Entries Tagged as 'B2B marketing tools'

Marketing-for-Leads Guide: Step 3 – How much revenue needs to come from marketing’s leads?

Step 3: Determine the percentage of your company’s new business revenue that needs to come from marketing-generated leads.

This step in developing your marketing-for-leads plan focuses on determining how many leads your marketing programs need to generate so that the company can meet its sales revenue goals.

“Why bother with a marketing plan? We’ve got a sales team.”

Some people may get involved in an old argument, “Why do we need marketing? We have a robust sales force that is capable of bringing in sales. Why bother with a complicated marketing plan?” The fact is, even with a capable, motivated sales team—which includes a combination of salespeople, distributors, resellers and reps—you are generating less sales revenue than you could be if you relied on the efforts of the marketing team to find new business opportunities. In addition, if you depend only on the sales team, your cost of selling is probably higher than it needs to be.

In any business-to-business sales situation, salespeople typically find, on their own, about 40 percent of the new business opportunities needed to meet their company’s sales revenue goal. They develop sales opportunities through referrals, additional projects from past customers, potential customers they meet at networking events and past customers who have moved to new companies.

All of that works well for generating sales up to a point. Salespeople working on their own don’t generally reach the other 60 percent of sales potential for some very good reasons:

  • Salespeople’s quotas and compensation programs reward them for bringing in short-term sales—this week, this month, this quarter. Therefore, they have little incentive to work the longer-term opportunities.
  • Most people generally hate the rejection that results from cold calling. Salespeople are no different. They prefer to spend time with prospects that are ready to buy now, even though in reality those buyers represent only a fraction of sales opportunities.
  • Salespeople tend to spend most of their time with current customers.

So how can marketing for leads be used to identify the other 60 percent of sales opportunities and make the sales team more efficient overall? Lead-generation tactics such as email, direct mail, telemarketing and events are ideal for finding qualified sales leads so that salespeople can spend each sales call where it is most likely to generate revenue. Online marketing via websites that cater to your target audience is another cost-effective way to generate leads.

With the cost of a business-to-business sales call rising each year, companies cannot ignore the price tag associated with calling on prospects. By using the most efficient techniques to generate leads and investing in personal sales calls only when they have a greater potential to bring you closer to a closed sale, you automatically lower the cost of sales. The role of marketing for leads is to identify and nurture leads, moving them along to a point where the cost of a personal sales call, or a series of sales calls, becomes an investment in an actual sale.

Download the complete Marketing-For-Leads Guide here

 

Marketing-for-Leads Guide: Step 2 – How much new business do you need?

Step 2: Determine the percentage of your company’s revenue that needs to come from new business.

If your corporate goal is a twenty percent increase in sales, how much new business do you need to secure to meet that goal?

Say your annual sales revenue currently totals $10 million. At first, it may appear that you only need an additional $2 million in sales to meet your new goal for next year. However, if you also need to replace twenty percent of your sales revenue every year because of non-recurring sales, you will need to find an additional $2 million in sales during the next year just to stay even. So you will actually need an additional $4 million in new sales revenue to meet your goal.

The new-business-needed calculation

The following calculation will help you to determine the amount of sales revenue from new business your company will need to generate from marketing leads to meet its revenue goals.

  • Your company’s current annual sales revenue $ _______.
  • The percentage of business you typically lose during the course of the year
    x ________%.
  • The sales revenue from new business your company must generate during the next year just to stay even = $ ________.
  • Additional sales revenue from new business needed to meet your new target sales revenue goal + $ ________.
  • Total new business revenue needed to meet your target sales revenue goal
    = $ ________.

Download the complete Marketing-For-Leads Guide here

 

My shortcuts for writing a B2B Marketing Plan

  • Schedule appointments with yourself in your calendar in block out the time you need to work on your marketing plan.
  • Start planning with an outline.  Goals.  Strategies for meeting those goals.  Tactics for implementing those strategies.  Costs. Timing. Owner. Due date.
  • Write the executive summary last. It might be first in the table of contents, but it is intended to be a summary of the following, more detailed information rather than the starting point in your plan writing.
  • Keep the plan high level.  For example if your tactics include ads in trade magazines, it may not be necessary to identify the specific magazines or ad formats until it is time to implement.  However, you might need to have given that some thought for determining the budget required and in order to be able to answer specific questions that come up when discussing the plan.
  • Break the planning and writing into chunks.  Work on one specific goal, the strategies for accomplishing that goal, and the tactics for implementing those strategies.  Then start on the next goal.
  • Interview key stakeholders before finalizing your plan. Your boss. Your boss’ boss. The sales VP. The loudmouth top producer and the quiet but passive-agressive sales rep. This will help insure their buy in and allow you to add in things that they think are important.
  • Realize that nobody ever has enough money or staff needed to implement the perfect marketing plan and all the tactics in includes.  Instead, prioritize and focus your plan on the five or so most important tactics for implementing each of a handful of strategies designed specifically to help meet the company’s sales goals.
  • Consider a three-option plan:  The first option designed to meet the company’s minimum sales goal. The second option designed to help meet a target sales goal (the minimum plan + these additional tactics.)  The third designed to meet a “double the business” or stretch goal (the target plan + these additional tactics.)  Then, rather than cutting your proposed budget, your senior corporate and financial management can pick the plan and corresponding marketing budget that is tied to the right sales goal.
  • Add some “nice to have” tactics, in addition to your “need to have” tactics, into the marketing plan and budget. These become the sacrificial lambs if management decides it must cut the budget.
  • Add activity calendars and spreadsheets of budget numbers as attachments.  Later you can use these same documents to manage the implementation of the plan.
  • The audience determines the delivery format:  Lender or investor?  It must be polished.  Internal decision makers and implementers?   Depends on the company culture but a PowerPoint™ or spreadsheet might be all you need.
  • Bonus tip:  Consider renting a hotel room for a day or two and go there to work on pulling together the final written plan and its attachments without interruption.
 

