Tag Archives: marketing

Does your marketing strategy look like this?

Does your marketing strategy look like this?

Many B2B companies fall into the same problems as regards their marketing. Their marketing has often developed as the company has grown, and has not been planned out rationally, but has been added onto at various stages by different individuals. That is not say that each idea was not a good one in its own right, just that they have been collated with little or no strategy. Effective marketing will help to drive your company forward, so it is worth spending the time creating a good sound strategic plan, and then breaking that down into component parts which can then be given to different team members, so you could simply outsource.

The problems arise as follows:

Often they will have a loose assortment of activities – pick and mix marketing, not based on any coherent structure, but rather selected at random. This results in a lack of strategy and direction in your marketing.

Repeating the previous year’s activities. Though this is not necessarily a bad idea, it is if you are doing it simply because you don’t know what else to do.

Copying competitors, again this is not automatically bad. You and your competitors may have similar marketing strategies targeting the same areas of the market. If however you are just blindly copying your competitors it is unlikely to give you excellent results.

Spend increasing faster than return, if you are in this situation you need to stop and review what you are doing.

Little or no measurement, means that you have no way of understanding what is happening. If you simply try different things but never track them, you won’t be able to build up a picture of what works and what doesn’t. Not everything will work, but over time, with good measurement you will be able to work out what works well for you.

Hoping for leads and enquiries is all well and good, but if your only strategy is a hope strategy, then you are reliant upon people who stumble upon your company.

Creating a good marketing strategy will help you understand what works for your business. If you are struggling with your marketing call Aardvark Marketing Consultants on 0121 222 5743

To learn more, watch the video below:

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White knights and who is telling the truth?

White knights and who is telling the truth?

Often when you are selling to larger businesses, you can end up having to sell to committees. Committees can be problematical as one person may love your product or service, and then may be in the position of having to sell you to the other committee members. The best that you can do in this situation is to support your “white knight” in their efforts to sell you to the committee. This can be ensuring that they have answers to questions that may be raised, or just increasing their understanding of your product or service.

Another problem that we come across in the selling process is our perception of salesmen. We tend to think that a salesman is trying to get one over on us, or to trick us in some way. This is, by and large, not true. Salesmen are simply well-informed about their product and are trying to show it you in the best possible light. Unfortunately, because often buyers believe that salesmen are being untruthful, they then feel it is okay to also be untruthful.

If nobody is telling the truth it can be very hard to determine what anybody wants. As a salesman you need to know what somebody wants before you can help them. The sales assistant in the shop who asks, “can I help you?” is trying to do just that. If you have come into the shop to buy an item, saying “I’m just looking” is, in one sense, lying. Now the sales assistant can’t help, and you can’t be helped. Truthfulness is important to understand what people want.

If you are struggling with your sales process, and would like to review it, why not arrange a meeting with us? At Aardvark Marketing Consultants we have worked with hundreds of business across a range of industries and can help you to improve your sales processes. Call us today on 0121 222 5743

Or to learn more about successful selling watch the video below

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One step at a time…

One step at a time…

All industries have different problems facing them, and understanding this is key to successful marketing. How you market your engineering company will be different to how you market your creative business. However the tools and techniques that we use will all have a common basis.

In the Midlands there are many engineering firms, and often you will find SME supplying big businesses such as Jaguar LandRover. As the items required by the big firm are often very technical it can be necessary to spend quite some time working with the big business to show them what you are offering, For example you may have to start with a technical drawing followed by a prototype. Sometimes the company will then want to test the item for a prolonged period of time. All of which is fine if you are going to get the contract, but is not so good for your cash flow.

Small businesses often struggle with cash flow, especially in their infancy. Viable, good, profitable businesses are bought down more often by cash flow problems than anything else. Ensuring that your cash flow is resilient enough to withstand such an extended negotiating period is vital to the health and well-being of your company.

You may find that you have to work your way up to be able to put yourself in this position. Taking smaller steps over a few years towards your final goal may be more sensible than trying to launch yourself straight up to your desired end point. Steadily working up through the industry, and ensuring that you have good cash reserves before marketing yourself to the larger companies can be prudent.

