Consumers’ spending habits change over time, mostly due to the state of the economy and according to their own financial goals and objectives. Businesses that want to increase their profit margin have to change their habits as well if they want more lead-to-sale conversions. A successful marketing VP not only keeps up with the marketing trends, but also buying trends of consumers.
Nowadays buyers do a lot more research when making purchases. The Internet has given many buyers a way to exercise proper due diligence and get a lot of their questions answered before they even meet personally with a salesperson. Salespeople must now be able to provide the answers not uncovered in buyers’ research, and the answers must incite a buyer to action–as in making a purchase. Thus, a good marketing manager or VP is one who can generate leads and convert those leads into sales.
Search engine marketing and optimization; online advertising, social marketing, blogs, website offers, email campaigns and traditional PR avenues are all ways through which leads are generated. Marketing managers or VPs must develop the right combination of lead-generating methods and messages and constantly test these methods and messages to determine each one’s effectiveness and weed out those vehicles that don’t work. He must also rate the quality of each lead based on its conversion rate so that his sales force focuses on those leads that have the highest likelihood of converting to a sale.
In addition to ensuring lead quality, developing effective communication between the salespeople and the customers is also crucial. A marketing VP must work closely with his sales manager to analyze what selling techniques they use, what works and what doesn’t and where improvement is needed. A person should also be designated to coordinate social media marketing. Many conversations regarding buying and selling a particular product or service take place on social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter. The social media marketing person should also browse those sites on a constant basis, researching the dialogue and contributing in an ethical, helpful and transparent way whenever possible.
A successful marketing VPs must be able to recognize when changes to processes, policies and systems are necessary to foster increased revenue growth. He must also be able to present to the CEO why such changes are necessary, how they can be implemented with little disruption to the company and the impact of such changes once implemented.
A good CRM system should be in place so a marketing VP can accurately track conversion rates. The marketing VP should also work closely with the sales manager to remove any issues that could hinder conversion, and work just as closely with his sales force to continually improve efficiency of the sales process.