We can get so wrapped up in our marketing and advertising campaigns, it’s easy to lose sight of the larger picture and how this campaign, this design, fits into the sales process. So we gotta remember how this ad, logo, social media post, brochure, whatever it might be, helps the customer in their buying decision. And I am no exception. I got a great reminder the other day to stop for a minute and take my own advice.
My Own Sales Cycle Lesson
I love working with credit unions – they have such passion for their members and their non-for-profit cause. So I am always looking for new ones with which to develop relationships. We got a little mailer together for Valentine’s Day, sent it out and as I made the follow-up phone calls, I just kept getting voice mails. But I was so excited to wish these people a “Happy Valentine’s Day” and make sure they received the t-shirts we sent (yes! t-shirts!). Couldn’t they see how much I just wanted to meet them? Hear their stories? Voice mail just felt so defeating. Sigh.
As I ended the calling session feeling pretty disappointed, a good friend reminded me that this was just the beginning. We sowed some seeds. They will take much watering to nourish.
They reminded me that our business development is indeed a process, it has a cycle to it, a life of its own.
What About Your Sales Cycle?
What do you know about your own products’ or services’ sales cycles? When’s the last time you tracked a customer’s buying process? And do you match up your advertising and marketing efforts to various stages of that process?
For our credit union and community bank clients, their sales cycles can be fairly long, but their products are pretty sticky (once they get a customer, they typically stay for a while). We have a home improvement client who also has a longer sales cycle. He’s been in the business for more than 20 years, so he definitely knows about “sowing the seeds.”
Is Yours Shorter? Longer?
These longer sales cycles take time to develop, therefore it is more useful to use broader messaging & awareness strategies. Think of how different the thought process is between buying a $5,000 remodeling project versus a $5 pizza. Then think of what and when those marketing and advertising moments might happen. Ever notice you see more pizza ads right before lunch and dinner? Much more direct advertising and hits at the moment of need.
Whether you are a large enterprise or a small business, knowing your sales cycle is a crucial element in your marketing and advertising strategy. Taking the time to understand your customer’s path to your product or service, no matter how formal your research methods will reap great rewards.
There are countless sources of information regarding sales cycles but if you’d like someone to guide you through the process, see you through a full growing season, just give us a call. We’ll study the fields, get the right seeds then nurture them through to harvest!