Marketing campaigns that START with sales ROI

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Professional services marketing campaigns are usually great at generating brand presence, but a sales led campaign is often illusive.

So what can you do to turn this on it’s head?

Start with your expected sales process and desired marketing campaign elements to then rethink, rebuild and redesign them together. They have to be 100% connected. If your sales team and the marketing department work independently from one another, then stop reading this blog post!

To bring this to life, take the (sometimes humble but usually gigantic) research report: you might have invested in some proprietary research and produced a hefty report – don’t just allow people to register for a copy of the report on your website or hand out copies in sales meetings (or worse still, pop them in your office reception). STOP, and think sales first…

  • Unique thinking to unlock prospects: Unearth interest from the right prospects, get your foot in the door and help them hear big, innovative and compelling things they didn’t know and which they will struggle to fix themselves. Find the right balance, between differentiated insight and researching something you can actually link to your products and services. Your research report needs to help your sales people position how people normally approach the topic – badly – and challenge them with a different way of thinking. Sounds simple, but I see many research reports that quote a million stats but have zero connection to businesses issues or real life examples and a sales team that is unable to convert opportunities from it.
  • Formats have moved on: A 40 page PDF or glossy tome is dull. Digital formats are way more compelling, allowing prospects or your sales team to manipulate the data and personalise it nay adding more deeper level insight along the way. This could reveal data driven evidence that there is widespread stakeholder engagement and show you their interests. This will also help get your campaign closer to the most compelling themes and stories that actually convert sales – and keep it relevant for longer.
  • Connect it to your pipeline: Ensure your whole salesforce are collaborating on the campaign strategy and immerse people so they are on-point and hungry to participate. Use the data to help convert opportunities – work out what you hold back in the really short public report and what is revealed to help close qualified opportunities. It’s rare to close new business leads in a single meeting, so plan how your marketing campaign elements can support multiple meetings.

For this to work the sales and marketing teams need to be integrated and committed. To create an agile sales led marketing campaign… 1) keep it simple with no more than 3 ideas to integrate the marketing elements into your sales process and keep doing what’s working; 2) stop doing what isn’t adding value to the sales process; 3) start doing something different if you aren’t getting the desired results.

Most marketing campaign elements can be redesigned to connect with and support the sales channel.


 

See my blog for further reading on how to generate revenue from a marketing campaign

 

Further reading from HBR on how to KEEP | STOP | START: Why all companies (and their sales and marketing departments) need to do regular initiative reviews


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Want to explore how you can take a sales led approach to your campaigns? Contact Edler Consulting for an initial conversation about how you can integrate a sales driven focus to your marketing campaigns.

Follow my blog on edlerconsulting.com.

Would you like to learn more about my Marketing & Sales Practice?

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How to FOCUS on achieving your pesky end of year sales target

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Common known fact: it’s 8 times easier to keep existing clients happy, than it is to find entirely new clients. I’ve spent my whole career helping firms FOCUS on the right clients. So why is it so hard?

Professional services firms need key account programmes. There’s no getting away from it.

The most important clients need protecting, nurturing and investing in. They need to feel special. They need to be excited that you have exactly the right balance of constructive challenge, ideas and innovation, you completely understand (and are passionate about) making their goals a reality, and most of all – you deliver clearly defined value to their business.

But what comfort do you have that your personal revenue target will be a walk in the park, rather than an Ironman challenge? And, what if you grow your client accounts single-handed, plugging in the right subject matter experts, but personally maintaining a single point of contact for everything from scoping to invoicing across all services provided? Life can get quite complex, and for some, this means managing 100 to 200 clients.

That’s a long tail, creating a fertile environment for things to slip through the cracks.

So, how can key account principals influence such a huge personal portfolio? And, how can today’s business development principals you to FOCUS?

 

The tip of the iceberg

Consider the portfolio approach and unlock clients, time and revenues to focus on end of year sales targets, pipeline and plugging the leaky bucket.

Anyone that plans a blanket 3% growth across their client portfolio is going to find it hard to achieve, even in a buoyant market.

Obviously you can raise your prices, but there’s a lot more to consider if you want to maximise revenue and know what you want to keep, stop and start doing.

How much revenue is, with a solid degree of confidence, going to come in – across the different services your firm provides to this portfolio? Client by client. Group them as normal key account programmes do, eg grow/ maintain/ ignore. Plan who is (and isn’t) going to spend time with each group/ client.

How much £ churn are you expecting overall? Put a number on it. What revenue target are you chasing for the year? What’s the best way to fill the hopper with fresh clients to target?

What lies beneath the water

Now you can start the most important task – focusing on the right clients and really making an impact on their success.

When are you going to be busy pitching for new or repeat business? Map the likely month when each client will ask you for pricing/ proposal to contract for the next period. Know your busy delivery months compared to your busy pitching periods – flesh out time in between to focus on prospective business development.

Check your typical pricing and negotiation strategy for the key clients you expect to discuss commercials with – if you negotiate better to achieve a 5-10% improvement on new fees every time that’s a lot easier than finding new clients. Think about the tradables you can offer that cost you little but have significant value to the client. Consider bundling to introduce new services as a taster. Rehearse your new negotiation strategy with a more commercial colleague to ensure you don’t simply talk yourself out of a robust price and negotiation before you’ve even put it in front of your client.

Get your best clients at the heart of what you do – get ready for proposals by defining what each client values and the value you’ve helped them achieve so far. This can be done by seeking (and most importantly, acting upon and celebrating) client feedback – know your strengths and nip any issues in the bud.

