Surveying Sales Succes

Five Steps to Streamlining Your Sales Process for Survey and Geospatial Professionals

Let’s face it, in surveying, winning new clients can feel like fighting your way through a massive forest – full of potential, but also tangled with challenges. The good news is that, in both these scenarios, with a little planning and the right tools, you can forge a clear path.

Step 1: Know Thy Client (Before You Pitch Them on That Fancy New Total Station)

Ever heard the saying, “When you’re selling to everyone, you’re selling to no one?” That’s especially true in surveying. The first step to sales success is understanding your ideal client – their needs, their challenges, and the language they speak (both literally and figuratively). Are you targeting residential developers, government agencies, or massive construction giants? And do you know who’ll be signing off on your proposal within these organisations? You should because each organisation — and each person within it — has unique priorities and pain points. By creating buyer personas, you can tailor your approach and speak directly to their needs.

What is a persona? It’s a profile of your potential customer, including their role, their responsibilities, and (most importantly) the challenges that keep them up at night. A residential developer will have vastly different needs than a municipality. Both of these potential customers will have different purchase criteria than a telecom company. You should know what the pain points and barriers to sale for each of these entities are. 

(And if you don’t know how to create a customer persona — or if you’ve never seen one — there are some great resources here and here! or you can check out this webinar by our buyer persona superstar, Hannah.)

Step 2: Charting the Course: How Marketing Paves the Way for Sales

Think marketing and sales are separate islands? Not a chance! Marketing is the friendly cartographer, meticulously mapping the customer journey. By understanding the different stages – awareness, interest, desire, and action  –  or, the points along the customer decision journey, if you prefer — you can create targeted content that educates, engages, and ultimately positions you as the trusted surveying expert. Create blog posts that answer common questions, case studies showcasing your expertise, or even social media content that highlights the coolest surveying tech (because let’s face it, there’s some seriously cool tech out there!). Need some inspiration? Check out our recent blog to see what some of the industry’s top influencers are posting.

Step 3: Streamlining Your Sales Funnel: No More Dead Ends!

Let’s be honest, the sales process can get bogged down faster than your fully-loaded truck on a muddy side road. That’s why streamlining the funnel is key. Think checklists, automated workflows, and clear qualification criteria. This ensures you’re focusing on the most promising leads and frees up valuable time to close those deals.

We recommend using a CRM if your business has dedicated business development or sales reps. There are loads of great free and affordable options out there, and it’s easier than ever to find one that can grow (affordably) with your business. (G2 is a great tool for researching solutions, So is Capterra.)

Step 4: Closing the Deal with Confidence (and Maybe a Touch of Swagger)

Closing the deal is the ultimate goal, but it shouldn’t feel like arm wrestling. The secret lies in mastering the art of qualification – understanding their needs, identifying potential roadblocks, and demonstrating how your services are the perfect solution. Think of yourself as a translator, bridging the gap between their problems and your expertise. (Our resident expert, Paola, wrote a whole article on this.)

Step 5: Level Up Your Sales Team: Building a Dream Team of Surveying Superstars

Your sales team is your secret weapon. Equipping them with the right knowledge and skills is essential. Invest in training programs, encourage knowledge sharing within the team, and celebrate their successes. A motivated and well-equipped sales team is a powerful force that can propel your business to levels of growth you never dreamed possible.

So there you have it! It’s not a quick and easy solution, but building out and streamlining your sales process will be well worth the effort. With a deeper understanding of your buyers’ needs, a strategic marketing approach, a defined and seamless sales process, and a well-trained sales team, you’ll be closing more deals faster than you can say “photogrammetry!” (…which I can’t say quickly at all, but you get my meaning!)

Now get out there and conquer that forest!

Watch it now for tons of great tips you can start using right away to grow your business!

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Watch our webinar and learn: 

  • The sales/marketing funnel, from awareness to lead
  • Why keep that pipeline full?
  • Understand what MQL and SQL – and the differences
  • Understand the web, especially form a sales perspective
  • Know what a lead magnet is, what it looks like, and how it works
  • Types of lead magnets, depending on where you are in the funnel
  • What is lead nurturing?
  • How long is the lead nurture time frame?
  • Why do I need to nurture leads?
  • Simple, easy-to-use tools for lead nurture

Ready to Learn More?

