All businesses, from the smallest local companies to the largest multinational corporations, have one common goal - sales. As recently as ten years ago, the vast majority of this sales work was driven by a team of in-house sales representatives.
This system was often inefficient - causing talented sales reps to spend excessive amounts of time working on cold prospects. This, in turn, caused a protracted and lengthy sales cycle.
Nowadays, however, it is possible to streamline much of the sales process and shorten the sales cycle through the use of advertising technology and automation to educate and nurture leads.
By automating a portion of their sales and marketing, companies have been able to allow their representatives to spend less time worrying about warming up cold prospects and instead focus more intently on closing the deal.
Given the obvious benefits of this marketing technology, it makes sense that companies would want to capitalize on it. So, just how can a business integrate these products into their sales system?
Paid SearchPerhaps the most straightforward and direct way to drive potential customers to a company's content, products and services is through paid search marketing.
As a technology that has been around for years, it is pretty easy to integrate it into just about any sales and marketing plan. By purchasing keywords that make sense for a company's products, a business can turn a web browser into a warm lead in a matter of minutes - without the need for any sales rep interactions.
For example, an accounting software vendor might purchase advertisements for the keywords "how to file a tax return" as part of their marketing strategy. They should then have that advertisement link directly to a web page that answers that question in detail.
Not only will the page answer the question, but it will also include a call to action offering a free trial of the accounting software.
By providing the consumer with the information they need from the get-go, the company will eliminate the need for sales reps to speak with prospects until they are very interested in the product. Thereby shortening the sales cycle considerably.
Though email marketing has been around for many years, it is constantly changing and improving. Of particular interest to the most forward-thinking companies of today is an AdServer for email. When properly implemented, programs such as this can increase a company's revenues while freeing up their sales resources to focus on closing not pitching.
Much like paid search marketing, it is relatively easy for businesses to integrate an AdServer for email into their existing sales strategy.
That same accounting software vendor would be able to quickly reach out to everyone in their existing email list by inserting a direct-sold ad into their newsletter or campaign.
The product is personalized, so it will know the customer's name and will only try to sell them products that they might actually be interested in.
Products such as this can potentially turn that one time purchaser into a long-time customer. On the part of the software vendor, this might mean taking a customer who just subscribed or purchased and having them continue to upgrades and enhancements to the basic product.
Advertising technology is a constantly changing and developing field. However, when properly implemented, it can have a profound effect on a company's revenues and sales cycle.
Through personalization and automation, marketing tech can significantly increase the number of sales that a company makes in any given day, week, or year.
Since the company's talented salespeople won't then be focusing on these cold prospects, they will be free to close deals with hot leads. Technology such as this truly is a win-win for all involved.