Communicating the Value of Hard Work
IT marketing can seem brutally barren to even the experienced marketing team if they don’t have the perspective from which to build their skill. Unfortunately, that kind of perspective often takes a little time to acquire. It’s not the sort of thing that comes with ease. What you want to do is take an oblique approach which will organically instill a sense of hard work. A great way to think about it is to consider one of Aesop’s Fables, specifically: “The Farmer and His Sons.”
If you are unfamiliar, in this fable a farmer has a number of sons who he expects will sell the land the moment he shrugs his mortal coil. He knows they would be better suited working the land and reaping its benefits, but he also knows they’re just not patient or experienced enough to understand the value of that which he has left for them. So, he creates a story. He tells them that somewhere on the land is a great treasure, but he cannot remember where. He then goes on to point out that if they dig up every inch of the land, they’ll likely find it.
Well, the sons set to it, and eventually, they’ve dug up every bit of the land, but they haven’t found any treasure. Naturally, this takes a great deal of time, work, and sacrifice. So, they figure: well, we haven’t found what we were looking for, we might as well plant seeds like we used to and at least enjoy a harvest of some sort. When they enjoy a bountiful harvest from all the dug-up land they tilled, they realize the treasure of the property wasn’t some easily-obtained gold or silver, but the very crop itself. Your IT marketing is going to be very similar.
Applying Aesop’s Principles to Marketing
It can seem as though you’re dredging up the empty earth for the acquisition of some hidden treasure until the profits from successful marketing tillage come in. As a manager of an IT marketing team, you need to teach them the value of hard work. If you’re constantly pursuing prospects, monitoring your success, and making requisite contact to those prospects which have a greater likelihood of buying, you’ll increase sales. Increased sales lead to greater resources in marketing, which lead to even more sales. Eventually, selling becomes much easier than it was, because proper groundwork has been applied to the situation. To summarize it metaphorically, the land has been tilled.
This can take some time, and it will require a few concerted strategies. Be sure to keep solid numbers in order to demonstrate progress. That said, you want to lead prospects through the sales funnel of conversion. They must become:
• Aware of your products
• Educated as to their scope
• Interested in acquisition
• Ready to buy
• Converted clients
For them to go down the sales funnel to conversion will require a number of repeat contacts. Your sales team is likely going to need to get in touch with prospects no less than five times per, on average, in order to acquire them as regular customers.
This is all going to be very hard work, and it won’t seem rewarding at first. But when sales conversions become easier due to expanded experience, suddenly the value of all that hard work will become apparent. This is especially true if you’ve incentivized your payout structure accordingly. When your marketing and sales team start to see extra money for conversions, they’ll work that much harder for the “buried treasure” of client conversions.
IT marketing which employs this kind of long-term principles is likely to see success. It’s not going to come overnight, but as the MSP for which a given marketing team works begins to succeed, greater success is enabled. Ultimately, you’re looking at a profitable upward spiral which will expand resources, scope, and effectiveness. Those who begin as low-level marketing employees may find themselves at the top of the food chain in a few years’ time. Ensure to provide them a career path which expands in conjunction with your business, also. Provided you’re strategic in this way, you should see results.