How to write a Marketing Plan (with some tips)

The “Marketing-for-leads” approach

Let me show you how I walk through developing a marketing plan.

The primary goal of a “marketing for leads” marketing plan is to stimulate prospects or customers to declare themselves interested in your company’s products or services; to generate sales leads that are opportunities for new sales and/or additional sales to existing customers.

Branding and awareness building is important too, but has different metrics. Blend your branding plan with the marketing-for-leads program for a cohesive strategy. Or let your brand messages come along for the ride with your lead generation messages.

Is there a specific format for a marketing plan?

In general, the format of your marketing plan depends on which audience it needs to communicate to. A simple on-screen presentation may be good enough when it is only being used as an internal working document. However, if you’re presenting to potential investors who you need to impress and who want to see all the thinking that went into your plan, you may opt for something as advanced as a multi-faceted document with tables of contents and numerous graphics and attached spreadsheets.

What information needs to be in it?

A typical marketing plan is in this order:

  • Executive Summary
  • Mission Statement
  • Situation Analysis
  • Goals
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Marketing communications Tactics
  • Resource and Budget Requirements
  • Implementation Plan
  • Supplementary Information

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary distills the key points from the entire plan into a one-page overview. Keep it readable. Although it appears at the beginning of the plan, write this section last because your plan will go through changes as you write it.

Mission Statement

The mission statement expresses the overall objectives of the marketing plan. Make your objectives succinct and measurable, not just hot air about being “the best.”

For example: “The mission of this marketing plan is to identify the best marketing strategies and tactics to increase our company’s sales revenue 25 percent in the next 12 months.”

Situation Analysis

Describe the current market environment your company is facing, including competition, economic and regulatory. Describe how your company’s abilities (internal) fit into the broader market environment (external.)

A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis will illustrate the gap between your current strengths/weaknesses and where you need to be.

Strengths include:

  • expertise,
  • employees,
  • financial security and
  • reputation in the marketplace.

Weaknesses include:

  • what your company is not good at doing and
  • resources your company doesn’t have available.

Here’s your chance to review past marketing activities, define the range of products you are marketing, and address changes in the customer base (e.g., a major merger or acquisition.)

Goals

Describe your company’s goals. Consider including sales revenue goals at three levels: minimum, target and stretch.

  • Minimum goal: the sales revenue needed to stay in business without layoffs
  • Target goal: where senior management would like your company’s sales revenue to be
  • Stretch goal: matches your management’s most aggressive revenue targets

Key points to include…

  • The percentage of revenue that needs to come from new business;
  • The percentage of new business revenue that needs to come from marketing generated leads;
  • A definition of a qualified lead;
  • The number of qualified leads from marketing that you need to meet your goals;
  • The number of new inquiries you need so you can identify the required number of qualified leads; and
  • The number of marketing touches you need to generate enough inquiries.

Keep in mind, your objective is to answer the most important questions in this marketing plan. It takes effort to get these metrics, but when you have them, it shows you have a pulse on what’s really going on.

Marketing Strategies

Explain the strategies you developed to meet the sales goals listed in the previous section. Discuss the business problems your products and services address and your company’s solutions. Identify the companies, contacts, and vertical or horizontal markets which are the best targets.

Marketing Communications Tactics

These are the steps needed to implement the strategies and achieve the company’s goals. How will you communicate with your target audiences? Talk about:

  • your database sources
  • detailed communications media including direct marketing, online marketing, events, or print advertising
  • offers including how-to guides, buying guides, white papers, information kits, live demos, or invitations to events
  • relationship marketing techniques including newsletters, events, direct mail letters, phone calls, emails, or faxes
  • sales tools including items like PowerPoint presentations and proposal templates
  • online demonstrations or events
  • leave-behinds
  • templates
  • case studies
  • reference stories

Resource and Budget Requirements

What do you have to work with? What do you need to get the job done? Include in-house and third party resources such as

  • marketing communications experts,
  • graphic designers,
  • event coordinators,
  • telemarketing companies,
  • temporary or contract workers,
  • college interns.

Also describe any training you need, like technical or vertical-market training.

Don’t forget to tie the budget needed to how your marketing plan will help your company meet its sales revenue goal. It also helps to get budget approval if you explain how you will measure your marketing programs and communicate the results to management.

Implementation Plan

Explain the proposed schedule of marketing activities as well as who will be responsible for each. A simple spreadsheet that lists each activity and target due dates will suffice.

Supplementary Information to Include

Attach items that support your marketing plan and its objectives. Some examples:

  • spreadsheets of budget and calendar information
  • information on tradeshows mentioned in the plan
  • samples of competitors’ ads or other marketing materials
  • samples of marketing materials that need to be updates
  • a survey of the salespeople that shows what kinds of sales tools and/or marketing programs they need to be more effective in the field

Summary

If you follow the steps outlined here, you’ll find that your marketing plan almost writes itself. And next year it will be even easier, as you can simply update this year’s plan, making necessary changes or additions to bring it up to date.

 
Need help with B2B lead generation, marketing and sales?
For more information, please call Mac McIntosh at +1-401-294-7730, send him email at or visit www.sales-lead-experts.com