I hear it regularly from businesses, “I have a long sales funnel, so marketing and branding are a challenge for us,” to which I reply (politely) “tell me more.” Eventually, I explain why a long sales funnel means it’s even more important for you to build your brand and strategically communicate with your audience.
If you have a long sales funnel, then more than likely your product or service costs require significant resources to acquire. As a result, many times that also means that multiple people are going to be involved with the purchasing decision. This group of people will put together a list of companies – including your competitors – and will often request a bid/proposal based on the scope of their project. Some businesses or organizations are required to get bids on every project (governments, for example) where others may have the ability to choose who they want to work with freely.
Either way, you will be compared to other companies that do what you do. That’s where brand building comes in. You want those decision makers to recognize the benefits of working with your company when the time comes to make a decision. The more familiar they are with your brand, the more they trust you – even if the bidding process isn’t yet complete.
Sometimes I also hear “we have a great sales team, so investing in them is more important than marketing.” It’s true that a great sales team is crucial to any marketing success, but before they initiate a conversation with a prospect, that prospect needs to be in a position where they recognize a need for your product or service. In other words, great branding supports a great sales team and vice versa. It’s a synergistic relationship – together, they are more than the sum of their parts.
Finally, a long sales funnel is just that: long. it’s not every day that you need to upgrade your manufacturing plant, add on to your infrastructure or even change insurance companies. Those needs evolve over time, and you want your company to be at the top-of-mind when they do. Successfully accomplishing this requires a long-term commitment to brand building and strategic communication.
When you work with Anchor to build your brand, we spend a lot of time looking closely at your target audience. Specifically, we look into things like:
- Where your audience looks for information
- What their job function entails
- What factors will lead to a purchase
- Who is all involved in the purchase decision
Those are just a few of the things we study as we put together a strategy for your brand. I don’t have enough space to list every aspect of your customer base, business model and overall industry that we review. In the end, this research provides us with the information we need to put together a plan for transforming prospects into leads for your sales staff. Just keep in mind that successful brand building is a big picture endeavor, and it takes time – just like the purchasing decision for your product or service.
Interested in learning more about building your brand for the long-term gain? Contact the team at Anchor today!