In these are uncertain times it’s fair to say that many businesses will be adversely affected by current events and that the most prepared companies with the strongest sales pipelines will flourish the most as we come out of it, which of course we will.
If you are required to self-isolate, this is the perfect time to devote quality thinking time to strengthen your marketing and sales pipeline building process, and to tackle the things that always get pushed down the ‘to do’ list. We have created a checklist below of the things you can do to dramatically improve your marketing, to tip the odds for a speedy recovery and your best sales pipeline to date.
1. Allocate the budget and resources required and concentrate on the multiple marketing pillars below:
- Follow up and nurture existing customers and prospects to build stronger customer relationships. Give them multiple reasons to trust you more than your competitors. When your competitors are desperate for sales, and slashing prices, your OTIF delivery performance may not be enough on its own for retention, so it’s important to keep these relationships strong. Try printed newsletters, personalised letters, emails and keeping in touch calls. Reassure them of your preventative plans, and your contingency plans to keep your service levels to them up.
- Outbound marketing and lead generation to new prospects. Offline to online.
- Inbound marketing and lead generation to new prospects. Online to offline.
- Evergreen direct marketing to build the list and work the list.
2. To build a stronger sales pipeline start now.
- Develop your proposition and marketing hook, pick up the phone and let all of the buyers within 60 miles of your business known who you are and how you can help them if their existing suppliers let them down.
- Follow up regularly with compelling emails.
- Follow up within days with clever personalised direct mail, (in the post). Don’t leave this to someone who can’t write, doesn’t like cold calling or who has a busy to do list. If it isn’t an in-house core competence, outsource it to a specialist. If you need help setting up a campaign or delivering the call our Business Propeller team can help.
- Follow up within days on the phone and ask to become their backup supplier. Push for the first sample order to become a trusted supplier.
3. Now is the time to sort out your website and inbound marketing once and for all.
- Sorting out the website so it delivers a steady stream of quality enquiries always gets put to the bottom of the list due to other workloads and self-isolation is the perfect time for quality thinking time and remote collaboration.
- Think of your core message and your core proposition and how this can be best conveyed to your target audience.
- Try and sell the sizzle (not the sausage) by focusing on what you can do for them rather than what you do.
- Make sure the site structure is easy to navigate for the optimum user experience and also for Google.
- Add video to increase engagement
- Add keyword rich professional search engine friendly copy to improve your rankings.
- Run site tests to ensure your site is loading correctly and speedily on desktops, laptops, notepads and mobiles. Google insists on this!
- Don’t leave your website strategy to a web designer. A pretty website won’t necessarily deliver the highest ROI so seek expert advice from a digital marketing specialist with experience in your sector. We would love to work with you but if it’s not Stratique, that’s fine but we do recommend that you get expert advice if this isn’t a core competence in-house as it’s a critical factor to your success.
- Ensure your online advertising strategies are set up correctly and monitored. Driving targeted traffic to specific landing pages should be high on your to-do list and testing and measuring are key. If you aren’t an expert we wouldn’t recommend trying to do this yourself as it is easy to waste time and advertising budget on online advertising.
- Make sure Google Analytics is in place and reporting is set up properly.
- Ensure conversion tracking is set up properly.
- Ensure that you are split testing your ads and your landing pages. If digital marketing isn’t your thing outsource it to a specialist and review their monthly reports.
- Ensure you add regular content and blogs to your site every month. Content is king with Google and it loves regular pieces of 300-1000 words every month. Self-isolation is the perfect time for copywriting or drafting some bullet points. If copywriting isn’t your thing outsource it to a specialist copywriter with sector knowledge.
- Plan, do, check, act every month.
4. Evergreen marketing is a discipline that should not be underestimated.
- Your competitors won’t be doing a very good job here as it takes time and effort, so take the time and effort to stand out and build the relationship.
Good luck! If you need help with any of the above we offer free advice to manufacturing companies on building their sales pipeline. Alternatively, we can help build the systems and run them for you. We call this our Business PropellerTM Service. To find out more on how it works, call 01827 69772 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.