A Map Helps You Get Where You’re Going; A GPS Works Even Faster And Better
If you’re not getting enough leads, no worries. If you’re getting leads but you need more leads, no worries. If you’re not getting any leads and you don’t know why, no worries.
If you think a single tactic is going to drive a quick spike in leads, think again.
No easy buttons exist in marketing or sales. You won’t find secret tactics that you buy to get leads.
We have a guaranteed way to help you turn your lead generation frown upside down. We’ll show you a step-by-step guide for orchestrating your marketing activities differently to drive more leads.
The key is having a map. We call that map the buyer journey methodology, and we have a proprietary methodology called the Cyclonic Buyer Journey™.
Once you start thinking differently about how you deploy marketing, sales and services tactics, you will see the lift in leads you desire.
Get to know the eight-stage buyer journey methodology that will change the way you think about deploying tactics.
Why Eight Stages And Not Three Or Five?
I just did a quick search on Google for buyer journey stages. The result is article after article talking about the three stages of the buyer journey.
That’s just not reflective of how people buy today. Think about your own buyer behavior. How many times have you started to buy something and then stopped?
How many times have you been close to pulling the trigger, only to be swayed by a friend, an online review or an article you read? How many times have you delayed talking to a salesperson while you did additional research?
Many, many times is the answer to all of these questions. Today’s buyer journey is exponentially more complex than it was even a few years ago. Buyers are swamped by content, emails, reviews, commentary, best practices, videos, podcasts, infographics, social posts, websites and more content than anyone can safely digest.
This complexity cannot be represented in three simple steps, so having just awareness, consideration and decision is too simple for today’s buyer journey.
To effectively influence a buyer journey, deploy tactics, track performance and apply technology, you’ll need a more detailed buyer journey model that more accurately represents the chaotic nature of how people buy today.
You need the eight-step Cyclonic Buyer Journey:
- Pre-Awareness – People who need what you do but are not yet looking
- Awareness – People who are open to hearing stories and messages related to what you do but are not proactively looking for solutions
- Education – People who are proactively looking for information to help them make a safe and smart purchase decision
- Consideration – People who have decided to act and are now looking at all of their options
- Evaluation – People who have narrowed down their options and are actively looking at a handful of closely related options
- Rationalization – People who have made the emotional decision to go with one supplier but now need to rationalize that decision with a detailed review before signing
- Decision – People who have signed their name to the agreement, contract or proposal
- Delivery – People who are now getting the product or service, and the experience associated with delivery is making them a promotor or a detractor
Armed with this more detailed version of the buyer journey, you can now deploy the right set of marketing, sales and services tactics to create a remarkable experience for your prospects at each stage of the Cyclonic Buyer Journey.
The Strategy Before Tactics
Regardless of whether you have a map or not, you still need to have strategy and high-level strategic thinking down before you start with any tactics.
What are your business goals and revenue goals? What are your current baseline metrics? What metrics do we need to create to drive to your goals? What is your current revenue cycle and desired end-state revenue cycle?
You’ll also want to consider these questions:
- Who are your personas (in detail) and what questions are they asking along the buyer journey stages?
- What pains do these people have? How do you solve those pains?
- How do you do it remarkably different than all of your competitors? What makes you stand out?
- What stories are you telling and when? Are they emotional, disruptive and compelling?
All of these questions have to be asked and answered before you start even the simplest of tactical delivery. All of these questions should be answered before you even think about buying software, and all of these questions need to be aligned across marketing, sales and customer service.
Everyone has to be telling the same stories, the same exact way, to the right people at the right time— all of the time.
How To Use The Stages To Deploy Tactics
One of the first insights delivered by the stages in the Cyclonic Buyer Journey model is that you’ll have tactics that stretch across stages.
The next insight you should see is where you can start deploying new tactics. Where can you have the biggest impact for the least amount of effort? That’s the question we use to help us prioritize for clients.
There is simply too much to do at one time without a prioritization methodology, so consider the following:
- Need more leads? Do early buyer journey tactics.
- Need more sales opportunities? Do more middle of the buyer journey tactics.
