Get With the Program
Whether you want to stay in touch, go deeper into RGS or start a conversation, here are three easy ways to take the next step.
Replace It All With A Revenue Team And Revenue Growth Model
A few weeks ago, I read a blog article from a VP of marketing who was sharing how they track and manage each tactic in their own marketing portfolio.
While the metrics aspect of the article is interesting, and more data than ever before is certainly available, this tactic-by-tactic approach to marketing is exactly how I ran marketing at my software company over 20 years ago.
Therein lies the challenge. You can’t do what you did 20 years ago and expect it to work today.
While the headline of this article is dramatic, and I would never expect anyone to make the draconian moves in the headline, it is time to stop doing what you’ve been doing and start doing marketing and sales differently.
If you want to see steady month-over-month revenue growth, then it’s time to take drastic measures.
Based on our research, almost 50% of small to mid-sized companies have no growth goals and no budget to drive growth.
Another percentage of people have arbitrary growth objectives for their company year in and year out, with no connection to market conditions, competition, budgeted investment and makeup of their team.
Before you do anything, this has to be fixed. Your company needs revenue growth goals that are realistic and backed up by a reasonably aligned marketing and sales budget.
Doing $5 million this year and want to do $10 million next year but only have a $2,000-a-month budget for marketing and sales? Guess again. Unless you have the next iPhone, it’s highly unlikely you’ll double in revenue with that budget for marketing and sales.
Have you ever doubled revenue before? What are you doing that is dramatically different this year than last? Have you doubled your sales team? Are you getting twice the leads?
If your answers are no, nothing, no and no, you won’t be doing $10 million next year.
You can’t guess at growth goals. They have to be based on past performance and future levels of investment and planning.
If you can’t come up with these on your own, then ask for help. We’ve helped hundreds of companies set their growth goals, and thousands of accountants and business consultants can provide the same services.
This has to be step one.
Now that you have realistic growth goals, let’s look at how to get you there.
From where you are today and where you want to go, we can create a current-stage revenue cycle (this is what we used to call the funnel) and your future-state revenue cycle. When we see the delta, we can back into what’s needed to fill in the gaps.
Once you know the current state and the end stage, filling in the blanks is much easier. You might need a redesigned sales process to close a higher percentage of submitted proposals.
You might need additional content and video for your sales process to help you turn more sales-qualified leads into sales opportunities.
You might need double the number of visitors to your website and a much higher site-wide conversion rate, which would produce many more leads for your sales team.
You might need an entirely new type of lead or many more qualified leads as opposed to simple inquiries.
You might need better messaging and a more remarkable story because there is new or different competition.
Your prospects might be more confused due to additional choices (knowing why you are the best choice is a critical part of this “fill in the gap” exercise).
Making sure everyone in sales is telling the same compelling emotional story is key. Sales misaligned with marketing is a recipe for missed goals plus a ton of wasted effort and money.
Marketing and sales tactics without a solid strategy is one of the most common mistakes that leads to you missing your revenue goals. Don’t make this mistake anymore.
Your prospects don’t think about how you market and how you sell. They want one single, seamless experience with your company, so there is no reason to have marketing and sales as separate teams anymore.
Blow up these two historically separate efforts, departments or teams, and reassemble them as a single revenue team. Have one leader, one set of goals (revenue) and one single approach to creating the most remarkable experience for your prospects as they execute their buyer journey.
Most of the old baggage associated with sales and marketing will drift away once you put them together. They’ll start working together, they’ll start sharing feedback and they’ll get exponentially more effective as this takes hold.
Once they start working together toward a single revenue goal, complaints like “these leads are the wrong leads” disappear. Sales is giving lead quality feedback directly to marketing, and marketing is adjusting their messaging and conversation optimization to drive the right quality leads.
Once they start working together toward a single revenue goal, complaints like “sales doesn’t follow up on our leads” go away. Everyone is working together, and while the quality increases, the desire to follow up and treat all leads equally also increases.
We’ve been singing this song for a long time. Ever since we published “Fire Your Sales Team Today,” we’ve been working hard to get sales reps to be more like guides. We want to help prospects navigate their buyer journey by providing insights, advice, guidance and education along the way.
Firing your reps and rehiring them as guides provides the new launching point for helping them understand their new role in how prospects want to buy today.
