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.
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:
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.
Collaborative platforms enable B2B account-based sales .
As consumers, we are accustomed to the efficiency and effectiveness of digital buying experiences. Amazon has set a bar. We search for products using almost any device, shop online, read product reviews, compare and contrast pricing information, review product descriptions, chat with customer service, access Q&As, watch videos, evaluate specs, and consider reviews and ratings. We are conditioned to getting everything we need for our buying process – right at our fingertips. So why don’t we have similar buyer experiences in B2B account-based sales?
The first dimension in constructing a Revenue Architecture is Markets and Buyers. The output includes the identification of the Total Addressable Market (TAM).
Once we have made a market selection – considering market strengths and weaknesses, offering portfolio and a range of competitive and market forces, we can measure TAM. TAM works particularly well in B2B and account-based marketing, but it is useful as well in B2C. Here are some ways we think about TAM linked to S.M.A.R.T goals and as input for funnel analysis and segmentation for targeted buyer engagement.
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.
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.
More insights for the 85% of B2B marketers that don’t have effective personas!
Mapping out your buyers’ pain and organizing via Pain Maps™ to enable the ULTIMATE Goal: Informing Engagement Personas™.
There are many different perspectives and philosophies on persona development. This makes sense, as they’re the most critical element of creating messaging and informing Message Maps™…then identifying and developing content aligned with the buy cycle…and ultimately validating the various components of a true buyer engagement strategy. In the end, persona development should be defined by how it’ll be used – in terms of purpose and context that will drive messaging, and ultimately content strategy. Other marketers will use it more as a “playbook” of all possible or available buyer insights. I’m not saying either is right or wrong, but it’s why we’ve created a new category called Engagement Personas™.
Understanding what makes high-impact content and reexamining the competence of all the content “experts” out there.
The need for content and content marketing, as well as the discipline itself, has grown exponential just in the last few years. The proliferation of content is at staggering levels and buyers are inundated with it on a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour and daily basis. And I think that the majority of B2B content out there, intended for buyer engagement and advancement, is simply subpar at best. And a BIG word of caution: In addition to a proliferation of content, there is now an explosion of new “experts,” “gurus,”, and “thought-leaders”. My advice is take a long hard look at their career experience prior to considering hiring one of them for guidance.
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