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P1WS Internet Marketing Blog

If You Want Your Website To Be Your Top Salesperson, You Need Your CRM To Be Your Senior Account Manager


Let Inbound Marketing Software Work For You

Many companies have the expectation that investing thousands of dollars into their website and inbound marketing campaign will in turn make their website the top company salesperson. While we all want to see that happen, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration first. In order to have your website and marketing campaign work for you, investing in a inbound marketing software should be on the top of the list.For years, salespeople have been a bit like traditional hunter-gatherers. They would search, stalk and locate their prey, bring the prize home and then pass it off to the cooks. And before the kill is even off the fire, they return to the wilderness to conquer their next triumph. Hunter-gathers need to remember that passing off their prize is equally as important as capturing it.

Different Is Good

With inbound marketing campaigns and our websites today it's a bit of a different strategy. Like baiting wild game we are attracting our opportunities to us through web marketing.  We are enticing our prospects with high quality content, letting them know we are the experts in what they are looking for. Like setting up a tree stand at an apple tree where deer always flock, we target the keywords and queries that your potential customers are searching for. That strategy helps your URLs show up in SERPs,  proving to searchers that you are the company they need to be talking to. It's not so much hunting, but attracting. The gathering aspect is important too! You gather the leads information through the second layer of inbound marketing, which is the conversion. That is the snare or trap being set. We have them, but now what? This is where the nurturing of the lead is done, where your invaluable account manager the CRM takes over.

Let me give you a simple example. Johnny Engineer who works at an OEM uses Google to source 100,000 3” stainless steel ball valves. This is a big ticket order, one in which the sales manager for ABC Valve Company would love to fill; in fact, it would make his year! Johnny found ABC after doing a Google search for “3 inch stainless steel ball valve supplier Massachusetts”. He found ABC immediately in search results because they have an awesome web marketing company who produced quality content on how great their line of stainless steel ball valves are, targeting that same keyword! This is the “attraction” component.

Johnny read the technical specs and felt it's just what he needs, so he emails ABC through their easy to use contact form. This is the “conversion” component. All potential leads and inquiries are still going to Sally who has been at ABC for 30 years as the office manager/customer service/inquiry gatherer and lead distributor. She decides who should handle any inquires from people calling in or emailing. She is not used to getting so many new requests through the website, because it's never happened before and she is getting a bit overwhelmed at her job. It's not her fault that ABC company felt they didn’t need a CRM yet, either because they didn’t have the time to implement, were afraid of change, or felt that it was too expensive.

The lead falls through the cracks because it didn’t go into a CRM or wasn’t organized correctly by the hierarchy of importance. Sally sent it to Frank who is new at ABC and knows little about ball valves, Frank is a pump expert. Frank drops the ball and didn’t let his sales manager know about it (even though it’s the sales manager who should have handled an order like this from the start!) This is where the “nurturing” component has been missed.

Where Did They Go Wrong?

All of this could have been avoided and ABC could have won this $4 million dollar purchase order if they had taken the third phase of inbound marketing seriously, the nurturing of their leads. Your leads need to be prioritized by whatever parameters work for your company. Every sales person at your company should be using the CRM, It might be a learning curve for some, but times change and your business depends on it! Each person should be customizing the CRM to how they work. Whether that's territories, industries, product lines, order values etc… the CRM organizes it and presents the data to them for them to start selling. That way when someone is looking for and filling out an RFQ for 100,000 stainless steel ball valves it goes directly to the person qualified to handle that opportunity. All of this process is automated, including an immediate customized follow up message.

It's a bit shocking how often scenarios like this happen, and it’s as disappointing as waiting all day for your prey, then realizing you don’t have a way to carry it home. A business will invest lots of money into a great website, have a well thought out site architecture, spend the time on keyword research, a total inbound lead generation campaign, but all of it can go to waste if you aren’t asking the questions, “where are the leads going?”, “will you be organizing contacts by industry, geography, sense of urgency?” and “how will you be following up with these newfound prospects?”. When it comes to internet marketing and inbound lead generation, sometimes people forget to pay proper attention to the sales process of selling.

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This blog is part of a series of blog posts prepared for industrial manufacturers to gain insight on how to improve your business using modern internet marketing tools like marketing automation software and customer relationship management (CRM) software. Read other blogs in this series:

  p1ws   Posted in: Inbound Marketing