B2B Sales and Marketing
Today, sales and marketing should ultimately try to achieve the same goal, generating revenue. The sales funnel and the marketing funnel are beginning to look a lot alike. That is because marketing today must go beyond generating demand and qualified leads, today marketing is expected to generate revenues and fuel growth.
It is no longer a matter of being sales-driven or marketing-driven, savvy business leaders are revenue driven. They focus on the acquisition, retention, and ultimate satisfaction of customers. The reality is that buyers now have greater control of the purchasing process. Sales and marketing must adapt to fulfill buyers’ expectations and meet their needs. In order to gain their loyalty and keep them coming back for more.
How We Help
We align sales and marketing to work as one, creating a highly effective revenue generation process that increases revenues and accelerates profitable growth.
Targeted sales processes simplify customers’ decision-making, while a purchasing process tailored to that target market’s preferences adds value.
We combine traditional and digital marketing to improve the customer experience while fulfilling their needs.
Implement technology to optimize efficiency and increases conversion rates. Timing is key and technology can greatly help get the right information, to the right opportunity, at the right time.
The Revenue Generation Funnel™
Whether it is through outbound prospecting or inbound tactics, the initial engagement is not just about awareness, it’s about attraction. Presenting information that appeals to the potential client is key.
Buyers want to educate themselves before they engage with a company. They will use online and offline methods to research and learn about your products and services, as well as your brand. The content you provide should educate and validate, it must be easy to find, easy to understand, informative rather than persuasive, very clear, and concise. Provide it in different formats to cater to the buyer’s preference.
Our approach to revenue generation typically involves four conversions Visitor -> Prospect -> Lead -> Customer -> Loyal Customer
Enable potential buyers to convert using the manner they prefer by offering various conversion methods.
Gauge a potential buyer’s interest with proven tactics, then respond accordingly to improve their experience and increase the probability of gaining them as a customer.
Address any concerns, questions, or requests that the lead may have. Allow them to engage via the channel they prefer, whether it is email, chat, phone call, meeting in person or video, social media. Enable them with options and let them choose.
When a purchase is made, there are actually two acquisitions
1. The buyer acquires your product or service.
2. Your company acquires a new customer.
The second acquisition is identified in order to create a new point of view, the purchase is not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to build loyalty and generate repeat revenue or referrals.
Customer service and support after the purchase are potentially more valuable to your business than the actual purchase. That is because additional purchases made by loyal customers often generate greater profits. Great service and support also increase referrals and recommendations.
Customer retention is key to growth in today’s extremely competitive business environment. Retention revenue is often more profitable and fuels sustainability. Various tactics should be implemented to keep customers coming back.
You may be thinking the Revenue Generation Funnel™ is just a spin on the existing marketing funnel or sales funnel. It is actually a combination of both with great improvements. This funnel was developed to align B2B sales with modern purchasing practices. The fundamentals of sales and marketing are antiquated, they fail to take into consideration key changes in the global marketplace:
- Generational behaviors
- Business operations
- Global competition
Key facts about sales and marketing in the 21st-Century
- Today, CEOs expect marketing to generate revenues and drive growth.
B2B Sales in the 21st Century
The sales process began to change with the advent of the internet and then e-commerce. Today, large bandwidth with high-speed internet has made video streaming and web conferencing mainstream. Social media and virtual communities play a large role in B2B commerce. Information is readily available, in a variety of formats, from multiple sources. All of these factors have impacted how purchasing decisions are made.
Most people hate being sold to. Instead, they like to be informed. Now that information is so readily available and easy to access, a majority of B2B buyers make typical purchasing decisions before ever talking to a salesperson.
Sales vs Marketing RolesThere is a popular sales funnel model that identifies six phases buyers go through when making a purchase. The current model of this process identifies the increased role marketing has in the journey with responsibility for the first four phases through the Intent stage. The old model shows marketing’s role ending after the Interest phase, and sales managing the remaining four phases. Astute Group’s sales and marketing consulting solutions are built on the premise that the level of involvement of each function in the sales and marketing funnel is not a standard, it should be adaptive to the value and/or importance of the product or service. Value in this context is not limited to strictly monetary value, it is value created by any factor. For example, a reusable or biodegradable may have minimal monetary value, yet hold tremendous value to a conservationist or a restaurant that wishes to exemplify eco-friendly behaviors. The sales process for an impulse or low-value item can now be done completely through marketing (for example the purchase of supplies or standard parts). Whereas the sales process for high value or major purchasing decision is ideally best suited for a salesperson to be heavily involved. Of course, there are exceptions. We will identify the best sales process for your offerings.
High-Powered strategies from a new perspective
Get a fresh perspective form a highly experienced marketing expert, an Astute Fractional CMO.
$5,000 One-day workshop
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We begin with research and analysis to prepare for a fully packed, high-power day of brainstorming, collaboration, and strategic planning. Get ready to see your business from a different perspective. An unbiased perspective that is not influenced by your companies culture or management.
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The Sales Process
The above diagram provides a basic framework for identifying sales or marketing responsibilities in the common sales funnel model. The columns on the right identify the value or type of product offered. It is not intended to be an absolute standard. Our approach to sales and marketing consulting identifies varying roles dependent upon the value of the product or service. Value is not limited to monetary value, it is value created by any factor.
The Sore Spot – Lead Generation and Qualification
The most common issue that we have experienced throughout our years of sales and marketing consulting is how to define a qualified lead. The old sales funnel had a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) and Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). The problem is that “qualified” is subjective. Therefore, what marketing considers qualified is usually very different from what sales consider qualified.
A marketing qualified lead usually had minimal requirements, such as a response to a mailer, or a phone call from an ad, etc. Meanwhile, a sales qualified lead usually meant that a salesperson had spoken to the prospect and there was significant interest in the product or service offerings. Today, that distinction holds less value.
In the digital world, marketing can actually complete the entire transaction in some cases. For other situations, marketing will generate and qualify leads. There are tools readily available to gauge the level of interest or the caliber of the opportunity.
A qualified lead is a qualified lead. There should not be a difference in sales or marketing qualified. In a unified team, that difference does not exist.