Your marketing will need to adapt through the different steps that you take. Marketing yourself to the customers that you need to acquire now, as supposed to the customers you would like to have in three years time is important. With our marketing services we can develop a plan to help you to progress through your industry. Making sure that your marketing is targeting the correct people, in the right way.

If you would like to learn more about successful selling watch the video below.

If you are struggling to create an effective marketing message, why not contact us at Aardvark Marketing Consultants today? We have experience across a wide range of different businesses and industries. Call us now to arrange your face to face meeting on 0121 222 5743

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Perfect pitch

Perfect pitch

Getting in front of prospective new clients can be a tricky business. Both in actually getting there, and what to do once you are there. Some businesses routinely ask for three competitive pitches for services, for example three web designers, three SEO companies, three creatives. So being one of the three gives you the chance to sell yourself to the new client.

However there-in lies the problems. You don’t know the client, you probably won’t have had the chance to sit down and talk to them, ask the questions that you need to know the answers to, to do a really good job. So, to a certain extent you are pitching “blind.” You have to use considered guesses to try and accurately assess what the client wants.

The problem with competitive pitching as a creative, is that you are asked to come up with ideas which you aren’t necessarily going to be paid for. You can feel torn. On the one hand you want to win the contract, so you want to offer up your best, but on the other hand, you can be worried that you are giving away your ideas.

Ensuring that you have well-presented examples of previous projects will help to be able to provide clients with ideas of what you can achieve, and time spent collating these resources is well spent. Carefully written case studies, client testimonials, examples of projects from initial briefs through to project competition will show your prospective client how you work, and your results.

Selling processes can be tricky, but ensuring that you have good well put together resources will help to optimise your time, and reduce some of the stress involved with the selling process. If you are struggling with your selling process, why not arrange a face to face meeting with us to discuss your sales process, call us now on 0121 222 5743 to arrange your meeting.

Or to learn more about successful selling watch the video below.

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The Devil’s in the Detail

The Devil’s in the Detail

In general detail is good. Bold brush stroke plans are vital for forward thinking, and strategy, but without the detail there is no way of moving towards your goal. However, sometimes too much detail can be your downfall, and this can be true when talking about prospecting.

If you fill your proposal with detail, you can end up in the situation where your prospective client regards it as a shopping list, and starts taking out items in order to drive down their costs. Suddenly your neat, detailed plan, which you know will work for them and deliver the results that they need, is full of holes. This “leaky” version you know won’t deliver such good results, and will be more complicated to deliver, as you won’t have control over elements of the plan.

In these cases it might have been better to deliver a less detailed proposal, so that you don’t allow the “shopping list” tendency to manifest in your prospective client. A project where you retain full control will enable you to deliver a fantastic result, which will be better for everyone concerned.

If you are struggling with converting your prospects into customers, why not book a meeting with us? At Aardvark Marketing we have worked across different industries and sectors, and use tried and tested processes to help you close more sales. Call us today to arrange your meeting on 0121 222 5743

Or to learn more about successful selling why not watch our video below…

 

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Are you being used?

Are you being used?

Do you feel as though you spend a lot of time, and energy putting together proposals for prospects that never come to fruition? Many businesses that we work with feel the same. It can be all too easy to fall into other people’s traps, and end up being used.

Obviously, in order to gain new clients you will need to write proposals and show what you can do for that company or client, and it would be naive to expect all your proposals to turn into customers. However it is important to take a look at the situation of you feel as though you are not converting as many as you would expect into customers. Another instance where the ability to track your sales funnel is important to help you understand and improve it.

One such scenario is where a company is happy with their existing supplier, but want to tackle them on price. So they come to you to see what you can do, for what money, they take your proposal and your pricing and go back to their existing supplier with that information.They never had any intention of changing suppliers, they simply were looking for ammunition in order to drive down their costs.

We all do this to a certain extent, and it is a prudent business move to try and reduce costs with your existing suppliers. However if you are on the receiving end of other people’s ploys too often it can be a drain on your resources.

If you are experiencing problems in your sales funnel and feel that you are not converting your prospects into good quality customers, why not contact us today? Call us now on 0121 222 5743 to arrange a face-to-face meeting. Or for more information about improving your sales funnel why not watch the video below?

