5 Mistakes Marketing Executives Keep Making

5 Mistakes Marketing Executives Keep Making

5 Mistakes Marketing Executives Keep Making

Marketing executives carry the heavy burden of maintaining the reputation of the brand, both internally and externally. The main goal is to support sales in their concerted efforts to close more deals. But the only way they do this is by promoting and elevating the company’s brand and reputation to their potential customers.

The fast-paced, always-moving world of marketing leaves room for plenty of opportunities. Simultaneously, it leaves just as much room for mistakes. While mistakes are natural, there are some which hinder teams from capitalizing on MQLs and revenue. Mistakes are, more often than not, a result of misaligned strategies and lack of communication. And while we’re human and they can happen, the effects of them can be much more public and damaging to the company’s brand. So we decided to point out the five most common marketing mistakes:

1. Assuming your audience isn’t on other channels.

Let’s say this one loud and clear: your consumers are everywhere. Yes, maybe more of them spend time on LinkedIn than YouTube. Maybe your demographic engages the most with video rather than email marketing. That does not mean you should quit those other channels. In fact, integrated marketing is one of the most important ways to give your consumers a cohesive, informative experience on multiple channels. Maybe it takes 3 encounters to get an inquiry. Maybe it takes 40 encounters. Integrated marketing turns your efforts into lead movements. Take advantage of it. 

​“Integrated marketing is aligned with a simple but powerful marketing philosophy: that any interaction someone has with your brand, on any channel, should reinforce their impression consistently, and positively.”

– Lucy Fuggle, HubSpot

2. Skipping proofreading.

We see this all the time. An email with a typo or missing link, a LinkedIn ad with a broken CTA button, or even just a blog with the wrong sources– it all hurts the brand. Marketing’s job is to constantly reinforce the reputation of the company in a nurturing and positive way. Encourage your team to create a system between your team members for proofreading. Our marketing team goes through two proofreading stages before allowing the entire team to eyeball the content before it goes live. This ensures no error is overlooked.

3. Lacking adaptation

Sales repeats their ABC’s — Always Be Closing. Marketing should have their own slogan: Always Be Adapting. Marketers struggle with getting too comfortable sometimes. While a rhythm is important, the general rule of thumb should be to adapt to the consumer at all times. Consumers, and their behaviors, change constantly, and thus, marketers and their strategies should, too. Push your team to use their lead data and adapt the nets they’re casting to the right “lead pond.” Those who adapt, grow. Those who don’t adapt, fall behind.

 

Talk to a Verse Lead Conversion Specialist to see how we can help

4. Losing sight of the big picture

Strategy revolves around staying relevant and consistent. Often marketers get into patterns that make their strategy go stale. This comes down to the “stepping stones” of big goals. Is your team making smaller, attainable monthly/quarterly goals? How often do you examine your metrics? Do you use your data to adjust your content? Does your team have true alignment with their sales team? Your team should be supporting sales. If that is not part of their strategy, there will be a gap sitting between the two teams where leads and opportunities get lost. You are the captain of this team, so it’s important you are steering your team in the direction of alignment.

5. Minimal Research and No Testing

There are a vast number of reasons why research and A/B testing is so important. Simply put, your sales team may be closing less deals because of this oversight. Encourage your team to regularly test pricing pages, inquiry forms, ads, CTAs. Monitor the results and optimize your language or the structure of your content according to the way your consumers engage. This should be happening consistently and often. 

Test. Monitor. Optimize. Repeat.


For more reasons your marketing and sales may be misaligned, check out
The Lead Conversion Gap.

Talk to a Verse Lead Conversion Specialist to see how Verse can help.

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The secret to more revenue from less leads

The secret to more revenue from less leads

The secret to more revenue from less leads

It’s plain and simple: more leads does not mean more revenue. This is the whole reason marketing and sales talk about qualified leads and the power of driving them. You may purchase 20,000 leads and they are all garbage. But then you generate 100 high-intent leads and not only did you close more deals, but brought in more revenue. 

What value do 20,000 unqualified leads have next to 100 great ones? 

Revenue ≠ Lead Volume 

Say you tried a new marketing strategy it brought a significant amount of closings and bigger purchases than normal. Despite the increase in revenue, you notice the actual lead volume from this month’s strategy was significantly lower than last month. With business being a “numbers game,” the typical alarm raised from this outcome results in buying more leads. Don’t buy into that just yet. 

Chris Walker’s answer is simple:

When you align your demand marketing to revenue instead of “leads”, oftentimes your leads will go down because it changes the things that you do. It changes where you advertise. It changes what content you create. It changes your conversion points. It changes your metrics. It changes your MINDSET.” – Chris Walker, CEO of Refine Labs

If you are seeing high-intent leads from your LinkedIn ads turning into large revenue, you’re going to shift a more concerted effort toward your LinkedIn ads to get more. But the actual lead volume may go down. Quality has now outperformed quantity.

