"Social media has one very important perspective to share with brand management - the conversation. Like branding, social media is all about the conversation and building effective relationships. They are perfectly suited to one another," says Roach, the author of The Reluctant Salesperson, a free e-book available at www.thebrandingexperts.ca. The rules for brand messaging through new media versus traditional channels haven't changed, but "the game sure got better and more interesting," says Roach.
Once an MQL has been identified, it can be passed on to the sales team for future follow-up. Salespeople can then further qualify the lead by measuring two things: interest and fit. Interest, as you might expect, refers to how invested the prospect is in moving forward with your company’s type of solution. Fit refers to how closely the lead matches your company’s definition of an ideal buyer.
We’ll assume there is no need to explain the impact of content (and by that I mean not just any kind of content) in a content marketing funnel, and also that content marketing isn’t just writing blog posts. This is the misconception many business owners, even some marketers, still have. Claiming that content marketing is just another word for blogging is, well, wrong. Blogging is definitely a part of content marketing, but there is much more involved.

For different types of businesses, buyer needs at the problem/need recognition stage would be different. For example, if you’re running a consulting business, then at the very beginning, your clients would realize that they’re having certain problems around your service area – like a high cost per lead (if you’re in marketing), disorganized spending (if you’re in accounting), etc.


Businesses built around one or two customers that aren’t looking expand should focus on building out the loyalty phase of the sales funnel. However, a CRM is best for managing the customer’s journey for businesses that want to create the best possible experience during each stage of the process in order to increase your number of sales, as they provide tools to help you automate and scale your sales funnel activities.
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These actions consequently impact sales. 79 percent of dissatisfied customers no longer revisit underperforming websites – except when you’re Google or Amazon. 46 percent of dissatisfied customers develop a lasting negative impression and 44 percent share their shopping experiences with the rest of the world. The implications go well beyond the cyber world as 87 percent of customers shop in online as well as brick-and-mortar retail stores.
Engagement (aka, brand awareness) - Today, brand awareness often begins online, typically on of one the many social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, where consumers discover brands. The goal is to reach a large number of people and start attracting potential customers from the masses. Engagement can take a variety of forms, including free offers for educational content, social media posts or ads or reviews from friends and family.
But if you still use separate tools to email and call your leads, then visibility into their different touchpoints at different stages in the funnel can be difficult to figure out. Use a CRM software with built-in email and phone instead. You can create email templates in your CRM to quickly reach out to leads. Even better, you can automate sending out the first welcome email to new leads using workflows. Modern CRMs also track your emails and notify you when the lead opens your email. This is a nifty feature to know when to take action and move your lead to the next stage. You know, strike while the iron is hot? So now you’ll know if your email is getting read or not. You can also use email metrics to test your email performance, and craft better ones to increase open rates.
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The marketing funnel offers a good basic model, but marketers need to be aware of how technology has altered the buyer’s journey. Many buyers do their own research online, comparing features and benefits of competitive products, rather than relying on a company's traditional marketing activities to guide them through the funnel stages. This means buyers enter the funnel at a point where they are more prepared to make a sale. It also means companies need to get information online, such as an up-to-date website, product content and purchase reviews.
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This year Google made pagespeed an official ranking factor for mobile search, introduced mobile speed score, and perhaps most important—they’re backing the Accelerated Mobile Pages open-source project: a means of developing web pages that load in (approximately) half a second! In short, the search giant’s putting their foot down and demanding a better, faster mobile web.
There’s a better solution: Build out an automated email follow-up campaign that speaks directly to this objection. Any time you encounter this problem, you can send that prospect information that seems designed just for them. A multi-month educational campaign may reduce their content anxiety and nurture them toward a sale. Yes, it’s work up front, but once finished, this campaign will work for you always.
Most importantly, compare your data against a model that gives you a full-funnel view. You don’t want to discredit the importance of nurturing material by relying only on the material that brings leads in, or gets them to hit the “buy” button. A linear attribution model divides the sale’s credit up evenly between every touch point, which provides an even view of your funnel. However, not all touchpoints are equal. Because of that, a linear model can be inaccurate.
If you want to make more sales through social media, you need to utilize the power of social media influencers. Get them to strategically feature your product in their photos or videos, or have them tell a unique and engaging story about your brand. You can also work with influencers who will give honest reviews about your product, and/or provide tutorials and how-to content regarding your product.
The book was widely reviewed in specialist journals, including the Journal of Economic Literature,[12] American Journal of Education,[25] The American Journal of Psychology,[26] Planning Theory,[27] The American Economist,[28] The Journal of Risk and Insurance,[29] The Michigan Law Review,[30] American Scientist,[31] Contemporary Sociology,[32] Science,[33] Contexts,[34] The Wilson Quarterly,[35] Technical Communication,[36] The University of Toronto Law Journal,[37] A Review of General Semantics[38] and Scientific American Mind.[39]
Establish a reason for follow-up. Your customers are busy and multitasking every day.  It’s your job to grab their attention quickly. The best way to do this is to reference a past conversation and mirror the words your potential customer used during your sales call. For example, if you learned that they're struggling to lose 15 pounds before a high school reunion, then you would reference that in the opening of the follow-up after a friendly greeting. 
Browsers cache a lot of information (stylesheets, images, JavaScript files, and more) so that when a visitor comes back to your site, the browser doesn't have to reload the entire page. Use a tool like YSlow to see if you already have an expiration date set for your cache. Then set your "expires" header for how long you want that information to be cached. In many cases, unless your site design changes frequently, a year is a reasonable time period. Google has more information about leveraging caching here.
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