If you have ever been frustrated that your marketing efforts aren’t paying off, this episode is for you. I’m an expert in organizational psychology. What that means is it’s the study of human behavior at work or in work-like settings in business. Lots of concepts fall under organizational psychology, but one of the biggest issues I deal with in larger organizations is often the contentious relationship between marketing and sales. It’s taken me a little while to realize the same rift is showing up in small businesses, just like yours, but it’s a little more silent or unspoken.
I’ll never forget the time that the head of marketing put on boxing gloves and marched into the VP of sales’s office. Screaming ensued that I was able to hear clearly across the office. I naturally went running to see what it was. Now thankfully, I don’t think she was actually going to deck him but the sentiment was there. For many of you, you’re the chief cook and bottle washer of your operation. Even if you’re outsourcing your marketing efforts, you are still ultimately responsible for ensuring that those results happen by managing and measuring the work of either the contractor or the agency that you are outsourcing to. You want to understand this dynamic so you can protect your investment.
The last few episodes have been dedicated to the myriad of women who are sharing with me that they have overspent on their marketing, that it hasn’t paid off, they still feel like they have a lead generation issue but now they can’t afford to fix it, on and on and on.
In the Bold Profit Academy, we are currently implementing our Revenue Acceleration Cycle where we focus on finding the missed opportunities and low-lying fruit to convert to a sale more quickly than going in search of new leads. Because the hard truth is that if you can’t convert the leads that are right under your nose, the ones you’ve already been nurturing, then it’s going to be way harder to convert new leads that are cold.
We’re going through this Revenue Acceleration Cycle in 30-day sprints so to speak, so now is a great time to join us. We give you the steps you need to take and the guidance required to implement. What that means is you get some training, not a ton, like micro-type training, you get workbooks and worksheets to help you pull out the information that you already have in you. Yes, you do know some of this stuff.
Yes, you already know how to answer these questions. Yes, you already know your business, so we’re going to pull everything out that you already know. We’re going to show you how to implement. Then we have either Office Hours calls where you can come and get more specified guidance for your business, and we have Coworking Calls that are time on the calendar for you to come and implement what you are working on in the program. This way you see time on the calendar carved out for you to do the actual tasks that are going to get you the results that we are hoping you get in the program.
The Relationship Between Sales and Marketing
Let’s dive into this relationship between sales and marketing that is so frustrating for many. I think it comes down to, I’m going to call them love languages. As I’m sharing these love languages with you, I’m also going to share some terms and definitions because one thing that I do hear from business owners is that they didn’t go to business school. They’re really great at that thing they do. They are so excited to serve and to make a difference and an impact in people’s life with their gifts and their skills but there is a massive learning curve when it actually comes to how a business functions and many of you are feeling very self-taught.
I have women who have been 10 years in business working with me, maybe even longer, and they will say, “Hey, when you say such and such, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I always value when they do this. I tell all the women in the Bold Profit Academy, “If you don’t know something, just ask. There are no silly or dumb questions. You were not taught. I don’t expect you to know certain things. If you don’t let me know that clarification is needed, I can’t support you, I can’t help you.” Of course, nobody’s out there selling terms and definitions for things because that would be quite unsexy marketing, that is going to be something that I know you absolutely need, it’s a blind spot that you have that you’re going to take away from this episode.
Let’s think about it this way: Relationship, marketing-sales, let’s think of them as humans because usually humans are running those functions, marketing speaks the love language of traffic. Marketing gets really excited and feels really loved when they see page views increasing, when they see downloads increasing, when they see platform growth, traffic. Their job is to get more eyes on the thing. Sales speaks the love language of booked revenue. They get really excited when leads land in their inbox because that is when they can start to have a conversation. When they start to have a conversation, that is when a lead becomes a prospective buyer.
What often happens is, like in any relationship, there’s some labor that isn’t being done, that is getting ignored, and is causing friction. In this case, it is how traffic becomes a lead. Traffic becomes a lead or marketing turns into sales when information gets captured. In order for somebody to be a lead, in theory, I understand that some of this happens a little differently sometimes on social platforms, but in theory, we need to have contact information, a salesperson needs contact information to turn traffic into a sale. A lead—and I know we’re talking about people, we’re talking about customers, and sometimes we feel a little weird about referring to people as leads—but here is an acronym that I use to define a lead; all LEAD is or means is Let’s Engage And Decide. You’re going to start a conversation and you’re going to help the person in front of you decide whether or not they are the best fit, whether or not this is the right time, whether or not they have a real reason to be buying from you.
Let’s Engage And Decide.
In order to do that traffic, all the eyeballs that are on your stuff needs to get captured and you need, at a minimum, an email address. That’s when traffic becomes a lead.
If you’re not clear on whose responsibility it is to make sure that these page views, these downloads, these platform growth turns into an email address in your email system, there’s going to be a breakdown in communication. If you do not have a mechanism for making that happen, then you shouldn’t be driving traffic until you have that.
