Connect with us

MARKETING

9 Types of Organizational Structure Every Company Should Consider

Published

on

9 Types of Organizational Structure Every Company Should Consider

Choosing the best organizational structure for your company, division, or team is a lot like picking out a new car.

At the most basic level, you’re always looking for something road-worthy — something that can take you (and your passengers) from point A to point B without a hitch.

But beyond that, there are a lot of options to consider. Automatic or manual? Four-wheel drive or two? Built-in GPS? Leather interior? Flux capacitor? (Only if you’re going back in time, of course.)

In the world of organizational structures, the options you have to choose from include things like chain of command (long or short?), span of control (wide or narrow?), and centralization (centralized or decentralized decision-making?), just to name a few.

What’s the point of an organizational structure? As a business leader, do you even need one? As I said, org structures help you define at least three key elements of how your business is going to run.

As your company gets bigger, an organizational structure can also be helpful for new employees as they learn who manages what processes at your company.

Then, if you need to pivot or shift your leadership, you can visualize how the work flows would work by adjusting your organizational structure diagrams.

To put it simply, this chart is like a map that simply explains how your company works and how its roles are organized.

Here’s what each of those elements means to an organization:

Chain of Command

Your chain of command is how tasks are delegated and work is approved. An org structure allows you to define how many “rungs of the ladder” a particular department or business line should have. In other words, who tells whom to do what? And how are issues, requests, and proposals communicated up and down that ladder?

Span of Control

Your span of control can represent two things: who falls under a manager’s, well, management … and which tasks fall under a department’s responsibility.

Centralization

Centralization describes where decisions are ultimately made. Once you’ve established your chain of command, you’ll need to consider which people and departments have a say in each decision. A business can lean toward centralized, where final decisions are made by just one or two entities; or decentralized, where final decisions are made within the team or department in charge of carrying out that decision.

You might not need an org structure right away, but the more products you develop and people you hire, the harder it’ll be to lead your company without this crucial diagram.

(To dive deeper into what all of these different organizational structure components are, check out my earlier post, “The 6 Building Blocks of Organizational Structure.”)

In this post, we’ll explore how you can combine those components to form different types of organizational structures. We’ll also highlight the benefits and drawbacks of different structure types so you can evaluate which is the best option for your company, division, or team. Let’s dive in.

Mechanistic vs. Organic Organizational Structures

Organizational structures fall on a spectrum, with “mechanistic” at one end and
“organic” at the other.

Take a look at the diagram below. As you’ll probably be able to tell, the mechanistic structure represents the traditional, top-down approach to organizational structure, whereas the organic structure represents a more collaborative, flexible approach.

Mechanistic vs organic organizational structure, compared in two diagrams side by side

Here’s a breakdown of both ends of the structural spectrum, their advantages and disadvantages, and which types of businesses are suited for them.

Mechanistic Structure

Mechanistic structures, also called bureaucratic structures, are known for having narrow spans of control, as well as high centralization, specialization, and formalization. They’re also quite rigid in what specific departments are designed and permitted to do for the company.

This organizational structure is much more formal than organic structure, using specific standards and practices to govern every decision the business makes. And while this model does hold staff more accountable for their work, it can become a hindrance to the creativity and agility the organization needs to keep up with random changes in its market.

As daunting and inflexible as mechanistic structure sounds, the chain of command, whether long or short, is always clear under this model. As a company grows, it needs to make sure everyone (and every team) knows what’s expected of them. Teams collaborating with other teams as needed might help get a business off the ground in its early stages, but sustaining that growth — with more people and projects to keep track of — will eventually require some policymaking. In other words, keep mechanistic structure in your back pocket … you never know when you’ll need it.

Organic Structure

Organic structures (also known as “flat” structures) are known for their wide spans of control, decentralization, low specialization, and loose departmentalization. What’s that all mean? This model might have multiple teams answering to one person and taking on projects based on their importance and what the team is capable of — rather than what the team is designed to do.

