16 Oct Staffing Firm Marketing: Time for Automation?
Most staffing companies are well-equipped with Applicant Tracking Systems that manage the sales process, recruiting fulfillment and candidate workflow. Many of the tools also manage the communication process with candidates and clients through email integration and email marketing. However, there is a big gap in technology when looking to integrate website traffic, social media, and content marketing activity to the sales and recruiting process. Applicant tracking systems are primarily used for outbound recruiter and sales rep activity; lacking sales/marketing front-end automation and are void of behavioral activity based models.
The staffing business continues to be an industry motivated by relationship building through outbound communications from sales and recruiting teams to buyers and candidates. Most staffing firms operate on the premise that if your team members make x amount of dials and reach x amount of people, the expected revenue and GP numbers will come out the backend. However, as we continue to see trends where buyers are more difficult to reach via phone, businesses will need to get smarter about connecting with clients and prospects in order to get them into the sales funnel.
Imagine these 2 scenarios:
Scenario 1: Your sales reps are pounding the phones and are accountable for 5 new meetings/week. They are reaching out to people based on title, skill area and location. If your sales reps reach them on the phone or through an email, the recipient is usually entering the discussion uninformed to the purpose of the conversation. You’ll accept a high failure percentage because if enough attempts are made, the business will likely follow. In this scenario, it’s 100% cold prospecting.
Scenario 2: Your sales reps plan their day to make prospecting calls, half of which are to visitors that specifically stopped by your website and poked around a few pages, or filled out a form when they visited. This type of follow up activity is geared toward people that have an idea as to who your company is and what your company does. 50% warm, 50% cold.
Which one of these scenarios fits your company? If your company closely resembles scenario 1, it’s time to consider marketing automation to give your sales team better opportunities for success. Marketing Automation, is a set of processes and systems covering analytics, lead nurturing, technology and workflow. Although most staffing companies probably wouldn’t implement all facets of marketing automation, there are low-hanging aspects of these tools that will create more opportunity in the sales funnel.
Here are a few:
- Visitor Analytics. You probably have Google Analytics installed, but this is not what we’re talking about. Visitor analytics is similar to Caller ID. Having insight to exactly who is stopping by to visit your website is important information to know. Google Analytics will tell you how many and what day, but it won’t tell you who.
- Visitor Relevance. If a VP from XYZ Company stopped by your website and clicked on the “Contact Us” and the “Infrastructure Services” pages, it’s likely they are looking to buy, or are quite interested in seeing how your company stacks up. Sales reps would love this information and could use it to their benefit when contacting the person that was shopping around for infrastructure services.
- Lead Scoring. There are very important buyers that visit your website on a daily basis. Making timely and relevant contact with them is critical for entering new prospects in the sales funnel. Scoring leads based on rules and events will bring these VIP’s to the surface for your sales team to follow up with.
- Lead Nurturing. Eventually, your prospects will buy your types of services; maybe not at this moment, but in the future. Keeping them interested and making sure your company is front of mind is a critical part of the sales process. Lead nurturing can take place behind the scenes so that when your prospect is ready, your sales team can spend more of their time closing deals versus prospecting.
The ROI on marketing automation tools can be gigantic. Target one new client at $50/hour for 2000 hours and the margin has more than paid for the cost of the tools. If you consider a new client with a multi-year relationship, the marketing automation costs become a rounding error in the marketing budget.
If you would like to see how this technology can fit into your staffing firm marketing strategy, let us know.
Kevin O’Brien is a Co-Founder and Partner at echogravity. Kevin’s credentials include being a top recruiter for a international Big 8 consulting firm, top business development rep for a global consulting and staffing firm, and consulting with over 100 companies across North America.