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In the world of sales, one crucial step often determines success or failure> What is that step?  Qualifying your buyer. 

Why waste time pitching a deal or talking about your offer if you aren’t even speaking to the right prospect?  If you’re talking to the wrong person, you’ll never meet their needs or solve their problems. Having the best offer will never get you the sale if they don’t need your product or service. 

Qualifying the buyer is key.

To save you time and potential heartache, here are some tips to help you get more sales for your survey business:

Ask the right questions.

“Those who ask questions control the conversation.” This rule is applicable to any conversation — especially within the sales process. You have to make sure you are asking the right questions so you can get the answers that  will qualify your buyer and place them in the right bucket. 

What are some of those questions? They’re questions like these: 

  • What problem are you looking to solve? 
  • What is your budget? 
  • Are you the decision maker? 
  • What would buying this piece of equipment mean for your business?

These questions will all lead you to the BANT framework, a sales qualification method that relies on four key factors: Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeframe. Using this framework upfront will prevent you from wasting time on the wrong prospects. 

What are the BANT criteria?

  • Budget: Assess whether the prospect has the financial resources to make a purchase. Identifying their budget constraints early in the process prevents you from wasting time on leads that can’t afford what you’re offering.
  • Authority: Identify the decision-makers within the prospect’s organization. Dealing directly with those who have the authority to make purchasing decisions streamlines the sales process,  minimising delays.
  • Need: Clearly understand the prospect’s pain points and challenges. Tailor your pitch to address their specific needs, demonstrating that you heard their problem, and also how your product or service provides a solution that will make their life easier. This will be helpful through objection handling with the client. 
  • Timing: Evaluate the prospect’s timeline for making a decision. Knowing when they plan to implement a solution allows you to align your sales strategy with their schedule, avoiding unnecessary delays.

Caring = sales.

Remember that people care most about themselves. Yes, that sounds a bit coarse, but trust me — asking the right questions and making sure you are actively listening to your prospect will show them that you care. Successful sales rely heavily on building rapport with your potential clients and this will result in trust. People are more likely to make a big purchase or agree to ongoing services from someone that they trust. 

Qualifying your prospects is not just a box to tick in the sales process; it’s the key to creating a successful and efficient strategy. By investing time in understanding the BANT criteria, actively listening to your prospects and building trust, you can significantly improve your chances of converting leads into satisfied customers. The art of sales lies not just in closing deals but in the ability to identify and prioritize the prospects that are the best fit for your offerings.

Why aren’t you investing in training for your marketers?  Blurb from me, Elaine on why owners and directors are harming their company and how to stop it!

You only know what you only know.  Yesterday the team and I went through storybrand BrandScript, a fabulous exercise we deliver with our clients and on ourselves. The StoryBrand BrandScript gives us a tool to clarify the messaging of a brand, product, service, or organisation, which then empowers us to create marketing materials that are unique to the product or business. 

The exercise highlighted the key problems owners and marketers are facing – at both survey firms and geospatial equipment OEMs and resellers.

(If you haven’t done one, talk to us – it’s an amazing way to discover what makes your business different. And that can help you build marketing that resonates.)

What I learned – although it came out of our StoryBrand exercise – has less to do with StoryBrand and more to do with our Geospatial Marketing Academy. Here’s the tale:

One of our clients is the director at an OEM.  One of the underlying problems he and his team have is their frustration with their marketer.

Why are they frustrated with the marketer they’ve hired? They think the marketer should know their shit! Why should he spend more money on training when it already costs £30k GBP/ $60K USD for their salary? Surely this marketer should already know how to produce the right marketing materials to drive leads and sales! 

You see, they’re considering purchasing a license to GMA to guide the marketer in their role. The director is thinking to himself,  “I shouldn’t be paying for a marketer to learn marketing! They should know this already!”  So in his mind, it’s not worth the investment. 

On the contrary, the marketing manager may be keen to enrol in GMA to further their education, but they’re (rightly) worried to ask for the budget. 

The conundrum here is two-fold. The director is missing something vital: hiring a marketing person from outside the industry means they don’t have specific industry knowledge. They don’t know the audience or the terminology, so they certainly don’t know what resonates or works!  In GMA, we teach that through case studies.  

And if the marketer comes from within the industry, are they qualified or savvy enough to generate organic leads from content marketing? Do they have the writing or social media skills to parlay their industry knowledge into shareable content? 