As you can probably tell, this organizational structure is much less formal than mechanistic, and takes a bit of an ad-hoc approach to business needs. This can sometimes make the chain of command, whether long or short, difficult to decipher. And as a result, leaders might give certain projects the green light more quickly but cause confusion in a project’s division of labor.

Nonetheless, the flexibility that an organic structure allows for can be extremely helpful to a business that’s navigating a fast-moving industry, or simply trying to stabilize itself after a rough quarter. It also empowers employees to try new things and develop as professionals, making the organization’s workforce more powerful in the long run. Bottom line? Startups are often perfect for organic structure, since they’re simply trying to gain brand recognition and get their wheels off the ground.

Now, let’s uncover more specific types of organizational structures, most of which fall on the more traditional, mechanistic side of the spectrum.

Depending on the size of a business and its goals, the organizational structure of the team will vary. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages; however, there is a universal benefit to establishing a clear organizational structure. It helps employees understand their role within a company, which enables them to manage expectations and goals.

 

A business needs to have an organizational structure in place to be successful. There are several types of organizational structures commonly used by companies, nine of which we expand upon below.

1. Functional Organizational Structure

One of the most common types of organizational structures, the functional structure departmentalizes an organization based on common job functions.

An organization with a functional org structure, for instance, would group all of the marketers together in one department, group all of the salespeople together in a separate department, and group all of the customer service people together in a third department.

types of organizational structures: functional

Download this Template

The functional structure allows for a high degree of specialization for employees, and is easily scalable should the organization grow. Also this structure is mechanistic in nature — which has the potential to inhibit an employee’s growth — putting staff in skill-based departments can still allow them to delve deep into their field and find out what they’re good at.

Disadvantages

Functional structure also has the potential to create barriers between different functions — and it can be inefficient if the organization has a variety of different products or target markets. The barriers created between departments can also limit peoples’ knowledge of and communication with other departments, especially those that depend on other departments to succeed.

Advantages

Functional organization increases efficiency, provides stability, and boosts accountability. It allows departments — with employees who share similar skills and knowledge — to focus on their specialized tasks within their respective fields. Because the roles and responsibilities of this organizational structure example rarely change, department employees can consistently work on similar assignments and hone their skills.

The fixed structure of functional organization also operates through management. It provides employees with a chain of command. It guides communication between the team and keeps the team accountable.

2. Product-Based Divisional Structure

A divisional organizational structure is comprised of multiple, smaller functional structures (i.e. each division within a divisional structure can have its own marketing team, its own sales team, and so on). In this case — a product-based divisional structure — each division within the organization is dedicated to a particular product line.

types of organizational structures: product-basedDownload this Template

This type of structure is ideal for organizations with multiple products and can help shorten product development cycles. This allows small businesses to go to market with new offerings fast.

Disadvantages

It can be difficult to scale under a product-based divisional structure, and the organization could end up with duplicate resources as different divisions strive to develop new offerings.

Advantages

Companies and their employees can experience the benefits of the product-based divisional structure. If one division performs poorly, this does not automatically translate across the organization. Because of their separation, divisions may flourish (or fail) concurrently. This system allows companies to mitigate risk.

3. Market-Based Divisional Structure

Another variety of the divisional organizational structure is the market-based structure, wherein the divisions of an organization are based around markets, industries, or customer types.

types of organizational structures: market-basedDownload this Template

The market-based structure is ideal for an organization that has products or services that are unique to specific market segments, and is particularly effective if that organization has advanced knowledge of those segments. This organizational structure also keeps the business constantly aware of demand changes among its different audience segments.

Disadvantages

Too much autonomy within each market-based team can lead to divisions developing systems that are incompatible with one another. Divisions might also end up inadvertently duplicating activities that other divisions are already handling.

Advantages

Because this organizational structure focuses on specific market segments, it provides each division with autonomy. The divisions work separately, which allows employees to work independently and enables them to focus on the needs of their particular industry.

