One way to increase the sales pipeline

Fabrice Calando | Sales AutomationAre you losing 50% of your potential sales? Let’s face it, Sales isn’t easy – you need a good balance of product/service knowledge and consumer psychology, you need to live by a scientific process and be persistent, thick skinned, patient yet convincing… Those are just the skills, now add the necessary tasks. Depending on your organization – Sales is in charge of finding leads, selling, cross-selling and even customer support and some implementation/execution. It’s easy to see why it’s one of the most important positions.

It’s not surprising then, a lot falls through the cracks at each step of the process – probably more than any Executive would like to know or admit. Are you finding the right amount of leads? Are you giving up on them too early? Are you approaching the closing and cross-sell in an optimal way?

The good news is that newish tools can help augment your sales efforts by automating tasks. By empowering your sales team to focus on their strengths, you get more leads, better quality leads and a more predictable sales funnel.

And your marketing team is the one that can help. The job of a marketer is to communicate the value of a product, service or business to customers and leads for the purpose of promoting or selling. In short, generating revenue for the company.

Converting visitors into customers… a forgotten step

Generally speaking, to generate income, a marketer must:

  1. Attract visitors to its site,
  2. Convert these visitors into leads,
  3. Then convert these leads into customers.

Usually, marketers know the first point well: advertising, social media, content for the blog. If it’s well executed, the right visitors are attracted. Point 2 is also known. Marketers optimize their landing pages to better convert visitors to leads. But what’s next? Are all visitors going to become customers? Are all visitors even ready to become customers? How does an organization even help them become customers?

It is precisely at that point that Sales Augmentation plays an important role.

How does Sales Augmentation help convert visitors into customers?

According to a study by Gleanster, of all company’s website visitors:

  • 30-50% of leads are qualified, but for one reason or another, are not willing to become a customer yet.
  • 25% of leads are simply not qualified.
  • 25% are willing to buy today.

So ignoring Point 3 mentioned above is ignoring 30-50% good leads.

This is where Sales Augmentation is so powerful. It enables a personalized, continuing education of our leads. For example, a Visitor came to our site because of search engine optimization efforts and decides, after reading some our blog posts, to download extra content. This content can be an industry report, a user guide, a price list, etc. Anything that could add value to our Visitor. Given the content’s high value, the Visitor must leave his or her email to access it.

Without augmentation, there are two conclusions: either the relationship ends there or a sales representative tries to contact him or her. Whatever the conclusion, you’re dropping a sale.

As noted earlier, although that particular Lead is qualified, he or she is not ready to become a customer. He or she is not yet looking to buy so asking our sales representative to contact him or her is putting the cart before the horse. That Lead is probably higher up in the funnel and is looking to learn and get educated. Ideally your sales team would take the time it takes to educate and teach. But that process can be long, time-intensive and not always conclusive, which usually runs counter to the quarterly targets your team is trying to achieve.

Through a well-implemented Sales augmentation processes, we can instead share more information directly related to the subject of the downloaded content. Often this sharing is done through a system of pre-programmed emails. If, during this process, the Lead downloads a second and even a third, a fourth piece of content (or more!), we can conclude that he or she is now more advanced in the purchasing decision process and perhaps more apt to buy.

LEARN ABOUT THE MAIN SALES AND MARKETING AUTOMATION TOOLS [Free Resource Guide] >>

The other advantage, often less articulated, is to disqualify uninteresting Leads. While it’s impressive to have a lot of traffic to our site, it’s really those in our target who are of interest. Sales augmentation allows us to filter the good from the less qualified leads and, therefore, put more effort on the latter…

Educate and build relationships

Sales automation is primarily a way to educate and identify our good Leads to encourage a sale. Whether we work in B2B, B2C, have a sales force or if all our activities happen online, it integrates with our other marketing efforts such as Inbound Marketing, SEO, advertising, etc. It allows us to get more customers without exponential effort.

[Free Guide] DISCOVER THE MAIN SALES AND MARKETING AUTOMATION TOOLS >>

(Photo credit: Chester Alvarez)

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