Content Marketing Trainer, Content Marketing Consultant, 7+ Years of Digital Marketing Strategy and Account Management Experience
September 15th, 2020
Here's the short answer
While the results you see will vary based on your specific goals, needs, and your willingness to commit to the changes you need to make, here are the results you can expect both in the short- and long-term, as well as what clients who see results within 90 days all have in common.
Now, let's dig deeper into results expectations
Among inbound and digital marketing agencies, the usage of the term “growth” is growing like a weed. It seems like every agency throws around the word to flaunt how they can help you see results. Really, growth could mean any number of things, and when you’re a business owner, you need to know what you can expect and in what timeframe.
Here at IMPACT, there are two big reasons that we’re a bit different than other agencies:
The easy, and true, answer to how quickly you can see results is that it depends on a lot of factors. But you’re not here for some vague answer that doesn’t help you make a decision on if working with IMPACT is right for you.
In this article, you’ll get a clear idea of the results that we can help you to produce, when to expect them, and the factors that can affect your success.
What results can I expect to see?
Growth! Just kidding — how infuriating would that be?
IMPACT focuses on increasing your sales. In a broader sense, we help clients see increases in traffic, leads, and sales. But at the end of the day, increases in your traffic and leads are secondary metrics that we concentrate on because they often lead to sales. We have, however, worked with many clients that see only a slight increase in site traffic, but a more immediate sales increase.
If the main reason you want to work with an agency is to increase sales and you want to be responsible for your own success, we might be a good fit.
OK, but how quickly should I see results?
The first thing to be clear about is that They Ask, You Answer is a fundamental shift in the way that you think and approach sales and marketing. The outcome is increased sales, but the path is through turning your company into a teaching organization. That’s not something that you can expect to happen overnight.
But, it’s entirely possible to see the effects of working with IMPACT within 90 days.
This is the best-case scenario that requires all of the pieces to be in place and working seamlessly. Like your mechanical watch, if one small piece isn’t working, you can’t tell time accurately. So, what are those pieces?
Clients that see results within 90 days always have:
Company-wide buy-in to They Ask, You Answer as their business philosophy
Members of the sales team constantly communicating what articles they need to help close sales
Consistent publishing of three or more articles per week
A sales team using content in the sales process to educate and qualify prospects
A tool like HubSpot to track performance
IMPACT has built some of our core services to support clients getting these requirements in place.
Digital Sales and Marketing Coaches help align your marketing and sales team to produce true They Ask, You Answer buy-in, and train sales teams to use assignment selling. Content Trainers work with your content manager to produce three or more pieces of well-written sales content per week. HubSpot trainers instruct you on how to use a data-driven approach to tracking and understanding your site metrics.
Without each of these elements, it’s almost impossible to see any sustainable sales results. It’s more common for clients to see results in the six- to nine- month range (or longer) when some pieces are missing from the equation and are brought in at different times.
Factors that affect how quickly you’ll see results
I’m going to go ahead and assume that you don’t want to wait a year for great results and higher sales volume. So, let’s talk about the factors that will dictate how quickly you’re likely to see the effects of working with IMPACT.
Full They Ask, You Answer buy-in
This is the single biggest factor that slows down how quickly your company will benefit from working with IMPACT. They Ask, You Answer is a company culture shift. Upper management needs to create space and an adequate runway for success. Every department of your business needs to know and believe in the fundamental truths of They Ask, You Answer.
Full buy-in is breaking down silos that separate your sales and marketing teams. True alignment means these teams will be working closely together and have a constant conversation on how to increase revenue.
Your sales team has to be ready to consistently provide your marketing team with the article topics that they need to help close sales. Often, your sales team will also need to use their expertise to answer questions for the marketing team to write articles. Once articles are written, your sales team will need to use assignment selling to educate prospects.
Your marketing team has to make sure that the valuable topics from the sales team turn into three or more accurate and helpful articles per week. At different times, this will require interviewing subject matter experts, online research, and interviewing customers. Your content manager needs to inform your sales team when new articles are available and make sure every article is something your sales team would actually use.
In 2020, an IMPACT client started having weekly marketing and sales alignment meetings to make sure TAYA content was being produced and used seamlessly. The result? A consistent increase in the number of deals created by their sales team in the first six months of these meetings.
Full-time content manager
When 99% of marketing agencies out there will write content for you, why won’t IMPACT?
Well, to put it bluntly, we aren’t experts in that thing that you do. To create the best content, it’s a lot more sustainable for our clients to learn how to write great articles than it is for IMPACT employees to learn every specific nuance of your product or service.
Just think about it, how many times have you had someone outside of your organization write a blog post for you that was just wrong?
Sure, they may be a great writer, but without subject matter expertise, articles will quickly look very templated and generic. When you own the content creation process, your articles are business-specific responses to questions that your sales team needs to have answered. Relying on a freelance writer or agency to be your content marketing team will cripple your results.
The graphs above show the 6-month progression of Acculevel, a current client. After flatlining traffic for over a year, you can see the consistent keyword growth and traffic increases in the past six months. Beyond just traffic increases, they are also fully booked with sales appointments for the next month. In order to not lose business, they’re actually considering hiring salespeople to help increase capacity at a time when businesses are shutting down left and right.
Your sales cycle
It’s very possible that you have a historically long sales cycle, maybe 12 months or longer. If that’s the case, it may take you longer to see results. IMPACT will help you move leads through your sales cycle more quickly, but you shouldn’t expect to see a big increase in sales in the first 90 days.
Ready to see sustainable sales results?
Like I mentioned earlier, IMPACT is a different kind of agency. To have success, there needs to be a culture shift that saturates your business. You’ll have to hire or train the right people to own the success of your sales and marketing efforts. You need to be excited to take on additional work because of the results it will yield.
Dipping your toes into the They Ask, You Answer waters won’t produce results that will grow your business and you’ll end up frustrated. To benefit, you’ll need to dive head-first into the They Ask, You Answer deep end and put all the pieces in place.
Here at IMPACT, we specialize in leading clients through the process of getting your house in order to see the positive outcomes that They Ask, You Answer produces. We know the problems that can come up when you’re bringing They Ask, You Answer into your business. We work with you to identify and avoid the things that stand in the way of your success.
If you’re ready to stop having to rely on marketing agencies and outsiders to help your business increase sales, we’d love to show you how we can help.
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