When I think about how straight forward finding sales opportunities used to be, it makes me smile. Reminiscing back to the days when you leafed through various directories to identify target organisations, kept up to date with the business news by reading the FT and researched a company by reading their annual accounts.
Then having identified a potential target, you would pick up the phone, relying on charm and charisma to get past the receptionist / PA to the main decision maker to sniff out a potential opportunity and schmooze your way to an appointment.
These days, the boot is completely on the other foot. Thanks to the internet, the buyer will be so well informed, often the first you will know of an opportunity is when you are approached to provide a proposal – non-ideal on so many levels! The likelihood is you will have no insight, no relationship, no influence – and quite likely, no bid!
On the other hand, companies who have recognised and executed on a digital marketing strategy that connects with current buyer behaviour will be loving the fact that their cost of sale has dramatically reduced and their win rate has increased.
To test which camp your company is likely to be in, start by answering these simple questions:
• Are you easily found on Google – does your website rank highly for search phrases your target customers are using?
• Do you capture visitor details – for example newsletter subscriptions or to download content of value?
• Do you have ways of showcasing your solution – for example online webinars, YouTube videos or explainer animations?
• Do you regularly update your blog with interesting and relevant content?
• Do you publish white papers or e-books which influence the market?
• Are you active on relevant social media channels or within specialist interest groups?
• Is your company LinkedIn profile current and presenting a positive experience of your company?
Will you feature on the shortlist?