Posts related to B2B marketing and sales

 

During my three decades in sales leadership roles at large enterprises, early-stage growth companies, and my management consulting practice, I have witnessed and corrected many bad sales practices. These practices, if not course-corrected, would lead to zero sales. When they numbered an even ten, they became Sherwin’s 10 Deadly Sins of Sales. Out of the office with senior executives, I would recount them to their great amusement.

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Accelerated, predictable and sustainable revenue growth requires alignment around an architecture for marketing and sales and a commitment from the senior team. Coordination for buyer engagement across the full-funnel is vital.  A realistic evaluation of capabilities and alignment on revenue strategies is the first step in building a revenue organization to capture customer value.

A $10M B2B tech company is looking to get to the next level of accelerated, predictable and sustainable revenue growth.  The company has been in business for over 10 years, offering a variety of managed services, support services and applications to support IT Infrastructure requirements.  They have about 350 active clients that contribute to the companies ARR revenue base. The customer base is loyal with low attrition and there remains good demand for additional services resulting in a continuous pipeline for “up-sell”.

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Good Better Best Sales

 

Face it. Most of the sales methodologies from the 80’s are tired. They do not address what growth companies need today. Growth companies need to shift from using a sales methodology to using a revenue methodology.

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Consider Revenue Architecture When Selecting Your Tech Stack

Face it, buyers don’t care whether they are interacting with your marketing or your sales organization, they follow their buying process – often in an unstructured and unpredictable way. They self-sell on the web,  research with influencers, and engage 1:1 with salespeople.   An effective buyer experience across a dynamic buyer’s lifecycle requires that your revenue architecture is designed with a coordinated closed-loop process supported by an integrated technology stack.

We read a lot about Martech and SalesTech stacks. This is understandable because marketing and sales teams have traditionally pursued distinct missions with different needs. Yet if your marketing, sales, and service “front office”  needs to be more integrated to support dynamic buyer pathways, you might need to re-think your technology stack.  An integrated revenue process supported by integrated revenue technology helps deliver a single view of the customer and becomes more responsive and relevant as your buyers jig and jag along their dynamic buying processes.

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Marketing Automation is of particular value when pursuing a higher volume lead generation or demand generation model.

In a recent Quora post, we answered a question about the value of marketing automation. If you generate – or seek to generate – a high volume of leads (100+s) from the web from self-directed buyers, then yes, you will value having a Marketing Automation platform.

Consider Marketing Automation as part of a broader “technology stack” – there is the “Martech Stack” and the “SalesTech Stack” – we look at these together as the “RevTech Stack”

Their are a number of leading players in marketing automation – Marketo, HubSpot, Eloqua, Pardot, SharpSpring, Act-On, Infusionsoft, Mautic and others.

Prices range from a few 100 per month to many $1,000s – a lot is based on volumes (size of lists etc), but there are also a wide range of feature sets.

It is difficult to recommend any one system. We use SharpSpring, Pardot, HubSpot and Marketo. All of these are solid systems. Consider the integration and platform ecosystem (e.g. Pardot is part of the Salesforce Cloud).

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Effective advisor engagement begins with an understanding of the ideal advisors and influencers for your investment products and offerings.

Your marketing success will depend on strategies and programs that rely on accurate identification and targeting of market segments. Depending on your business model, you will target a variety of different advisor audiences. You might consider the top-level groups like Wirehouse FAs, Independent BD firms, and independent/Fee-Only RIAs and Hybrids. However, these groupings do not go far enough to properly tailor your advisor engagement strategy. Engagement strategies will vary significantly across these groups and even further within each group. There are a wide range of advisor types and styles that you must consider when crafting an engagement strategy.

An effective advisor engagement strategy requires a deep understanding of how your investment offerings fit with the target groups, subsegments and the size and economics of each sector.

Yet too often, our marketing and communications efforts are not targeted towards the most promising target segments. The benefit of improved segmentation is the ability to drive sales by crafting differentiated communications, deploying customized marketing programs, aligning distribution strategies and improving marketing and sales focus.

So how do we identify our ideal advisors and influencers?

The answer is to segment the market around criteria that matter.

Understand segmentation and the factors in your business model that should determine the ‘ideal advisors’.

  • Segments should have similar preferences within each segment and distinct preferences between segments.
  • Segments should be actionable for purposes of marketing planning and sales execution.
  • Segments should consider a range of factors that matter to your offerings, (e,g.  financial viability in terms of size, scale, margins; investment style, e.g. discretionary vs non-discretionary, etc.)

Go beyond groups (like Wirehouse, Indy, RIA) and consider factors that distinguish advisor’s likely interest, fit and engagement styles. Examples you might consider are:

  • Advisor business model
  • Advisor value proposition (e.g., wealth manager, investment manager, stock picker)
  • End client interaction – proactive vs reactive
  • Portfolio Management Approach: discretionary vs non-discretionary
  • Product/Market Mix – expansive or niche/limited vs full portfolio
  • Current relationship – established vs new
  • Position among peers – opinion leader vs trend follower
  • Stage in career: Ramping up, established, finishing up
  • Organization: Lone wolf, small team, office
  • Specialization within team: relationship vs product leadership
  • Channel preferences: wholesaler vs online/self-directed
  • Communication preferences: email vs letter/newsletter vs brochure
  • Education: direct/wholesaler vs webinar/video/TV
  • Awareness model: advertising vs product search

Identify and focus on the segments that work for you

  • Reviewing existing and/or planned segments in light of your business model
  • Identify and measure Total Addressable Market (TAM) so you can better measure awareness and engagement levels
  • Prioritize your target audience (e.g., by discretionary/non-discretionary, firm size/AUM, shared attributes, etc.)
  • Identify target audience buyer composition (e.g., personas, DMUs (decision-making units) and influencers

 

Download your copy of the Buyer Engagement eBook: “Exposed: The False Promises of Revenue Marketing”

SharpSpring users now have access to a new social media and calendar features.

  • Content Calendar: A bird’s-eye view of your social posts, email sends, and blog articles.
  • Social Posting: Post directly to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn without leaving SharpSpring.
  • Social Listening: Monitor social media activity with customized listening feeds.
  • New Trigger/Filter: Create automations based on when leads interact with your social media accounts.

SharpSpring has updated Lead Scoring and the Life of the Lead to now include social interactions. SharpSpring will be releasing to all clients in a few days.

Ready to learn more? Contact us for a guided walkthrough of these new features.