Today, your pipeline depends on digital marketing. Customers aren’t taking the time to talk to your sales team before making a purchase; instead, they’re often relying solely on the information they find about you online to decide whether or not to work with your company.
Because of this, it’s crucial that you understand and maximize your digital marketing strategy to attract and nurture leads through the sales pipeline all the way to close. As a business leader, you must ensure your marketing team is leveraging tactics that will actually support your brand and increase revenue. Here are the tools and trends proven to grow your sales pipeline:
Today, 42 percent of mobile users consider mobile the most important resource in their purchasing process. Mobile isn’t the next frontier in business, it’s what’s happening now. When Google changed their algorithm to favor mobile-friendly sites in April, it became essential for businesses to have a mobile site. However, 90 percent of small business owners still haven’t optimized their site for usage on smartphones and tablets. Today, you need to make it easier for customers to make purchases through their mobile phones.
Your ad strategy for mobile needs to be responsive to customer’s devices and should be based on previous data surrounding your site’s mobile traffic. It needs to acknowledge 60 percent of adults use their mobile phones or tablets to do research before making a purchase, meaning that the buying cycle may take place almost entirely on a customer’s iPhone. You also need to be aware of the new types of information customers can access through mobile. They’re able to gauge your location, prices and customer reviews: all elements of mobile shopping that can strongly influence your pipeline.
This doesn’t just pertain to your mobile site: it influences your traditional marketing as well. 69 percent of mobile users will delete emails without reading if they are not optimized for their smartphone, while another 18 percent will simply unsubscribe. This doesn’t just say mobile’s important to your email marketing, it points to a larger trend: whatever can be read on mobile will. Be sure you’re ready for it: if you’re not, you’re missing sales opportunities.
For two departments so integrally connected, it seems like the turf war between sales and marketing isn’t slowing down. However, aligning the two is essential to grow your company’s pipeline.
Encourage sales and marketing leaders to draft a service level agreement (SLA) that details lead requirements (and their potential exceptions), goals for marketing contributions to the sales pipeline, and a process to share data and content. Supplement it by sharing a CRM between the two departments. Then, track how marketing efforts result in new leads—and follow them all the way down the pipeline to determine marketing’s return on investment. By doing so, you determine best practices and track not only how many new leads you’re adding, but the revenue they bring.
Automation frees marketers up to track and refine their marketing operations without having to get too “in the weeds” with their tactics. It removes human error from the marketing equation, ensuring every email is deployed on time, every lead is reached when it’s most convenient for them and all prospects are contacted automatically across channels. For example, are you sending a tweet whenever you get a new email subscriber? Possible with MailChimp and Twitter Cards.
Automation frees up marketers to concentrate on the bigger picture: creating effective content and developing impactful strategy. No matter the size of your company, automation allows your team to work at maximum efficiency. It also helps integrate their action with the sales team by making lead scoring effortless. With all of these features, marketing automation can help you gain 50 percent more leads at 33 percent lower cost per lead.
Digital marketing is the key to growing your sales pipeline, lowering your costs per lead and delivering revenue. Don’t wait: embrace these techniques today.
Avi Levine is the executive director of the Digital Professional Institute (DPI), a Chicago-based programming and digital marketing school, affiliated with Tribeca Flashpoint College. He has more than 10 years of experience growing successful business, including PhilterIt.