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Why Email Marketing Is An Essential Part of the Sales Process

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At a recent eMarketing Association conference, the lesson learned was just how the biggest brands in the world struggle with exactly the same issues as small businesses.

Everyone, big and small, is struggling to do the basics, like maintain an up to date prospect and customer list, get relevant messages in front of the right people at the right time, and measure the results and glean actionable intelligence.

From this simple observation, we can conclude some important facts…

  1. It’s not about the technology – big brands have access to all the options. They still struggle. To choose, to implement and to execute.
  2. It’s not easy – if it was, we’d all be doing it right?
  3. Measuring success is elusive – everyone seems to know it’s important and valuable, but it feels like a leap of faith.

Email Marketing is done by the person down the hall

email marketing

Marketing, advertising, emails… that’s for the marketing folks. And then they become prospects and they become the property of the sales people. For good reason, of course. Sales people do what they do, they do it well and we love them for it. But it is treated somewhat like a marketing black hole. The last thing you want to do as a marketer is step on the sales people’s toes with the wrong email message for instance.

But every sales process is fundamentally inefficient…

Does your sales process look like this….

  1. Network
  2. Follow up call
  3. Qualify
  4. Demo/presentation/meeting
  5. Proposal
  6. Close

What percentage make it all the way through that funnel? 20%? For most businesses, 30% close rate would be incredible!

The cardinal sin of salespeople is that they leave the other 70 or 80% of the “leads” for dead on the side of the road. Most companies don’t even do a good job of collecting these “dead leads” in any sort of CRM software. In fairness, it’s not really their fault. They’re paid to close deals. They stay focused on the deals they can close.

So, an email marketing strategy that tailors messages to prospects as they move through the funnel, at the pace they move through the funnel, keeps them in the funnel. Even those that by all accounts have left the funnel altogether, can be nurtured right back into the funnel, when they’re ready.

The numbers are overwhelmingly compelling. Here’s an example:

  • 100 Leads per month x 26 weeks = 2600 leads in 6 months x 70% = 1,820 “unclosed leads” in 6 months.
  • A decent email marketing campaign can bring 1% of those leads back into the funnel each month. So, that’s 18 “warmed up” leads each month and if you close 30% of those that’s 5 extra sales each month. That’s a 17% increase in sales!

Og Mandino, one of the godfathers of sales wisdom said:

“I am liken to a grain of wheat which faces one of three futures. The wheat can be placed in a sack and dumped in a stall until it is fed to swine. Or it can be ground to flour and made into bread. Or it can be placed in the earth and allowed to grow until its golden head divides and produces a thousand grains from the one.”

Which are you choosing today? If you don’t have a system that quickly puts leads into a “hopper” to nurture them as soon as they “stall” in the sales process, then you’re just grinding up leads for feed. You’re throwing away the ones that stall.

Why not plant them in fertile ground to grow into more?

Most often people say, “I don’t have time” or “The technology is just too overwhelming” or “I don’t know how to create those emails”.

Good news! – if you understand how to identify your customers’ “pain”, you can focus sales time on the most qualified leads and develop emails that nurture the rest.

This will make your sales time super-efficient and start growing a lead garden!

The idea is to create content pieces, articles, whitepapers, videos, blog posts, etc. that talk about solutions to the pains your customers suffer from and that your product addresses.

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About the Author

Craig Klein

Craig Klein is CEO and Founder of SalesNexus.com, a leading web based customer relationship management (CRM) and email marketing solution for sales teams. Craig’s a sales process guy. His passion is helping small businesses hire, train, measure and manage sales people through their sales process. Craig’s the author of “Grow Sales with Emails” and several other popular e-books. He is a contributor to Small Business Today Magazine and has appeared as a featured speaker at the TEANA 2012 Conference and many other exhibitions and conferences. Learn more from Craig here. Connect with Craig - @craigklein or on LinkedIn.

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[…] we’ve said before, email is an important part of your sales process. In this email marketing best practice, it’s essential for you to highlight your customer support […]

[…] we’ve said before, email is an important part of your sales process. In this email marketing best practice, it’s essential for you to highlight your customer support […]

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