In a company, there are many hurdles. Still, a predictable income-generating process is virtually always at the top of the list. It's similar to having oxygen; without it, you'll perish.
Predictable lead creation is required to achieve revenue predictability. And according to the writers of this book, we'll need devoted prospectors who feed seasoned closers to do this.
Thousands of books have been published about the sales process as a whole. Only a few have a strategy for packing the top of your funnel with prospects likely to buy from you.
Until just now, that is.
And here's the crazy thing: it's nearly exclusively focused on outbound prospecting through call/email. No, the authors contend, social commerce isn't the cure that some would have you believe. If it succeeds at all, it will not be predicted.
So, until a book recommends a predictable and consistent method for filling the top of your funnel, you must take what you're going to discover extremely seriously.
Step #1: Internalizing Your Competitive Position
Before reaching out to your prospects, the first step is to figure out how to portray the benefits of purchasing from you rather than another organization.
The Six-Factor SWOT Analysis
The first step is to conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats).
1. The 4 Ps: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place
Edmund Jerome McCarthy of Michigan State University devised this marketing mix concept in the 1960s. It has lasted the test of time.
So you'd start by assessing your product's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Then you may talk about your price and so forth. Take note that your website will very certainly be included in the "place" analysis, even if it wasn't originally included when the 4Ps were formed.
2. Reputation Factors
The Net Promoter Score (NPS), a measure developed by Fred Reichheld while a consultant at Bain & Company, is one of the greatest ways to analyze your reputation in the industry.
It gauges client loyalty by asking, "How likely are you to suggest [business X] to a friend or colleague?" on a scale of 0 to 10. At this point, you should be assessing your reputation among consumers and partners.
3. Internal Resource Factors
Internal resources are divided into four categories:
- financial means
- intellectual property
- human resources
- tangible assets
4. External Forces
There are three factors at work here:
- consumer bargaining power
- competitive pressures (how many competitors do you have now and into the future)
- supplier negotiating power
The prominence in the social-demographic and technological spaces is undeniable.
6. VUCA factors
VUCA factors (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous events), such as natural catastrophes and other powerful forces that are difficult to forecast.
Does all of this seem overwhelming? Bear in mind that all you want to accomplish is emerge with a very clear image of what your firm offers and how it fits into the industry today and in the future.
Step #2: Developing an Ideal Account Profile
As a result, you'll be able to properly express your company's distinct value offering.
Now you must choose the best accounts to target. You're seeking market segments with a high lifetime value as well as a high possibility of purchase.
Please note that any segmentation you choose should:
- Provide you with a big enough marketplace to target.
- Provide you with targets with particular requirements.
- Enable you to connect with that segment simply and consistently.
Here are several options for creating target segments.
1. Firmographic Fit
This is the place to begin, and it will get you 80% of the route to your Ideal Account Profile. This will normally contain things like the industry, the size of the firm, and the location.
Keep in mind that there is a sacrifice to be made if you concentrate on company size. Large corporations have considerably higher expenditures, while smaller corporations are simpler to market.
2. Operational Fit
The prospect's medium to long-term company activities is next examined. For example, the "equipment" an option is currently using may have an influence on your ability to sell to them.
You'll have trouble selling to someone who recently purchased from your competitor. You may look at their purchasing policies and how they make purchases. Strike those prospects off your list if your sales approach isn't suitable for them.
3. Situational Fit
Lastly, we consider situations that are more "opportunistic." Discovering that a prospect has just started a strategic initiative that necessitates the usage of your product or an alternative, for example, is a good match.
You might also inquire about leadership changes.
Step #3: Crafting Ideal Prospect Personas
So now you know which firms to target, you need to zero in on the ideal prospect persona or the precise people within the company to whom you must sell.
It is all-important to know who the purchasers are, what they care for, and how they engage.
Some of the details you'll need to know are as follows:
1. Job Title
This contains information on both the job level and the job function. For example, when selecting a marketing agency of record, the VP of Marketing is likely to be the final decision-maker.
2. Professional Objectives
These are the people's goals, essential projects, and KPIs. Check any job descriptions for significant hires that your targets have posted; if done effectively, they will generally contain all of this info.
3. Influence Map
A purchase choice is definitely influenced by several people in an organization. It is crucial to know the gatekeepers and influencers in your selling process since you'll want to add them to your pitch.
The second step is to identify the "pain" that your prospects are experiencing, particularly as it pertains to their broader goals.
There are a few options for doing this, but two stick out.
First, interview ten individuals you think would be ideal candidates for what you have to offer. Start asking them about their goals, what they are doing now to attain them, and the major roadblocks.
Second, spend a bit of time in LinkedIn groups or other social media where your targets can be found. Check the questions they ask the community (this is really the only time social networking sites will be covered in this book).
