In a recent webinar hosted by our colleagues at Blueleaf, we shared a model for how advisors can build a balanced revenue architecture approach for inbound and outbound marketing.

For many advisors, about 70% of business has traditionally come through outbound marketing and referrals, but studies show that 89% today’s ‘buyers’ begin their evaluation with a web search and 70% of their decisions are made before they meet you face to face. Engaging this ‘new wealthy’ requires a strong digital presence and an inbound marketing capability, yet, many advisors are out of balance – either relying too much on the traditional outbound or on the new inbound marketing models.

In our view, the key is to develop and execute balanced approach driven by the metrics of your business. Financial advisor inbound marketing must be balanced with an effective outbound approach.

If you would like to learn more about the balanced approach to marketing or about the Digital Experience Index, contact us to begin the conversation.

There are an incredible number of CRM Apps out there. I have looked at several and wanted to mention Pipedrive as a great option for companies looking to focus on sales. It does a great job at pipeline management – with a nimble sales ready focus and good integrations using Zapier.

Companies like it because:

Pipedrive

1. The visual pipeline is powerful. The pipeline view is fantastic- visual drag and drop pipeline

2. Sales always needs an orchestrated next step. You can easily set that up and when an action is completed, it prompts you for the next step.

3. Managing contacts and companies is always a difficult challenge. the contact and company data management and synchronization is easy and tailored.

4. You need to track pipeline health and hygiene performance to meet goals. You can set up pipeline velocity metrics and track performance

5. Most CRMs are so cumbersome, they don’t get used. Pipedrive is built for the sales person.

6. If you are an Apps user, this is a no brainer. Pipedrive syncs with Google Apps.

7. Not expensive.

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Yesterday, I had an in depth session with a leading Boston area financial advisor. Their firm has doubled every five years and they have plans to double again in the next five years. In the past, their growth has been on the back of solid personal business development activities by the two partners along with timely, yet somewhat ad hoc referrals. To achieve the next level of growth (from $300M to $600M AUM) they understand that they need a more systematic marketing and selling engine. But what should they do differently?

The challenge is that, along with growth comes increased business and operational complexity which takes up more senior team time. The senior team is saddled with business responsibilities and are not able to fully engage the market as intensely as they did in the early growth years.  At the same time, it is the senior team that is most critical to selling success. So, what is the answer?

Image via: onthefly.onemillionskates.com

Part of a good solution is to develop a ‘Model Week’ for each member of the business development team. The model week articulates the level of selling activity that is both critical and realistic in a given week – balancing much needed personal time with the needs of the business and the sales engagement process. The elements that should go into a model week can be derived by building a revenue model. Here are some considerations:

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I recently gave a presentation focused on collaborative qualification and have included the slidedeck here. 

We all know that the web and inbound marketing has changed the buy-sell cycle and that buyers are  well educated before they engage with sales. As a result, some argue that sales lead qualification is now less relevant as prospects are self-qualified on the web before ever engage a sales representative.

We believe that qualification remains an important element of the sales and marketing operating model and requires a new more collaborative approach.

  • Marketing must play a bigger role in deal qualification and provide better decision support for sales.
  • Sales must use a more consultative approach to deal qualification in order focus time and resources and to build win strategies.

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LinkedIn Contacts

We have written several posts over the last few years on 1:1 engagement. We highlighted tools like XOBNI (for Outlook), Social CRM tools, and more recently Cloze and Newsie and even Plaxo to name a few. Now LinkedIn’s new LinkedIn Contacts is another powerful tool you can use.

LinkedIn Contacts is based on the Connected technology, the content management startup LinkedIn acquired in 2011.

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The Masters Augusta National Green Jacket

The Green Jacket. Source Golf Digest

For golfers, particularly in the northern and colder climates, this is a great time time of year. We immerse ourselves in the Masters experience. Non-golfing friends and partners hear The Golf Channel in the background and before long, they get to know the players and the shot strategies though subconscious listening.

As I look ahead to the weekend  – and in particular to the last 9 on Sunday (the best 3 hours in sports), I also think of the how incredible it is that Augusta National has created such a powerful and unique brand. Even Bubba Watson was brought to tears yesterday when talking about the importance of the “green Jacket”  There are lessons in here for any business and particularly for those offering a professional service experience.

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With all the focus on digital and inbound marketing, many of our clients look for ambitious results from their inbound marketing programs – and they should!

Over time, as reputation and ‘Klout’ builds with effective social engagement and content marketing, the inbound machine will pay off. However, an effective revenue strategy involves more than inbound marketing – especially for complex and considered sales and higher-end professional services.  Inbound marketing is critical, but smarter outbound selling strategies, in most cases, will continue to drive the largest share of revenue performance.

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By: John Nielsen

 

Although it is a tedious undertaking, it is important to integrate your Act-On Software account with your Salesforce account.  Having a seamless flow of information between databases prevents dated information from reaching your sales team; that is if you set it up correctly.

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There are a range of terrific CRM solutions out there and we have tried several for both client installations and our own team’s use. We settled on Salesforce.com based on the richness of functionality, the level of demand we see with our own clients and some excellent integration opportunities.

In addition to integrating fully with our marketing automation solution to pass through inbound marketing leads and see lead scoring, we have implemented Cirrus Insight as a browser widget for contextual integration with Gmail. We like Cirrus a lot, though until recently, we were a little bit frustrated by how it co-exised with Rapportive – another fantastic solution recently acquired by LinkedIn. That problem has now been solved!!

Check Out Cirrus Here! (this is an affiliate link which would earn us some brownie points with Cirrus and you might get a discount!)

 

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Collaborative Qualification

This post was updated in Q3 2019.

Good Qualification is Vital

One of the critical drivers for revenue success is an increase in close rates by the sales team and effective qualification is critical to that metric. Not only will effective qualification help the sales team focus on the right deals, the very exercise of qualification inspires better engagement tactics in the sale.

Because of the self-directed buyer and the ability to measure engagement levels online, today’s qualification process is collaborative across marketing and sales. BANT, SCOTSMAN, TAS and our own FACT model help with both sales and marketing qualification and should be configured in lead scoring qualification and identifying qualified leads including the MQL – marketing qualified lead and SQL – sales qualified leads or opportunities.

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