The Geospatial Marketing Academy was built because I found myself delivering workshops over and over again in lockdown. There was an “A-ha!” moment when I realised how many people would benefit from this specialised marketing knowledge. It wouldn’t just benefit directors of equipment sellers – it could also help folks like owners of smaller survey businesses and those tasked with the marketing who may or may not have experience. 

Bottom line: If you want better marketing for your business, whether you’ve hired from within the industry or externally (or if you’ve tasked your admin with marketing) invest in training when it’s needed. 

Learn more about GMA.  

Tools and tactics to win over leads after every event

Trade shows and conferences are invaluable opportunities for surveying and geospatial businesses to showcase expertise, network with industry peers, and gather promising new leads. (see 10 things to check before you go to a trade show!) However, the real work begins after the event, during the crucial follow-up stage. Effective follow-up strategies can significantly impact conversion rates and ultimately drive business growth. 

Don’t wait.

Time is of the essence when it comes to follow-up. Aim to reach out to prospects within a day or two of the event, while your business and the interactions are still fresh in their minds. Reach out to the key prospects ASAP with a personal email or phone call.

  • How marketing can help: If you’re using a CRM and/or a marketing platform like HubSpot or Mailchimp, your marketing person or team can automate your follow-up emails, streamlining process and ensuring timely communication.

Customise your follow-up.

Don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach with your follow-up emails. If your business offers multiple services, make sure you take notes so you know which leads are interested in each service. This way,  you can tailor your follow-up messages to each prospect based on the conversations you had at the event. When you call or email those top prospects, reference specific discussions or pain points they shared to demonstrate that you were paying close attention and that you understand their needs.

  • How marketing can help: If you’ve noted which leads are interested in which product or service (even by making a quick note on the back of a business card), marketing can create templates for each group. As an example, you may have prospects interested in land surveys and others who need bathymetric surveys. Marketing can create an email customized for each need, so each group receives and personalized and relevant message.

Provide value.

Sharing is caring, so show prospects you care by sharing additional insights, resources, or content that aligns with their interests or challenges. This could include case studies, whitepapers, or webinar invitations relevant to their pain points. Position yourself as a trusted advisor by providing valuable information that helps prospects solve problems or make informed decisions – without being too sales-y.

  • How marketing can help: If you noticed a problem that was prevalent among the people you met at the conference, ask marketing to create some helpful and engaging content on that topic. Whether it’s a webinar on the latest advancements in point cloud technology,  a short, informal video on calibration hacks, or a blog post on post-event follow-up strategies (what?), marketing can create materials that can help make your follow-up efforts more successful. 

Make it a date.

Don’t settle for just email. Propose follow-up meetings or calls to dive deeper into your prospect’s needs and discuss potential solutions. Be as flexible as possible with scheduling to accommodate their availability and demonstrate your commitment to their success. And, by the same token, spend more of the first call listening than talking. Learn about their business, their concerns, and the problems you may be able to solve. It helps to understand the challenge they face and its significance before offering a solution. 

  • (Marketing can’t really help with this one – you’re on  your own!)

Connect on social.

Connect with the people you met at your conference on platforms like LinkedIn to continue the conversation beyond the initial follow-up. Share relevant industry insights, articles, or company updates to stay top-of-mind and showcase your expertise in the field.

  • How marketing can help: Your marketer or team is probably keeping your social profiles up-to-date already, but you may want to ensure that your company pages are aligned with the messages you’re sending to prospects. Posts regarding the common problem you identified, the services you were promoting at the conference, etc. will be particularly useful in the weeks following your event. 

Monitor and track interactions and lead status.

Be sure to keep track of all follow-up interactions and engagements. If you have a CRM system (and there are loads of free ones out there) use that, but a spreadsheet can also work (especially with one of these CRM templates). Track email opens, clicks, and responses to gauge prospect interest and tailor future communications accordingly. And monitor your social accounts too! People may message you directly or request a call in comments – you never know!

  • How marketing can help:  While you should set reminders to follow up regularly with leads, marketing can also send personalized emails in smaller batches and keep an eye on the CRM. Staying in touch over time and having extra eyes on results will prevent potential opportunities from slipping through the cracks.

Don’t treat warm and cold leads the same way.  

Not every lead will be a good one – at least, not right away! Some of the prospects you meet might fit your customer profile perfectly, but they’re not quite ready to buy. When you notice that 90% of your email recipients aren’t even opening your emails, it’s time to change course.

  • How marketing can help: Your cold leads aren’t ready for sales, but that doesn’t mean they won’t benefit from hearing from you from time to time. Marketing can set up a longer-term nurture email sequence. These emails may be sent bi-weekly or even monthly, and simply offer a helpful tip or news item that impacts their industry. The messaging here should be friendly and helpful – find ways to make their job easier or their day brighter, but don’t be pushy. This kind of email is about building the relationship and earning their trust so that when these prospects are ready to buy, you’ll be the first one they call. 


Effective follow-up strategies are essential for businesses to capitalize on the leads generated from trade shows and conferences. By prioritizing promptness, personalization, value, and ongoing engagement, you and your marketing team (or, you, wearing your marketing hat) be able to cultivate strong relationships with prospects and increase their chances of conversion. Remember, the follow-up process is not just about closing deals; it’s about nurturing long-term connections and fostering trust within the industry.

Need help? Contact us to schedule a consultation!

Running a geospatial business of any kind isn’t meant to be easy, but it shouldn’t be terrible either. I see how many of you struggle, busting your balls for minimal profits, working all hours of the day, night, and weekends…

It shouldn’t be this hard, guys. And it doesn’t have to be.

Let’s make 2024 your best business year ever. I’ve compiled a bunch of tips to help you start the year off right so you can grow your business, business work less, and earn more!

Does that sound like a pie-in-the-sky idea? It’s not. Once you know what to do, you’ll see that it’s not so hard to run your business efficiently, effectively, and profitably. 

Let’s get started.

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Tip#1: Know your audience.

In marketing, it’s absolutely imperative to know the audience you’re marketing to. Are you trying to connect with business owners, government employees, or, if you’re a reseller, surveying firms and construction contractors? Before you write your first email or social media post, you need to understand everything about these potential buyers. You should be able to answer each of these questions:

  • What problem will your business solve for them?
  • What keeps them up at night? 
  • Where do they find their information? In magazines, on website, or social media? 
  • How do they choose a solution like yours, and how long does it typically take them to make a purchase decision?
  • Who influences their purchasing decisions? (If it’s a big company, there could be many influencers involved, from the CFO to the end-users.)

If you’ve been in business for a while, you probably know all the answers to these questions, but it’s worth writing them down and creating customer profiles, or buyer personas. Create a document for each persona, and refer to them when you need to interact with them. 

Tip #2: Nail down your messaging. 

There are a number of things you should be making abundantly clear to your audience without them ever having to ask. As soon as your prospective customers see anything on LinkedIn, in their inbox, at a conference, or wherever about your business, they should know right away:

  • What do you do, exactly?
  • What’s your specialization in your industry? Is it land surveying, GIS mapping, drone surveys, etc. 
  • What makes your service unique? Is it your process? Your team? Your fantastic customer service? Make sure your audience knows – right away.

This step is also the foundation for building your brand, which is more than having a neat logo. In fact, if you don’t have a neat logo, do this step, then (if you have a budget) hire a designer and give them this messaging document so they can design a logo that truly reflects your business.  

Action item: Create a document that answers all these questions.  Then, make a checklist so that you can be sure all of your emails, posts, ads, and other communications answer them before anyone has to ask. 

Bonus tip: Struggling with this part? Our friend Pam has a great template that will help you pull things together. 

Gold star: While you’re building your messaging, take a crack at writing your mission, vision, and value statements, too. These may seem like silly things but trust me – when your customers see a framed mission statement on the wall that says you’re committed to delivering the best quality work, on-time, under budget, and with the most accurate equipment on the market – it will make a difference. You may find your team also feels more invested and engaged. 

Tip #3: Build and boost your brand online

(Note that it’s CRITICAL to complete step one before starting step two. Seriously.) Create or commission a professional website showcasing your services, past projects, and client testimonials. If you’re hiring an agency or freelancer, make sure they follow SEO best practices so that search engines find and rank your site!

Honestly, this is not something we recommend you do on your own – or something you have your web-savvy teenaged nephew handle for you. We get that websites can be expensive, but if there’s one place you should invest some marketing budget, this is it. Your website is your front door. It’s the first view most people get of your business. Make sure you’re making a good impression. 

