The global economy is recovering and meaningful growth now looks likely, but how many companies are prepared to risk the time, money and staff resources needed to fully exploit the opportunities out there? Indeed, for some companies, the fear of committing too much too early will hold them back from making the most of an approaching new business age.
Having been through the ravages of the worst financial crisis in living memory, companies cannot now just turn back on the taps. Most are not equipped in terms of funds, or management, in order to make the most of what should be an exciting future.
So what can they do to ensure they capture all the available sales opportunities, whilst at the same time guard against wasting marketing budgets and management time?
The answer has to be to adopt a highly disciplined and ordered approach to lead generation and nurturing. In short, the best strategy has to be the outsourcing of this central part of the marketing effort.
So why outsource? Yes, there are the obvious arguments of a fixed budget and saved manpower, but it goes deeper than that. Generating leads is no longer focusing on gathering as many ill-defined contacts from as many sources as possible, and sending out an email and hoping for the best. Quality leads have to be generated in a controlled manner and then nurtured in such a way that they turn from cold leads into hot customers. This is no longer a bums on seats game, but an exercise which requires an almost scientific approach.
What’s more, there are nowadays so many channels, so many sources of leads (from ads through to all the digital routes), that ensuring that the last drop of advantage is being squeezed can be time-consuming and if care is not taken, confusing. Many marketers admit to likening their job to a rabbit staring into the headlights and wondering which way to turn before the juggernaut approaches and runs them down. Too many marketers complain that by the time they have all the information, from the multitude of channels, it’s become out of date for a campaign and the opportunities are lost. Thus, marketers need help from drowning. They need to fully align their efforts.
Alignment and Structure
The answer has to be an aligned and structured approach to gathering, nurturing and converting leads. In-depth research suggests that the best way to achieve that is via marketing automation. This gets around the unfortunate fact of life that most marketing departments (and this includes blue-chips, as well as medium sized companies), do not have a structured approach for handling leads and their processes for developing sales channels are at best unclear, at worst counter-productive.
The latest research supports this. A recent study highlighted the fact that those companies which employed marketing automation enjoyed a 44% conversion of leads, compared to 34% for those companies which did not use automation.
Year-On-Year Revenue Growth
But it goes further. Other studies have shown that companies which fully align all their marketing efforts and channels, actually increased their year-on-year revenue growth by 32%, whilst companies which did not fully align, actually showed a 7% decrease in revenues.
And when you think that figures show only around 8% of companies adopt tight alignment rules, the implications for profitability are huge and wide-reaching, and something which company management cannot ignore.
Therefore it logically follows that company management owe it to themselves to firstly consider the benefits of aligning their efforts, but also taking that one step further and outsourcing the whole task, lowering costs as well as the level of risk involved.
Management need to focus on that all important KPI, return on investment. This is the crucial measure for all executives. For each marketing euro/dollar/pound spent, there has to be a strong return in terms of sales and customer development.
Celsius GKK International – a WPP company
Which is where an advisory consultancy specialised in lead generation, marketing strategy comes in. They are experts, and ensure that when their marketing systems are used, they can achieve a very high ROI.
A wide range of companies have benefited from the Celsius approach which resulted in a tripling of their qualified leads in four months. This has been achieved through a strict alignment of the marketing channels and by the use of automated strategies.
Indeed, Celsius is so confident of its approach, that it guarantees to grow a company’s sales pipeline. In a world where guarantees are hard to find, that is a major commitment and testament to Celsius’s success-driven approach.
Now is the time for companies to boost their sales efforts. Indeed, we have entered a unique period which has a global recovery as a backdrop, a record low-interest rate environment which means it will never be as cheap to invest in people, marketing and resources, and opportunities galore for those companies willing to exploit the opportunities.
But, with many companies having had their fingers burnt through the world’s worst recession, and having experienced a number of false-starts, no-one can recommend a reckless approach to the future. In other words, opportunities certainly have to be exploited, but it has to be done in such a way as to maximise marketing spends and with the ROI and risk uppermost in manager’s minds.
The answer has to be full marketing alignment, outsourcing and automation.