How Dynamic Is Your Lead Generation Program?
According to CSO Insights, companies that adopt a ‘Dynamic Process’ experience 35% higher win rates than those that follow a ‘Random Process.’ Yes, that is correct 35%. That is a very substantial number. However, when you look at most company’s sales and lead generation programs, everything is very linear and very forced. No wonder most companies have so many prospects falling out of their pipeline.
Just imagine if your $100M Q2 pipeline was suddenly worth $34M instead of $25M, plug that $8M into your bottom line, or commission check and see how that looks. So if having a dynamic process can have such a dramatic effect, why don’t more companies do it? The simple answer is, “They don’t know how.” This article will help you develop a sales and lead generation process that is dynamically aligned to your prospect’s buying process. With it, you will effectively analyze your prospect’s data trail and diagnose issues, forecast future revenue with confidence and scale your revenue team effectively.
Step 1: Document Customer’s Buying Process
It really doesn’t matter how you sell, what matters is how your customers buy. This all starts with a solid understanding of your target customer’s buying process. The balance of power has drastically changed. Your customer is now king and you need to understand how they buy so that you can create a low-friction, differentiated customer buying experience. For most B2B selling environments the process follows this pattern:
- Status Quo - The prospect is experiencing a limitation, problem, or obstacle with their current situation but hasn’t yet chosen to actively address it by buying a solution.
- Priority Shift - The prospect is now actively interested in educating themselves about what change might mean for their company. They need to think about the strategic impact of solving the problem and choose a direction to explore more.
- Problem Definition - The prospect is committed to resolving the problem and is focused on building a business case. They are looking for leading experts on the subject and the potential outcomes they can realistically plan to accomplish.
- Research Options - The prospect has built a business case, feels confident in the level of competence they have acquired about the subject matter, and is narrowing their focus to possible options for a short list. This is quite often the transition point to sales opportunity.
- Select Best Option - The buyer puts your company on their short list and needs to make sure that their assumptions are true before making the final decision.
Step 2: Map Business Development Stages to Customer’s Buying Process
In order to effectively engage your prospects/customers in their buying process you need to map your sales process to their buying process. It’s also important to note exactly what is the customer’s need at each stage, in order to move to the next stage in their buying process. Typically, this looks like this:
- Thought Leadership – In order to move your prospect off their status quo you need to get them to realize they have an issue that is important for them to deal with. Introduce the prospect to industry trends that point to developing issues and the business value of adopting change. You also can direct prospects towards educational articles and webinars about problems and pain points to help them learn they don’t need to continue to deal with these limitations and why they shouldn’t.
- Lead Capture – Once you have moved your prospect off their status quo, it’s important to capture them as a lead. Draw positive attention to yourself during this stage by providing educational content that builds off the problem and pain-point focus used for status quo prospects. Make this content available on your website (with a form) in our to capture new leads.
- Lead Nurturing – Now that your prospects are showing an interest in solving their problem, this is the time to put your expertise into play. At this point, prospects have a basic knowledge about possible solutions, and they’re committed to solving the problem. Discuss risk and how your expertise helps mitigate it proactively.
- Build Value - It’s important that you nurture them to help differentiate your company and close more business. As your prospects are researching their options, It’s important that they know why your key differentiators are important to them. This is where your sales and marketing messaging really comes into focus. Prospective customers need to know why you are unique and why they cannot live without you.
- Validation – Now that your prospects know who you are, why you are different, and that you can solve a problem that is important to them, you need to help validate that position in their minds. This can be done through case studies, success stories, or client testimonials.
- Close – Everyone loves a closer.
Step 3: Make It Dynamic
Just as CSO Insights pointed out, it’s very important to make this a dynamic process. The greatest way I have found to make this happen is the use of marketing automation. Marketing automation is the marketing team’s ability to replicate how a sales person reads a prospect’s words and body language to react to what your customer is doing. Marketing automation provides you with the ability to dynamically know when your prospects have taken the next step forward or backward and adjust you’re messaging accordingly.
Another great opportunity with marketing automation is that it allows you to pass this valuable intelligence over to your sales people as well as develop key metrics and milestones, in order to improve performance. This intelligence helps your sales people close more sales and your management teams to analyze and improve your revenue generation programs stages and make necessary changes.
The Bottom Line
Your customer buying process has drastically changed. How successful companies sell has changed too! It’s now more important than ever to have a process that is dynamic and can change as your customers change. This means getting a clear understanding of how your customers buy, mapping your sales process to it, and being sure that it can be dynamic. Do this and your company will experience will the significant gains that CSO insights highlights. Get ready for a 35% increase in close ratio
Want to learn more about how to build a lead generation engine that is dynamic to how your customers buy? Check out this free guide.
The Executives' Guide to Building a Lead Generation Engine
Looking for ways for marketing to show ROI? This guide will help you build a lead generation engine that maps to your customers buying process and delivers maximum measurable ROI. Download our free The Executives' Guide to Building a Lead Generation Engine.