Automating the Front End of Your Sales Funnel
Business is not as usual in this new pandemic world. With tradeshows and conferences being cancelled through to the end of the year, and conventional sales tactics such as sales calls and client presentations being restricted, most of us are being forced to look at new ways to reach potential customers in this “new normal”.
One effective way to approach this is to dig deep and look at your business development strategy as a whole, then synthesize your sales and marketing strategies to produce a complete business development strategy we call your SMarketing strategy.
SMarketing is the combination of marketing and sales into one business development process.
I want to tell you a story about the drastic move I made with my business in the spring of 2019. In one afternoon, I gathered our entire sales team and, one by one, I let them all go. We were a five-year-old company that had built its success to date leveraging an outbound sales team of seven.
On that afternoon, our sales team went to zero. Since that afternoon, we have had record-breaking sales quarter after quarter leveraging an inbound sales model.
I was inspired that day by a good friend of mine in Colorado who had done something similar, which led me down a path of studying our own business development strategy in a different light.
Justin Roff-Marsh, author of The Machine, talks in his book about taking a manufacturing approach to your sales process, a process similar to building a car in a factory. There are different people required to build that car every step of the way. Arguably, each person becomes an expert in the one area that they know really well while understanding very little about the other components.
Most business development models do not incorporate the manufacturing process. Most companies hold their sales team accountable for researching leads, generating leads, reaching out, starting a dialogue, arranging product demos, developing a marketing strategy, all the way to closing the sale and issuing the paperwork.
Roff-Marsh calls this into question. Why not employ every person in their highest payoff activity where they add the most value?
In other words, if you have an eight-step model, why would you have one person doing a mediocre job of performing all eight steps? Why not employ eight different people, where each possesses the unique skills required to perform each assigned step? You should have at least six different people performing those eight steps.
I hold a theory that you can further systemize the sales process for efficiency when different people are performing different functions. By delegating in this way, you are breaking the sales process down over several people based on their strengths. Have each person work to where they add the most value and that’s it.
Once you’ve systemized your sales process and implemented the manufacturing process, consider taking a step further to explore automation.
I always believed I could automate the first half of our sales process. For our team, we broke out what skills and talents were needed at each of the eight steps along the way, then automated the rest using online sales and marketing techniques. In essence, we replaced the first half of the sales process with robots, adding further consistency and saving time, money, and other valuable resources.
When we made that decision in early 2019, it was a tough, tough decision for the company because the people we had to let go that day were great people. But, ultimately, it was the right decision for the company.
We replaced the entire sales team and we worked on implementing this manufacturing process approach and automating as much as we could.
Building landing pages on our website enabled us to present potential clients with all of the information they needed to understand what we do in context. We built a variety of landing pages for different audiences. Each page is designed to connect with the user where they’re at and introduce specific ways that we can help.
Once the landing pages are built, then we move upstream, leveraging a keyword strategy to do pay-per-click advertising on Google. At Tulip Media, we put a prime focus on driving our content market, capitalizing on quality Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to increase our rankings.
Having completed that overhaul, we’ve emerged with a clean system that is attracting higher quality leads more efficiently. New potential clients are navigating the first four steps of our sales process entirely independently by going through click funnels instead of a sales team to learn about our programs.
When they’re done, a strategy session can be booked directly through our online platform. Since we’re already halfway through the sales process at this point, we know the chances of a full conversion are high.
After overhauling our system, we decided to keep the same quarterly sales targets as before despite missing every single one the previous year.
Guess what? We hit that number for the first time that quarter. The next quarter, we tripled it. All with no designated sales team.
Because of the success that we’ve seen in our own company within these past 12 months, we have rolled out SMarketing strategies for Client-Partners all over North America with great success. We have gone in, reviewed and revamped their entire sales and marketing strategy, segregated the steps toward a sale, and have worked to automate the front end. Many of these Client-Partners saw results within the first 2 to 3 weeks. Real results.
We can do the same for you. Learn more about how our SMarketing Program can help you.