner. Although lockdown measures are being gradually relaxed, things are far from back to normal, and as a business owner you may find yourself with extra time on your hands.
This is a great opportunity to put that time to good use and work on the five most effective ways of preparing your business for growth in the coming months as things start to return to normal.