And, ask around. You probably know someone who knows someone who does great websites for a reasonable fee. 

Bonus tip: We confess that we don’t actually know this company, but they do have a clear and comprehensive list of website must-haves that’s worth the quick read!   

Tip #4: Use social media – wisely and frequently 

If you follow me on social, you KNOW I walk the walk on this one! Social platforms are not only a great way to stay in touch with contacts you already have, they also allow you to build a following and make new contacts! Using platforms like LinkedIn, X, Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok can help you find and build new audiences of potential customers. 

Keep in mind that you don’t have to write whole essays or shoot feature films every day! Upload a pic from your phone with a caption. Share an interesting industry news item with your perspective. Do what I do and take a quick video with a fresh idea or tip for your customers – or just introduce your new office manager. It doesn’t have to be rocket science – it just has to be friendly and genuine. And sharing helpful tips – like your holiday hours or a reminder that it’s the last day for $1 coffee at McDonald’s? Those are always appreciated. 

You know I tend to post multiple times every day, but don’t feel pressured to do that out of the gate! Start with 2-3 times per week and try to build up to five or more. 

Bonus tip: Have someone on your team learn Canva or Snappa. These online tools help turn your social posts into little works of art, quickly and easily. Both have tutorials (Canva’s is here, Snappa’s is here) and both offer free versions. 

Tip #5: Get out there and network! 

You know this one’s important. You need to meet new people to make new connections. Going to events like GeoWeek or INTERGEO is a great idea, but even if you don’t have the budget to travel, you can attend local business events, trade shows, and industry conferences. Joining a local service organization or Chamber of Commerce can expand your network, too, leading to partnerships, referrals, and new opportunities.

Bonus tip: Did you know that you can network virtually, too? LinkedIn has all kinds of groups, and you may be able to find one that connects you directly to the people you need to meet to grow your business. 

Tip #6: Offer great content. (This is the long part!)

In marketing, it’s often said that “Content is King.” (Of course, here at EBL, “Content is QUEEN!”) Content is the fuel that powers your marketing engine. To summarize, you need to provide valuable content like whitepapers, guides, or webinars on topics that help solve problems for your audience. This helps to demonstrate your expertise and attracts potential clients. (Different content works at different stages of the sales cycle, as you’ve seen in this image we’ve shared in a previous post – and will likely share again!)

Short, shared content attracts

Remember tip #3, about social media? This is how it fits into the big picture. Content should attract people, grab their attention, and make them want more! Post your captivating content, write blogs for your website (or find a writer to help you), and use these smart tips so that Google loves them and makes them easy for your audience to find. As mentioned before, make your content practical and helpful. It can be as simple as the best lunches to pack for days in the field, or as complex as tips to calibrate your robotic total station. 

Lead magnets: Your long-form content

You’ve no doubt seen our monthly webinars on LinkedIn or in your inbox. These are lead magnets for our business. This is longer content that I offer to you (much like this article) to help solve your pain point. My goal is to successfully help you navigate the marketing world in a way that best aligns with what you do – saving you a ton of time and money, and hopefully resulting in a fatter bank account.

You need to do the same for your leads and prospects. 

They have a problem and they need your help solving it. If you can help them solve that problem – or at least point them in the direction of a solution, you can build trust and goodwill. Here are some ideas that might work for land surveyors:

  • Offer a PDF with tips on how to choose the right surveyor for your project (this could be a questionnaire or checklist) 
  • Make a short video on how to prepare for a land survey
  • Write an article on why you need a surveyor, versus doing it yourself with a mobile phone

If you’re an equipment reseller, it’s always smart to offer how-to videos, product comparisons, and spec sheets for downloads.

With any of these offerings, the key is to “gate” the content. That is, ask your visitors to complete a short form in exchange for your content. It’s important to only ask for the information you need, like the person’s name, the company they work for, and their email address.

Nurture your audience with the right content

Once your prospects complete the form, they should be added to your database. This will happen instantly depending on how your website is set up and if you have a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, or you can manually add their names to a spreadsheet. You should then send these interested people – via email – focused content including tips, tricks, and other information that addresses their problems and provides solutions! The aim is to build and nurture the target market so it all turns into moolah (money). 