4. Geographical Divisional Structure

The geographical organizational structure establishes its divisions based on — you guessed it — geography. More specifically, the divisions of a geographical structure can include territories, regions, or districts.

types of organizational structures: divisional geographicalDownload this Template

This type of structure is best-suited to organizations that need to be near sources of supply and/or customers (e.g. for deliveries or for on-site support). It also brings together many forms of business expertise, allowing each geographical division to make decisions from more diverse points of view.

Disadvantages

The main downside of a geographical org structure: It can be easy for decision- making to become decentralized, as geographic divisions (which can be hundreds, if not thousands of miles away from corporate headquarters) often have a great deal of autonomy. And when you have more than one marketing department — one for each region — you run the risk of creating campaigns that compete with (and weaken) other divisions across your digital channels.

Advantages

Geographical divisions allow companies the advantage of catering to a specific customer. Based on the differences in language, culture, and customs one would find across the world, companies cannot necessarily expect the same operations to work in different locations. Not only does it allow organizations to tailor their approach based on geography, but it allows the division to react quickly and efficiently to any geographical market changes.

5. Process-Based Structure

Process-based organizational structures are designed around the end-to-end flow of different processes, such as “Research & Development,” “Customer Acquisition,” and “Order Fulfillment.” Unlike a strictly functional structure, a process-based structure considers not only the activities employees perform, but also how those different activities interact with one another.

In order to fully understand the diagram below, you need to look at it from left to right: The customer acquisition process can’t start until you have a fully developed product to sell. By the same token, the order fulfillment process can’t start until customers have been acquired and there are product orders to fill.

types of organizational structures: process-basedDownload the Template

Process-based organizational structure is ideal for improving the speed and efficiency of a business, and is best-suited for those in rapidly changing industries, as it is easily adaptable.

Disadvantages

Similar to a few other structures on this list, process-based structure can erect barriers between the different process groups. This leads to problems communicating and handing off work to other teams and employees.

Advantages

As mentioned, one of the most significant benefits of the process-based structure is that it increases efficiency and speed. If Department B cannot start its processes until Department A finishes, this compels Department A to work promptly and proficiently. This organizational model also promotes intradepartmental (within the department) and interdepartmental (across multiple departments) teamwork.

6. Matrix Structure

Unlike the other structures we’ve looked at so far, a matrix organizational structure doesn’t follow the traditional, hierarchical model. Instead, all employees (represented by the green boxes) have dual reporting relationships. Typically, there is a functional reporting line (shown in blue) as well as a product- based reporting line (shown in yellow).

When looking at a matrix structure org chart, solid lines represent strong, direct-reporting relationships, whereas dotted lines indicate that the relationship is secondary, or not as strong. In our example below, it’s clear that functional reporting takes precedence over product-based reporting.

types of organizational structures: matrixDownload the Template

The main appeal of the matrix structure is that it can provide both flexibility and more balanced decision-making (as there are two chains of command instead of just one). Having a single project overseen by more than one business line also creates opportunities for these business lines to share resources and communicate more openly with each other — things they might not otherwise be able to do regularly.

Disadvantages

The primary pitfall of the matrix organizational structure? Complexity. The more layers of approval employees have to go through, the more confused they can be about who they’re supposed to answer to. This confusion can ultimately cause frustration over who has authority over which decisions and products — and who’s responsible for those decisions when things go wrong.

Advantages

An advantage of a matrix structure is that it promotes collaboration and communication. This open line of communication ultimately allows businesses to share resources and allows employees to develop new skills from working with different departments.

7. Circular Structure

While it might appear drastically different from the other organizational structures highlighted in this section, the circular structure still relies on hierarchy, with higher-level employees occupying the inner rings of the circle and lower-level employees occupying the outer rings.

That being said, the leaders or executives in a circular organization aren’t seen as sitting atop the organization, sending directives down the chain of command. Instead, they’re at the center of the organization, spreading their vision outward.

types of organizational structures: circular

Download the Template

From an ideological perspective, a circular structure is meant to promote communication and the free flow of information between different parts of the organization. Whereas a traditional structure shows different departments or divisions as occupying individual, semi-autonomous branches, the circular structure depicts all divisions as being part of the same whole.

