Collaborative Qualification

Collaborative Qualification

Post originally published in 2014

We have written a few articles about collaborative qualification and how to select and apply the right sales qualification tools  – including SCOTSMAN and BANT. These tools are quite familiar to B2B sales and teams that focused on a considered sale.  Yet, we see some challenges:

  • As clients are self-selling on websites, they will pre-qualify (assuming they find buying content on the website). This changes the role of sales-led qualification.
  • BANT is a proven model, but  the focus is on qualification from the seller perspective, it works better to qualify OUT the opportunity rather than qualify IN the opportunity.  It does not help build a collaborative relationship with the client. It is confrontational.
  • SCOTSMAN is another great model as it offers a  nuanced approach, but it is hard to remember each of the elements in the mnemonic on the fly. Sales reps may need to pull out a cheat sheet which can be difficult in the heat of the moment. ( See our other post on BANT and Scotsman to learn more. )

So what is the right approach to sales qualification? We suggest a collaborative approach using FACT.

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Chief Revenue Officer

The CRO is Responsible for Predictable and Sustainable Revenue Growth

This post is updated. It was originally published in July 2016

Today, companies recognize the need for a company-wide revenue focus and a more integrated approach across marketing and sales. The CRO oversees the traditional responsibilities of the VP of Sales and the Chief Marketing Officer and is a member of the senior team overseeing go-to-market strategy and execution. The CRO is  responsible for aligning company resources, defining differentiated go-to-market strategies and delivering on the company’s revenue performance goals.

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Professional Selling

Professional selling is senior selling. It may be a seller-doer model, as in consulting, or an expert-driven sales model for high value products and services. Professional selling is not about directing a junior team of salespeople, it is about senior people doing the selling – establishing their personal brand, actively building a network and engaging both existing relationships and new prospects with thought leadership and insights.

Clearly, LinkedIn is an established resource for professional sales. It helps senior professionals find and engage with specific prospective clients or buyers with personal 1:1 interaction, establish professional credibility and share content and resources to nurture and develop prospects. It also offers paid options to build awareness and encourage lead conversions.

So how can senior professionals take advantage of LinkedIn? You can simplify it with three steps (and a few sub-steps). 1. Develop a strategy, 2. Establish the systems you need, 3. Execute your program(s).

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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.

Financial Advisor Marketing

Financial Advisor Marketing

Financial Advisors are an amazingly difficult prospect to engage. They are incredibly busy and already have a wealth of resources already available to them – do they even need to engage with wholesalers? The best way to convert financial advisors to customers is to build your marketing automation program around them.

Lead generation starts with effective segmentation

Before focusing on key strategies, Sales and Marketing must have defined a set of engagement personas and customer segments. Marketing has had personas for a decade but only since the advent of marketing automation software have engagement personas become empowered and brought to life.

Defining financial advisor segments for lead generation

Creating clarity with Sales is a two step process:

  1. Lead scoring – a measure of how active a financial advisor on your digital properties
  2. Lead grading – a measure of how profitable the financial advisor is likely to be

 

Advisor Marketing Focus

 

It may take several iterations to get lead scoring and grading optimized, however, the process should be fruitful for Sales and Marketing. The process crystallizes Marketing and Sales perspectives around which advisors are most profitable and which digital behaviors are believed to be most relevant to a sale. Some marketing automation vendors have one score that represents profitability and interest. However, being able to separate advisor behaviors from profitability factors simplifies discussions by clarifying customer segments by profitability as seen in the above graphic. As an example, Pardot applies a numerical value for an advisor’s lead score and a letter grade (A-F) for an advisor’s expected profitability.

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