Advertising and marketing consultants often have multiple definitions of “success” when evaluating sales strategies. Terms like “cost per click” (CPC) and “cost per thousand” (CPM) impressions are familiar examples used in internet marketing discussions involving business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sales processes. However, some observers (and I am one of them) would argue that the popular applications of B2C and B2B overlook the all-important human element in favor of depersonalized marketing segmentation.
Bottom Line Improvements
One time-tested standard for success deserves regular consideration — The Bottom Line. For anyone unfamiliar with the accounting origins of this term, the bottom line on financial statements displays net profits after expenses are subtracted from the top line (gross revenues). How can the bottom line be improved? Here is the short answer: By reducing expenses and increasing income.
Of course, improving the bottom line is far from easy. Nevertheless, there are straightforward strategies for advancing any organization in the right direction. The SlideShare presentation shown below summarizes strategic solutions that include the following five examples:
- Avoid recurring business problems (I refer to these as Zombie Business Problems)
- Improve the use of business proposals
- Add or improve inbound marketing sales processes
- Optimize the Power of No
- Emphasize contingency planning (Always Have a Plan B)
Human-to-Human (H2H) Sales Processes
Change in any form can entail difficult transitions. This observation goes a long way to explain why so many marketing “experts” are still focused on the aging concepts of business to consumer and business to business to describe sales campaigns. To replace these concepts, one viable solution is to adopt H2H strategies — human to human. Three illustrations of this evolution are inbound marketing, business proposals and Thinking Outside of the Blog.
Inbound Marketing — A sales process with a foundation of inbound marketing replaces depersonalized B2B and B2C strategies such as advertising and cold calling with a personalized customer-centric approach like H2H educational content that is geared toward niche audiences — for example, white papers and case studies.
Business Proposals — An example of adding the H2H element to this marketing approach is to initiate or increase the use of unsolicited business proposals that are directed to an individual and not a company.
Think Outside of the Blog — I have written extensively about this concept. It builds upon the foundations of inbound marketing. The goal that I am advancing with “Thinking Outside the Blog” is to persuade managers and decision-makers for organizations of all sizes to abandon the over-dependence on blogs and instead use a different solution — one that instead depends heavily on the more human approach to communication embodied by H2H processes.
Common Themes in the H2H Evolution
The Bottom Line:
I consistently see several common themes in a successful transition to human to human strategies and sales processes. Here are two of them:
- A Plan B (also Plan C and Plan D) mentality
- Preventing recurring mistakes and problems
The next step:
If you would like to talk before starting a business writing, consulting or career training project with Steve Bush, you can arrange a no-cost preliminary call (15-30 minutes) here: