When running a race, I always find the last mile the hardest. The momentum you felt at the earlier stages of the race is starting to dwindle. Your legs have grown tired and sore. Your heart continues to beat faster. The finish line is just a short distance away, yet it feels like there is an ocean separating you from the crowd of cheers.
For many businesses, closing a deal can feel much the same. You’ve powered through the first two stages of goal-based marketing strategies—driving more traffic to your website and bringing in more qualified leads. But as you reach the end of the sales process, you feel things start to stall. The leads you’ve brought into the sales funnel tend to sit for an extended period before they take action, and sometimes there is no action at all.
In the last mile of the decision stage, it can often seem like time has stopped. But just as sideline cheers can give runners a boost toward the end of a race, there are plenty of ways to help push qualified prospects toward the finish line.
Closing more deals is not just a sales priority for businesses. According to a recent HubSpot survey, 75 percent of companies see it as their top sales priority.
With this focus in mind, it’s time for businesses to get SMART. This refers specifically to the development of SMART goal-based marketing strategies. Here’s a helpful refresher on what this entails:
Let’s bring home this idea with an example. Your goal is closing more deals. This is the SMART framework you’ve fleshed out to get there:
The video and content team will work together to create a series of customer testimonials. These video testimonials will be promoted through email marketing as well as Facebook advertisements coordinated by the demand generation team.
The goal is to increase customer acquisition by 20 percent.
Leadership of the video, content and demand generation teams have all met to discuss the initiative. Each has expressed interest in pursuing this venture and sees the long-term value it can deliver.
Sales trends from previous years have been analyzed, including the percentage of opportunities closed/won and the percentage of opportunities lost. The goal seems reasonable for the respective time period.
This increase in customer acquisition will be accomplished over the course of the next quarter.
Now that we have one example of a SMART framework in practice, let’s continue to build on this concept. The best way to do this is to connect the approach with real-world cases. Here are a few Kuno clients who have used goal-based marketing strategies to boost sales.
The typical B2B buyer is likely to make it through 60 percent of the decision making process before he/she speaks to a salesperson. In this time, prospects can take any number of actions, whether it’s becoming a blog subscriber, downloading an eBook or signing up for marketing emails about a specific product. And with the right tools to monitor these moves, sales teams will be armed with relevant information to guide the other 40 percent of the buyer’s journey.
Utilizing the HubSpot software and the help of the Kuno team, one medical manufacturer was able to do just that. As prospects deemed ready to buy were passed over by marketing, the sales team consulted the contact record to learn about the size of the company, products of interest and their level of engagement with the website and content. This level of personalization combined with the right timing contributed to a 1,100 percent increase in customers.
Another client, a clinical research organization (CRO), provides independent monitoring, auditing, training and other services to help researchers comply with regulations and bring their devices to market faster.
Closing deals for these services often takes 18 months or more, but a single deal can generate a significant amount of revenue.
By sending clinical researchers useful, engaging resources over time, this CRO has been able to close deals faster. In one instance, the business development manager had a number of conversations with the VP of clinical affairs at a cardiovascular manufacturer who was interested in working with them, but they weren’t ready to commit yet. The business development manager stayed in touch and shared a number of resources about auditing, training and safety services. The VP opened more than a dozen emails and looked at resources like this infographic explaining the differences between a Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) and a Clinical Events Committee (CEC).
After 15 months of engaging with both the business development manager and the content, the VP ultimately decided to enlist the CRO for a number of site audits.
It was a combination of many factors—including reaching the right person, developing a relationship with him and staying at the top of his mind with email marketing.
While 49 percent of shoppers still prefer making purchases in-store, 51 percent have embraced the ease and convenience of e-commerce. With the continued growth expected in online sales, more businesses are recognizing the need to have a website that supports this buying behavior. This includes a streamlined user experience that prevents the abandonment of carts, as well as a system that allows companies to refine their efforts based on relevant insights.
To align with these initiatives, a national floral brand collaborated with the Kuno team to create its first e-commerce website through Shopify. The simple, clean shop was connected to the HubSpot software so the company could view the entire customer journey and tweak their marketing efforts as needed. After just a few months of sending out promotional emails featuring the Shopify site and adding calls to action to the main website, the business saw more than 706 orders come in and earned over $50,000 in sales revenue.
In the race to boost sales, SMART goal-based marketing strategies provide momentum at every marker. With an effective foundation in place for boosting website traffic, improving qualified leads and closing more deals, you can establish a sales process that benefits everyone involved and fuels partnerships that extend far beyond the finish line.
If you want to learn more about shifting to this type of process, we recommend consulting our eBook, How to Get Started with Inbound Sales. This resource will help guide you on how to align sales and marketing efforts and leverage closed-loop reporting to benefit your bottom line. Download your free copy here.