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A Better Alternative To the Buyer’s Journey?

marketing sales May 16, 2022

What if the way we think about Buyer’s Journey is upside down? 

Smart marketing and sales teams collaborate to map out the buyer’s journey, thinking about how they can provide the right information to buyers at the right time during their decision making process. While this sounds helpful, I see a few problems:

First, the Buyer’s Journey is anything but linear. In most cases, it looks more like a cloud of dust than a straight line. Trying to determine where a buyer is in this process feels futile, yet sales and marketing teams try to plot this out. It’s no wonder that most Buyer’s Journey maps get created and then rarely used.

Second, and perhaps most importantly, buyers buy based on emotion more than fact. Harvard professor emeritus and author of How Customer’s Think, Gerald Zaltman, shares research that validates what I’ve learned in every sales training over the past three decades of my career: “Emotion is what really...

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The Number One Way Marketing Can Help Sales Win

Let me cut to the chase: the number one way marketing can help sales win is by interviewing clients and creating insightful case studies. 

In Elite Sales Strategies, Anthony Iannarino coaches reps on how to achieve the one-up position by bringing insights into the sales conversation that add value.

I am a firm believer that buyers don’t buy your products and services, they buy the outcomes your products and services enable. (In Revenue Growth Engine we take a deep dive into outcomes and how to create an outcomes inventory. Read more about How To Market and Sell What Your Buyers Are Actually Buying.)

How do you determine what outcomes buyers value? You ask.

Salespeople should be continually talking with their clients. Iannorino explains, “Every interaction with a stakeholder provides you with an opportunity to be tutored by experts in a specific industry.”

Marketing should also be talking regularly with clients. This can be done in the form...

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How To Make Revenue Growth Predictable In Uncertain Times (Part 2)

darrell amy Mar 23, 2022

Over the past few years, business leaders have become familiar with uncertainty. In the midst of pandemic pivots, supply-chain shifts, and hiring hassles, one thing has remained constant: the need for revenue.

Revenue is the lifeblood of business. We have proven our ability to solve all kinds of problems, but revenue problems are a massive change. Some of the biggest problems happen when uncertainty leads to unpredictable revenue. Thus, it is important to take smart actions to ensure revenue growth remains predictable, especially in uncertain times.

This is the second in a series of three articles offering strategies to make revenue growth predictable. Previously we explored the importance of Focusing Your Message. In this article, we will unpack the second strategy: aligning marketing, sales, and operations around your Client Experience.

(In this article, I will use the words client and customer interchangeably. Some industries have customers while others have clients. Personally,...

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How To Make Revenue Growth Predictable In Uncertain Times (Part 1)

darrell amy Mar 21, 2022

Creating steady revenue growth can feel impossible during uncertain times. The headwinds of hiring challenges, price increases, and supply chain issues seem to threaten growth goals. While you can’t change the circumstances, you can be proactive in setting your company up for success, even in uncertain times. 

Over the next three articles, you’ll discover three ways you can make revenue growth predictable in uncertain times. These aren’t magic bullets. Instead, they are three ways to develop consistency and effectiveness by optimizing your marketing and sales.

Focus Your Message

The first way to make revenue growth predictable is to focus your message. 

Hang out in any sales training long enough and you will hear Theodore Roosevelt’s famous words: “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” This profound truth is violated by the majority of marketing and sales messages. 

The marketing message of most...

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Three Reasons To Focus On Your Ideal Clients During Challenging Times

darrell amy Mar 07, 2022

When times get tough, it can be tempting to look for revenue anywhere you can find it. As one of my first sales managers used to say, “If they can fog a mirror and sign an order, we’ll take it.”

The reality is that not all revenue is created equal. And, as I say in my own business, “Not all clients are created equally.” There are some clients who provide more value than others. In this current environment, it is more important than ever to focus on "ideal clients."

What is an ideal client? These are clients who need everything you sell. They have value because they are candidates for all of your products and/or services. They have fit because they align with your culture. Ideal clients are especially important when:

You have limited marketing and sales resources.

Unless you are a major company, chances are you have limited sales and marketing resources. If you try to market and sell to everyone, you will end up reaching no one. Understanding your ideal...

