Right now, many businesses are asked to do more with less, or to improve results, reduce spend, or make efficiencies.
As we all know, sales and marketing are things that we all need to invest in - businesses that continued to invest in these areas during the first lockdown (as well as, historically, during recessions and difficult economic circumstances) have fared better than those that cut all spending.
But how can we balance making efficiencies with continuing to invest in necessary areas? By being efficient, effective, and highly considered in where we choose to make those investments.
One area that can make things far more efficient is by combining some of your different systems, and investing in a more integrated approach.
Many marketers will have access to multiple different platforms and services - things like Mailchimp, Unbounce, LeadPages, Hootsuite, Google Ads, Social Media, Analytics... Some of them are free tools, others are freemium or paid. Most businesses will have Pro Licences on at least a couple of these.
On top of that, your sales teams probably have a CRM like Salesforce or Pipedrive.
Putting everything together into one, integrated system does a few different things for you:
- It provides huge improvements in your data, allowing sales and marketing teams to improve the effectiveness of their activities
- It saves time on flitting between different systems, allowing everything to get done in one place - giving your marketing team a lot more efficiency in particular
- It could save money - depending on what you need from each system
- It saves bookkeeping time - one invoice, from one place, rather than lots of different platforms
We've seen massive time savings and efficiencies since we moved from a "frankenstack" of different marketing services to HubSpot.
One of the biggest benefits, beyond the time saving, is the fact that our activities are more efficient, more effective, and more personalised than ever before. Because the CRM and marketing and sales systems are all integrated, we can segment and personalise our outreach, respond to audience behaviour, and target our activities to where they'll have the best results. All of which is vital when you want your investment to go as far as possible.
If you need to do more with less, making sure everything you do is optimised and effective is hugely important.
One area that's a particular challenge right now is outreach. Businesses and decision makers are receiving more sales emails than ever before, thanks to working from home and being potentially harder to get hold of on the phone.
Making your outreach stand out is the only way to break through the noise and get your message through.
There are a few different ways to do this - one of our favourites is using video. We get more responses, and more positive responses, with video emails. In fact, we're such a fan of this approach that we have a free Video Selling Masterclass to help you learn more about it.
Doing your research into your prospects, and sending genuinely personal outreach, is a definite must. But you still need to be efficient - using automated emails or sequences after your initial message can help streamline your prospecting process and give your sales teams back some time.
If you want to do more with less, you need to know when it's time to invest in getting external help. It might sound counter-intuitive to spend money instead of doing something yourselves, or to change from a cheap provider to a more established one. But sometimes it's the more cost-effective option.
If you're spending on Google Ads but getting nowhere, you might be better off investing in some expert support.
Paid advertising can be a tricky area and not every inhouse marketer, or even agency, is outfitted with the skills to optimise it to the right level. We work with a client who was paying £230 per lead before they came to us (the cost is now closer to £18 - and that's not a typo). Other clients have dabbled with doing it themselves and found they were burning through their ad budget without much to show for it.
Sometimes, paying for the support up front means your budget goes further, so you not only end up paying less for your leads, you're also more likely to get more leads - far more efficient, right?
The same can be true for most areas of your business. Investing in support not only gives you access to more knowledge and expertise, it also frees up your time to work on the most important parts of your business. If you outsourced your admin, your marketing, your bookkeeping, your IT support, your outreach... how much time would you get back? Maybe you wouldn't need to hire additional people, or you could redirect your teams to their most effective activities.
In order to do more with less, you need to know how effective your activities are right now. For that, you need good data.
So, one of the areas you really need to invest in is your data. That investment might be your time, or it might be investing in a system that captures your data and presents it in a way you can make decisions from it.
For example, our HubSpot portal contains all of the information we have about our clients, prospects, deals, marketing activities, and more. So we can tell where our deals have come from, where our revenue comes from, what marketing results in the most leads, how we should attribute revenue based on the touchpoints experienced by the prospect, how people find us, how a long deals spend in each stage of our sales process, and so on.
By analysing this data, we can determine where we should spend our time and money and where we should cut back because we're not seeing results.
This type of data analysis is always important, but it's especially relevant if you're trying to make efficiencies. Find a way to get all of this data and review it. You might be surprised at what you find.