Image Source: Wikipedia

Revenue only comes from one place – the customer. Too often, companies don’t fully consider the complete revenue picture when pursuing their revenue growth agenda. This post reinforces the importance of taking an end-to-end customer lifecycle and full-funnel perspective to create and optimize a comprehensive revenue architecture.

The following diagram is an example of a Customer Lifecycle model. The strategy is to select the right customers in the right market and convert them into prospects and customers, ultimately building advocacy. This cycle creates a ‘flywheel effect,’ creating value and accelerating revenue performance.


The marketing, sales, and service processes should align with the buying and customer lifecycle. In this example, the customer journey and our marketing and sales process follow six stages:

  1. Aware Stage.  At this stage, the customer confronts a problem or opportunity and searches for and researches potential solutions. In high-consideration products and services, they often form a committee to navigate the research and purchasing process. Our job is to Attract the prospect early in their search and exploration with search-optimized content, events, and experiences that engage buyers to create and qualify leads and opportunities. Our efforts should be prioritized toward attracting the best customers with the greatest potential for lifetime value.
  2. Consider Stage. Now as they are further along their journey, they begin to narrow their choices. Their interactions may still be largely digital, but they may also connect with influencers, meet with sales teams, and pursue various educational experiences. Our job is to engage prospects with the right mix of digital and physical experiences,  using permission marketing principles and collaboratively qualifying mutual fit while providing persona-based educational resources.
  3. Decide Stage. At this stage, the buyer fully confirms product/service/solution fit and value, engaging directly in the buy-sell process with one or a short list of potential sellers.  Our job is to convert new and deepen existing customers at the desired volume and velocity. We apply the right sales process and skills to convert the opportunity into committed business.
  4. Onboard Stage. In the past, revenue might have been recognized at the sales decision, but today, many businesses have recurring revenue models, and revenue realization is only beginning. Customers may be excited as they anticipate using the product and service. Yet, without proper customer execution, they may lose focus and fail to deploy the solution effectively, introducing potential churn. Our job is to deliver an effective customer experience to onboard our solutions effectively, including the right activation, training, and delivery to maximize satisfaction and foster retention.
  5. Activate Stage. The customer is now at a critical stage in their process. This may be where the heavy lifting occurs as they need to implement the solution, adopt the service or install the product. They are still not realizing full value yet investing time and energy, creating a temporarily negative value impact. Revenue remains at risk until they realize the expected value from the offering. Our job is to service and delight the customer as they start to activate our solution in their business.
  6. Benefit Stage. Finally, the customer has fully activated the product or service and is realizing benefits.  Revenue is secure when the customer realizes the benefits they expect. Yet, as needs change and companies evolve, our product-market fit may be tested. Retention and revenue risk can increase without a continuous commitment to product/ service value. Our job is to impact value and deliver customer experiences that pave the way for greater LTV, advocacy, and referrals.

By taking a customer-first approach and leveraging the ‘flywheel effect,’ you can drive accelerated, predictable, and sustainable revenue performance. Attracting and engaging the right prospects means it is easier to sell, customers realize better outcomes, and stay longer. They also expand their usage and adoption and become advocates for your brand – driving referrals and awareness.

A typical priority in revenue growth transformation and Revenue Architecture design is getting to the next level of Demand Generation and Buyer Engagement effectiveness.  Quite often, companies come to us with what they perceive as a “marketing execution” issue. When we dig a little deeper in a Diagnostic, it often becomes clear that while there are always improvement opportunity in the mechanics of marketing execution, core issues often revolve around a broader view of buyer engagement strategy.

For better demand generation performance, it is helpful to validate your buyer engagement strategy by answering these 3 central questions and following these 9 best practices:

Read more

Marketing and Sales

Qualification requires a more collaborative approach. Deal Qualification should not be considered as a moment in time, rather it happens thorough buyer engagement process and across the end-to-end marketing and sales funnel. Qualification is based on a body of knowledge and insights gained through prospect engagement along the buyer journey.

Read more

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.

Read more

Cut through the noise.

“If you can’t tell, you can’t sell,” says Storytelling authority Robert McKee.

What’s your definition of a story?  McKee defines it this way: “Sequence of causally connected, dynamic events that changes a person’s life.” Change focuses the mind.

Read more

Effective Asset Management buyer engagement begins with an understanding of the ideal customer or client and influencers for your products and services.

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 audiences. An asset management firm might consider top-level market segments like  Wirehouse FAs, Independent BD firms and independent/Fee Only RIAs and Hybrids. But 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