Grow Your Sales Pipeline to Fix Missed Revenue Targets
How can you grow your sales pipeline and consequently fix missed revenue targets? If you think of your total revenue operations, it is likely fed by four major revenue streams:
New orders from totally new logos
Reorders or renewals from current customers
Upgrades, up-sales, and add-ons from existing customers
New orders from entry into brand new markets.
In all but one (reorders/renewals), the key challenge is how to grow a sales pipeline of sufficient size and quality. It is also finding one that consists of informed decision makers who are actively searching for a solution within budget.
The fundamental thesis of this blog is that missed revenue targets happen primarily as a result of missed pipeline targets.
New customer acquisition cost is increasing by an average of 10% or more each year.
Over 100 million new businesses are started each year, worldwide.
Partly as a consequence of that, nearly 80% of B2B companies change vendors within 24 months.
Nearly half of sales reps (49%) fail to meet their quota—a trend that has been consistent for some 10 years now.
If we put the stats together, the story looks like this: competition is intensifying and competitors are stealing customers. So, we have to find opportunities for new customers just to grow at the same rate. This is forcing us to spend more marketing and sales dollars to acquire new customers, creating a spiraling cost loop.
Furthermore, we continue to design, invest, and build our sales pipeline management the same way we did in the 20th Century—and our sales reps struggle to meet their sales quotas.
Things were definitely different then. Buyers more or less welcomed sales calls because salespeople were a source of valuable information about what competitors were doing and so on. Then internet boom allowed for buyers to research this data for themselves, so sales teams became more a nuisance than an asset and were mostly shut out.
Fast forward to the 2010s, content and social media became king as B2B companies began to invest in their marketing efforts. And then the global pandemic hit and sealed the deal of a new sales process. Now, marketing is everything: ABM, demand gen, growth marketing, etc.
So, B2B companies created a bottleneck, an operational bow-tie with large Marketing spend and large Sales spend. They gave practically no spend or thought to what connects the two big operations, namely Sales Development.
Here is one way to think about this. Your marketing department is tight on time and resources on sales performance (as much as you spend there). So, marketing campaigns end up going after the Total Addressable Market (TAM) instead of a more focused Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM). You end up getting leads that are too small, too big, or in geographies you can’t really sell for whatever reason.
None of these will ever go on your sales pipelines, and yet these “leads” pass on to your sales reps. They become overwhelmed by all these leads just to find the ones that they can actually work with.
The Problem with your Sales Pipeline
So, you hire Sales Development Reps (SDRs) to help with that. Only, you hire junior people, provide them with basic training and lots of technology, and let them loose on these new prospects.
The problem now is different. You have someone who was just a few months ago working at Starbucks calling on a senior decision maker who has been doing this for 10, 15 years. It’s like a high schooler saying to an NBA player, “Let me show you some slick moves…”. It’s not going to work out well.
So, all the money you spent on your marketing gets throttled down in the middle. Good lead generation slips away because those tasked with following up and setting appointments simply don’t know how to execute social selling or talk to these people.
As a result, your sales organization has to do its own prospecting. They spend less time moving those in the sales pipeline towards a close. The end result is missed quotas and missed sales opportunities.
The solution is to design your company’s revenue operations in such a way that you avoid the bottleneck. This allows revenues to smoothly flow from Marketing all the way to Sales, facilitated by SDRs who grow the sales pipeline for the sales organization.
Sales Development is a strategic revenue operations partner—equal to Marketing and Sales. It needs to be headed by a senior strategic thinking leader, and its members must be capable of talking at the level of senior decision makers in global companies.
Most importantly, your Sales Development organization has to grow the sales pipeline (not meetings) and should be compensated the same way your sales organization is—by how much it contributes to revenues. It’s time to really rethink our revenue chain, and redesign it from the ground up to meet 21st Century sales needs.
Quadrant 3 is all about encouraging existing customers to buy new products; generally upgrades, add-ons, and bundles. In general, the goal is to increase the number of products your customers use by about 15-20% per year. It may seem like a big ask, but keep in mind that, apart from Quadrant 2, these buyers have the lowest perceived risk — they’ve bought from you before and are going to be a lot more willing to buy from you again, studies show. Meanwhile, the chances of selling to a new prospect are between 5 and 20%; selling to an existing customer skyrockets to as much as 60-70%.
It’s crucial to invest in 3rd Quadrant prospects as it’s been proven to yield massive ROI. Bain & Company found that even a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25-95% ROI. That’s a five-fold return. In the following sections, we’ll be looking at the strategies industry leaders are using to drive Quadrant 3 sales.
Customer Support Strategy
The reduced risk factor for Quadrant 3 prospects is dependent on their elevated trust in your company. Make sure your customer support strategy continually renews their trust in you and keeps you fresh in their minds.
This can be facilitated by having a scalable support infrastructure like chat and self-help portals that can offer painless and quick support to customers as they learn and use your products. You should also maintain good communication with customers in order to stay relevant and keep them educated on your products and updates as they come out.
Keeping close contact with customers also yields valuable insights into their buying behavior, which can help when it comes to pitching new products to them down the line. Knowing your customers well (including their needs and pain points) translates into knowing what to suggest to them to make their processes more efficient.
Customer Retention Strategies
Quadrant 3 sales rely on offers like bundles, packages, and deals that incentivize customers to buy more products from you. Make sure you figure out which products are best paired together and create promotions that offer added value to the original products your customers want to buy.
Automation can play an important role here, too. Use it to promote targeted marketing campaigns to customers based on what they’re already buying. For instance, if a customer is already buying product X, use marketing campaign A, and if they’re already using products X and Y, use campaign B.
Sales reps should also be invested in these strategies. Train them on which products are to be recommended together and on how to pitch an additional product without coming off as too sales-y; customers want to know that you’re on their side and trying to add value to their purchase rather than simply selling to them. Management can build a compensation plan around account penetration to encourage Sales reps to fine-tune their upselling capabilities.
Everything discussed previously has essentially been strategies that support upselling, which is the main goal in Quadrant 3. Upselling is when you recommend additional products that will complement those the customer is originally buying. HubSpot has outlined some key strategies that support upselling and will ultimately drive Quadrant 3 sales.
First, determine which product combos get the best results, both in sales and in customer satisfaction. You want to find combinations that make sense to customers when pitched (and can be backed up by proof, like with case studies or infographics) and that will ultimately add value to the customer’s original purchase. Tracking KPIs and asking for customer feedback can give some direction to these efforts and highlight which pairings you should be pushing. Oftentimes, segmenting customers by personas can help fine-tune which recommendations to provide and to whom.
Make sure your upselling strategy is based on integrity; you’re only hurting yourself if it’s done with anything less. Though upselling is generally very profitable, if customers sense they’re being taken advantage of or don’t find added value with the extra purchases you recommend, they’ll lose faith in your business and might churn. The products you upsell must be chosen with customer experience in mind, with the main goal of making them better, easier, or more efficient.
To support upselling, make sure to consistently introduce new products that can complement one another. Releasing a new product every 2-3 years is recommended in order to keep complementary items current and relevant.
Quadrant 3 is a great place to invest selling resources and if your customer retention and upselling strategies are well-thought-out, it can bring in considerable ROI. Driving sales in this Quadrant is all about investing in an excellent and helpful customer support strategy that will build trust between your customers and your brand. Some key customer retention strategies can also help boost your upselling capacities to reach your maximum Quadrant 3 selling potential.
Hubspot has shown that customer acquisition costs have skyrocketed by as much as 60% in recent years, making the customers that you do have that much more profitable to your business. As McKinsey notes, if you’ve already spent a sizable amount of time and money to acquire a new customer and they churn early in the process, you’ve lost out on the full potential revenue of that customer. Their study goes on to show that what’s separating top-performing companies from their competitors today is how efficient their customer retention strategies are.
Customer retention is hugely important in today’s business world. Falling under the 2nd and 3rd Quadrants of the Four Quadrants of High Growth model, customer retention is all about encouraging existing customers to buy more一 either of what they’re already buying (Quadrant 2), or related products (Quadrant 3). Optimizing your customer retention strategy can lead to considerable perks.
Many companies tend to take their paying customers for granted, placing most of their marketing budget in Quadrant 1 and favoring customer acquisition over retention. Invesp found that 44% of companies have a greater focus on customer acquisition whereas only 18% focus on retention. It’s only when unsatisfied customers churn (and their revenue is halted) that these companies realize how crucial it is to invest in Quadrants 3 and 4. More importantly, they see how important it is to see all the Quadrants as important sources of revenue rather than just the first. In a study by Invesp, 70% of informants reported that it is cheaper to retain than acquire a customer, and indeed, existing customers are both 50% more likely to try new products and 30% more likely to spend more on them than new customers. Customer retention can be a game-changer if you invest in it. Bain & Company found that even a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25-95% ROI. That’s a five-fold return.
Fortunately, there are a series of proven strategies that today’s industry leaders are using to boost customer retention and drive Quadrant 3, all of which will be discussed in the following sections.
Customer Support Strategy
Your target audience in Quadrant 2 already uses your products and is familiar with your brand. In order to promote the likelihood of them ordering more from you down the line, make sure you have excellent customer support. You want to develop their trust in the idea that your company is helpful and easy to work with. That way, they’ll be incentivized to become more involved in your offerings and might even become open to buying other products (i.e., joining Quadrant 3) down the line. If customers are unsatisfied with your company after purchasing from you, they’ll be highly unlikely to order any more from you. Conversely, customers that feel well-connected to you through good customer support will be all the more likely to engage with promotional offers or discounts to buy more.
Remember that, from your customers’ perspective, everyone who works in your company is there to support them一 that includes Marketing, Sales, and everyone else, for that matter.
Also, remember that the best support strategy is to continuously educate your customers on how to use your product better to realize the returns they are looking for.
Customer Journey & the Buying Process
Current customers who have already vetted and approved your company are among the most valuable contacts for marketing campaigns. Make sure to keep your brand at the top of their minds even after they’ve made their initial purchase with you. The best way to do this is through email marketing一 by offering them promotions, discounts, or even premium services as a perk for buying more. Try to send at least one promotional email a month to keep connected with your customers and make sure these campaigns incentivize them to buy more. Update customers on new features that increase ease of use and efficiency and let them know about related products they may be interested in.
The buying process in this Quadrant should be as simplified and easy for the customer as possible. On your end, too, it should be very low-touch and standardized; automate as much as you can and shoot for the majority of your purchases in Quadrant 2 to be completed without the direct involvement of a Sales rep. The operations should resemble a self-serve portal where customers can easily order more of what they want and have those orders fulfilled immediately. Automate pricing, contracts, and order fulfillment to ensure the buyer’s journey stays as seamless as possible.
KPIs & Strategy Sharing
As with any business strategy, the best way to improve your effectiveness is by measuring and analyzing the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). McKinsey found that customer retention success is best measured through customer-oriented metrics, such as website traffic, customer engagement time, response time, and conversion rate. However, other figures matter quite substantially here. The customer experience is important and metrics in customer frustration (perhaps with bugs on the website or with the products), a slow load time, or a poor onboarding experience can all highlight crucial areas that may need improvement.
As these KPIs are analyzed and improvements are made based on them, make sure these valuable sources of information are not limited to just part of the company. Make sure that customer insights are shared across the entire organization, and specifically mutually updated by the Sales, Product, and Marketing teams. Feedback of this type will ensure an overall and constant improvement in customer retention that is propelled by a concerted effort across multiple departments.
These days, it’s becoming increasingly more costly and time-consuming to acquire new customers, making it all the more important for companies to tap into the full potential of their existing customers in Quadrants 2 and 3. Quadrant 2 is all about encouraging customers to buy more of what they already use, and the key to maximizing this customer retention can be found through the following steps:
Grow trust in your company through excellent customer support
Simplify and incentive the buying process
Track KPIs and share customer insights across the company
Considering that even a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25-95% ROI, customer retention is a great place to commit resources and boost sales. You can find more resources like this on the SOMAmetrics website under resources. Or click here to schedule a call if you would like to speak with one of our associates.
According to Hubspot, customer acquisition costs have skyrocketed in recent years, increasing by as much as 60%. What this means for B2B companies is that it will be crucial, now more than ever, to have an effective Sales strategy that will optimize customer acquisition and drive down costs. Customer acquisition falls within the first Quadrant of the Four Quadrants of High Growth model, which is a highly effective sales strategy that helps B2B companies optimize their Marketing and Sales resources through segmentation to achieve the highest ROI.
Quadrant 1 is all about attracting new customers to the customer base, with a general goal of growing it by 15-20% each year. This is normally where companies throw the most money, especially as compared to the other three Quadrants, and because customer acquisition costs have only gotten higher in recent years, it makes sense to invest in a highly effective strategy that will use these funds as efficiently as possible. In the following sections, we’ll look at the strategies industry leaders are using today to drive growth in Quadrant 1.
Since Quadrant 1 is largely about attracting new customers to your company, content will be the most important element of a successful high-growth sales strategy. The Marketing and Sales teams should come together to define what marketing content needs to be created to drive prospects through the various levels of prospect awareness, which range from completely unaware to engaged and actively searching. This content should be created with the goal in mind to produce the desired amount of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), and so a level of automation is required here to provide prospects with the right content as they engage with entry-level materials. To read more about the Funnel Framework and how prospects progress through their buyer’s journey via content, click here.
Hubspot has outlined the best content strategies we can employ to drive growth in Quadrant 1. Content marketing is quickly emerging as one of the most effective ways to reach new customers. Not only does it alert them to the existence of your company and expertise, but it also offers valuable, free, insights to them that will build their trust in your brand. Within this area, you can provide blogs, content offers such as ebooks or guides, and even videos that will all surface when prospects research their company’s pain points online. To drive results here, search marketing (both paid and organic) can be used to ensure your online presence makes an impact on your Quadrant 1 growth.
Additionally, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to directly reach and engage a customer base. Nurture emails can help convert new subscribers by delivering helpful information and slowly increasing brand awareness, and in later Quadrants, new product information and discounts can increase customer retention.
On the Sales end, having a broader, formal strategy is crucial to ensure you meet that goal of increasing the customer base by an annual 15-20%. This is done best by defining the qualification criteria that make a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) and then by mapping these criteria into the Sales Operation and Sales Automation system. The automation of this process will ensure that Sales immediately follows up with SQLs, and a thoughtfully-designed compensation program can incentivize agents to drive the Sales Cycle through lulls.
Onboarding & Customer Support Strategy
Once we’ve reached a sale, the customer experience becomes only more important. The goal here is to turn new customers into happy and satisfied ones within 2-3 weeks一 and having a strong onboarding and customer support strategy can help here.
Learning how to use a new product can be tricky, especially for working professionals who may not have much time to dedicate to their understanding of your process. According to Salesforce, a great thing to keep in mind when crafting your onboarding strategy is to keep it simple; streamline your instructional content so that only the most essential items are present during the first steps of the onboarding process. That way, new users won’t be deterred or overwhelmed when interacting with your products for the first time.
Additionally, have an abundance of various materials available to them to reference during and after the process. This can include blog posts, video tutorials, instructionals, or even email sequences delivered over a set period following the purchase. To ensure things are going smoothly, it can be helpful to send out a follow-up email a couple of months down the line, which has the added benefit of delivering customer insights about the onboarding process.
Overall, the process must be as quick and painless as possible for the new customers. At a broader level, it can be helpful for the onboarding team to be organized around facilitating an efficient process for the customer; at the start of the process, outline each key component and assign agents accordingly. This will allow them to complete the onboarding process efficiently and with the highest level of accuracy.
After the onboarding process is complete, make sure that the customer support is there to keep customers happy and loyal to your brand, important needs that fall under Quadrants 2 and 3.
Quadrant 1 is all about attracting new prospects to your customer base, and creating a high-growth sales strategy can drive ROI in the face of increasingly expensive customer acquisition costs. Having an optimized content strategy, an automated sales strategy, and a simple, easy-to-use onboarding process can all drive sales Quadrant 1 and prime customers to remain for Quadrants 2-3.
We know that optimizing your marketing approach for each of the fundamental B2B buyer types leads to higher engagement and better brand recognition, but how can you choose the right approach一with the most effective words and the most influential underlying messages一to best speak to these audiences? How do you choose which aspect of your product will most interest the buyer, and how will your delivery of that information pique their interest and close the most deals?
When crafting your marketing approach, choosing the optimal framing, words, and motivational drives for each of the buyer types in your target audience is important. In order to speak to them the most directly, you’ll need to understand what values they hold in the decision-making process, what particular things they desire in products, and which ideas are the most likely to make them act. Merging the theories from Will Leach’s book, Marketing to Mindstates, and Geoffrey A. Moore’s book, Crossing the Chasm, we’ll take an in-depth look at what drives each of these buyer types and how to optimize your marketing approach for these factors.
Visionaries: What they want
For Visionaries, the cost of the product is not as important as the substance of the dream it promises. As such, marketing for this type should not focus on cost or economy but instead on how innovative, cutting-edge, or game-changing the product will be. Visionaries want to buy into something that has never been done before, and so past evidence or “proof” that the product has worked elsewhere is not particularly useful, and might even get in the way. In the same vein, they’re willing to accept projected ROI, as long as it’s substantial enough to pique their interest. Generally, they also want to see impressive promises, like big milestones being passed, or impactful change happening quickly.
The words that speak to Visionaries’ values the most clearly are those like:
Game changer; dramatic; the first; the only; X times faster/better; cutting edge; “X factor.”
In sum, anything that promises a large pay-off by way of a new technology will speak the most directly to what they desire in products.
Visionaries’ motivational aspirations are for achievement, autonomy, and engagement. To support these values, marketing content should underline how investing in the product will fulfill these psychological needs. To cater to the desire for achievement, content should promise them the feeling of being accomplished or tech savvy for choosing your product. This is best applied when it relates to their willingness to back an innovative or game-changing option.
When it comes to autonomy, your marketing approach should suggest an independence from what everyone else is doing, and feed into their desire to feel unique in their decision-making process. Highlight the elements of the product that stand out, and suggest that choosing your more novel product over a mainstream one will communicate a sense of originality in the Visionary’s decision-making process. An excellent example of this comes from Apple’s highly successful 1997 ad campaign, whose slogan read, “Think different.” In presenting the idea, Steve Jobs said it was about “honoring the people who think different and move this world forward.” The campaign’s call to those who desire to feel “unique” from the mainstream population ended up pulling the company out of its economic slump, highlighting the efficacy of marketing to a specific audience and optimizing your messaging to isolate what motivates them.
As for the need for engagement, make sure the product is marketed in such a way as to excite their interest, particularly because of how novel or unconventional the product is. Visionaries need to feel excited about the choices they make, so an effective approach to market to them will rely on engaging content.
Pragmatists: What they want
For Pragmatists, cost and proof of concept are important, but they are more so factors in their decision rather than the basis of it (as is the case with Conservatives). Pragmatists will want to see how these factors will relate to the overall likelihood of success if they decide to choose your product, but when sharing this information with them, it’s wise to optimize the frame in which you choose to share it in order to best address their values and desires. As such, they’ll respond best to demonstrable incremental improvements, case studies, and quantifiable ROI. They want to see detailed analysis or case study as proof that your product has worked for others in their industry, and they appreciate realistic promises over the far-fetched claims that’ll be the most exciting to Visionaries.
The words that speak to Pragmatists’ values the most clearly are those like:
Proven; verifiable; demonstrable; incremental; have x number of the top 10 companies as customers
In sum, anything that assures a reliable, evidence- and community-backed solution will speak the most directly to what they desire in products.
The motivational aspirations that most generally drive Pragmatists are competence and empowerment. To optimize for their desire for competence, marketing approaches should give them all the details they need to feel confident in their decision-making process. This can be facilitated through compelling case studies and realistic ROIs. The idea is to make them feel they are competent (even pragmatic) decision-makers who may level all the pros and cons before coming to a decision.
To inspire the sense of empowerment, it’s important to make them feel in control of the outcome of their decision to move forward with your product and to highlight their authority in the decision-making process. As such, try to underline the strategic merit in choosing your product over others and frame any associated risks as manageable or easily-calculated. A solid strategy here would be to offer them a compelling, fact-based argument that will assure them that their decisions are well-informed and level-headed.
Conservatives: What they want
For Conservatives, cost and brand are everything. They need to know that others in the industry, right now and in the past have used your product without any problems. Even at that, they’ll generally only be incentivized to take on a different product if it’s cheaper than their existing options. To market to them, your approach must highlight your product’s acceptance by their larger community or industry and its ultimate dependability. To build on this, it must also assuage the Conservative’s fear of difficulty or of having to struggle through the transitionary process of learning new features. Market your product as easy-to-use, painless, cheap above all else, and as the industry standard.
The words that speak to Conservatives’ values the most clearly are those like:
Oldest, most used; most popular; most trusted; award-winning; since 19XX; zero-risk; simple
In sum, anything that assures a traditional, well-endorsed, and cost-effective product will speak the most directly to what they desire in products.
Conservatives’ main aspirational motivations are for belonging and security. As described above, the way to market to those who value a feeling of belonging would be to highlight how many other professionals in their industry use and have used your product successfully. This is made stronger through messaging that suggests that other Conservative types also trust your brand. The idea is to communicate that, if they choose your product, they’ll be joining a vast array of peers who have already judged this product as reliable and hassle-free.
To cater to their motivation for security, market your product as the most simple, painless, and risk-free option out there. Conservatives crave the security of an easy, low-adaptive transition because they dislike change, so communicating the simplicity of your onboarding process will speak much louder to them than many other approaches. Additionally, since Conservatives generally believe that things aren’t getting better— perhaps only getting worse with time— suggesting that the product will simplify their lives, that it only takes a few minutes to get started, and that there is a 24 hour hotline ready to help at any time is a strong idea.
Having a nuanced understanding of the buyer types you’re selling to is essential when optimizing your marketing approach. However, just as essential is understanding which proven online marketing strategies you can use to cultivate high-quality leads within these three groups.
According to research from Gartner, only 6% of chief sales officers (CSOs) report that they are extremely confident in their team’s ability to meet or exceed their revenue goals. This means that for the vast majority of sales leaders, reaching revenue growth targets is a high-priority challenge.
At the same time, the B2B purchasing process has changed entirely in the digital era. To stay competitive, companies must adapt and keep up with their dynamic customer bases. But how can companies do this, as their buyers navigate the digital world on their own terms?
To answer this question, here are five factors affecting revenue growth that will elevate your company to the next level.
Factor 1: Choose the Right Market Focus for Revenue Growth
First and foremost, choosing the right market focus for your company is the single most important factor impacting your revenue growth. It’s the keystone of your marketing and sales activities; the one crucial element that can make or break your revenue growth.
Simply put, a well-chosen and narrow market focus can result in millions of dollars in the sales pipeline. Not only that, but you will see more high-quality leads each month. Of all of the five factors, this segmentation and focus has the greatest potential to increase or decrease your revenue growth from the previous period.
So, how does this work? A narrow target market empowers you to focus on excelling in a specific area. You can develop in-depth knowledge of your target market that would be impossible to develop otherwise. Consequently, this specialized knowledge increases efficacy and boosts the number of high-quality leads generated by your marketing efforts.
Factor 2: The Sales Process Is the Buyer’s Process
Next, the old sales process is out of date. The tactics that may have worked in the past—like cold calls and mass email marketing campaigns—are quickly becoming obsolete.
To be clear, today’s buyers spend only 5% of their time with a given sales representative during the purchasing process, on average. They spend more time researching solutions online, preferring to discover for themselves whether or not a vendor is well-suited to fulfill their needs.
But in the new buyer’s landscape, you must meet buyers on their terms. This involves creating highly individualized content to demonstrate what you have to offer your target market. To capture the attention of this new brand of buyers, sellers must align their sales and marketing processes with their buyer’s expectations and preferences.
Factor 3: Tightly Align Sales and Marketing for High Growth
To facilitate revenue growth, marketing has to be directly linked to sales outcomes. It’s not enough for marketing to simply generate brand awareness anymore. Marketing strategies must result in high-quality leads that are likely to start a conversation with sales.
To align sales and marketing, make sure that your sales goals are the motivation behind your marketing efforts. Uniting sales and marketing with a common goal will change the way you approach marketing. Read on to discover how to transform them from a cost center to a revenue generator:
Factor 4: Leverage Intelligent Sales & Marketing Data for Revenue Growth
How do you ensure that your marketing and sales departments are in alignment with the overwhelming amount of data present? Well, the answer is simple—use intelligent sales data to guide your strategies, rather than historical data and experience-based knowledge.
One goal of intelligent sales data is to keep your strategies as up-to-date as possible. You should be responding to industry changes and accommodating new buyer preferences in real-time, not years into the future. This makes intuitive sense—with historical data, you are responding to buyers’ past preferences and not their current needs. Intelligent sales data keeps your strategies cutting-edge. This will keep your company from falling behind.
As such, the targeted capabilities of intelligent data enables your sales team to more effectively speak to leads and prospects, increasing the likelihood of their conversion into buyers over time.
Factor 5: Importance of Managing Sales & Marketing Operations by Metrics
Additionally, you can’t fix what you can’t see. That’s what the final factor is all about—to successfully increase revenue growth, you must track the right metrics and use them to build effective strategies for sales and marketing.
To generate revenue growth at a faster rate than costs, companies should invest in tracking the performance of their marketing campaigns. And from Factor 3, we know that marketing is just as important—if not more important—than sales at generating leads and revenue growth.
Thus, using metrics to manage your strategies will provide you with an objective understanding of how your sales and marketing efforts are performing. The right metrics will expose where you can improve, where you’re already excelling, and everything in between. This is essential to increasing revenue growth.
Factor 1: Choose the Right Market Focus for Revenue Growth
Successful marketing isn’t about reaching the broadest audience possible—it’s about reaching the right audience for your company.
Let’s say you have a limited marketing budget, which means that you have to maximize the ROI of each dollar you spend. Without a defined target market, you will waste your resources reaching market segments that aren’t the right fit for your product.
Because of this, the real challenge is to target and reach customers who are most likely to convert into sales. You don’t want to waste your money on anything else.
By targeting a narrow market, you can increase your depth of understanding in a specific industry. So when you offer more individualized information that is relevant to potential customers, you stand out from the competition.
Remember, your goal is to get on the shortlist of vendors the buyer will contact. Buyers want to know that you can offer the right solutions for their specific pain points.
To do this, you’ll need to develop an in-depth understanding of your buyers. And not only do you need to understand their industry, but you also need to understand what motivates your buyers as individuals.
