Do you keep finding yourself with too many prospects and too little time? By breaking these bad marketing habits, you can streamline your sales process and therefore spend more time generating committed leads instead of wasting time on ones that aren’t going anywhere.
All of the bad habits I’m about to list take place in the sales funnel process, so here’s a refresher:
The first step (the top of the funnel) is to gather prospects with a targeted content strategy executed through several channels, like social media or your blog. Next determine the prospects that might develop into leads by providing more information to help them make their decision. Finally, at the bottom of the funnel, convert your leads into sales by offering a discount or free trial.
According to HubSpot, marketers traditionally target buyers who they believe “fit” their company – ones who are likely to benefit from their products or services – and then later determine their pain points in an attempt to appeal to them and guide them further down the sales funnel.
Those guys have got it backwards. Marketers should create content that speaks to their prospect’s pain points before determining where they fit. If people read your content and feel that your products will make their lives easier, then awesome! You’ve found your target audience without even having to seek them out.
Instead of trying to convince them that your products will relieve their pain points, you can let your content speak for itself, establishing your business as the expert. Then, you can take that audience and segment it into lists to target each one more specifically.
This is a bad marketing habit to have, because it throws you into the “interruptive” and “irritating” categories – where I assume you don’t belong! Just because someone shows interest in your brand doesn’t mean that they have automatically become a lead.
You can’t put too much pressure on your new contacts to make a purchase. That’s what the rest of the stages in the sales funnel exist for. You can gradually and effectively persuade them by providing useful information at critical points in their decision-making process.
And in the time you are waiting for them to make their way through that process, you can gather additional information about them. When your new contacts arrive at your landing pages, they can choose to divulge their personal information in order to download free eBooks about your business. When you gain more detailed information about the people who are interested in your products, you will be able to better target your marketing campaigns. This will help you establish more qualified leads.
Today’s buyers want to form relationships with brands as part of their decision-making process. They expect opportunities to learn and interact. Not to mention, with all of the channels and outlets that are available to engage with them, it would be silly not to! They shouldn’t have to wait until after they have spent money to be satisfied with your customer service.
So to keep it short and sweet: You should form relationships with your prospects and leads as they make their decisions about your brand and as you guide them along the sales funnel.
Although you might not see results immediately, when you break these bad marketing habits you will be able to streamline your sales funnel, which will make your marketing campaigns stronger and more effective in the future. The most important thing to understand is that inbound marketing is a journey, not a destination. When a lead converts, your work isn’t complete. Each lead should be treated as a learning experience.