How to Build Company Value in a Down Economy – Part Two
Last week’s blog post discussed three major ways to use B2B marketing and sales to build company value in a tough economy. To recap quickly, they are: 1. Set audacious goals. 2. Differentiate your company. 3. Challenge your sales model. Building company value has a huge payoff to all stakeholders including founders, shareholders, employees, partners and customers.
Although they are more tactical than strategic, our next three company value building ideas are equally important as the first three.
1. Work your leads hard – According to Marketing Sherpa’s 2012 survey of lead management practices, 75 percent of companies either neglect lead management altogether or do a poor job at this discipline. The remaining 25 percent of the companies have a great advantage because they will close more deals faster, in a consistent and predictable manner. To put it another way, by practicing effective lead management, the profitability of your company will increase along with return on your marketing investment.
2. Practice pull marketing – The basic premise of pull marketing (also known as inbound marketing) is to find where your prospects congregate, make your information available to them in educational and entertaining ways, and give them incentives to come to you when they have a need for what you offer. Don’t be dissuaded by skeptics who tell you that pull marketing doesn’t work. Pull marketing has generated a substantial amount of revenue for our company and our clients and it can do the same for you.
Unlike the monologue of push marketing, pull marketing creates a dialogue between you and the prospect. As you decide how much of your time and financial resources to devote to push vs. pull marketing, keep in mind that the battleground has shifted. As the marketer, you are not really in charge—the prospect holds the high ground. Rather than fight this fact, it is better to accept who has the real control and find the best ways to help people buy in the way they want to buy, instead of the way you want to sell to them. This is an easier and more cost-effective way to conduct business.
3. Optimize your website – At Fusion Marketing Partners we have the opportunity to review lots of web sites, and the majority of these sites need a major overhaul. If you are in a business that depends on visitors to your website (like most industries), you need to do everything you can to make sure your website is optimized to accomplish three things. First, you need to generate awareness and educate visitors. Second, you need to convert as many of these visitors as possible into opt-in contacts. Third, you need to nurture these prospects until they become customers. There are very specific ways to achieve all three of these objectives. Put simply, a substandard website will cost your company money while an optimized website will give you competitive advantage.
I hope you find these three strategies, as well as the three from last week, helpful in your quest to build company value. Even though your control over the larger economy is limited, you can definitely impact your own business by optimizing your website and practicing effective lead management and pull marketing.
Note that parts of this post are excerpted from Christopher Ryan’s article that originally appeared in ColoradoBiz Magazine.