- Need more new customers? Do late-stage buyer journey tactics that are mostly sales process upgrades.
How and what you work on is directly related to your budget. If you have a big budget, you might be able to tackle a couple of problem areas. If you have a very tight budget, you can pick the stage that needs the most help and focus there like a laser, fixing the problem and moving on.
Again, this proven and thoughtful approach eliminates random acts of marketing and wasted effort while producing much better results.
How To Use The Stages To Track Metrics
The complex nature of sales and marketing has produced a flood of data, analytics and metrics.
Some of you might even feel like you’re drowning in data. What do I track? When do I track it? What do I compare it to? More importantly, what does the data tell me? What insights should I be getting and what should I do with those insights?
This is the secret to using data to drive results.
No one really tells you that the data, the dashboards and the analytics are not the key — the insights are the key to driving results. Those insights only come with years of experience. I’m sorry to tell you that, but it’s true.
However, once you start looking at data by stage, instead of data by tactic, the insights are easier to spot and the action required to improve results are easier to develop.
When you stop looking at tactical dashboards and start looking at stage-specific dashboards, you realize that you need different data sets from different systems in those dashboards. This too helps produce insights and the actions associated with those insights.
For example, our Education-Stage dashboard includes the following metrics:
- Blog subscribers (this month vs. last month)
- Blog views and blog conversions (this month vs. last month)
- Webinar registrants (this month vs. last month)
- Webinar attendees (this month vs. last month)
- Conversion rate on registrants to attendees (this month vs. last month)
- Five top-performing video assets (views, this month vs. last month)
- Podcast subscribers (this month vs. last month)
- Podcast downloads (this month vs. last month)
- Five top-performing offers (clicks this month vs. last month and leads generated this month vs. last month)
- Landing page performance (conversion rates this month vs. last month)
- Sales-qualified leads from educational assets (this month vs. last month)
- Sales opportunities from educational assets (this month vs. last month)
- New customer views of educational assets (this month vs. last month)
Looking at your ability to educate and influence prospects in the Education Stage and then move them through their buyer journey is the true indicator of how well your marketing and sales tactics are working in this stage.
How To Use The Stages To Deploy Technology
We covered strategy. We covered tactics and we covered metrics. But with almost 7,000 marketing- and sales-related technologies on the market, how do you decide which ones to purchase and which ones to pass on?
More importantly, once you do make the purchase decision, how to you ensure you get full value for your investment and your business outcomes improve?
They key is strategy and prioritization (sensing a theme here?). Where are your biggest needs? What tools will fill your gaps and align with where you’re investing in tactics? What software is going to produce the biggest lift for the least amount of money and effort?
You can align all of the software tools with the stages of the new Cyclonic Buyer Journey the same way you align tactics and metrics.
If you’re heavily focusing on the middle of the buyer journey, chat software makes sense, along with lead nurturing software that improves delivery and open rates for people you’re nurturing.
If you’re focusing on the early stages of the buyer journey, software to help you improve your search engine results or website performance results would make sense.
If you build these on top of your platform for marketing automation, CRM and service support software, you’ll be fine. Don’t expect one of these tactical- or stage-specific software tools to help you in other areas.
How To Add A GPS To Your Lead Generation
Finally, what we’re giving you here is just a map. Maps are fine, but they tend to get outdated quickly, they’re not always easy to read and they could be up for interpretation.
What you really need to get you from where you are today with revenue to where you aspire to be with revenue is GPS. You tell it where you want to go, and it tells you exactly how to get there. It even corrects the directions when you make a mistake, rerouting you with ease.
Up until recently, there wasn’t a GPS for revenue generation. That’s quickly changing.
Meet MAXG, the world’s first AI-powered recommendations engine for marketing, sales and services revenue generation.
Tell MAXG what you want your revenue to be, let it evaluate your current performance through live data feeds and it’ll give you turn-by-turn direction on how to get to your goals.
Yes, MAXG will provide you with a detailed list of action-oriented recommendations that, if you execute correctly, will result in improved revenue performance.
The world of marketing, sales and customer service is changing so quickly. Don’t get left behind.
Square 2 — Building The Agency You’ll LOVE!
Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.