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Beware of over-reliance…

Beware of over-reliance…

Are you over-reliant on one person? Is there that member of your team, that you think, “if anything ever happens to them…” Are you aware of this?

When you map out your sales funnel, you will be able to spot areas of weakness. One area of weakness is over-reliance on people. This is not to say that you don’t need good people: you do. But having a good process means if that person goes on holiday, gets hit by a bus, then another good person can see where in sales funnel the prospects were, and pick up the process.

If the process is not mapped out, and remains largely in people’s heads, then that knowledge leaves with them. The process of laying out a system, means that you are transferring the knowledge from a person, to a system. Ultimately your business then has control of that system, rather than being reliant on the actions of a person.

If you are struggling with process mapping your sales funnel, why not contact us? We have worked with hundreds of different businesses of different sizes, and across a range of different industries. We can help you to improve your business, driving sales and profit forwards. To arrange your meeting contact us now on 0121 222 5743

If you would like to learn more about successful selling, why not watch the video below?

 

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Are you taking too much time?

Are you taking too much time?

How long does your sales funnel take? From an initial enquiry, for example filling out a form on your website, to your meeting with your prospect. One of the important reasons for tracking and monitoring our sales process is that we understand how long each step takes.

If it takes too long to move your suspects through the sales funnel, you risk the suspects becoming disengaged. By studying your sales funnel you can learn where the problem areas are. Is the process too complicated? Are you solving your suspects problems and answering their questions? If they come to the initial meeting with too many questions, they will be harder to convert. If your sales funnel has provided them with answers along the way, then by the time you have the meeting, they will be better engaged.

Reviewing your sales funnel step-by-step, including the time that it takes to move between each stage, gives you the ability to make changes at each step. Small improvements at each stage can lead to a big improvement overall, resulting in a quicker and more efficient sales funnel that will convert at a quicker and higher rate.

Process mapping is vital to ensure that you fully understand your processes, and only then can you successfully change them.

If you are struggling with your sales funnels and would like to improve them, why not contact us? We can help you to improve your sales funnels, ultimately improving your sales, and profitability. Call us today on 0121 222 5743 or via our contact page.

To learn more about sales funnels and successful selling, please watch our video below.

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Understand your sales funnel

Understand your sales funnel

Understanding your sales funnel is important, so that you can track your conversions and change the outcome. You need to be able to see how your prospects move through your funnel and how the process works, to be able to improve it.

For example you may have an online form to fill in to download a white paper. Out of the people who fill in this form, you may manage to contact five of them on the phone. Out of these five you may get a few to the meeting stage and then one turn into a customer. It is important that you understand this process.

By spending some time working on your process, you may manage to get hold of more people on the phone, and change your five to ten, which in turn may result in two clients, rather than one. By spending time on each of the steps in your sales funnel you have the ability to alter your success rate.

If you would like to learn more about how improving your sales funnel can help to improve your growth and profit, contact Aardvark Marketing today to arrange a meeting, on 0121 222 5743

Or click below to watch the video to learn more about successful selling

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Why a written process is so important

Why a written process is so important

Many businesses start up with one or maybe a few people in an office, often your processes or systems have evolved from the beginning, and are now a collection of activities. When we write down our processes we can see more clearly what we are doing. In terms of our sales funnels writing down our processes can help us to track the numbers.

For example if an enquiry begins with filling in a website form, and then moves through phone calls and then onto meetings, we can keep track of the numbers each step of the way. It is important to know this, as if we know 100 website enquiries leads to 5 sales, we know that if we can improve the website to increase the number of enquiries to 200, this should result in 10 sales, thereby doubling our turnover.

Marketing is far more effective when you track the results, when you systematically work your way through to see what has an affect and what doesn’t. Haphazard assortments of marketing techniques flung together make it impossible to understand what is working and what isn’t. Spending time concentrating on your process will improve your understanding of the process, highlight any weak areas, and give you the opportunity to successfully track and monitor your activities.

If you would like to review your process with people who understand, contact Aardvark Marketing Consultants today on 0121 2225743

To learn more about successful selling watch the video below:

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