Sales-Driven Marketing Photo Credit: Our good friend Victor Antonio. If you need a killer speaker for your next sales summit, hire him!
The first module in our 3-Day Rainmaker Rollout Training is titled: “Sales-Driven Marketing Overview: Building Your Complete Inbound Marketing Engine”.
We start with sales-driven marketing for an easy reason; you can’t market to oilmen if you can’t sell to oilmen.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, people in this industry don’t operate like professionals in any other vertical. In 2017, ads in Oil & Gas Journal are still important because the oilfield c-suite still reads magazines. Attending NAPE is still important because oilfield CEOs still care about personal relationships. And our industry still lags behind in digital marketing because the c-suite still doesn’t care about Facebook Likes.
Here’s the hard truth; the c-suite will never care about Facebook Likes, re-tweets, or LinkedIn “reach” because these metrics mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
If you can’t use these metrics to get your leadership on board with digital marketing, how do you convince them? And what can you show them to demonstrate the value of online efforts? I’ll give you a hint; several zeros are involved.
Revenue: The Only Marketing Metric That Matters
As I walked the floor and took in the booths one caught my eye. The company shall remain nameless, but its digital display towered over adjacent presenters. The booth’s oversized projection screen showcased the company’s technology with a well-written animation and accompanying voiceover.
Impressed, I went to the booth and asked for the head of marketing. Surely, a company that puts this much effort into in-booth digital marketing must be crushing it online, right? It’s a fair assumption, but one I’ve learned to never make in this industry.
Me: Hi, I’m James Hahn II. Y’all killed it on the booth. Are you doing anything digital?
Marketing Director: Well, we’re trying. We’ve got a Facebook page, but it’s tough.
Me: How’s that.
Marketing Director: Well, it’s just … It’s just so hard to get our leadership to understand the value of impressions.
Me: That’s because impressions are useless.
Marketing Director: Really?
Me: Your boss can’t pay you with impressions. He doesn’t care about impressions. If you want to get him on board with digital, you have to speak his language.
Marketing Director: How do you do that?
This marketing director could not have been nicer. Her heart could not have been in a better place. But, she had no idea how to communicate the value of her ideas to the only people who could greenlight those ideas.
Sadly, I run into this all the time.
Oil and gas marketers and business development professionals who “get it” when it comes to digital marketing routinely have no idea how to translate the value of digital marketing into business language that gets top-down buy-in. Much like our anonymous friend in San Antonio, they focus their internal pitches on the everything but what their boss wants to hear about; money, income, profits, bottom line.
In the oilfield — in any field — revenue is the only marketing result that matters. If you can’t your marketing tactics translate into dollars, you are doing it wrong.
Digging for Pain: Understanding the C-Suite
The people who run your company have very specific goals. They want to grow domestic market share, position the company for acquisition, increase cash flow to ramp-up inventory, double Research & Development (R&D) investments, and
Your job is the fully understand the problems the leaders of your company need to solve and help them understand how sales-driven marketing can solve those problems.
But if you’re going to be successful it’s not enough to know the goal, you need to know the “WHY?” behind that goal. Why do they want to grow domestic market share? Is your company public or private? What will increasing domestic market share do for your company as a whole, and the leaders of your company specifically?
Was the CEO given a directive by the board? Is his compensation directly tied to the outcomes he drives in the business? Did the board recently hire a new company President? Is that new President’s professional reputation riding on his success or failure to meet key metrics in the first 2-quarters?
When you know the REAL “WHY?”, it’s easy to map digital marketing solutions to those problems. Let’s look at one example.
Sales-Driven Marketing: Mapping Problems to Solutions
Once you dig in and understand the real reason your leaders want to accomplish a goal and how they are personally impacted by the success or failure of the outcomes, it’s time to show how your digital marketing tactics can help them crush those goals.
Grow Domestic Market Share by 10% in 2017: Properly targeted Facebook ads that drive traffic to well-written and properly designed webinar landing pages convert extraordinarily well. If your CEO did a 60-minute presentation where he spent 50-minutes giving away the best, most valuable insights your company brings to the marketplace, he would then earn the right to sell webinar attendees for the last 10-minutes of the presentation. People who take the time to register for a webinar, follow-through with attending the webinar, and then receive extraordinarily valuable insights on that webinar are – you guessed it – HOT LEADS!
The more highly-qualified leads you drive, the easier it is for your sales team to close business. When your sales team closes more business, you win more customers competitors. When you win more customers from competitors, you grow domestic market share.
Problem: Need to grow domestic market share by 15% in 2017.
WHY?: The board of directors gave the CEO the directive. After a rough 2015, he crushed it in 2016. He needs to do the same in 2017 to keep the confidence of the board. If he loses their confidence, he loses compensation and possibly his job.
Solution: 60-minute webinar using highly-targeted Facebook ads to maximize attendance.
Once you can discover your company’s real objectives and the “WHY?” behind the success or failure of those objectives, mapping out a sales-driven digital strategy that gets top-down buy-in is simple.
Sales-Driven Marketing: Why You Can’t Market If You Can’t Sell
But, if you have never picked up the phone to make a sales call, you are going to struggle to discover the genuine business and personal problems your leadership needs to solve. If you can’t discover your leadership’s real problems, you are going to struggle to discover your target market’s problems.
If you can’t discover your target market’s problems, how can you design sales-driven marketing campaigns that convince your prospects to look at your solution?
This doesn’t mean you can’t learn sales as a marketer. It also doesn’t mean you will fail as a marketer if you’ve never had a 100% commission sales job. Though it certainly wouldn’t hurt! I got my first sales job like this when I was 18 years-old. Trust me, when you can’t buy groceries if you don’t close sales, you learn the art of persuasion quick!
What can you as a marketer to better learn the art of persuasion? First, become best friends with your sales team.
Take your Sales Director out to lunch. Ask him what the biggest problems he sees with the sales team’s ability to close business. Find out what you can do to help solve those problems by delivering stronger leads. Sit with your inbound sales team. Listen to their calls. Take notes on the questions they ask. Pay attention to the REAL PROBLEMS their clients and prospects are trying to solve.
Attend meeting with your outside sales team, especially the sellers who handle strategic accounts (your company’s biggest customers). Watch how they get to the heart of their client’s problems, and communicate the value of your solutions in the dollars and cents business language that moves prospects to decide on you.
And if you can pull it off, convince your boss to send you to Sandler Sales Training. I can’t recommend Sandler Sales training highly enough. It’s a game changer for anyone looking to learn professional selling. That’s probably why Sandler is the largest franchised sales-training system in the world. If you’re looking for an outstanding franchise, call Karl Scheible in Austin, Texas and tell him I sent you.
Either way, now that you understand your job as a marketer is really sales and sales-driven marketing, study the craft. Master the craft. Drive outrageous results for your business, and get a YUGE raise!
Call to Action
Do you know an oil and gas marketer or business development professional who is trying to convince their leadership the value of digital marketing? If you found this article valuable, please send it to them and then let me know. I would love to personally thank you!