Stick to Revenue, Connect with Leads

Ultimately, the best response is to stick to the revenue. Keep pushing out content and advertising that brings you more qualified leads with bigger purchases. The revenue will prove to outshine the lead volume. It’s common for marketers to become laser-focused on MQLs, but the real story is revealed when revenue becomes your central metric.

Again, letting these 100 qualified leads go to waste should be non-negotiable, but the “handoff” between marketing and sales still leaves many leads untouched. Connecting with these already warm leads should be a no-brainer, but it isn’t as simple at the bandwidth of humans.

Verse’s modern contact center and lead conversion software pair together to connect your teams with your qualified leads at a maximum rate. When a lead comes in, the lead is contacted right away via SMS, where we offer omni channel communication to best fit their needs. We use a collaborative, custom-made script to qualify your leads and, once qualified, we directly book an appointment with your sales team. The chance of connection and conversion is at an all-time high and every marketing effort is validated. 

Pairing a revenue-driven mindset with a lead conversion software ensures the most ROI and profitability. In the end, it’s the little adjustments that make the biggest difference in business and your bottom-line. 

Talk to a Verse Lead Conversion Specialist to see how Verse can help.

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3 Lessons from Real Estate During the Pandemic 

3 Lessons from Real Estate During the Pandemic 

3 Lessons from Real Estate During the Pandemic 

At Sundae, we interact daily with customers who are facing some of the most important decisions they will ever have to make. As “homebuyers with heart,” we strive to make every encounter with our customers friendly, caring, honest, and empathetic. In fact, the Sundae mission is to help homeowners get the best outcome when it’s time to sell a house that needs some love. 

Selling a house is not just a complicated financial and logistical endeavor. It’s also an emotional and personal affair. We often work with families who’ve spent decades in a house, watching their kids grow up and experiencing all of life’s ups and downs within its walls. They may be parting ways with their home for reasons outside of their control, such as financial hardship, death in the family, or a major life change. Often, it’s just time to move on. Whatever the case, they usually find themselves in a tough spot, and they demand a smooth, transparent process with someone they can trust. At Sundae, it’s imperative that we provide this. 

Ever since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the stakes are even higher in our business. Customers buying and selling houses have all the normal challenges to consider, which are stressful enough on their own. But now they also have the added anxiety of a pandemic and threat of economic meltdown hanging over their heads. It’s understandable for many to feel like a house sale could make or break them. This makes our job even more important, and in some ways more difficult.

But dealing with coronavirus reminds us that there is always room to improve operations and customer service. In fact, streamlining the ways we work in the wake of the virus has not only helped us as a business, but also provided a more efficient and consistent customer experience for anyone looking to Sundae for help. 

Here are three key lessons we’ve learned during this challenging time. 

Lesson 1: Emphasize technology and internal cohesion

At Sundae, we define technology as more than just our hardware and software. Technology is, more broadly speaking, the process of constant innovation and drive for improvement. The way our business works is not always straightforward. In essence, we find customers looking to sell dated and damaged houses, and we buy those houses or find buyers for them through an investor marketplace. But there are a lot of moving parts. 

We’re constantly reviewing our workflows from marketing and customer service to sales and closing operations. One of the most important lessons we’ve learned recently is the importance of keeping our teams connected. Our Customer Advisors dealing directly with home sellers need to know where each customer came from and why. Our Market Experts who negotiate directly with homeowners need to understand their motivations and goals. And our Marketing team can’t do its job properly without constant communication with downstream stakeholders to know what’s happening with prospects after they first come into contact with Sundae. 

Going beyond the standard protocol of check-in meetings and emails, we used the time during the coronavirus shutdown to  streamline our customer touch points and lead qualification process and tools. We also put together a task force of discipline leads to meet regularly and provide weekly company-wide updates on how each department was shifting its strategy. 

Finally, we began exporting “call notes” from our sales platform and circulating them in a daily recap of every customer interaction with a qualified lead in our funnel. The updates placed special emphasis on how the virus was affecting (or not affecting) customer behaviors. Messages were circulated to every member of the marketing, sales, and operations groups, and a healthy conversation flowed from this forum. The result was a more informed and focused team, even while we all worked remotely. 

Lesson 2: There is no substitute for the human touch

Improving our technical proficiency was helpful, but didn’t account for the personal challenges facing our customers during the time of coronavirus. According to Verse CEO David Tal, “Technology alone is inauthentic, but humans alone are inefficient.” That statement resonates with us now more than ever. We’ve learned that blending the best of humans and technology creates better sales and marketing outcomes. 

As we looked for ways to get better in how we talk to our customers, we recognized a few limitations. One was that our Customer Advisor team was working around the clock to cover the phones all hours of the day and provide useful updates into our sales management platform. Looking at the alternatives, we saw that most third party providers either could not efficiently integrate with our sales funnel, or they leaned too heavily on off-shoring solutions. With a customer base dealing in the high anxiety situation of a home sale, we felt foreign call centers gave off a whiff of insensitivity.

