I am talking about how to tie the roles of sales and marketing closer together so they will be more effective for your business. We have talked about the importance of both knowing whom you are targeting, but now we turn our attention to how we will reach those people. First let’s clarify how I categorise different people in your sales funnel.
A suspect is anyone and everyone. It could be a complete stranger walking past your shop, it could be a new contact at one of your top 10 targets. It doesn’t matter if they are your most frequent reader of emails or they like every post you put out on facebook, they are still a suspect. For me the differentiation is normally money, either money will have been talked about or there will have been some amount of qualification process that will show not only interest but the funds to back it up.
It’s only when you have a firm understanding that the client or customer can actually afford what you’re selling and is actively interested that I would describe them as being a prospect. This is not to say however that they are going to buy from you, in many cases you still have months of following up and sending material in front of you, but a prospect is someone who is likely to buy.
Last but not least, work is anyone you’ve sold your product or service too. They are your customers and they are a strange and wonderful bunch. They are also the group of people most likely to buy from you again which seems to be something often overlooked by a surprising amount of businesses.
With these definitions in place, and a clear picture for both your sales and marketing people of whom they are targeting, we can begin to talk about outreach and immediately things get more complicated. For your sales team outreach is by and large the same process it has been for many years in that they will identify potential customers, reach out to them, qualify their interest/suitability in some way and then hopefully convert them into a sale. For Marketing however, the internet has seen a huge shift in the way that outreach is done and the sheer number of tools at their disposal is huge.
I have categorised outreach into two segments ‘active’ and ‘passive’. Let’s discuss in the next lesson!