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.
Written with contributions from Ed Funaro
As growth focused companies realize the critical synergies required across the marketing, sales and customer success functions, they are increasingly recruiting a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) to lead the way. Yet many CROs fail without a properly defined role and an adequate onboarding process. It is vital to ensure CRO success.
A Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) is responsible for a company’s revenue streams. He/she has the ultimate accountability for driving revenue growth. The role is clearly cross functional. The CRO oversees and aligns revenue-generating departments: Marketing, Sales and Customer Success. It is a challenging role. The average tenure of a Chief Revenue officer working at the same company is incredibly brief – only about 18 months, according to an annual survey from CSO Insights.
The first 90 days are critical – Whether a company makes money rests with the CRO. Expectations are that the CRO will have about one quarter or 90 days to prove they can meet management’s expectations. As Michael Watkins points out in his top selling book The First 90 Days.
This post is updated. The original post was published in 2017.
Personas represent the needs and behaviors of your ideal clients and are helpful in shaping your positioning and messaging.
We recently published the 2020 Edition of the 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.
[Strategy 2 of 9] Valued Offering ~ Craft Market-Ready Service Offerings and Segment Messaging
You will be surprised how effective it is when you communicate offerings based on specific personas that represent the needs (or pain points) and behaviors of your best clients.
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.
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).