The cost of a website is a bit like the cost of a car. You can spend $5,000 for a ‘get around town’ car, $75,000 for a luxury vehicle, or millions for a transportation fleet! With today’s open-source platforms like WordPress and with a vast array of design templates, a business can deploy a professional responsive website for $10,000-$20,000. With professional help and custom design elements, a site can cost more of course. A website is so vital, I think most companies should invest more into the design and ongoing management of a website.
Buyers want an efficient, effective, quality buying experience. They don’t consider whether their experience is “marketing-generated” or “sales-generated”. They choose if they want to engage with your web content, 3rd party digital outposts or marketplaces or with your sales people. They most likely will interact with all of these in different sequences and in unstructured and unpredictable ways.
Buyer engagement efforts take place all along the buyer journey and to deliver the experiences buyers expect and maximize your revenue impact, you need an integrated marketing and sales process.
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.
Do you have a focused SALES business recovery plan? Does it allow for current year goal achievement post-crisis?
Most businesses have a business continuity and resiliency plan that allows for continued operation in the event of an unforeseen circumstance, but most businesses do not have a revenue recovery plan! The pandemic crisis has forced new ways of working and impaired business performance, but companies must anticipate coming out of the crisis and being prepared for the new environment. This is the time to take advantage of the crisis by examining and addressing ineffective and unproductive elements of your revenue architecture including systems and talent.
An informal survey of CXO’s conducted by Revenue Architects over the last 6 weeks indicates that sales and marketing organizations are functioning differently through the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results confirmed that 90% have been materially impacted.
- 60% of participants stated that they have or plan to layoff/furlough part or all of their sales and marketing teams
- 50% stated they do not have a formal recovery plan to return to Pre Covid-19 performance.
- 100% stated that working remotely had a positive impact on their productivity while also representing new management challenges
- 80% indicated that it was harder to bring some staff given the reverse incentives of government programs.
Conducting business under current constraints with social distancing, remote working and the reduction of capital expenditures is a new challenge. It can be harder to sell if you are not in front of the client. Yet even before the pandemic the skills and profile of sales superstars were changing. And the B2B buyer, already digital savvy, was becoming more educated and self-sufficient using online resources to self-sell.
“If you give me a techno-savvy, Internet-friendly, google ranked, instant responding, collaborating, differentiated, social media savvy, value-driven, a value-based messaging, salesperson who uses the voice of the customer testimonials and is interested in how the customer profits…then, I will give you sales results”.
But how do we infuse these talents and skills along with sales best practices into our selling team and drive sales, take market share, and position for the upcoming market expansion?
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.
Originally published in 2013
An effective revenue architecture takes advantage of a range of leading marketing automation and sales enablement technology solutions. Cloud solutions make some traditional evaluation factors – like technology infrastructure management and application maintenance – less important in selection, yet functional and vendor considerations remain critical. It is easy to instantly provision cloud solutions and free trial offers often lead to snap decisions. However, a lot of operational disruptions occur from the selecting the wrong solution. Despite being easy to turn on and off from a technical and economic standpoint, the operational impact to a business from migration of data along with organizational disruptions is significant.
Build a technology platform to support your go-to-market strategy.
We recently published an enhanced edition of the 2020 Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™. This resource is a comprehensive guide to help independent financial advisors build an ‘independent difference,’ that is, a strategy-led, systematic growth program with 9 proven strategies. The goal is to help advisors:
- Increase Volume: Generate More Visits & Inquiries
- Increase Client Value: Get Better Qualified Inquiries
- Increase Velocity: Increase Conversion Rates
- Increase AUM and Revenue: Optimize Engagement for AUM growth and Revenue Impact.
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 sales people. 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 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, then 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.
Chatbots aren’t just for Facebook, Amazon and Apple. Smart brands are adding artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology to their marketing mix for a very good reason. When done well, a chatbot delivers tangible value for the brand, and moreover, an excellent buyer engagement experience for customer. An actual win-win!
Chatbot benefits for brands:
It’s time to face it….capture forms are dead. They still provide a useful utility to brands looking to attract and retain customers but forms have their limitations. Namely, customers have developed an aversion to providing an email address to acquire information. Faced with the trade-off of growing brand awareness or supporting the sales funnel, more and more brands are deciding to ungate their content in order to reach prospective customers at the top of the funnel.
- 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.
- The Pan Mass Challenge
- Best Buddies Challenge
- Vermont Council on Rural Development
- Greensboro Association