Small Business Today Magazine JUL 2014 PHENOMENAL PRODUCTS - Page 15

EDITORIALFEATURE Sweet Leads are Made of This – Marketing Automation Works! By Craig Klein, CEO L isten to salespeople in any industry and you will hear about how everything has changed in the way customers buy.  Most of the comments are in the form of whining and complaining… or worse yet…making excuses for failure. Companies that have implemented marketing automation using their online CRM coupled with an effective email campaign are singing a different tune.  Let’s use some lyrics from a Eurythmics single that was released in 1983, “Sweet Dreams are Made of This,” to make our point. Who Am I to Disagree? Using CRM software to deliver email campaigns can really bring “Sweet Dreams.”  According to a new study conducted by the Chief Marketing Officer Council, 87% of B2B buyers claimed that content had either moderate or major influence over their selection of a vendor or product.  These B2B buyers had predictable opinions about what they liked and disliked too.  The quality of the content was important to them with 77% saying that blatant promotion or uninformed content turned them off.  What they found valuable was breadth and depth of the information (47%); readability and ease of access (44%); and original thinking with good ideas (39%). Clearly, your buyers are no different.  Yet many small to medium size businesses still resist the idea of using content to build a customer relationship.  One of the reasons for this resistance is they don’t know what content to create or how to make it work for them.  It is much easier than you think. Dig into your CRM software and look at current customers.  Isolate your ideal Your CRM software will be stuffed with frustrated buyers who are not likely to consider your company. client and recognize why you are valuable.  What was their struggle before you provided your solution to them?  Answer the questions asked by those companies in the initial stages of your relationship by creating a content piece.  Launch an email campaign with a link to the online content for the purpose of helping the sales leads become educated.  Everybody’s Looking for Something hype.  This is where marketing automation can help. Hold Your Head Up Let me remind you, if your email campaign is all about your product or service, you will send today’s buyer running.  Your CRM software will be stuffed with frustrated buyers who are not likely to consider your company. However, interesting content that informs and educates will be welcomed.  If you want the internet-enabled consumer to hear what you have to say, use your online CRM to create email marketing that is digestible, visually appealing, and gives them information they need to make a decision. This is the type of marketing that can make your company proud on four important levels:  1.   Don’t you simply feel better being generous educating sales leads instead of using aggressive sales tactics? 2.  Well-planned use of your CRM for email marketing and lead nurturing yields a highly qualified lead to your sales team.  3. Buyers will be ready to make a decision based on the real facts you have furnished them rather than the Sales cycles are much longer because rubbish they might find without your the buyers want to research their options content. without having to talk to a salesperson.  They feel responsible for doing their own 4.  TRUST is the big result of building a customer relationship over time with research, comparing the features and benmarketing automation.  Trust has long efits on their own.  They select the proterm value to your company. vider that offers the best combination of Sweet Dreams! both – plus – an element of TRUST. We are becoming a consumer-driven world.  Before the internet, consumer economics were driven by sales organizations.  People charged with finding buyers were taught to stop flogging buyers with features and sell the benefits.  Their sales methods were solution-based…and it worked flawlessly for awhile.  Offering the benefits of your company’s so