Guest post by Anthony Bergs.
Customers are the heart and soul of any business. To survive in the long run, companies need to have a sound customer acquisition and service strategy. Over time, they need to fine-tune their strategies to adapt to the evolving requirements of the customers and the dynamics of the competition and the industry.
Many small companies fail to achieve desired sales goals despite having adequate resources. Although each one of them faces unique challenges, the following are some common pitfalls that eventually lead to the failure despite a sound sales strategy.
Lack of Focus
Technology has enabled organizations to engage their target audience through multiple channels. To mitigate risk or generate maximum benefits, many organizations distribute their resources (read budget) in more than one marketing channel simultaneously. While this strategy may work for large companies, smaller firms struggle to optimize each marketing channel.
For instance, with a $4,000 budget, it is wise to spread the campaign over few months invest in one channel at a time (spend first $1000 on Adwords in the first month, next $1000 on FB ads in next month and so on) and squeeze the channel altogether. Alternatively, spending $1,000 each on four channels at one time may result in inefficient campaigns. Many small businesses work on SEO, SEM, and advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube simultaneously, and end up generating little return on investment (ROI). Concentrating their campaign efforts on SEO (or SEM) and Facebook (or LinkedIn) ads may deliver better returns than working on every channel.
Following the Herd
Even within an industry, every business is unique in some way. Products or services may be similar; however, the equipment, value-added services, the experiences of workers and management, and the types of customers might differ from one business to another. A sound sales strategy should highlight the unique features to create a unique perception of the brand.
However, many businesses follow the herd. If their logo and name is removed or replaced from their marketing collateral, their customers may not identify the brand. Moreover, many small firms use the same marketing channels as their competitors. Thus, they fail to take maximum advantage of their unique strengths and maximize customer acquisition.
For example, many businesses spend thousands of advertising dollars on Google Adwords. However, very few experiment with Bing Ads and other reputable pay-per-click (PPC) advertising services. Bing commands a market share of 21.6%, and its ad platform can improve ROI dramatically and can generate more leads.
Not Retargeting Your Prospects
According to one study, only 2% of the first time visitors become customers or leads. Those who don’t buy after a visit to your website aren’t necessarily uninterested in your products or services. They might need to do more research and compare prices from various vendors before they make a purchase. In some cases, they may even need some persuasion from vendors to make the best decision.
Thus, you should not be at the mercy of your competition or memory of users. Rather, use retargeting methods to target recent visitors across the web. Use relevant content to help users in making a right decision. In this way, you will also improve your brand recall while adding value to customers in their purchase journey.
Lack of Lead Segmentation
Many companies treat all their leads same. In reality, each lead is different and require different efforts and attention. Most basically, leads can be categorized in three categories:
- Hot leads – ready to Purchase
- Lukewarm leads – require some follow-up
- Cold Leads – require long-term follow up
While hot leads require a sales team to close the deal as soon as possible, the remaining two types of leads need a strategy called “lead nurturing” to seal the deal.
Companies with an excellent lead nurturing strategy can generate 50% more hot leads at 33% lower cost than those who don’t have a right lead nurturing processes in place.
If your customer acquisition strategy isn’t working, it may be time to research lead nurturing processes.
Giving up Too Early
Building a robust customer acquisition process takes time. Many businesses change their strategies frequently. Thus, they never learn the right technique to hit the bull’s eye. If your sales strategy is not working, then make small changes and iterate the process until it starts delivering results. Giving up your sales strategy prematurely can neither help you generate leads nor determine the exact reasons for the failure.
Thus, you must define a process and give yourself adequate time to test the strategy.
This post discusses common reasons businesses fail in generating sufficient leads and converting them into paying customers. There may be other reasons which apply to particular companies or industries. Rather than giving up on your strategy, you should identify the issues and rectify them to develop better sales processes.
If you have worked with sales strategies that worked or didn’t work, please share your experiences in the comments.
Anthony Bergs is a project manager at writers per hour. He always keeps an eye on the marketing sector to implement the best innovations into the strategies that he builds. He’s always open for new connections and partnerships.