Also known as persona development, this process involves conducting thorough research to create a profile of the types of customers that are most likely to purchase your product.
Now, let’s solidify the concept of choosing a market focus with an illustrative case study.
Without a specific industry target, your marketing efforts could draw the attention of companies in any number of industries. Not all of these companies will be the right fit for your product.
In this instance, the client was a digital technology services provider that built digital capabilities for its clients. They provided services to any incoming request and did not target a specific industry. Even though company executives knew they had to focus on a specific industry sector to execute its outbound strategy, which one was the right one?
Well, we helped the client analyze its track record to determine which industries were the ideal targets. Then, we conducted in-depth industry research to narrow down the top industry that was worth targeting.
With one specific industry in mind, the next steps were to create content for this industry and generate targeted demand through email campaigns and phone prospecting.
As a result of this digital content strategy, the client generated 16 high-quality leads per month, increased name recognition, and brought 4 million dollars into the sales pipeline. This success story demonstrates the value of focusing your marketing efforts on a specific industry.
The Right Market Focus: Key to Success
With a narrow target market, you can develop your understanding of your target market to a greater degree. You can devote more of your resources to specializing in this industry, to refining your knowledge of their pain points, current and future challenges, and crucially, how your company and its services can help.
And there’s a reason that finding the right market focus is Factor 1—it’s the first thing companies should nail when developing a strategy for increasing revenue.
First, it will make your company stand out. Next, market focus increases the effectiveness of the following factors—starting with the buyer’s process in Factor 2.
Factor 2: The Sales Process is the Buyer’s Process
Does this story sound familiar? A salesperson blindly calls and emails through a list of contacts, hoping that someone will respond so he can convince them to schedule a meeting. On the off chance that he is successful, he will conduct the meeting as follows: First, he will tell the prospect all about himself. Then, he’ll ask the respondent about their company. Regardless of the response, he will then launch into selling his product.
This clunky, sales-centered approach is the old sales process that prioritizes the salesperson’s preferences. There’s a reason this process is ineffective—despite its name, the sales process is not really about the salesperson. Buyers aren’t interested in working on a salesperson’s schedule—they have their own priorities to fulfill, and they appreciate salespeople who anticipate and respond to their needs and work with their schedule.
So, calling it “the sales process” is a misnomer. Your focus should be on the buyer’s needs, desires, and timeline, making it more accurate to call it the buyer’s process.
To fully understand the buyer’s perspective along their journey toward making a purchase, let’s look at the purchasing process from their point of view.
The Buyer’s Process
Today’s buyers start with research. Once they recognize the problem that needs solving, a team member begins looking for answers online. They’ll comb through blogs, articles, industry reports, and other sources, all in search of the best possible solution to the problem at hand. Your job is to stand out amongst this crowded market and make it to the shortlist of vendors they will contact.
To stand out, your content must address exactly what your buyers are looking for. This is where your in-depth knowledge of your target market comes into play (as you already know from Factor 1).
Then, buyers make the crucial decision of whether or not to include your company on the shortlist based almost entirely on your content. So, you must ensure that your content is highly valuable, relevant to their needs, and surfaces on search results pages.
Personalized Content Fitted to the Buyer
Not only is it is an opportunity to demonstrate your comprehensive knowledge of the potential buyer’s needs at every stage of their journey, it is the key to standing out in a crowded market. This approach works with the buyer’s preferred process—conducting independent research—and provides them with useful information to substantiate their purchasing decision.
Ultimately, the key to building a successful marketing and sales strategy is to focus on what the buyer wants. Your focus on a single target market will shine through your content and encourage readers to set up a meeting. Now the question becomes—how do you ensure that the right people are finding your content? Read Factor 3 to find out.
Start with your revenue goal and work backward from there to determine the targets your sales and marketing efforts should strive to reach. This process will align sales and marketing in pursuit of a common goal: growing revenue.
To achieve this goal, marketing has to deliver the right kinds of leads. It’s not just about branding and spreading the word—it’s about finding highly motivated leads interested in purchasing the product you’re selling, capturing their attention, and nurturing them along the funnel toward sales.
Here is an infographic that illustrates the process of funneling prospects toward sales.
But for every highly qualified lead that is likely to convert into a sale, there are plenty of less-qualified leads who will find their way into your funnel. Maybe they’re students researching a project, or an HR manager creating a job description. Whatever the reason, they’ve come across your content, shared their contact information to download it, and are not at all interested in purchasing your product.
So as not to get stuck in the funnel, you should choose targeted keywords to filter out as many of these leads as possible, but you will probably still receive some low-quality leads. After that, it’s the marketing department’s job to sort through these leads and separate the promising ones from the rest.
To do this, automation is key. Your marketing department is busy with strategic high-level tasks, and separating leads manually is time-consuming. If you automate the process, you receive more of the job titles you want while minimizing the number of low-quality leads.
That’s why the ultimate goal is to streamline the lead generation process to deliver the highest quality leads possible to your sales team. To accomplish this, both departments must be on the same page in terms of their goals, progress, and how these indicators will be measured.
Factor 4: Leverage Intelligent Sales & Marketing Data for Revenue Growth
Since we have established how important marketing is, how can we quantify our findings? Traditionally, sales planning relied on account segmentation, driven by historical knowledge of the market rather than up-to-date facts. But things have changed.
But in a post-COVID-19 world, historical data may not be relevant at all. More importantly, the COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly have long-lasting effects on consumers and companies alike. Using outdated data to develop your sales strategy will leave you struggling to keep up with buyers’ needs in real-time.
Looking towards the future, experts predict that smarter, more responsible, and scalable AI will be key to growing revenue from sales in today’s world. Access to constantly updating information about your target markets and their industry trends will be essential to developing effective sales strategies.
And where exactly does this data come from? Automated sales and marketing tools will provide you with the information you need to develop an effective and dynamic strategy for increasing growth. Automated tools simplify the process of collecting useful sales data, which makes it easier to put this information into action.
Using Intelligent Sales Data: Good Things Take Time
In response to a drop in sales, the sales department might be too eager to make adjustments without taking the time to review performance and properly diagnose the issue affecting sales. A sales diagnosis is key to determine what went wrong and how to fix it.
After conducting a sales diagnosis, the data you gather from practices like these should form the basis of your sales and marketing strategy. Rushing into a quick fix without uncovering and addressing the root of the problem will lead to more issues down the line.
Taking the time to implement intelligent sales data tools, interpret that data, and apply it accurately to your situation is essential to developing the strongest possible sales strategy. This is similar to the process of managing by metrics, the subject of the fifth and final factor affecting revenue growth.
Factor 5: Importance of Managing Sales & Marketing Operations by Metrics
To effectively foster growth, you must know exactly what is and isn’t working and why. This is what managing by metrics is all about—to develop growth-minded strategies for sales and marketing, you must track the right metrics in real-time.