Step #4: Crafting the Right Message
Now it's time to put what you've learned thus far into practice with the Compel With Content narrative framework, as described by the authors.
Essentially, we'll be focusing on five separate stages of the purchase cycle, and you'll be crafting messages to guide them through each one.
Before we begin, it's critical to consider the messaging's "tone."
Messages aimed at moving prospects from uninformed to aware and from familiar to interested are mostly, if not entirely, emotional.
The majority of messages that move prospects from intrigued to assessing and from assessing to purchasing are sensible.
From Unaware to Aware
It's important to remember that assuming prospects are keen to purchase from the first contact point is a dealbreaker.
As a result, the salesman should start the connection by giving concise, valuable, and product-neutral resources, such as blog pieces, visuals, and short videos.
From Aware to Interested
The prospect is now willing to devote additional time to research the issue and possible solutions. More in-depth material, such as studies, trends, best practices, diagnostic equipment, and webinars, might help here.
From Interested to Evaluating
Case studies, testimonies, product evaluations, product-centric lectures, and discovery sessions are examples of assets at this level.
From Evaluating to Purchase
At this point, we're down to totally tailored emails and voice messages based on the scenario. You'll almost certainly be giving free and premium trials, ROI calculators, recommendations, or anything else that will assist your prospect in making the final decision.
Last, remember that you must tailor your messages as much as possible while still executing your program at scale as you write your letters. Why? The response rate rises with the level of customization.
To give you an idea of what a bulk tailored email to an uninformed prospect may look like, consider the following:
Subject: Mobile Optimization Renaissance
I thought you would find this article on mobile optimization useful. Almost half of the consumers claim they won't be returning to a website if it doesn't run smoothly on their smartphone. This implies that nearly half of prospective buyers will be turned away if a website isn't optimized appropriately.
I'd be happy to set up a quick conversation with you to discuss our approach to optimizing and delivering revolutionary mobile experiences. Is there any chance you'll be accessible in the next few weeks?
Please advise me of the greatest connection if you don't manage the digital agency selection process or if you'd be so kind as to recommend me to your best contact?
* is a digital marketing agency that works at the crossroads of marketing and technology. We design and create award-winning mobile applications for customers like FreshDirect, IDT, and Hewlett-Packard.
There are a few excellent practices to remember here.
- It contains a valid sending address, is written in plain language without pictures, and has a standard signature. It looks to have been sent by a real human.
- Second, it's written in plain text, just how most people's emails are formatted.
- Third, the subject line informs readers about the contents of the email.
You'll have to buy the book if you would like samples of emails to utilize in each of the stages :-)
Step #5: Getting Meetings Through Prospecting Campaigns
Now it's time to bring it all together into a campaign that will help you load the upper end of the funnel with prospects in a predictable manner.
You may and should look at two different sources of outbound prospects.
Begin with your organization's home list, the most obvious place to start. Past clients are usually the most valued prospects, followed by formally lost prospects following qualifying. Prospects who were previously excluded or who did not respond to prior contact are, nonetheless, suitable candidates for this method.
The second place to check is for a list that you can rent. Because the prospects are newer and have signed in, trade journals provide the greatest lists in the B2B arena.
Regardless of where you acquire your data, it must be cleansed and confirmed before being sent.
Once you've gathered your data, it's time to put your campaigns into action. As discussed in Predictable Revenue, it should have 8 to 12 touches spread out over 22 business days (or a calendar month.)
Here's how a 9-touch campaign, which includes 7 emails and 2 phone calls over 20 days, would appear.
Day 1: Write an email to the appropriate individual to discuss the pain areas you've discovered from your investigation.
Day 2: Send an email referring to a survey you created relevant to their requirements and ask for the appropriate person to contact.
Day 3: send an infographic to the target and urge them to click a link to download it (if they do, you know they've progressed from oblivious to aware).
Day 5: Send an email to set up a meeting, either using an online calendar or by asking for a response to the email.
Day 8: Call (start leaving a voicemail if they do not really pick up) and inform them that you sent them an email about arranging a meeting.
Day 11: Send the prospect an email with a diagnostic tool and a link to download it (if they follow the link, you know they've progressed from aware to intrigued).
Day 13: Drop an email with a product demonstration and a link to download it (if they follow the button, it means they've progressed from curiosity to evaluation).
Day 18: Compose a "breakup" email and send it to them, asking them to respond and let you know whether they want to chat more.
Day 20: Call (leave a message if they wouldn't pick up) and ask them to respond to the email you wrote on Day 18.
Note that if there is any interaction or responses throughout this process, you must clearly manage them on a case-by-case basis. Get them as fast as possible, from awareness to assessment.
Getting good at filling the high end of the funnel with predictable prospects who are likely to turn into wonderful customers.
You will succeed if you stick to the procedure and fine-tune it as you go.