Working with Verse, we were able to implement a custom workflow in which Verse customer service representatives help qualify leads and inject them directly into our sales funnel. Their call centers are based in the U.S. and provide 24-7 support, as well as a friendly voice who is familiar with our business. This solution provides better customer attention on the front lines. But more importantly, it allows our Customer Advisors to spend more time providing personalized engagement with qualified prospects, making every customer interaction more meaningful.

Lesson 3: Helpful content builds trust

As noted in our company mission statement, we aren’t just trying to “close deals” with our customers. We believe we aren’t successful if we haven’t fundamentally helped them address their problem. This aim does not conflict with a healthy revenue stream for our business. In fact, we think doing the right thing attracts more people to our business, helping us build scale and efficiency. 

One of the best ways we help is through our content and messaging strategy. At Sundae, we are actively creating content for various audience segments to provide information, tips, and guidance on a range of real estate topics. This content includes data-driven analyses, human-focused customer stories, and instructional articles and videos. The Sundae blog may advise a reader on how to choose a buyer for their house, recognize fraud, or increase the value of their home through amazing interior design and home improvement hacks. 

Perhaps as important as the content itself, at Sundae we actively encourage participation from throughout our organization in creating and distributing this helpful content to our customers. This means tapping into our extensive staff expertise for content generation, including articles written by our real estate economists and valuation experts. It also means integrating content and messaging into our sales interactions. Our goal is for everyone working with customers to be equipped with articles, infographics, videos, and other content they can share to help answer questions or provide more context on a range of personal circumstances. 

This has been especially important lately, as people are wondering about the state of the economy and how it’s affecting housing. As a homebuyer that has continued to purchase houses throughout these uncertain times — even while many of our competitors suspended operations — this proactive approach to content dissemination has helped us build momentum and satisfy a lot of homeowners in need. 

Talk to a Verse Lead Conversion Specialist to see how Verse can help.

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Sales and the Top 1%: How to Be Better than the Rest

Sales and the Top 1%: How to Be Better than the Rest

Believe it or not, it is not confidence or charm that separates the top 1% of salespeople from the rest. It’s actually the art of organization. A salesperson with an organized and systematic sales process will be most likely to close more deals. 

The reason this sales quality seems to so heavily influence performance revolves around “lead fatigue” and the consistent anxiety of chasing and hunting down prospects. An average salesperson typically gets caught up in doing too much, ultimately causing them to lose motivation and a solidified sales funnel.

The biggest reason organization manifests so much success is due to the understanding that time is money. That means that time spent chasing leads should be leveraged in productive, structured strides. 

1. Confirm appointments – every time. 

This is a fairly simple, yet substantial tip to manage your time better. Check in the day before with your prospect and verify the time and date. We even recommend doing so first thing the day before meeting because you can always quickly check your calendar before getting started on your work day. Then, by end of day, you know what your next day will look like appointment-wise and can prioritize other tasks meanwhile.

2. Use a management software tool.

Whether you use a CRM tool or a task management software, these kinds of resources will help. Look into what aspects might be most important or necessary for your sales process. Lead scoring? Conversation records? Response checklist? Remember less is more when it comes to softwares (remember the average salesperson), however, they do offer avenues to optimize your time management.

3. Speed-to-lead and ISAs

The looming cloud of speed-to-lead is dreaded by many salespeople. Inside Sales did their own study and found a conversion was 21x more likely when a lead was contacted within 5 minutes of filling out an inquiry. But how can a salesperson be available 24/7 to manage this? Unfortunately, they can’t. However, our 24/7 contact center at Verse poses as an ISA for your sales team while optimizing the chance of initial connection with your leads. If 40% of your leads come in after hours, Verse would be the best chance at being more organized and in the Top 1%.

Talk to a Verse Lead Conversion Specialist to see how we can help

4. Organize qualifying questions

Getting a lead to convert is often named the most difficult part of the sales process for account managers. Often the right questions aren’t being asked when you connect with a lead. Do you and your team have a list of qualifying questions? What differentiates a lead ready to purchase and a lead that needs nurturing? HubSpot offers a great start to your qualification questions. Focus on the low-hanging fruit and use your CRM tool to monitor yet-to-be-qualified leads.

5. Leverage lead conversion software

Again, leveraging a 24/7 contact center like Verse will give you the most. Verse uses AI and omnichannel communication to best connect with leads. While they not only connect with your leads, they also qualify and nurture them until they’re ready for conversion where Verse will then book an appointment for them to meet with you. This essentially relieves sales of chasing and wasting time with leads who will never buy. We filter them out for you.

Organization is the key to success. Utilizing tools, lead conversion software and quick communication with your prospects will let you focus on the low-hanging fruit and move your way up to the Top 1%. Work smarter, not harder.

Talk to a Verse Lead Conversion Specialist to see how Verse can help.

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