Disadvantages

From a practical perspective, the circular structure can be confusing, especially for new employees. Unlike with a more traditional, top-down structure, a circular structure can make it difficult for employees to figure out who they report to and how they’re meant to fit into the organization.

Advantages

Most examples of organizational structure have a top-down hierarchy. Alternatively, this type of structure follows an outward flow and contributes to information flowing freely across the business. Its benefits include keeping all employees aligned with the processes and goals of the company and encouraging employees to collaborate between departments.

8. Flat Structure

While a more traditional organizational structure might look more like a pyramid — with multiple tiers of supervisors, managers and directors between staff and leadership, the flat structure limits the levels of management so all staff are only a few steps away from leadership. It also might not always take the form or a pyramid, or any shape for that matter. As we mentioned earlier, It’s also a form of the “Organic Structure” we noted above.

types of organizational structures: flatThis structure is probably one of the most detailed, It’s also thought that employees can be more productive in an environment where there’s less hierarchy-related pressures. This structure might also make staff feel like the managers they do have are more like equals or team members rather than intimidating superiors.

Disadvantages

If there’s a time when teams in a flat organization disagree on something, such as a project, it can be hard to get aligned and back on track without executive decisions from a leader or manager. Because of how complicated the structure’s design is, it can be tricky to determine which manager an employee should go to if they need approval or an executive decision for something. So if you do choose to have a flat organization, you should have a clearly marked tier of management or path that employers can refer to when they run into these scenarios.

Advantages

The elimination of middle management employees defines the flat structure type. Its advantages are instantaneous. First, it reduces the expenses of the company. Second, it allows staff to build direct relationships with upper management. And lastly, it shortens the decision-making process.

9. Network Structure

A network structure is often created when one company works with another to share resources — or if your company has multiple locations with different functions and leadership. You might also use this structure to explain your company workflows if much of your staffing or services is outsourced to freelancers or multiple other businesses.

The structure looks nearly the same as the Divisional Structure, shown above. However, instead of offices, it might list outsourced services or satellite locations outside of the office.

If your company doesn’t do everything under one roof, this is a great way to show employees or stakeholders how outsourcing of off-site processes work. For example, if an employee needs help from a web developer for a blogging project and the company’s web developers are outsourced, the could look at this type of chart and know which office or which person to contact outside of their own work location.

Disadvantages

The shape of the chart can vary based on how many companies or locations you’re working with. If it’s not kept simple and clear, there may be a lot of confusion if multiple offices or freelancers do similar things. If you do outsource or have multiple office locations, make sure your org chart clearly states where each specific role and job function lies so someone can easily understand your basic company processes.

Advantages

The outsourcing nature of the network structure provides companies with the advantages of lower costs, more focus, and increased flexibility. Outsourcing allows organizations to save money, as they don’t have to bear the expense of setting up a department for the same purpose. It also gives companies the flexibility to change their processes and the ability to focus on their core functions.

Why is having an organizational structure important?

Imagine a business that has no organizational structure. Instantly, questions arise about the systems and processes. Who makes the decisions? How are employees held accountable? What are the company’s goals? These questions are practically impossible to answer without a functional organizational structure.

Organizational structure is necessary for running a successful business because it improves workflow and efficiency, promotes communication, identifies company needs, and aligns employees with company goals. It directly affects how a business operates daily. When a company establishes a structure that works, the combined efforts of its employees, in conjunction with its systems and processes, allow the company to make better decisions for its future.

Navigating Organizational Structures

Organizational structures are central to a successful team. Employees can move comfortably, confidently, and efficiently when given a clear definition of their role within an organization.

Structure types will vary from business to business, so it’s important to remember that these structures are not one size fits all. Every type may not suit your organization, but chances are, one of them will. Use this post to determine which organizational structure works for you, and then it’s time for the real work to begin.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

New Call-to-action


Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

MARKETING

Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

Published

on

Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

(more…)

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Published

on

A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Published

on

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

​​

via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To
  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


Disruptive Design Raising the Bar of Content Marketing with Graphic

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending