Ryan Caligiuri

Moves to drive sales your CEO will applaud

Special to The Globe and Mail

(PHOTOS.COM)

Talk about a huge disconnect.

A study last year by The Fournaise Marketing Group found that nearly three-quarters – 73 per cent – of chief executive officers believe their marketers “lack business credibility” and “are not the business-growth generators they should be.”

The biggest complaints among the 600 CEOs at large and small companies in several countries who were surveyed: They felt that too many marketing professionals focus on brand, the latest social media marketing trends, irrelevant data and the “arty” and “fluffy” side of marketing, rather than the business side, without being able to demonstrate links to results that really count for the boss: “more customer demand, more sales, more prospects, more conversions or more market share.”

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As worrisome: 69 per cent of marketers surveyed said they believe their strategies do have an impact on the business, even though they can’t prove it, “confirming the great CEO-marketers’ disconnect,” said a release by Fournaise.

Want to prove those CEOs wrong, and get on the good side of your own top boss?

Here are some solid moves that marketers can make to drum up sales leads, and become the business-growth generators that their CEOs want them to be.

Begin a webinar series

Create a series of Web seminars where participants learn information about your offerings, whether how you can help solve a specific problem or a set of benefits that you can deliver.

Your goal for each webinar should be to educate your audience and promote an offer that ties closely to the content in the presentation.

To make this a lead-generating activity that a CEO will applaud, make sure the end of the presentation wraps up with a call to action, asking webinar participants to sign up for whatever it is you are selling. Offer a special promotional price as an added incentive.

Any responses to the offer are leads your CEO will be pleased to have.

Host live events

Live events are great for building a connection with your audience, and getting more personal through one-on-one conversation.

I prefer smaller events, with no more than 50 people; they give me more opportunity o shake hands and converse with everyone in the room, even if for only a short while. That personal connection, including handshakes and exchanging business cards, is very valuable.

Your event should focus on delivering great education, followed, again, by a call to action that gives participants an opportunity to buy something that you are selling.

Create landing pages

Let’s say you have a set of recordings from a series of webinars, some white papers or an e-book, and you want to turn them into lead-generating assets. A landing page is your gateway.

In a nutshell, a landing page is a single Web page that gives your visitors two options – click on a button to sign up to receive something, or leave the page. That’s it.

A landing page will often have a few very short paragraphs communicating the value of the item being promoted, followed by a form to enter in contact information and a large, very noticeable, button that asks the visitor to sign up.

The sole purpose of this page is to promote your offer and capture contact information. If the visitor to the landing page feels the value is there, he or she will trade contact information for your offer.

This contact information is what your CEO will want. It’s a lead that a sales team can follow up on.

Build new products and offers

Building new products and offers is a great way to add more weapons to your marketing arsenal.

This is something service-based companies struggle with because they feel that all they have to offer is their service. However, those services can be leveraged in many other different ways to bring in new sources of revenue.

One option is to develop a training program. Turn an aspect of what you do into a week-long program to offer to customers, and teach something specific you know they will value in their business.

Or offer clients an opportunity to test-drive your services without buying in completely.

For example, if you develop websites, don’t sell a full site design; offer a “proof of concept” for a nominal fee. That’s easy to buy into and can become a very good lead that your CEO will be pleased that you generated.

Partnership marketing

As discussed in last month’s column, partnership marketing is a great way to open doors to new markets.

Marketers can win huge bonus points with their CEO by finding whole new pools of potential clients through organizations or associations that share similar clients but don’t offer competitive products and services. Approach them about promoting your webinars, live events, landing pages or training programs to their contact lists.

Unlocking new markets will definitely excite the CEO.

Generating leads is a very important part of a marketer’s work. If you act on any of these strategies, your CEO will have no doubt about your ability to be a lead- and revenue-generating marketer.

Special to The Globe and Mail

Ryan Caligiuri is a Winnipeg-based growth strategist who works with companies in hyper-competitive marketplaces that want to increase leads and demand to fill their pipeline, that need help breaking into or taking control of already established markets when there’s a need to create more revenue streams, or to become more influential in the marketplace.

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