No one wants to be sold to. Everyone is looking for guidance in what are more complex and more confusing buyer journeys than ever in the history of business.
Today, prospects are inundated with content, opinions and perspectives. More and more people are involved on the prospect side. It has never been more chaotic.
Your prospects are desperate for someone to help them, guide them and contribute to them making a safe purchase decision. That can (and should) be your team.
When we talk to in-house marketing teams and speak with people at other agencies (especially bigger and more established agencies), we still a focus on tactics and not on stages of the buyer journey.
This is holding you back and putting downward pressure on results.
Instead of looking at your video marketing effort, look at how video can be deployed at each stage of the prospect’s buyer journey. Yesterday, we talked about a great way to use video in the Pre-Awareness Stage as part of an account-based marketing (ABM) campaign.
How can video be part of the sales process and influence prospects in the back end of the buyer journey model, during the Evaluation, Rationalization and Decision-Making Stages?
How you deploy a marketing tactic like video is going to be different in each of these stages. Until you start thinking about your tactical deployment in this manner, your marketing and sales efforts are going to produce less-than-expected results.
Applying tactics based on your prospect’s buyer journey stage helps you reconfigure each tactic for each stage. Remember that a prospect’s issues, concerns and questions change at each stage, so the marketing, sales and services tactics have to be adjusted accordingly.
Content for prospects in the Awareness Stage is much different than content for prospects in the Education or Evaluation Stages.
Realigning your thinking produces a highly optimized and improved buyer journey experience for your prospects, which decreases sales cycles and increases close rates.
I mentioned at the top of the article that people are still thinking about marketing from a tactics perspective. How is my video execution doing? How is my email marketing doing? How is my content marketing, website or search engine optimization marketing working?
That is the wrong approach. That legacy siloed and tactically-oriented thinking is not going to improve anyone’s buyer journey. That thinking is not going to accelerate your sales cycle and remove friction from the buyer journey.
But worse, it’s not going to produce any insights into what you should be doing differently to influence your prospects in their buyer journeys more effectively. Insights related to individual tactics are fine, but these are not disconnected from the ultimate goal — sales and revenue.
Once you connect the insights and analytics to the buyer journey, you quickly see how to get the buyer journey stages or cycles to accelerate. This acceleration produces faster, more consistent and scalable revenue growth.
Last but not least is the technology side of the equation. No one can buy everything available, and no one has an unlimited budget for their marketing and sales technology stack.
The questions then become: Where do we want to focus? What stages of the buyer journey are priorities for us? What technology exists for those stages? What kind of lift, savings or efficiency in delivery can we gain from adding a tool?
This gets back to strategy. If you’ve decided to lean in on video and use video in almost every stage of the buyer journey, then adding a video software tool on top of your platform marketing automation and CRM systems is smart.
If you’re focusing on the middle of the buyer journey, then advanced email marketing software might be aligned perfectly with your lead nurture and ongoing email marketing execution. Looking at software like this gives you a schematic for making purchase decisions and for budgeting now and into the future.
This sounds like a lot of work, and it is. Unfortunately, that thought is going to lead most of you to read this and take no action.
Then next month, when you miss your revenue goals again, you’ll wonder, “What’s going on here?” But the answer will be right in front of you.
It will remain right in front of you for every month you miss your goals. What you’re doing to generate revenue is what you’ve been doing for the past 20 years, 10 years or five years.
What you’ve been doing isn’t working anymore, and you need to do something different. You need to be doing what we described above.
This article is not about change. Fear of change is what’s holding almost all of you from doing what we’re describing here. Fear it might not work. Fear it might cost you money. Fear you’ll look bad. All of these fears describe your current situation.
But what if it works? What if it does produce better results? How can you in good conscience not try it?
Do you know why there are almost 6,000 quotes about change listed on the web? Because change is the one human condition that we need to accept if we want to grow, both as people and as businesses. If you want to grow your company, it is inevitable – you will have to change.
Need some inspiration? Here are a few of my personal favorites:
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ― Albert Einstein
“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ― Roy T. Bennett
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” ― Winston S. Churchill
We can’t make you change, but we can show you what change looks like. We can show you the promise of change, and we can help you see how change in marketing, sales and customer service aligns with the rest of the changes taking place right in front of your face.
The rest is 100% up to you. As Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.”