Below, you’ll find some examples of critical metrics to track:
Average deal sizes
Average discount given
Quota attainment rate
MQL to SQL ratio
SQL to closed deal ratio
Sales budget per sales dollars
Marketing budget per sales dollars
As seen above, metrics provide you with crucial information that you can use to substantiate your strategic business decisions. They give you an objective and evidence-based measuring stick to use to foster your company’s growth.
Let’s take a look at a case study that demonstrates the power of metrics in action.
This client was a software vendor targeting the financial services industry. Their goal was to increase the number of clients served and bring in more new business from completely new customers—a crucial challenge for any company.
So, how did we go about strategizing for this level of growth the current period?
Measuring the right metrics was key to developing and implementing a sales plan that could double sales from new customers in 12 months. To achieve this goal, all salespeople had a set number of activities to complete each week, including calls, emails, and demos.
Furthermore, the proof is in the results. After 90 days, the company saw a 620% increase in outbound sales calls and achieved 246% growth in the sales pipeline. The result was a 67% increase in the number of deals closed each month.
And this level of growth wouldn’t have been possible without regular and accurate measurements of strategic sales metrics. As this case study demonstrates, setting attainable, evidence-based goals for growth is a key step toward building your high-growth lead generation strategy.
Managing by metrics can expose areas of weakness in your sales and marketing strategies. This provides useful data detailing what you can improve on. That’s why metrics are crucial to any sales and marketing strategy today.
Through these five factors, we’ve provided a comprehensive overview of the key practices that impact revenue growth in today’s world. This knowledge will form the basis of a sales and marketing strategy that delivers revenue growth now and into the future.
We know that it’s important to optimize your marketing strategy for each of the B2B buyer types if you’re going to make an impactful marketing campaign, but which specific strategies yield the best results for each type of buyer?
What’s important to know here is that the way you’ll reach each of the buyer types is going to be dramatically different; you can’t use the same strategies you would use for a Visionary, who would take little issue conducting all business digitally, and a Conservative, who may be hesitant to even use a computer unless absolutely necessary. When optimizing your marketing strategies for each of these groups, it’s crucial to make sure your message doesn’t get lost in the medium.
Who You Should be Marketing to
Before we get into it, it’s important to get a sense of which of the buyer types will respond best to your product. Keep in mind that a product’s maturity, or the stage it’s at in its life cycle, will determine which buyer category will find it the most appealing.
In general, Visionaries just need to see a working demo with enough allure and they’re in; they don’t need (or want) to know that the product has been used elsewhere, because they’re looking for something new.
Pragmatists, on the other hand, won’t show interest in a product that hasn’t been taken on successfully by a peer company. You’ll generally only be successful marketing to a Pragmatist type if you have convincing key accounts, which typically might come from Visionaries.
Only once your product has matured past these stages and has been tested and trusted by many will it become interesting to Conservatives. When figuring out your marketing strategy, make sure to take the life stage of your product (and its associated desirability to each of the groups) into account. To learn more about each of the buyer types in B2B marketing, click here.
Strategies that Work for Visionaries
Visionary buyers are at once the easiest and the hardest to reach. That’s because you can’t really find them; they find you. On the one hand, they’re exceptionally tech-savvy, and so they know how to scout out the newest products on their own and will reach out for more information if they see a fit. Most of the time, it’ll be the Visionary buyer who initiates contact with you, not the other way around.
On the other hand, however, trying to find them on your own can be a lot more difficult. Visionaries exist in all industries, and because their claim to fame is largely that they are unique, it’ll be rare to find them in a definable group in any setting. When marketing to them, your best bet will therefore be to take a relatively horizontal approach, as long as it prioritizes online exposure. Visionaries are horizontally focused, meaning that they don’t care about which industry the product is intended for, as long as they think it could fit their own use. So, focus on highlighting the features of your product most likely to engage someone looking for something new.
Anything online is a good way to go with Visionaries; blogs, posts, forums, ads, and organic or paid searches of any type will all raise your chances of getting their attention. You don’t need to package anything specifically for them just yet; they’ll ask for more information once they’re interested in the product.
Strategies that Work for Pragmatists
Pragmatists, on the other hand, do need to be targeted, and your strategies for them should reflect a nuanced understanding of their needs. It’s important to note that Pragmatists are typically vertically focused, meaning they stay within their industry when looking for new products. More specifically, they’ll want to see not only proof that your product has worked for others, but also that it has worked for companies in the same industry, of a similar size, and of a comparable level of complexity as their company.
To market to a Pragmatist, you’ll need at least a few key accounts to grab their attention一 most of which will come from the Visionaries who took on your product first. In transitioning from marketing to Visionaries to marketing to Pragmatists, make sure to work with companies that are of a similar size and complexity of those of the Pragmatists you’re targeting; they’ll want to see proof of concept in companies that are similar to theirs.
You’ll need a more tailored marketing strategy when working with Pragmatists, the majority of which will be online. Materials such as case studies, detailed analyses, white papers, ebooks, buying guides, and even webinars can all prove impactful as long as your product is appropriate for the Pragmatist’s company.
Strategies that Work for Conservatives
The strategies you’ll use to market to Conservatives will be very different from those previously discussed. Because they’re not exceptionally tech-savvy, online marketing strategies will not engage them nearly as well as they would buyers from other types. Face to face is what Conservatives prefer, though this method is only as effective as is your brand recognition among their circles. Conservatives like to go to conferences in person in very familiar venues; your success in this sector will rely heavily on whether they recognize you and associate you with their industry. Become a presence in their spaces and gain acceptance by their peers in order to get their attention.
Besides having a physical presence in the conferences they attend, the most effective marketing strategies for Conservatives will be those that are not limited to the online realm; printed handouts s, phone calls, print publications, and in-person speaking engagements are all effective options for this type.
The marketing strategies you choose to reach your buyers will vary depending on which of the B2B buyer types you intend to attract. As with anything in marketing, it’s important to understand who you’re speaking to and what will incentivize them to act. Click here to learn more about how to optimize these strategies for each of the buyer types一 you’ll learn what words and ideas will speak the most to them and how to frame your information in a way to cater to their unique motivations.
After Identifying Site Bottlenecks, Delivering Solutions, and understanding Measurement tools, we can now begin the deeper data analysis and provide tangible meaning to the data presented. Benchmarks also ensure that we are comparing apples to apples when looking at data. For our purposes, as we are looking for performance improvements for a site element, webpage, or the site entirely. Also, we are looking for key business KPIs, such as page views, clicks, average session duration, conversions, etc. Subsequently, we need to look over a period of time to create an average or a median metric benchmark that will reflect a business’s prior success.
For businesses that have seen significant growth in a short period, it may be difficult to look at, for example, a year-long web report and take a rough average.
