It’s No Longer Marketing Or Sales; It’s ALL About Revenue
One thing is for sure; the pace of change is accelerating. What worked last year isn’t what’s working this year. The tools we used last year are different this year. The configuration of our programs looks dramatically different this year compared to last year.
We’ve been working with our clients for years to help them convert the leads we generate into new customers and revenue for their businesses, but now it’s official: Our scientific approach to marketing is pushing into sales and focusing on scalable, repeatable and predictable REVENUE generation.
But what does that mean for you? How should you be thinking about your sales and marketing alignment going into the second and third quarters? How can you improve revenue by thinking more scientifically about the entire click-to-close process? Here we go.
Start With The Math — Full-Funnel Math
We’ve written about this before, but it has a ton of value. You want to know your conversion rates across your full funnel: website visitors to marketing-qualified leads, marketing-qualified leads to sales-qualified leads, sales-qualified leads to sales opportunities, sales opportunities to proposals and then finally proposals to new customers and revenue.
Getting a benchmark on these numbers is powerfully enlightening. It quickly identifies areas of weakness and areas for improvement while helping you to set priorities. It also shows you how connected website visitors (the ultimate top of the funnel) are to closed customers. In some cases, this visitor to new customer conversion rate can be well below 1%, a dramatically low number.
When you start to see the relationship between revenue or new customers and website visitors, you get a completely different perspective on site visitors. Yes, marketing has been talking for years about how this is important, and now you see it has a direct impact on revenue. But the real value comes from working to improve ALL the conversion rates.
Apply Energy To Move The Numbers
When you start working to impact all of the conversion rates, even small improvements across your entire funnel produce dramatic revenue improvements. These are sustainable improvements as opposed to windfalls, like when reps have good months and you score that one big whale.
Each of the conversion rates has marketing and sales tactics that you can apply to improve these important metrics.
Want more marketing-qualified leads? Look at the website experience, add more educational offers, change the offers on your site and optimize your landing pages more frequently.
Want more sales-qualified leads? Look at your bottom-of-the-funnel offers and create more value-added offers. Get creative and give your prospects something of value in exchange for them agreeing to a call.
Want more sales opportunities? Look at lead scoring, lead nurturing campaigns and your sales process. Make sure you’re qualifying constructively, make sure your sales team and sales process incudes engaging content, and make sure your sales process is guiding prospects and not trying to sell them.
Want more proposals, recommendations, agreements or contracts? Make sure you’re co-creating these with your prospects. Make sure the experience is collaborative and your salespeople are experts at aligning your recommendations directly to your prospects’ pains.
Want to close more agreements? This is usually a qualification and process challenge. Prospects shouldn’t be getting this paperwork until you’ve received verbal confirmation that you’ll be working together. Proposals are not trial closes. Everything in their agreements should be exactly what they wanted, what they’re expecting and what they’ve agreed to pay. Your close rate at this stage should be 90% or higher.
Create A Series Of Experiments
Great, how do we start applying science to this? By having a methodology around these tests or experiments you’ll quickly get into a groove on this. But the key is having that methodology. Start by prioritizing where you want to focus. What’s your biggest challenge? Getting leads? Moving leads through the funnel? Closing leads? You should prioritize first.
Once you have a focus, start creating some hypotheses. What’s causing us issues? Here’s an example. My hypothesis is that your agreement is too legal. This is causing prospects to slow down and consider that your company might be difficult to work with, and it’s requiring your prospects to engage a lawyer to review the contract. It could be adding weeks to the sales cycle and it might be putting downward pressure on this conversion rate.
Here’s the experiment to run on this hypothesis: Try a less legal contract with a simple two-page agreement and split the process into two steps, a signed agreement and then a review of the legalese. I’m not suggesting you do anything to put your company in jeopardy. I’m simply suggesting you try a couple of different ways to make that step in your process easier for your prospects. We’ve seen removing friction like this double revenue for clients.
Keep The Big Number In View
One warning; digging into the numbers has a tendency to shift the focus from the big number to the little numbers. Keep your eye on the big number, too. My recommendation is to watch both intently. The little numbers add up to have a big impact on the revenue number, but you’ll want to watch the revenue as well. For example, this science requires you to still coach up salespeople, train them and create the right comp packages, territories and other more traditional sales operations work.
The key here is how you think about sales and marketing. By working on this as one seamless experience that starts when someone first hears about your company and continues through as they visit your website, convert on an offer, get nurtured, ask to speak with a sales rep, move from MQL to SQL, become an opportunity and then eventually sign as a new customer, you start to think differently about the entire effort.
The decisions you make in marketing have a real impact on the sales experience. Marketing tactics can dramatically influence the way salespeople engage with opportunities to produce significant improvements in both close rates and sales cycle length. These two numbers alone quickly accelerate revenue growth
By applying a more scientific approach to revenue, we’re asking our clients and prospects to start a conversation with us about their revenue funnel. By simply sharing some of your experiences and data, we’re able to offer some simple upgrades that are easy to implement and produce big returns. Let’s start a conversation today.
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