Proactively seek to bring your most important clients in for an account session – discussing their business and future plans with a collective of partners to see if innovation, challenge and problem solving can be unearthed as a team. Relationships are important but clients of today want advisers who are passionately invested in their success and always on the look out to unearth fresh ideas, challenge for greater outcomes and focus on what matters most. Don’t just leave this to the key account programmes – if you have a really important client to grow, be at the center of helping them unlock more value than they thought was possible.

Spread the load – empower and mentor your more junior account team on the strategies they can use to support the accounts of mid and lower importance in your portfolio. They need to step up and manage/ spot opportunities to bring to your attention, ideally placing similar sector clients with the same person. Regularly challenge them on the insight they have developed across the accounts they are focusing on for you, help them prepare and participate with the direction they could tap into. They are your eyes and ears on your tail end accounts.

Fill the hopper – understand exactly what client credentials/ strengths you have and find similar new clients. Find more of your most profitable clients where you have a brilliant track record of delivering insight and value.

Improve your pursuit and conversion of new business – work on how you articulate differentiation, develop clearer value propositions, position your deep client-centric expertise around benefits and outcomes for them. Map your ratio of meetings to opportunities to converted sales eg how many meetings and opportunities need pursuing each month to plug the £ gap? Monthly or quarterly pipeline analysis keeps the team focused on what matters across existing clients and prospective opportunities and targets.


 

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Want to find out more about how this can help you focus on the right clients? Contact Edler Consulting for an initial chat about unlocking client potential and focussing on the right things to achieve your personal sales target. I’m available for one to one coaching, team development and management consultancy across sales and marketing disciplines.

Follow my blog on edlerconsulting.com.

Would you like to learn more about my Marketing & Sales Practice?

Is chasing the £££ enough to make your head explode? How to generate revenue from a marketing campaign

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Working in professional services as a modern marketer is, without doubt, a tough but hugely rewarding experience. But the holy grail for all marketer’s is a campaign that can easily point to revenue generation as return on investment (ROI).

So, to get us ‘in the mood’, consider this scenario…

You have a marketing campaign topic and a keen partner. Your campaign strategy is to, not just ‘do’ another profiling approach. You want the campaign ROI to really pack a punch and deliver commercial outcomes.

  • You know the job titles for whom the campaign is aimed at
  • You’ve researched to ensure the report point of view is differentiated from your competition
  • You will be ‘digital’ in your campaign and (amongst other digital elements) include social media ‘paid for’ to generate leads

It took months, but the campaign elements are nearly ready. The launch event is in 6 weeks and you’re still chasing for the target list…

Wind forward 6 months and your boss asks for the campaign ROI. You’ve got heaps of really good digital click through stats. But as for leads and even direct revenue linked to the campaign, it’s a bit thin on the ground.

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I see this all too often: right intentions, wrong execution. So where to start really driving commercial ROI? Here’s my top 10 steps to consider, when in pursuit of ROI heaven:

What are you selling and where?

1. How much of an impact does this campaign have on the market and how long will it last? Is it a ‘flash in the pan’ topic or is it a significant market disruption theme where you need to build a multi-year/ multi-channeled campaign? What other campaigns does this connect to (and is there too much ‘investment’ in this theme)?

2. Is the related client solution interesting, differentiated, value driven and cross line of service (xLoS) or does it support cross-selling?

3. How will you get xLoS teams to collaborate and be well versed in positioning the solution correctly? How many experts do you have that can sell the solution?

4. What are the sales channels you need to consider eg direct and/ or indirect? How will you balance push versus pull sales and marketing activity?

5.  Is your leadership clear on the marketing budget investment, compared to the desired revenue outcome in years 1, 2 etc? How will campaign progress be demonstrated to the leadership in commercial terms, not just by you but the experts in the business as well?

To whom and how are you selling it?

6. Are there current ‘trophy-client’ examples of what a good solution looks like for this campaign? How many credentials of this nature exist, is it 1 or 100? Are there any particular sectors your credentials are strongest in? Do you understand the typical revenue/ profitability profile these trophy-clients generate and do you understand the ‘value’ each client has gained as a result?

7. Have you clearly defined the ideal client profile, eg size, location, specialism, sector, stage of business life-cycle? Do you need to tailor the campaign to different job titles, sectors and locations? Who will you test your sales materials on before taking more widely? What will the sales micro commitments be, that accompany your marketing campaign elements?

8. Have you mapped out your target list up front, defining existing clients (and even prospective)? Is your target list in CRM and have the missing job titles/ contacts/ target companies been added? Do you have enough targets for the campaign elements, or should you change the client facing activities to reflect a larger/smaller target audience?

9. Is the xLoS pricing model clearly thought out? How much ‘investment’ is the firm prepared to make with new clients? Do you need example proposal materials and do you need to run pitch rehearsals?

10. Have you agreed how pipeline will be managed and the different sales tools that people need (both internal and external)? What are the client specific, even team on team, activities that will help progress hot opportunities? How will CRM record meetings, leads, opportunities, sales etc?

Does this all sound familiar? Probably, it’s more of a ‘go to market strategy’, but I’m a firm believer in being thorough when it’s needed.

If it’s just a profiling campaign, that’s ok, there’s certainly a place for it in all marketing strategies. You just need to make sure you’ve got the right balance between profiling, and genuine revenue generating marketing campaigns.

After all, effort certainly does equal reward, if you have the right solution, campaign and team to make it work – it has every opportunity to generate significant revenue driven ROI.


See my blog for further reading on campaigns that start with sales ROI

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Want to find out more on how this can help your business grow? Contact Edler Consulting for an initial chat about what’s holding your marketing campaigns back from real ROI. I’m available for one to one coaching, team development and management consultancy across sales and marketing disciplines.

Follow my blog on edlerconsulting.com.

Would you like to learn more about my Marketing & Sales Practice?