Long-run Historical Benchmarking
Long-run historical benchmarking is a method of benchmarking that looks at a lot of past web performance data to create benchmarks. This method works with websites that have existed with web data capabilities for a reasonable period, websites that have seen steady web performance, or sites that do not directly drive most business growth/sales. To create an annual performance benchmark, a company can compare the number of years’ data and create an average/median benchmark for web metrics. It is key for an annual benchmark to be compared against other years to account for any external variables that affect web performance.
This method is the easiest method to create benchmarks for web performance because they do not require intensive calculations or models, and these benchmarks can easily be created even just by looking at graphs. If a business is focused on e-commerce or it is a major channel of business growth, then the business will obviously make constant efforts to increase web performance through marketing efforts. The second caveat for this model is that if the first round of solutions delivers a positive change in web performance, then the first version of the benchmark will no longer be relevant, and another benchmark will need to be developed. But, because the “new performance” values are relatively new and there is not enough data to measure through an entire year or possibly even for a month.
Thus, if there is a significant change in performance after the creation of the first benchmark, new data will need to be analyzed to create a new benchmark.
Forecasted Growth Rate Benchmarking
Forecasted growth rate benchmarking is another method to create benchmarks for web performance. For example, companies with constant site performance growth, B2C businesses, and sites that drive most business growth/sales will benefit more from using this model. The specific KPI that will show a high correlation with changes in website performance depends on business intelligence analysis, and businesses will need to invest their own time into finding the most relevant KPI.
Insert a trendline with the following conditions
Now, with a trendline that now closely mirrors the empirical data, we can use the trendline equation to compute a KPI growth rate. By taking the function’s derivative, we can find the KPI growth rate. For functions that have an order greater than two, you will notice that the independent variable will still exist in the KPI growth rate, and that is completely normal. With this KPI growth rate, we have developed a benchmark that your solution deliveries should outperform.
First, creating an assumption that a business KPI and web performance is a very large assumption, and there is very little research to prove this assumption can be made soundly. Second, this model only works for companies that are B2C and depend on online sales to drive growth. Now that we have understood the two foremost methods of creating benchmarks, we can now try to assess meaning from the solution delivery data. If we can see that, after the time that the solutions were implemented, that there was a clear positive change in performance, then it can be concluded that the solution delivery works.
But most times, there are 2 drawbacks to trying to analyze website performance data. First, it is very rare to see an obvious change in site performance simply by optimizing a website’s front and back end. Second, it is very difficult to see obvious changes in performance if the website has very low page views. Arguably, that is a very significant increase in performance.
The key to understanding the data is to ensure that any changes in performance are sustained and consistent over a reasonable period most times
We can begin gathering data to determine how the solutions are affecting the site and, as a result, reaching business performance targets once you have Identified Site Bottlenecks and done an in-depth study of the Solution Delivery. Follow the steps below to gain a better grasp of all the actions required to properly gather, analyze, and act on all of your data.
We must judge the effectiveness of site updates in terms of the goal: driving the organizations’ KPIs, which can only be observed by delving deeply into the data. When determining whether future adjustments are required, the data points collected from the site will be a powerful indicator of whether a change produced favorable or negative consequences.
Google Analytics is the most basic, and universal data interface for extracting data points for analysis. It features the most extensive analysis of data collected and gives various graphs, charts, and graphics that make the dataset presented very easy to interpret. Many website builders, such as GoDaddy and WordPress, have their own simple data analytics sites. The disadvantage is that these data analytics solutions are quite basic and lack the variety of Google Analytics. A Google-optimized website should use Google Analytics.
Achieving Statistical Significance
Before examining data from updates to your website, it is critical to properly understand statistical significance. A website modification is statistically significant if the positive or negative change in the KPI is strongly related to the adjustments you made rather than random chance or uncontrollable circumstances.
Google Analytics provides an infinite amount of data points, and each website, based on the problems found and the solutions implemented, only requires a few data points to comprehend the changes in website efficacy.
Website developers will connect with industry specialists if they have a better understanding of the statistical significance and data collection methodologies. Our team at SOMAmetrics is fully engaged with clients searching for better and more effective website performance, and we are delighted to give that with the greatest degree of customer satisfaction.
If you want to learn more in-depth about Measurement and Reiterative Testing, click here.
With so many tools to choose from for your marketing stack, creating an effective growth marketing strategy might seem daunting. It takes a lot of research and resources to build a strategy that will deliver revenue growth for your company. To make it simple for you, we’ve provided an overview of the six essential elements of a growth marketing stack below.
Website & SEO
Your website provides users with a window into your company. As they browse your website, potential buyers should find everything they need to know about your company and what you have to offer. This might seem obvious, but it’s important—your website is the foundation of your company’s marketing efforts. It is essential to make your website informative, user-friendly, and visible to attract more customers.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is how you increase your website’s visibility. SEO is the process of optimizing your website so it ranks higher on the results page of any relevant search query. Because most online traffic starts with a search on a search engine, companies must use SEO to ensure that their websites rank highly. A crucial element of SEO is high-quality content—which brings us to our next point.
Blogs are like free samples—a quick, bite-sized preview of what you could receive from an establishment as a paying customer. A key feature of any successful blog is accessibility, both in terms of content and online visibility. Potential customers must be able to find and understand your blogs for them to be effective.
Blogs are an excellent tool for brand-building. With each blog you post, you create a new indexed page on your website that can be ranked using search engine algorithms. This increases the relevancy of your website, while also providing more informative content to a broader range of audiences.
Newsletters, product announcements, blog postings—these are just a few examples of content you can share in your email marketing campaigns. The goal of email marketing is to nurture prospects and gradually convert them into leads that are ready to start a conversation with sales, also known as Conversation Ready Leads (CRLs).
To reach this goal, you must ensure that your emails are highly relevant and personalized to the needs of each recipient. Remember that your email marketing content goes directly into your potential customers’ inboxes, right alongside work memos and other important information. Make sure it is useful, concise, and visually appealing. Potential customers should be rewarded with information upon opening your emails—this is what will convince readers to seriously consider contacting sales.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is not only for B2C marketing campaigns, and that’s not just because the lines between B2C and B2B are blurring. Like everyone else, B2B buyers make decisions based on a variety of factors, including their personal experiences, goals, and preferences. Buyers care about the human element of the company they’re buying from.
Social media is your opportunity to make genuine connections with your audience. Through your posts, you can show what your company prioritizes, what makes you stand out from the competition, and how you relate to the individuals in your audience. This element of humanization is important to any marketing campaign today.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engines are the go-to resource for anyone looking for information online—but how do you ensure that users can find your company through these platforms? Search engine marketing (SEM) is one way that companies can use paid advertising to ensure that their business ranks highly on search engine results pages. These ads are displayed based on the keyword a company has chosen.
