As someone who loves to learn stay current on sales and leadership, I’m usually immersing myself in an ebook, white paper, or webcast. In today’s world of content marketing, thought leaders publish these pieces to stay in the forefront of our minds and establish their credibility.
Of course, lead generation is another benefit of content marketing. Every time we download content, we add ourselves to that company’s lead-gen list. What happens next requires a delicate balance. Not too long ago, I wrote about lack of follow up and what it can do to the sales process. I think we can all agree no follow up leads to no sales.
But over-aggressive and poorly-timed follow up doesn’t reflect well upon you or your business either.
Recently, a member of my team downloaded a free ebook. It was her first contact with the company. Within hours, before she even had a chance to open the ebook, she received a call about the company’s product. She didn’t request to be contacted and she didn’t view a product demo. Had she, research shows that a quick response, within five minutes, will reap the best results.
However, in this case was it too aggressive? Too fast? Yep. The end result was a complete turnoff, and she unsubscribed from their list.
The right approach is to bridge between marketing and sales, to strike a balance in the buying cycle.
With this type of inbound marketing, new leads are still at the top of your sales funnel, the beginning of the buyer’s journey. They’re gathering information and getting to know you. Most likely, they’re not looking for a proposal or demo today. Even if they are, it’s not likely they’re going to buy today. However, that’s not to say you should go silent. Now’s the time to nurture those new connections through marketing and allow a little space. According to Hubspot, prospects receive an average of 10 touches from the time they enter the top of the funnel until they’re a closed-won customer.
Consider these steps:
- Use technology to stay in front of your contacts. At Impact, MailChimp is our tool of choice. It’s low cost, and enables us to automate a series of relevant content responses to those who subscribe to our sales training and leadership development content. We use the same tool for blog posts, our newsletter, and any other custom content.
- Create additional offers for your followers and community to engage with you. Examples are offering relevant webinars, or extending an offer for a free consultation or demo.
- Monitor their activity with you. Watch your list for high engagement. We can view individual profiles to see which followers have opened emails and downloaded content. That gives us the ability to time our follow-up appropriately.
- When the time is right, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and make direct contact. And don’t give up too soon. Persistence is one key to sales success – your subscribers actually do appreciate persistence when it’s combined with consistent value over time.
For more modern selling tips to boost sales and drive high-value results, I invite you to download our eBook, Six Strategies to Maximize Sales Results.