With more than 80% of the buyer’s journey and decision-making process now over before potential data center clients are ready to engage, it’s critical for your firm to get found by the right decision-makers in the right places, at the right time, and in the right context.
In this blog post, you’ll learn how to set client acquisition and revenue-generation goals -- and how to explain those goals to other stakeholders in your data center company.
Design an End-to-End Solution That Obsessively Focuses on Your SMART Goals
If you’re like most CEOs of data centers, you’ve certainly heard about and may even know a little about writing blog posts, optimizing website pages for search engines, and building a following on social media channels.
And that’s where the problem starts: Just knowing a little bit is no longer good enough when so much of the traditional marketing playbook, sales process, and buyer’s journey has been disrupted by mobile devices, search, and social going mainstream, consumerization of IT, and the cloud.
For your data center company to be successful with growth, your marketing and sales plan must
- Attract (strangers into engaged website visitors)
- Convert (engaged website visitors into highly-qualified leads)
- Close (highly-qualified leads into new clients/tenants)
- Delight (clients/tenants into promoters and volunteer evangelists) ‒ to attract more good-fit strangers so that you can repeat the cycle
If all your data center is doing is some piecemeal search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), or social media marketing (SMM), and completely neglecting the rest of the funnel, you simply will not be successful. Why? Because you’re only addressing a very small portion of today’s modern buyer’s journey.
Today, evaluators and decision-makers for data center services have much more control over the buyer’s journey than you and your sales team do. This presents many challenges. But this lack of control also presents a huge opportunity if your firm can be found early enough during the sales process to establish trusted advisor status.
What is the way to achieve this? Creating and promoting highly remarkable content.
Inbound Marketing through the Lens of Major League Baseball
Let’s look at this disruption and the sea change in terms very relatable to baseball fans.
So the New York Yankees fly up to Fenway Park to play the Boston Red Sox.
Just before the national anthem is sung at game time, as expected, the Red Sox have all 25 players on their active roster ready to play, either sitting in the dugout or available to pitch out of the bullpen. However, no one knows why the Yankees only brought a starting pitcher and a catcher.
So, what do you think is going to happen in that game -- both offensively and defensively?
The Yankees won’t stand a chance as it only has one player who can swing a baseball bat well and only two players who can take the field, compared to the nine Red Sox players on the field. And as the game goes on, and the likelihood of fatigue or injuries increases, what then?
A similar thing happens when data center companies overlook the need for their websites and digital funnels to convert leads, close clients, and delight clients effectively.
There's no way to scale lead generation without a conversion, closing, and delighting plan. There’s no predictable way to nurture leads into clients. And there’s no systematic way to delight clients for long-term retention and social media evangelism.
Along the same lines, all data center marketing and sales activities must focus on goals -- and not just any goals, SMART goals that are:
Often, marketing and sales directors at data center companies kick around vague goals like generating more leads or growing revenue. But frankly, those vague, unaccountable goals aren’t going to cut it.
In order to analyze return on investment (ROI), your goals must be super-specific.
- Generate 1,000 marketing qualified leads (MQLs) by the end of this calendar year
- Generate $1.2 million of new monthly recurring revenue (MRR) by a specific date
- Increase average revenue per client from $200,000 to $800,000
If you’ve been using the same marketing and sales playbook at your data center for the past several years – and it hasn’t seen a significant refresh recently – there’s a good chance that your marketing and sales process no longer resonates with the ideal clients that you crave most.
The rise and mainstream adoption of mobile, search, social, and cloud technologies have been a complete game-changer. They empower potential clients to do massive amounts of research before they’re ready to talk to you.
Because of this, as much as 60% to 90% of their mind may already be made up by the time you hear from a prospect. So it’s critical to find a way to get found in these early-stage searches that help frame buying criteria.
Establishing SMART goals that focus on your data center company’s growth plan is the first important step to attracting, converting, closing, and delighting your ideal clients.
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What are your most important SMART goals? Please share your take in the Comments box below.