A friend of mine, Jon Pafk, told me a story about his father-in-law who owned a successful ranch feed business. His father-in-law would drive out for miles to visit with a rancher, meet face-to-face, shoot the bull, and help the farmer with their business challenges as best he could. That was marketing and sales at its finest. With or without a deal, he always ended his conversations with a strong handshake while looking his prospect in the eye and thanking them for their time. I like to think this is how all business is done, but unfortunately it is not.
In marketing, many of us have resorted to a series of tricks to capture a prospect’s information and turned the funnel into a numbers game for conversions. SiriusDecisions cites end-to-end conversation rates of 1.42% as best in class. This means for every 100 inquiries, we roughly win one, just one! What happens to the remaining 99%? When did it become acceptable to win just 1% of our customers? I’m willing to bet Jon’s father-in-law had a much higher success rate.
Marketing’s challenge is scale. How do we scale engagement 10x without adding 10x to the sales team? Consider these three areas:
1. People – We need to hire people in marketing who enjoy talking with customers and prospects. Your marketing team should know at least a few customers by name and hopefully much more about them. This is critical in helping them develop marketing stories that resonate with more people (scale).
2. Process – ABM is a fascinating process to systematically engage the best prospects for a business. Jon’s father-in-law didn’t pick random ranches to visit. He did his homework sizing up various prospects to determine who he should drive out to visit. ABM provides a process for us to do the same. We can analyze the right businesses to target (Ideal Customer Profiles) and engage them in a systematic and scalable manner.
3. Technology – There are an overwhelming amount of tech tools that help marketers engage prospects at scale. We must continuously optimize our tech stacks to refine that digital experience. Tech tools can help engage clients at scale in a personalized manner. Bound offers a technology solution that allows marketers to identify their web audience, get to know them, and help them solve their business challenge (and maybe even shoot a little bull) with a personalized digital experience.
Marketing should not feel robotic. It needs that human handshake more than ever. Technology vendors can help you scale your efforts online, but don’t forget about the people and process elements. One-to-one marketing requires your marketing team to seek engaging interactions and processes that can bring that engagement to life. It turns out, an old Texas feed distributor could teach high tech marketers a thing or two about successful marketing! With a few tweaks, we can help scale a handshake.