By directing these new leads toward the solution to their problem, you are building trust and equity. They may not be ready to become customers yet, but when they are, you’ll be the one they call. 

The overall process can be long, although there is the occasional short turnaround sale. So have a plan, stick to it, and by all means, tweak it. But be patient! 

I like to look at content along the marketing-to-sales process in three phases, during which I ask these important questions:

  • Phase 1. Is this content valuable and useful to my audience – the people I really, really want to have as clients? Does it attract my ideal audience to my site? 
  • Phase 2. Does my content page give them an action to take – like completing a form – so they can join my database and I can continue to communicate with them in ways that are meaningful and helpful?
  • Phase 3. Am I giving them what they need to build trust and convert them into paying customers?

This formula works, and you can make it work better. Once you have a few new customers, look back at how they found you, which content pieces they read, downloaded, and followed, and start again with new prospects or refreshed content. Refine, review, and optimize, and pretty soon, you’ll have an easily repeatable process. 

It sounds simple when I put it like that, but I do this stuff in my sleep! It’s my world! That’s why I want to share it with you. Process leads to money.

Tip #7: Follow up on all those leads!

Between the leads you’ve gained from networking and the ones you’ve captured online with your lead magnets, you’re building a contact database. But if you don’t stay in touch with them, they’re bloody useless. Go back to the nurture process I detailed for you above, and create a series of nurture emails for everyone you’ve added to your database.

Tip #8: Keep learning. 

Have we essentially packed an entire post-graduate course on marketing into one blog post? 

Yes, sort of. 

We know it’s a lot, but there are a lot of resources out there to help you – including the Geospatial Marketing Academy, the only marketing training resource that’s just for geospatial industry professionals!  You can also rely on sites like MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute to help you stay updated on marketing trends, technological advancements, and changing customer needs. Adapt your marketing strategies accordingly to stay competitive.

Remember, consistency and persistence are key in marketing efforts. Experiment with different strategies to see what works best for your business and adjust your approach accordingly.

And of course, get in touch if you have any questions!

Welcome to 2024, a year of uncomplicated elegance and pure delight.

My word this year: “Simplicity

As we step into 2024, the mantra ‘Embracing Simplicity’ isn’t just a quaint notion; it’s a vital strategy for marketers everywhere who work for geospatial-based businesses.

In a world brimming with complexity and constant change, we often find ourselves caught in a whirlwind of sophisticated tactics and tools. 

However, this pursuit of complexity can lead us to lose sight of what truly matters: Connecting with our audience in a meaningful and effective way.

I know I have —  and this is why ‘Simplicity’ is on my mind for 2024.

The essence of simplifying our marketing lies in stripping away the unnecessary and focusing on the core elements that drive real results. This thought-provoking journey invites us to reconsider our approach and ask ourselves what can be minimised, automated, or eliminated. By doing so, we uncover the purest form of our marketing message, one that resonates more deeply with our audience.

Simplifying doesn’t mean being simplistic; it’s about: 

  • Being more strategic with our choices;
  • Setting clear goals, understanding our audience profoundly, and crafting messages that cut through the NOISE;
  • Valuing quality over quantity, ensuring every piece of content, every campaign, and every interaction counts.

In the intricate world of surveying, where precision and accuracy are paramount, the idea of ’embracing simplicity’ in marketing might seem counterintuitive at first glance.

Surveyors, by nature, deal with complex measurements and data to provide critical information for construction, planning, and design. So it’s not surprising that the marketing side of surveying often gets bogged down in technical jargon and complex campaigns that can alienate potential clients rather than draw them in. This is where the power of simplicity can transform our approach.

My message aims to navigate the landscape of marketing within the surveying profession, demonstrating how a simplified strategy can enhance engagement, increase understanding, and ultimately drive business growth. 

