Top Marketing/Sales Strategies to Engage before 2023 Ends
Any end-of-year initiative must be something that will truly impact success, either now, or set the foundation for next year. We have several recommendations that are designed to set your company up for success.
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The end of the year can be a hectic time for Marketing and Sales professionals. For those involved in eCommerce or direct-to-consumer products, it can be the most critical time of the entire year. For B2C companies, you already have an aggressive strategy to achieve holiday sales, so this will be for the B2B organizations. Even those involved with B2B clients find that they need to push last-minute initiatives to encourage companies to spend their budget this fiscal year.
That means that any end-of-year initiatives must be something that will truly impact success, either now, or set the foundation for next year. We have several recommendations that are designed to set your company up for success.
Immediate Sales –This is the time for all B2B marketing and sales teams to focus their efforts on four phases of the sales funnel:
Consideration and Decision Stages – For those companies who are actively considering opportunities, it is incumbent on the Marketing team to provide them with reasons to engage this year. This may include creating and sharing content about the benefits of:
Using this year’s budget
The tax benefits that will result
End-of-Year Sales or Promotions
Since time is of the essence, and it is critical that the prospect receives these additional considerations as soon as possible, these should be disseminated by a variety of methods and formats. This should include using social media to remind companies of some bottom-of-the-funnel social posts that showcase the benefits of securing your services before the end of the year. Since all social media engagements will be focused on holiday-themed content, you need to embrace this reality and find a seamless way to incorporate that into these promotions. Remember, Christmas is not the only holiday in December, so spread your joy by incorporating all of them.
It is not enough to just send an email to those prospects who are in your CRM. You need to have a full-court press to lock down those companies.
In addition to your standard emails that share all the reasons to procure your product before midnight on December 31st, create some videos that can be shared on social media that will draw attention to the year-end benefits. Have your Sales team create personal emails for each individual on their list. The first one should be called “Your Holiday Gift.” They will open this email as it is coming from a recognized person and offering the promise of a gift. Who wouldn’t open such an email?
The gift, as presented in the video, is to make them the hero of their organization. Make sure you include a statement that they need to stay at the end of the video. Then, offer them an exclusive product discount and all the benefits their company will have for securing your product before the end of the year.
So they don’t feel tricked, at the end of the video, give them a link to a twenty-five-dollar gift card for Amazon or Starbucks.
PRO TIP – Holiday Promotions - I am not a big proponent of having product sales, particularly in the B2B context. Often, companies rely so heavily on sales promotions during the year, that the real price of the product becomes the sales price. Companies know that if they wait until the end of a quarter, the price will be discounted. When this happens, a sales event becomes meaningless.
However, a case can be made for having an annual end-of-year sale price. So, if you are going to make an end-of-year promotion, make an offer they can’t refuse. We recommend that you have a tier of both economic and service offerings that can be stitched together by the Sales team to meet the needs of each prospect.
It is always best to get a commitment from the decision-maker before locking in the offer. When a prospect is at the tipping point, we have taught clients to present their best offer this way; “It is extremely rare for management to grant a discount of 'X,' but I am willing to try if you can promise me that if I am successful, we can lock in the deal.” While there is no guarantee that they will follow through, the Law of Commitment and Consistency and the Law of Reciprocity suggest that they will.
While an end-of-year sale might impact sales in October and November, that can be mitigated with the promise that if we have a sale this year, your contract will be adjusted to take advantage of any offer.
Lost Opportunities – Most companies have a significant number of opportunities that they were unable to close during the year. In many cases, those companies did not buy a competitor’s product but simply decided not to make any purchase.
This presents the opportunity to “raise the dead” by including them in your end-of-year sprint that is being used to educate those in the consideration and decision-making stage.
Renewal Opportunities – Client retention must be given the same level of attention and effort as securing new sales. We discussed the importance of this in a blog series that began with “Customer Churn: The Struggle is Real.”
If you have clients who are up for renewal in January and February, make it a priority to encourage them to renew before the end of the year. Offering them the same end-of-year promotion or a multi-year discount can be an effective method to starting your new year with a focus on just new sales.
Be Available – While many companies shut down, or have most of their staff off between Christmas and New Years, simply, don’t!
Be the company that is available to take advantage of any opportunity. This is a window of opportunity to close sales, since most of your competitors are probably busy with the craziness of the Holiday season. It is also imperative that you are present to address any customer concerns or questions. Many businesses find they enter the new year with already angry clients, because they weren't responsive or available to them.
Prepare For 2024
Back To Basics – The end of the year is a good time to set yourself up for success in 2024. We believe December is a good time to focus on the foundations and prepare for starting 2024 with a strong first quarter. Here are some of the tactics that you should be employing.
On-Page SEO Optimization – We often see that the day-to-day strife of Marketing and Sales causes some areas to see a slippage in performance. One of the more common areas, is on-page SEO. Getting on-page SEO optimized is a foundational requirement and one that can easily be done. There are a number of third-party services that will identify all the areas where your website is under-performing. You don’t want to start 2024 with a website that is not optimized. Here are the SEO Optimization services we utilize:
Analyze the Metrics – Hopefully, you have a full year of data that will show how well each phase of your Marketing and Sales programs is working. While we recommend that this data be evaluated monthly, and optimizations take place at that time, we have found many companies do not do this.
If that fits your organization, do not enter 2024 without understanding why your prospects are not completing their buyer’s journey. At a very high level, pay attention to what campaigns and strategies resulted in your most successful engagements. Calculate the cost-per-lead (CPL) for each initiative. A complete evaluation will help you to identify areas that need improvement and which marketing and sales strategies need optimization.
Create Your Marketing Plan – Enter 2024 with a marketing plan that incorporates what you learned from your analysis of the metrics. This is not a thirty thousand-foot overview but a detailed plan that looks at establishing every element of each campaign for the first three months of 2024.
These are detailed instructions that look at every aspect of each campaign and how it will be rolled out. Here is an example of what considerations should go into a fully formulated marketing plan.
Create Content - Once you have established your marketing plan, don't wait till January to begin creating all the premium content, collateral content, and blogs that it will require. There is a lot of work that goes into each campaign, and the number one reason that they fail is due to the content not being ready.
Thank Your Customers and Brand Advocates – Whether your company sends holiday gifts or just wishes each year, don’t forget to thank all of those companies and individuals who are the reason your company exists. It takes little or no effort to send out a PERSONAL thank you. This means using the US postal service or a delivery service to deliver your heartfelt thanks. If you are unwilling to invest in the cost of postage, then use a video email to extend your best wishes and thanks.
There are still opportunities to implement effective marketing and sales strategies that will yield results in 2023 and position your business for success in 2024.
By analyzing consumer behavior, metrics, and competitor insights, you can tailor your marketing campaigns and sales tactics to maximize impact. With the right approach, and a forward-thinking mindset, you can seize the remaining time and make significant strides toward achieving your marketing and sales goals.