At Elation we are often asked: How complex can a sales cycle be? The answer of course is: Very!
There are a myriad of sales and marketing activities that you can introduce into your sales process and whilst you certainly do not want to over complicate your systems it is definitely worth being as innovative as possible.
Here some notes from our latest brain storm about ways to communication your message.
Blogging/White paper: Demonstrating your business knowledge by writing about it. There are many places you can publish these on business forums or your own website or blog.
Website: Get a good design team and create an online presence that really represents your brand. Many sales techniques will involve driving traffic to your website and if it’s bad or worse still non-existent you will really struggle.
Networking: Get face to face with your clients by picking the right networking events. (Watch this space for some great info about where to network in Bristol)
Email: Standard content marketing campaigns to communicate your business ideas or one to one emails with relevant information are a great way to communicate your businesses strengths. MAKE SURE YOU GET OPT IN!
PR: Fantastic press coverage is a great way to get your message across to your clients. You may want to use a PR agencies to run a media campaign for you – if you use the right bunch the return on investment can be high.
SMS: Many companies can now help you to run great SMS marketing options. Get yourself a good marketing agency or find a professional online.
Survey: For certain markets it is great to get public opinion on your product face to face or online. It is also a great means of data capture.
Social Media: Get tweeting and start linking in. The business community is thriving in these and many other social networking sites so you should make sure that you have your say.
Webinars: Sharing your information can be done much more interactively if you run an online training and discussion session. You can discover the technology all over the internet but never embark on a webinar if your content is not of the highest quality.
Seminars: As with webinars a great way to demonstrate your business ability to a live audience of your prospects but be sure to get that content right.
Referrals: Word of mouth marketing is about the best you can get. Make sure that you ask for referrals or even have a referral scheme in place to generate new business. (See Elation referral scheme)
Exhibitions: Taking a stand at a local business exhibition can be a key way of getting in front of your clients and establishing your brand in the market. Do your research though as you need to invest in the right one.
Adverts: Placing product or service adverts in either print or online media is no longer an essential way to promote your business but for the right companies it can still pay dividends. Again here you definitely want to talk to a professional – not just about what to say but also where to place the advert.
Sponsorship: Sponsoring a business event or community fundraiser will bring a lot of return if you sponsor relevantly and make sure to create a high profile around your sponsorship. Don’t just pay your money and turn up on the day – create a buzz run a competition, bring a mascot! Make sure people know that you are there.
SEO: Getting your website to the top of the search engine rankings can really drive your sales. 81% of online shoppers start and google so you need to be seen if these customers matter. Unless you have A LOT of time and expertise to bring to this exercise get a pro they are worth their weight in gold.
Telemarketing: Making appropriate calls to the right people with relevant information is a great way for many businesses to introduce their products to the market. Sadly too often telesales calls are made to the wrong people in the wrong way so plan plan plan and make sure your clients are hearing what they want to hear from you.
Printed Collateral: Having great printed material is a must. You need business cards (perhaps more than one set) and great leave behind materials for your clients at a minimum. Don’t forget though that pens, keyrings, company calendars, business folders, business card holders and many other promotional items can hold your businesses brand just as easily.