Here’s how we can apply the simplicity mantra:

  1. Clarify Your Message: Start by breaking down your services into clear, easily understandable concepts. Remember, not everyone speaks the technical language of surveying. Members of your target audience may not even realise they have a problem that you can solve!  Use simple terms and focus on the benefits your services provide to clients, such as accuracy, time-saving, or cost-efficiency.
  2. Focus on Core Services: Surveyors offer a wide range of services, but trying to promote all of them at once can overwhelm your audience. Identify your most in-demand services (or those with the highest profit margin) and centre your marketing around these areas. This focus makes your marketing more straightforward and impactful.
  3. Streamline Your Marketing Channels: Are you spreading yourself too thin across multiple platforms? Analyse where your audience spends their time and focus your efforts there. Whether it’s industry magazines, LinkedIn, or local business networks, choose platforms that offer the best return on investment.
  4. Automate and Delegate: Utilise tools that can automate repetitive tasks and consider outsourcing aspects of your marketing. This approach frees up your time to engage more

Want to learn more about how to simplify your marketing to drive better results? Join Paola and me on 24 January for a free webinar (with live Q&A) on How to Nail Your Marketing in 2024 and Make It Your Best Year Ever. Sign up here 

Recently, I met Fred. I like him; he’s chatty and frank. Unfortunately, he’s also struggling like a lot of surveyors. 

Fred made over £1 million in revenue this year – with less than a 1% profit margin.  He’s burnt out and understandably frustrated. Can you imagine how many hours he’s invested to bring that million in?  

He’s spent a fortune on expensive survey equipment so he can keep up with industry trends. He’s got a team to pay. But he’s had to lower his prices to stay competitive in his market. And he’s doing all the back-office work himself to keep his business afloat. 

Busting his balls is having a knock-on effect on Fred.

Do all surveyors bust their balls in this manner?

Are you all working like maniacs to reap so little reward from all that effort?  I think many of you do.

Here’s why: You, like Fred, are great at the work of surveying, but you’re not clued up on how to run a business profitably. 

Not that Fred’s dumb. He’s not, and neither are you. He just lacks the business acumen to support his passion and turn it into money. It’s a different skill set – and it can be learned. The keys? Sales and marketing.

Working with surveyors and equipment manufacturers around the globe has given me a unique perspective on how businesses are run within the geospatial realm. What I see is a lack of understanding around sales and marketing, and often an alarming lack of concern – or even an all-out disparagement – for these two critical functions. 

In Fred’s case, there was no disrespect for sales and marketing, just a bit of misunderstanding around their roles and significance. 

The function of marketing

I explained to Fred the function of marketing, and he had a genuine light bulb moment:

“So, Marketing gets leads for sales?”

“Yes,” I responded.

“Then what does sales do?” he asked.

“Sales turns the lead into money,” I told him.

“How does all this work, then?” he asked

Here’s what I told him: Marketing’s role is to open the door for sales. It’s about getting to the sale as fast as possible. At the end of the day, it’s about the revenue.  

  • It all starts with marketing. Marketing owns the early stages of the buyer’s journey – it creates leads that will eventually go to sales. (See the graphic below!)
  • Marketing is responsible for identifying the right audience – your target audience – and communicating a message to them, consistently and frequently. 
  • Marketing’s role is to create Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action (AIDA) among your target audience, ultimately generating new leads for sales. 
  • Marketing is more than social media. Please do not hire a person just to create social media posts for you – there’s so much more to marketing than that! Social is just one tiny piece. 

Marketing and sales are closely related but they’re not the same – and they need to work together to make a business successful. 

If you think about how a customer decides to make a purchase – especially a higher-ticket purchase – it’s not usually something that happens quickly. With B2B purchases in particular (for example, purchases from geospatial businesses) these decisions can take six weeks (or more!) to make, and they often involve quite a few people.

Marketing owns up to 80% of that decision-making process. It’s marketing’s role to understand what the customer needs, and then make them aware of how your service can meet that need. 

b2b customer journey

(We would actually consider this a Buyer’s Journey, not a Customer Journey but we’ll discuss that in a later post! Image source)


Marketing may use research to really understand the audience’s concerns, then create campaigns and content that help educate them about why your solution is the best solution. Essentially, marketing needs to find the audience, communicate the value of your offering, and then engage with potential customers via email, social media, advertising and other channels – and get the audience “warm” enough for sales to take over. 

Sales is then responsible for actually closing the deal.

Sales deals directly with the customer and handling late-stage communications, like price negotiations, product or service demos, or creating a proposal. Their role is converting the lead or prospect into a sale. 

Here’s an example of how this should work, but often falls apart: Marketing hosts a webinar and invites your target audience to attend. The webinar is designed to highlight whatever it is your business does better than anyone. 

50 people attended the webinar, and these are now warm leads. They were interested enough to sign up and sit through an hour of your great content. 

