Wouldn’t it be nice never to have to worry about where your next sale was coming from?
(Sounds a bit like a dream scenario, doesn’t it?)
In my experience as an inbound marketer, this is something that many businesses want when they first come to me, although not everyone actually believes it can be a reality – instead, they go back to scraping together a business with referrals and paid ads.
But, let me tell you; with inbound marketing, it’s absolutely possible!
In this blog post, I’m going to tell you the benefits of creating your own sales engine, as well as some great first steps to get you started.
The benefits of a sales engine
When I say the term ‘sales engine’ it can conjure up images of a big old steam train filled with money, or perhaps an old-fashioned Charlie Chaplin scene where he gets stuck in some machinery – but fear not, it’s actually not quite as complicated as it sounds!
A sales engine is basically a means to generate a steady stream of leads coming through to your website. So, when you’ve finished with your current customer, there’s no need to go chasing your next one, or sitting around twiddling your thumbs until they come to you – they’re already there!
The biggest benefit to this is simply having the peace of mind that your next customer is always going to be there, and with a steady stream of sales coming in, you’ll be able to grow your business on a much more scalable level.
Why do you need one?
Having a sales engine in place is particularly important if you’re anything like Dave’s Construction, for example. Dave only has a small team of five (including his wife who takes calls and organises the diary), with no dedicated sales team to spend all their time on the phone finding new customers.
That’s he needs an automated process to do all of the work for him. Especially in today’s climate when people like to do most of their research online before picking up the phone, or sending an email (but more about that below).
So, do you want to know how you can create your own sales engine? Let me talk you through the steps:
Step 1: Create helpful content
As I mentioned above, most people like to do a lot of their research online these days, and therefore you need to be prepared to answer their questions. Think about actual, real world questions your customers ask you on a daily basis, and come up with quality, helpful content that answers these questions.
Some of the most common questions Dave’s Construction customers want to know include:
- How much will it cost?
- What materials will you use?
- How long will it take?
- Will I have to move out of my house?
- Who else offers this service?
The content you use to answer these questions can be in the form of blogs, infographics, slideshares, videos and more – as long as you’re speaking their language and giving them the answers they really want to know. Update your blog on a weekly basis, and this will get them coming back again and again.
Premium content offers such as ebooks placed at the bottom of your blogs are a great way of turning these visitors into leads – simply get them to fill in a form with their contact details before downloading your content.
Step 2: Nurture with email marketing
Now that you’ve turned these visitors into leads, you can start nurturing them with email marketing. Depending on the content they’ve downloaded, you can focus on helping them out even more by asking their thoughts, and sending them more helpful content at every stage of the process.
For instance, you could preempt some of their main pushbacks by sending them helpful case studies showing how you’ve helped customers similar to them in the past. Or link them to an ebook that tells them exactly what to expect when choosing your company.
Step 3: Promote your content on social media
Social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) is a great way to amplify your content to a wider audience, and can also help you build new relationships with potential customers who might enjoy following your posts, or even ask the occasional question about how your services can help them.
Just be sure to engage with your audience and interact when necessary. Make your posts fun, bright and engaging, and mix them up a bit so it doesn’t look like you’re a robot who only posts links. Colourful photos with your posts usually attract the most attention.
Step 4: Drive traffic with Google ads
Paid ads are another option to help attract attention to your content, but my advice here is to only use this method when you already know that your content is working and converting visitors into leads – and never send traffic to a page when you don’t know the conversion rate.
For more information, read my blog post ‘How to Tell if Google Ads are Worth the Investment’.
I could write a book on ways to turn your website into a successful sales engine, but I’ve managed to cover the basics above. These tips will allow your website to start generating you a steady stream of leads in no time, so you can have ultimate peace of mind and stop worrying about where your next customer is coming from.
Here’s how to create a powerful sales engine for your website:
- Create helpful content
- Nurture with email marketing
- Promote your content on social media
- Drive traffic with Google ads
Would you feel confident trying out some of these tips on your own? If you have any questions, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.