The New Year is in full swing which means all the excitement of the holidays has ended. We’re coming back to full scheduled work weeks and preparing for the last, long months of cold winter before spring. If you’re anything like most workers, it will be another solid few months before we can count on a scheduled reprieve from the grind. And even the Branchers, who love our work and who we help every day, find ourselves feeling a bit…
Of course, when January 2nd came, this was a topic of discussion at our weekly meeting. Though the thought of three day weekends was still very enticing, our team was up to the challenge of helping each other jump back into work. As normal, we were busting out new project ideas, actualizing those tasks and sending our precious little brainchildren to the inboxes of those whose approval mattered most: the client. What wasn’t quite so normal was how long those ingenious lead generating tools remained unanswered in the email void.Get your clients back into the swing of things with these tips and tricks: Click To Tweet
Attention: B2B Marketers
Here’s the deal. It might seem like a good idea to ease back into work, especially if your clients are slow to respond, but this time of the year is an amazing opportunity for the B2B marketers of the world. For one, the fourth quarter is often budgeting time, and come the beginning of Q1 (right now) a lot of potential customers have their eyes open for vendors and technologies that will help obtain their goals through the year ahead. Then there’s also that opportunity to be ahead of the curve, ready and willing to work hard while others are still making the slow ascension back to peak productivity. Marketers, it is our time to shine. Our chance to hit the ground running. It is no time for idle hands and slow uphill climbs.
Can you tell we’re still practiced in pep talks from all the professional New Year’s resolutions? It’s true, though, compared to the slower months of the holiday season, January is almost always a busy time for Red Branch Media including blog readership, email activity and social media rates. Those lead nurturing techniques are often the one push a buyer needs to connect with an organization. More engagement means more interest from potential leads and more chances for greater outreach. With 59% of marketers claiming total lead volume as a top metric, we can assume these are two things you would be happy to gain.
Client Management that Wins
If you’re ready to make this year the best one for marketing leads, then you’ve got to own your marketing, which sometimes means you need to up your client management game. Remember, these people are busy, often leading more than just the work of your team. To make matters more complicated, successful client management isn’t a one size fits all. Lucky for you, we’ve gotten practiced at helping an array work personalities hit their marketing goals.
Here are some of our foolproof tactics for successful client management:
Schedule Recurring Meetings
Hopping on the phone isn’t really easy for the busy, but touch points are important to marketing. Schedule recurring weekly or biweekly calls so that our client can count on that meeting taking place weeks in advance. This will also help internal team communication. Department leaders will expect the meeting as well and can organize updates for the project manager with whom the client works most closely. Everyone is on the same page and, thanks to the expectation of the meeting, no time is wasted.
Preview Emails to Start the Week… and Follow Up Emails to End it
Spend your Monday morning gathering that week’s projects and events. If possible, have a little meeting with your team to discuss campaigns and goals of each client. This meeting will work as a catalyst for idea sharing and accountability of individual departments and the account manager. After this meeting, send an email to each client with a summary of the plan for the week, including due dates. Clients are able to communicate reluctance or suggestions and will be just as prepared for any incoming approval needs. At the end of the week, send a follow-up email discussing what was accomplished and any other notes for the next week.
Establish a Day of Approvals… and a Deadline
Establish a day that you and your client can count on as “approval day.” Your team will work to complete each of that week’s tasks by that day so the client can receive the draft and give their OK. We recommend that day being Wednesday or Thursday so there’s ample time at the beginning of the week to perfect drafts and edit while avoiding their getting lost in the Friday to Monday shuffle. Establishing a day that your client can expect to receive drafted deliverables will give your team firm deadlines to complete projects and also ensure the client isn’t surprised by the emails including your latest and greatest deliverable.
Bonus: We like to send copy-based content via Google Drive where our client can make changes, suggestions and notes right on the document using mobile devices. If the client doesn’t use Google Drive, we send the piece as a word document and in line so they can read while on the go.
Repeatedly Measure Results
Obviously, creating marketing reports are something you’ve known to be essential for, well, ever. Observing the effectiveness of tactics can help develop better future strategies, pause those that don’t seem to show return and even prove the sustainability of your marketing approach. Don’t stray from telling the hard truth, even if it’s a mistake your team made, and take the time to notice the most profitable initiatives so you can repeat them in the future with numbers to support your decision.
Even more, the wins you see in your analytics can build your case for client participation. For example, if your team has seen a noticeable traffic increase after every webinar, be sure to keep that statistic in your back pocket for when the next webinar comes around. When discussing the idea and deadlines of each piece, remind your client how important it is to stick to the schedule by mentioning how much traction the previous presentation produced.
Bonus: 28% of marketers say securing enough budget is their top marketing challenge. It’s hard to get buy-in, but one of the most compelling arguments for any non-believer is ROI. Delving into the hard numbers like analytics might encourage more participation from clients and their budget.
Read more: How to Jump into Project Management, Even if You’re New
You may have noticed a few common themes through each and every tip listed above. Consistent communication and accountability being two obvious ones. Any relationship requires communication, and managing professional relationships is no different. The same goes for accountability. The key to successful client management is holding yourself responsible for the work you produce and taking the time to underline how important it is for their goals. There will be times when the client isn’t as responsive or quick as your team would hope, but with you and your client will achieve far more with constant support and dedication from you.