This is an incredibly common mistake. It’s one that I have made 100% over and over and over and over again, where I would go and do podcast guest spots or I’d be showing up on social media and I would never give people a place where they could give me their email address if they wanted to, if I made a compelling enough reason for them to give me their email address.
Because sometimes maybe even it’s like, “Oh, well, I don’t want to ask for their email address,” I want you to consider it a fair energetic exchange. If you’re showing up and you are being helpful, if you are being a helpful human being, and you’re helping people and giving some information, putting out some content, you go on a podcast, you show up on social media, you have a podcast of your own, then it would be fair energetic exchange for the people in that audience to acknowledge you in some way.
They can acknowledge you by sharing the content you put out, they can acknowledge you by leaving you a review, and they can acknowledge you if they are interested in what you’re talking about and want to learn more to provide an email address where you can contact them and start a conversation and help them decide. That is how business works. Period. #facts
Traffic needs to turn into a lead. A lead is executed when we have an email address. Now, what takes a lead from a lead to a prospective buyer? What takes a lead to becoming a prospective buyer is a conversation. You’ve started a conversation with them. I actually love this. I was talking to a business owner yesterday. We were going through their content plan and I was trying to understand their purpose behind their content plan and the platforms they use so I could give them some guidance on how to structure their content to make sales. She said to me, “Marketing doesn’t feel great to me. I actually like selling because I like building relationships and creating connections.” That’s true. Marketing is one to many, you’re talking to many people—traffic, page views, people watching your stories. Sales is about building that relationship and developing a connection with a single person and then you have that opportunity when they come onto your email list. Then you’re going to send emails that add value and start conversation.
Engagement: Let’s engage and decide, and you’re going to give them the information that they need in a very helpful way to nurture them to make a decision if now is the right time for them to seek the support that they need to get the result that they want. When they hand you money is when they become a buyer.
Those are the four definitions; traffic, leads, prospective buyer, buyer that I want you to understand to help you evaluate your marketing. Now if your marketing is not leading to leads being generated, that’s a problem that you need to decide how you’re going to address with either the marketing agency, with your own team, or with yourself how you’re going to be driving those leads. But also, if your marketing is delivering you leads and they’re not converting, that’s a sales problem.
All the leads in the world won’t convert if you don’t know how to sell and enroll people into your services and your programs to convert that lead to a sale.
I’m watching people spend money on marketing but then not sure what to do with the lead when they get it. That is not the marketer’s job. That’s the salesperson’s job. The salesperson speaks the language of booked revenue. I know that this is a lot to consider as an expert who’s running a service-based business who really simply wants to go out there and do great work. Nonetheless, this is an area where skill needs to be built for you as a business owner because outsourcing it without understanding how to do it yourself, how to guide somebody, or how to direct someone is highly, highly wasteful in your operating expenses.
One of the hardest things to grasp as a business owner where you’re like, “I’m starting this business because I have the strength, I have the skill, and I just want to do the thing I love.” We get a lot of messages in the world about not doing the sh*t you hate, I actually have perpetuated that message at times myself, and the problem with that message is it doesn’t have enough nuance, it’s yes-and. Yes, do the things that you love to do, and sometimes we need to do things that we’re not good at. Sometimes we need to know when we need to turn a weakness into a strength. The number one time where you have to do that is when you are solely responsible for providing yourself with a salary. Your sales get translated into money in your bank account and so you are solely responsible for making sure you and your team get paid, which means you need to understand and build skill in a way that we make it fun, that we make it enjoyable, and that you feel enthusiastic about doing these things.
Trust me, I used to not enjoy this. This used to be a real achilles’ heel of mine. However, I have managed to build the skill, learn from various different people, and create a framework that allows me to really feel enthusiastic about selling and excited about selling, and actually enjoy it. It is possible. If there’s one thing that I want you to take away from this, if you’re someone who tends to feel nervous, not really like it, shy away from it, or have been unsuccessfully trying to outsource either marketing or selling to somebody else, we really need to consider gaining a skill set here. In closing, what I want to leave you with is the next time you’re looking to buy a shiny object or something that you think is going to help you grow the revenue in your business, I want you to pause and check in, it’s likely that you are in comparison and feeling insecure about your progress and it’s causing you to look for a quick fix or a hack.
Instead of rushing to spend money on the shiny object, on the quick fix, on the thing that you think is going to be your saving grace, ask yourself, “What skill do I need to learn?” It’s time to shift from short-term doing for doing’s sake to the long-term game of cultivating business mastery. I didn’t get where I am today overnight or by operating in a vacuum. This is years of learning, making mistakes, and seeking mentors. Now, if you are not sure what you need to do next or what skill to focus on, you can book a 15-minute call with me to get clear on four growth areas of your business: your offer, your lead generation, sales, and money.