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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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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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Why Paying Attention Is the Key To Effective Marketing and Sales

The most important role of marketing and sales is to pay attention to the outcomes that prospective clients want. This is also the most neglected part of the marketing and sales role. Now, more than ever, marketing and salespeople must be listening and adapting.

Clay Christensen and Bob Moesta assert that customers don’t buy our products or services. Instead, they hire our products and services for a job to be done. In Revenue Growth Engine, I say that buyers don’t buy products, they buy the outcomes the products enable. 

Great companies have an intimate understanding of the jobs that prospects are hiring products to do.  The most effective marketing and sales focus on the outcomes, not the product. Outcomes are driven by business goals and the problems that keep clients from achieving them. 

As the economy shifts, the problems our prospects encounter may shift. We may be selling the same product as we sold last year, but the reason prospects buy the...

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How To Make Sales and Marketing Processes More Effective and Engaging

marketing processes sales Jul 28, 2020

Sales and marketing both have common objectives in the pursuit of revenue: creating competitive advantage and increasing perceived value. Without these, the company’s offerings slide into the slimy pit of commodities, decreasing win rates and profit margins.

How can you build competitive advantage and communicate value? In Revenue Growth Engine, I recommend that you think strategically about the experience you provide your ideal clients before and after they become clients.

In The Experience Economy, Competing For Customer Time, Attention, and Money, Pine and Gilmore recommend looking at your company as a stage and your team as actors. In this model, the script is your sales and marketing processes.

In show businesses, compelling scripts get turned into profitable movies and plays. Boring scripts get rejected.

What about your sales and marketing processes? Would the script you have written for prospects and clients capture the attention of your clients? Or, would the script...

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Is Your Sales Differentiation Strategy Dog Poo?

focused message sales Jun 24, 2020

By Guest Author, Lee Salz

If you are a follower of my articles and blogs, you know I reside in Minneapolis, but I’m not originally from here. I grew up in the New York/New Jersey area. I don’t need to tell you how brutal the winters are here as the media does a great job of painting that picture. When I moved here, I was not issued Minnesota skin. I still have my East Coast skin. I can deal with the cold, but there are some things I won’t do in subfreezing temperatures.

A great example of something I won’t do in the cold is dealing with my dogs’ poo. I have two, shelter-adopted dogs that weigh about sixty pounds each. From Thanksgiving until March, the dogs “do their business” in my backyard, and I don’t clean it up until Spring. Before you say, “That’s disgusting,” keep in mind the climate in which I live. The poo is covered by snow most of that time and is completely frozen.

As you can probably imagine, there is a...

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How To Cross-Sell More To Your Current Clients

Cross-selling to current clients to additional products and services may be the fastest way great companies can grow. According to Amy Gallo, a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to twenty-five times more expensive than retaining an existing one![1]

The old saying is true: it takes more effort to get a new client than it takes to cross-sell a current client. Even better, happy clients create a basis for referrals, helping feed the net-new side of your growth engine. If you are providing great products with a responsive service delivered by caring people, why wouldn’t your clients want to buy more from your organization?

Unfortunately, most companies do not fully optimize their cross-selling opportunities and only drive net-new business. They don’t see that cross-selling to current clients creates low-hanging fruit. As I consult with companies, many begin to realize that if they simply focused on this half...

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Strategies To Influence Buying Teams

net-new sales Apr 15, 2020

If your company sells in the B2B space, chances are you sell to buying teams. Research in The Challenger Customer revealed that on average, there are over 6 people involved in a B2B buying decision.

When I started selling office technology in 1993, we were trained to go to the top-level decision-maker. Typically, the company owner would meet with me. At the very end, he or she would sign the order and then walk me over to the CFO’s office and instruct them to issue me a check or sign a lease.

Over the past 25 years, the landscape has evolved. In The Challenger Sale, Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon call this “the rise of the consensus sale.” These days companies are more risk-averse. Thus, the more people involved in the decision, the less risk.

Many B2B companies also offer more complex solutions than they did 25 years ago. In my case, 25 years ago I sold copiers and fax machines that we rolled into someone's office. Over the past few decades, these systems are now...

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Should We Do Inbound Marketing or Outbound Prospecting? Yes!

If you want to grow net-new business, your Revenue Growth Engine needs to be fine-tuned to attract and create new clients. To do this, you need to consider the two types of prospects: buyers who are actively looking and people who are not.

Buyers who are actively looking have felt needs. They have a problem that needs to be solved. You need to make sure that when they look for a solution that they find your company online. Once they find your company, you need to be able to convert that visitor to a sales opportunity. We’ll explore this in the chapter on inbound marketing.

For every buyer that is actively looking for what you sell, there are many who are not actively looking. It doesn’t mean that they couldn’t benefit from the outcomes your products and services deliver. In fact, many of these companies have latent needs, problems that lie below the surface that if solved, would make their lives a lot better. To grow revenue with these buyers you need salespeople...

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