But so many of you won’t follow up on these leads! You let them go cold and even die instead of sending them a follow-up email or two, or calling after the webinar to see how they liked it. 

Those leads need follow-up! Send them a few emails in the weeks following the webinar. Send a link to the webinar playback, a check-in to see what they’d like the next webinar to be, an offer to meet for a consultation. But follow up! 

Ideally, marketing handles the follow-up and then hands the warm leads off to sales for a more personalized touch-point. With a proper follow-up, those 50 webinar leads could lead to new contracts for your geospatial business. 

Do you see how you’re making things harder for yourself? 

Stop doing that! There are lots of ways to improve your business operations, but handling sales and marketing properly will deliver the biggest bang for your buck in the shortest time.  You can watch this case study to see how it can make a difference.

And if you want to start handling marketing and sales better in-house, reach out to us to learn more about The Geospatial Marketing Academy and get yourself – and your team – trained so you can elevate your game. 



Harrogate (UK), 14 June 2018 – Elaine Ball Technical Marketing, backed by a group of corporate geospatial sponsors, has released the third in a series of GetKidsIntoSurvey posters designed to help businesses and educationalists encourage more children and young people to take up surveying as a career. The campaign takes a strategic, long-term approach to tackling the severe global skills shortage in surveying.

The latest poster, featuring a ‘Smart Cities’ scene, was launched at the TopoDOT User Conference, Orlando, and Geobusiness, London, last month. Like the two preceding GetKidsIntoSurvey posters, ‘Smart Cities’ is a busy, colourful illustrated scene (A1/US Standard 24×36) designed to get children thinking about how we measure our environment. It’s packed with interesting things to find while showcasing some of the amazing jobs surveyors do.


Featured in all the posters are Professor Topo, Geo Ginger, Evan the Eagle and cute little TopoDOG. In ‘Smart Cities’, they show how surveyors use specialist technology and skills to find underground cables, monitor train tracks, measure heights, map streets, and visualise the inside of buildings. This latest edition includes a series of questions to encourage children to explore the scene, discuss it and learn about surveying – such as: “Spot the yellow ground-penetrating radar – what do you think it does?”



Illinois-based Timothy Burch, director of surveying at SPACECO Inc and secretary of the USA’s National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS), says of GetKidsIntoSurvey: “I was fortunate to be exposed to surveying early in my life. But for those who are searching for a great career with huge potential, look no further!”

The campaign is aimed at children aged 8-12, but the poster series is equally suitable for teenagers and adults – and can help surveyor parents explain what they do all day! The posters are being marketed to survey firms who will use them to engage with children and young people through schools and local groups. They are also available directly to teachers (particularly geographers) and careers professionals.

‘Smart Cities’ can be ordered online at in single quantities up to 10 or in packs of 20, with larger volumes available on request. The NSPS will be distributing the posters in the USA/Canada, with Elaine Ball Technical Marketing handling shipping to the rest of the world. Educationalists can access the posters for free and need only pay for delivery. For anyone else, the cost is £1 per A1 poster (plus delivery). The money raised through the sale of the posters is being re-invested in a series of future aids to get children and young people interested in surveying as a career.


The next poster, due for release in Q3 2018, will be entitled ‘Mining Australia’ and will be based on Kalgoorlie Super Pit Geospatial marketingGold Mine. The campaign can also be followed at @get_kids_into_survey (Instagram ), @GetKidsintoSurv (Twitter), and @getkidsintosurvey (Facebook).


The #GetKidsIntoSurvey campaign was first launched in November 2017 (with a print run of just 500 ‘English countryside’ posters). It immediately took off on social media, revealing a considerable appetite among survey firms to create a wider future candidate pool. Another poster quickly followed, entitled ‘Antarctica’, featuring underwater drones, hand-held scanners and surveys of the ocean floor.


Get your poster today!  Click here!


– Ends –

Hi everyone!

Like Motorbikes? Like the Isle of Man TT? Like lasers? Last week I went over to the Isle of Man for the TT motor bike racing, and it was just incredible!

The Isle of Man TT is the world’s ultimate road race. Not only is the Isle of Man a beautiful place to be but the racing is fierce and the atmosphere is vibrant, in such an environment it’s hard not to think of the marketing side of it all. Watch a summary of what I got up to here!

Until next time…