It’s not quite an epidemic, but we have observed some serious waste of cash in sales and marketing activities lately.
Most of the marketing problems are easy to fix – as long as someone is willing to do an intervention. We are not sure how or why this happens, but likely the business got comfortable during the good times when it didn’t matter as much, and basic business inertia continued into these more challenging times of belt-tightening and the need for smarter spending habits.
Here are the top 4 cash burn issues and how to fix them:
1. Blind ad spending
This could be any one of the following:
- No idea what ads are being run currently
- No idea who is seeing your ads
- No idea how people are behaving on your website
- No measuring of which ads are converting and which are not
- Panic decisions due to time deadlines
- Review your analytics to understand which ads are working
- Test your ads – setting up some basic A-B tests to identify the ads that are just burning cash
2. Communication breakdowns
It amazes me how many marketing teams run an ad and never ask the sales team if the customers care about what it says. If you expect the marketing team to read the customers’ minds, they will have to guess – and they usually guess wrong! But without any feedback, how would they even know they guessed wrong?
- Communicate to your front-line sales team what the marketing team is doing and what message they are sending out. Then ask your sales team to report what the customers are saying about the ads. If you can break down the silos with open communication and feedback loops, the marketing team can stop trying to read customers’ minds, and instead, the sales team will tell them what customers actually care about!
- Run surveys with your clients to better understand what motivates them to buy from you – this will help your marketing team to get the right message for each type of client, and also your sales team will know what pain points are more latent to the potential customers
3. Slacking CRMs
A good CRM software will make it easier to measure data on sales conversions – but it is only a useful tool if you use it. The main problem is a lack of accountability – you spent your cash to generate a lead, but then the lead falls through the cracks!
- You don’t need a CRM to bring accountability to track if your leads are converting. We have used a simple sheet of paper that accomplishes the needed accountability.
- The key is to follow up on every lead that marketing creates – answer the phone, reply to the email, follow up with the proposal, etc.
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4. Backward headlines and messages
We often see the messaging coming from the business perspective instead of the customer perspective. Customers don’t actually care about your solutions; they care about their problems and frustrations. The poor marketing messages are technical speak and feature-focused as opposed to customer-centric and benefit-focused.
- Check your headline and message. Which of the following messages do you think works better?
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As challenging times continue, your business needs to be smart with its money. There are still potential customers out there with problems and challenges your business can solve for them; you just need to be efficient and smart in finding them and educating them on your value.
If you want to continue to conversation…