Wonder why your sales aren’t up to snuff? Is the problem your lead generation (not having enough leads) or lead conversion (not converting those leads to paid clients)? It’s an age-old business question like the chicken and the egg (which did come first?).
The question then becomes: If my firm isn’t growing as desired, where should I put my efforts? In marketing and lead generation, or in stronger lead conversion?
This question is tough because the best results will likely come from a combination of sales and marketing, or “Smarketing” to use a funny, mashed up term.
You can’t grow at the desired level if you don’t have prospective clients to talk with—marketing.
Yet how effective are you, and your team, at converting those hard-earned leads to clients—sales?
Smarketing is the process of integrating the sales and marketing processes of a business. It’s a collaborative effort that should be seamless to your prospects.
Recently Dr Maribeth Kuzmeski and I shared helpful tips on Smarketing from the marketing and the sales view. Here’s a link to the replay. Dr. Kuzmeski also wrote a fabulous article on the integration of sales and marketing you should read.
The Sales in Smarketing
Looking at the drive for revenue growth and new client acquisition from the sales aspect, here are the key components to integrate selling efforts with prospects driven from marketing lead generation.
1. Focus on What’s in it for Them
From the first “live” contact and throughout each subsequent conversation, ensure every interaction you have with your prospect is presented in a way that makes it about them.”
- For anything you will share, put on your “prospect” mindset and ask yourself, “So What? What does this mean for/to me?” Then respond.
- During the conversation ensure you aren’t talking more than a few minutes at a time without engaging them or relating to them…”That’s why we xxx, so you can rest assured that xxx.” Or “How does that relate to your situation?” or “What are your thoughts on xxx?”
2. Be Genuine
If your marketing efforts tout your firm as a client-centered business and then the prospect’s interactions with you or a team member are more pitch than converse, you create a disconnect. And a disconnect creates mistrust. And mistrust does not create a new client.
- Do what you say—if you say that the meeting is an opportunity to learn more about them, and you spend all the time telling them about you, mistrust follows.
- Bring your personality, interests, and expertise to the conversation. No one wants to talk to a robot—they can jump online for that impersonal approach.
3. Don’t Build a One-Man Show
If your firm’s marketing efforts are heavily focused on the founder or leader, you’ll miss the opportunity for the other Advisors and team members to lead the selling effort.
- Identify transition points within your sales process to bring other Advisors into the selling efforts… or the relationship.
- Showcase individual team members in your content, website, and events.
4. Equip Your Advisors to Succeed
Too many founders tell their Advisors to “sit in” on a few prospective client meetings, watch what they do, and then replicate. This often fails. Why? Because how the founder sells is not specifically duplicatable. They have the reputation, years of trial and error, and the ability to pivot on the spot. New-to-the-selling-effort Advisors need the sales process simplified, clarified, and practiced.
- If your Advisors are responsible for sourcing their own leads, equip them with the process, resources, support, and skillset to be successful.
- Practice! Move away from “watch me” and instead teach practical skills, and then let them practice. Yes, it will feel awkward, but I don’t know of any profession where purposeful practice doesn’t pay off.
To drive your firm’s growth, you need your lead generation and lead conversion efforts working together. More importantly you need these efforts consistently and purposely driving action, accountability, and results. Make it an enjoyable process and not only will team members join your Smarketing efforts willingly, it will make business growth a part of your culture.
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