Are you searching for a silver bullet for your marketing strategy? You know, the one tactic, strategy or tool that will boost your lead generation and skyrocket your sales?
Most of us have chased after it.
We've doubled down on cold calling with no success. In fact, we probably annoyed more people than we attracted to our sales pipeline.
We dumped money into pay-per-click ads and sponsored LinkedIn updates. That didn't do the trick.
We've hired lead generation "experts" to set appointments for us. All that did was have someone else annoy potential buyers on our behalf.
The cold, hard truth is that there is no silver bullet for your marketing strategy. The only way to consistently fill your sales pipeline and drive growth for your company is to develop a systematic process to implement a well thought-out strategy. Let me explain.
Executing on fundamentals is the key to growth
I don't think anyone will disagree that Michael Jordan was one of the best basketball players of all time. If you've seen the amazing dunks and incredible moves from his highlight reel, you'll instantly recognize his God-given natural talent. But the most amazing thing about Michael Jordan to me is that with all of his natural abilities, he still worked religiously on the fundamentals until the end of his career.
He was first the one to show up for practice and the last to leave. And he would work on fundamentals like free throws and his jump shot. When all the chips were on the line with ten seconds left in the game, he wanted the ball. Because he had taken that shot so many times in practice that he knew he would make it when the pressure was on.
There are thousands of players that have come through the NBA with just as much natural talent as Michael Jordan. But there is only one Michael Jordan. He had the rare combination of natural talent, unquenchable desire, an incredible work ethic and a focus on the fundamentals.
The same concept applies to marketing strategy and execution. The companies that grow year-in and year-out are the ones that execute on the fundamentals consistently.
- High-performing companies focus their time and resources on the types of business opportunities that are likely to result in profitable customers. They know who their ideal customers are and they know the wants and needs of their buyers. Even more importantly, they don't waste time on opportunities that don't fit their target customer profile.
- They know the cascading Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that define success and track them carefully. By tracking these KPIs, they know when to make adjustments to their tactics and when to allocate resources to profitable tactics (and away from under performing ones.)
- They have clear messaging that communicates the value they offer to their ideal customers and differentiates them from their competitors. They are consistent in this messaging across their various market channels.
- They have a defined systematic sales process that's tied to their ideal customer's buyers journey. They apply this process consistently and don't take shortcuts.
- They use multiple marketing channels to reach their ideal customers. Inbound marketing, email prospecting, networking, referral sales, cross and up-selling and paid advertising are all part of their growth strategies.
- They use technology to make their sales and marketing processes efficient. They use technology to qualify opportunities and personalize their approach to each opportunity. They also use technology to measure the effectiveness of their process and make adjustments based on data.
There's no silver bullet to replace a well-designed strategy and a systematic process to execute it.
My advice to business owners and managers is to stop chasing after the latest shiny object and focus on the fundamentals. Time and resources dedicated to building an effective marketing strategy and a solid execution process will pay off in the long run.