Can Accounting Firms Get Sustainability in Marketing with Inbound Marketing? We believe so…
Your business development or sales organization has been very busy. Think about all that time spent drafting emails, responding to voice mails, writing proposals with little or no real relevance, pitching to non-decision makers and not holding prospects accountable to commitments… in actuality that is a lot of time NOT spent selling, it is time spent chasing!
What percentage of the overall time of your sales efforts are actually spent actually selling with new prospects? And how does your brand and/or credibility suffer from these typical but common sales activities?
Consider the impact on your top line revenue if you were able to reduce the time either you or your sales people spend chasing procrastinators.
Consider the impact on your growth if you were able to double your actual time spent selling (most sales people are only in front of new prospects (outside the scope of your existing core client base).
Here is a hint: an improvement of 5%-20% of the time equates to 2-8 appointments/hours per week.
What would this translate into with regards to gross sales?
There is a marketing process that can shorten the sales cycle and dramatically improve conversion and close rates. When properly deployed it can eradicate all those annoying time wasters many sales people get stuck with while providing your brand or product with a significant boost in credibility. The common term is content marketing or inbound marketing. More about that in a minute…
How Is Time Utilized in the Sales Process?
Just think about the amount of time that gets invested into:
- Prospecting and networking
- Writing proposals
This is usually followed by the big chase with the “prospect”… and then you come to discover that your sales people were on a big fishing expedition!
Sooner or later every business owner will realize the importance of addressing this situation.
Quite often traditional sales people sit back after all of the hours of prospecting, pitching, presenting, proposal writing and chasing and go over in their own minds why the prospect, who seemed so interested yesterday did not buy today. There are shelves of books dealing with this problem in book stores. The reasons that sales people typically provide are at the very least predictable.
Do any of these replies sound familiar?
- Your price is too high!
- We need to “think it over”!
- We have decided to postpone this for now!
- We have decided to stay with our current provider!
- We chose another company!
If you had a stock portfolio that was under-performing the overall market would you keep dumping time and money into those stocks? I seriously doubt it. What you would do is you assess what you have that is working, and then determine what to keep and what to eliminate… you would cut your losses with regard to what is really an under-performing asset. Why would you approach your marketing tactics any differently?
Place Your Focus on the Plan
For our clients opportunity is not a viable strategy to business development. Our clients believe in the creation of plans, plans that are both realistic and achievable; plans that establish measurable goals and provide personal accountability. Our clients wake up every morning knowing what action items have to be accomplished, and understand how these activities align with their overall long term mission.
Can you honesty argue that your marketing and sales goals are clearly defined, understood throughout your company, and are being achieved? If not perhaps it’s time for you to seriously consider a change in your company’s approach to marketing. Beginning with the overall vision and leading through the goals, strategies, and action items necessary to achieve a result that you will be proud of. And getting off of the unsustainable cycle of cold calling, frustration, and remorse and shifting your marketing spend into a more sustainable process.
It Must Be Measurable
Adopting new marketing tactics are always met with excitement until the revenue line doesn’t grow or the results are fuzzy and non-measurable. That has often been the case with traditional marketing tactics like direct mail, newspaper advertising, and road signs. And while good marketers have adapted internet marketing best practices like dedicated landing pages and QR codes to help strengthen these traditional practices provide and provide some analysis they really cannot compare to the quality and volume of data that can be generated from an inbound marketing approach.
Again, using the stock portfolio analogy, how long would you continue with an investment advisor if all you routinely saw were the fees s/he was charging you and not the performance of the portfolio? That is very similar to what many businesses are doing- paying the fees to pump out ad’s without being able to assess the impact that ad is having on their revenue growth.
Change Your Approach to Marketing
With the proper application of a well defined plan along with a robust inbound marketing platform (we recommend Hubspot® and use it ourselves) you can consolidate almost all of your marketing endeavors into a single software-driven process. The advantages to this approach are:
- You will project your company’s value proposition
- Your target audience will understand your company culture
- The value your company brings to your clients will be broadly and repetitively understood
- You will be able to quantify which tactics are most successful and where to shift your investment of time and talent
Perhaps best of all you will share that across a blog and different social media applications automatically and seamlessly. You will now have the ability to:
- Create and/or enhance the awareness in your brand that rivals the best public relations tactics
- Repetitively establish your credibility
- Provide opportunities for interested parties to become qualified prospects
- Maintain a high level of engagement over time
- Understand where in the sales process your investment in training and continuing education needs to be applied
Get the Facts
We have a comprehensive e-book that illustrates the inbound marketing process in great detail, and would love to share it with you. To obtain your copy, with no strings attached and no sales person phone calls, just complete the short form, above, right.
And if you would like to schedule an initial assessment of your current website and see an inbound marketing quotient just drop us an email and request a complimentary consultation.