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How Your Mindset Affects Revenue Growth

blog revenue growth Feb 14, 2022

In The Upside of Stress, Dr. Kelly McGonigal showcases research on the power of mindset to affect outcomes. Those with a negative mindset toward stress experience much different results than those with a positive mindset toward stress. It turns out that mindset towards stress affects happiness, effectiveness, and even personal longevity. 

What we think about things matters. When it comes to stress, surprising research shows that it's not stress that is killing people, it’s the “combination of stress and belief that stress is harmful.” In essence, stress can be good or bad depending on what you believe about stress.

What if we took this same line of thought about mindset and applied it to growing revenue? What if what we believe about marketing and sales affects our results.

What if what we believe about marketing and sales affects our results?

How does mindset affect revenue growth? Here are some thoughts.

The Economy Is Terrible vs. Opportunity Is...

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Why People Buy and How To Get Them To Buy More

blog sales Feb 10, 2022

Why do some buyers enthusiastically say yes to your offer while others simply shrug off your proposals? Why do many of your customers buy one of your products but seem to ignore your cross-sell efforts?

Part of the answer can be found in Clay Christensen’s “jobs to be done” theory. (See Marketing Malpractice: The Cause and The Cure) Clay believed that buyers don’t buy products and services. Instead, they “hire” products and services to do jobs that need to be done.

In Revenue Growth Engine I share a similar belief that buyers don’t buy products and services, they buy the outcome(s) the products and services enable.

When you understand the outcome your client wants (the job they want done) you become much more relevant.

1. Focus Your Message

The world is noisy. Every buyer is subjected to thousands of messages each day. As a result, we all have elaborate filters in place. The only things that get through our filter are messages around the...

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How to Soften Price Increases by Creating a Fallback Option

blog sales Feb 03, 2022

When faced with a price increase, clients may feel backed into a corner with only two options. One option is to take the price increase, sacrificing somewhere else in their budget. The other option is to stop buying from you and either forego the service or go through the hassle of finding another vendor.

Price increases typically create a “yes” or “no” scenario. Instead, what if you offered a third fallback option that was a scaled back version of your service?

Your fallback option could be lower-cost package with fewer benefits for your clients that are not willing to accept the price increase. You win because you keep the client. The client wins because they get to save money while keeping pieces of your offering.

The good news is that your fallback option not only can preserve revenue, it may also be able to preserve your profits. Done correctly, it may also create a strategy to go after your competition and get marketshare.

Here are a few things to...

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The Key To Success No Sales Rep Wants To Hear

blog Feb 02, 2022
“Predictability and consistency are the unsexy keys to overall improvement.”
Jason VanCamp and the Mission Six Zero Team

Fellow sales professionals and entrepreneurs, I wish there were a magic pill. I wish there were some programs you could enroll in, some conferences you could attend, some hot new tactics you could adopt…

There isn’t.

As Jason VanCamp says above, it's the boring things that get you where you want to go.

High performing sales professionals are predictable and consistent in these five areas:

1. Prospecting

Fanatical Prospecting author, Jeb Blount puts it very plainly: “The number one reason for empty pipelines is failure to prospect.” There are simply no excuses here. Block the time. Make it a priority each day. Hit your number without cheating. Do it.

2. Client Engagement

Hang out with me for a few minutes and you’ll discover I’m passionate about the low-hanging fruit of cross-sell revenue. You need to...

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Creative Strategies to Increase Price

blog Feb 02, 2022

Increasing costs require many businesses to raise prices. Rather than just raise prices, what if you could take a strategic approach to cost increases? Following are ideas to get you thinking creatively about how you could handle this challenging situation.

First, consider if you are a core supplier or a vendor.

You are a core supplier if you are a key partner to your customers. You show up on their profit and loss statement as a cost of goods sold. Your offering is key to their success. An example might be a materials supplier to a manufacturer. You are critical to their business operations but you might also sell a commodity that is easy to replace.

You are a vendor if you provide something that is not a core part of the business. For example, you provide office equipment or bookkeeping service. You show up on their profit and loss statement as an overhead expense. In some cases, your offering may be optional or easily replaced. It’s not...

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