SEM puts your ad at the top of the search engine results page, guaranteed. The keyword-based approach ensures that buyers will find your product as they’re searching for solutions. This is one effective way to increase your brand’s online visibility.
Display Ad Marketing
Display ads are another form of paid advertising that targets specific demographics of users, often based on factors like their identities or their interests. Display ads use images, videos, or text elements to advertise a product on third-party websites, wherever the user happens to be browsing.
Display ads are an important tool in any growth marketing stack because they can quickly and effectively convey a brand’s message, which increases brand awareness in the long term. However, companies should use this strategy thoughtfully. Some display ads can be disruptive enough to negatively impact the user’s online experience. When used with thoughtful intention, they are an effective brand-building tool that will familiarize users in your target demographic with your company.
The tools we described above are just one part of a complete growth marketing strategy. To implement them effectively, you must have a strategy in place to provide a solid foundation for success. This is what your in-house marketing team should focus on—developing and fine-tuning a growth marketing strategy that works.
Prospecting is how companies find new business—it’s the process of searching for potential buyers for your company. But you’re not looking for just any customer. Prospecting identifies buyers who would be a good fit for your products, which increases the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts. This is crucial for any company’s success.
Read on to discover the three key steps to high performance prospecting.
Start by determining your goals for your prospecting efforts. What concrete results do you want to see? Set a quota that you want to reach, and then make a concrete plan detailing how you will reach that quota.
Create a short, 1-2 page GOSPA (Goals > Objectives > Strategies > Plans > Activities) to solidify your plan to reach your prospecting quota. You must directly connect Objectives with Activities using realistic numbers and ratios.
By creating a detailed and concrete prospecting plan, you lay the foundation for your success. This process ensures that your prospecting efforts will deliver demonstrable results.
Now that you have identified your likely buyers, it’s time to catch their attention. This step involves your company’s value proposition, which identifies your unique offering to customers. What do you have to offer? What can you do better than everyone else? What’s your specialization? This is what your value proposition should explain.
Sales calls are one of the most effective ways to intrigue buyers. They’re quick, easy, and they give you the chance to connect with buyers as individuals. Plus, responses to sales calls demonstrate more interest than responses to emails. So, you receive higher quality leads from your sales calls, which is exactly what you want your prospecting strategies to deliver.
You might be wondering, what if they don’t pick up? If your call is sent to voicemail, that’s no problem—just leave your 10-second value proposition as a voicemail. A well-crafted value proposition will generate interest in any format.
Qualifying and Scheduling
All the processes you’ve completed up to this point work toward the ultimate goal of making a sale. Now, you must ensure that your planning and hard work will pay off.
Create a clear qualifying process that prioritizes the most important, must-have criteria for your leads before the nice-to-haves. You want your prospecting strategies to result in highly qualified leads who are motivated to schedule appointments with sales. Keep this goal in mind as you determine your qualifying criteria.
Prospecting: Final Thoughts
Planning, intriguing, qualifying, and scheduling: these are the key ingredients for your high performance prospecting strategy. Throughout each step, remember your ultimate goal of increasing sales—this will substantiate your decision-making as you build your prospecting strategy. When done right, prospecting strategies will increase the efficacy of your marketing campaigns and deliver more qualified leads to your sales reps.
The key to high performance is to focus on building depth in a select few areas of excellence while leaving no vulnerabilities in other areas. You want your company to stand out for its ability to perform at a higher level than anyone else—this level of specialization is a key factor that will encourage buyers to work with you. At the same time, you don’t want to neglect all of the other functions that are important to your business.
Take marketing, for example. Marketing is a process that includes several unique and correlated functions that must be performed at a high level to ensure success. Below, we will discuss how you can optimize these areas to achieve your high performance marketing goals.
1 – Targeting
Targeting is all about finding the right buyers for your company. You’re looking for your niche—the people who are most likely to purchase your product.
Successful companies target a narrow market full of prospects that are more likely to purchase their product. On the surface, casting a wide net that covers more people might seem like a good idea. More people should mean more sales, right? In reality, this approach means that you will spend more of your limited marketing budget on reaching less motivated buyers, on average. It’s more effective to focus on likely buyers in the first place.
By targeting the right market, you can tailor your marketing messages on a more individualized level. Since today’s buyers are looking for individually tailored solutions, this will make your company stand out as a potential vendor.
2 – Messaging
The next step is to communicate what your company can offer to your target market. Since you’ve focused on a motivated target market, your messaging will be more effective at communicating your company’s value directly to the potential buyer.
Your messaging must distill your company’s value proposition into an easy-to-understand format. It must be able to communicate this value in a variety of media and across platforms to reach customers where they’re searching online.
To start, you should identify your value proposition in your own words. Then, refine that value proposition to emphasize the key points you want buyers to consider as they encounter your product. Here is a nice blog that describes the process in some detail to make your value proposition stand out.
3 – Captivating
Catching a prospect’s attention is no easy feat. Every day, consumers are faced with thousands of marketing messages, most of which they automatically tune out. Your job is to captivate potential buyers, even if they’ve never heard of you before—you must break through the noise and catch their attention.
This step is all about creating compelling advertising. Your messages should be eye-catching, unique, and tailored to the unique interests of your prospect. Ensure that your messaging is valuable by speaking to the individual pain points your prospects face. It’s not easy to produce high-quality advertising, but it will make a world of difference when it comes to reaching your target market.
4 – Acquiring
Now that you’ve captured the interest of your prospects, it’s time to convert that interest into leads. Your advertising should have led them to low-barrier content that demonstrates the value you provide to their company. The next step is to drive them to long-form content that is even more valuable, to the point that they’re willing to share their contact information to access it. Once you have their contact information, you’ve successfully acquired a lead and you can begin the next step—converting them to sales.
5 – Converting
The final step of the marketing process is to convert these leads into Conversation Ready Leads (CRLs)—leads that want to talk to sales. Your marketing efforts should produce a steady stream of CRLs for the sales team to work with. This process involves nurturing your prospects, which can include targeted email campaigns, behavior automation, and social proof to encourage leads to seriously consider purchasing.
Choosing Trusted Partners for High Performance Marketing
So far, we’ve introduced 5 essential steps to reaching your high performance marketing goals. Seeing the tasks required at each step, it might seem like you’ll need to hire quite a few employees to accomplish everything. However, this approach is costly.
To maximize your company’s growth rate, you should focus on delivering your strategic differentiator—whether that’s in the realm of sales, marketing, or something else—and leave everything else in the hands of trusted partners. Your partners should deliver their strategic differentiators. This way, you can focus on developing the functions that are the most important to your success, while ensuring that all other functions are still in good hands. This is how you can achieve your high performance marketing goals, without committing to the cost of a full-time team.