Don’t Forget Outbound Sales and Referral Marketing

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With all the focus on digital and inbound marketing, many of our clients look for ambitious results from their inbound marketing programs – and they should!

Over time, as reputation and ‘Klout’ builds with effective social engagement and content marketing, the inbound machine will pay off. However, an effective revenue strategy involves more than inbound marketing – especially for complex and considered sales and higher-end professional services.  Inbound marketing is critical, but smarter outbound selling strategies, in most cases, will continue to drive the largest share of revenue performance.

A simple approach for many businesses is to develop a metrics model that identifies how much revenue will be generated across three dimensions and based on that how many leads are needed to deliver qualified meetings and ultimately closed sales.

pie chart

 

  • Account Sales and Referrals
  • Outbound Prospecting Programs
  • Inbound Marketing and Demand Generation

 

 

 

The example below was from a firm that enjoyed a strong personal selling capability and a well-targeted market focus,  yet they also had a limited social and digital presence. For them, the right revenue strategy targets aggressive focus on the client base with a more systematic account expansion and client referral program, increasing effort in a more modern outbound prospecting (e.g. by using social tools and platforms) and building up the online and social media presence over time into an inbound marketing machine.  In all cases, we insist  that even without a strong social media capability and content publishing presence, businesses will still need to maintain a solid web presence and clear brand message. All roads lead back to your website where you have the opportunity to position your firm, and convert audience to leads.

 

Example Revenue Model

Referral Program (20% of Revenue/ Close rate from qualified meetings is 50% ):  An enhanced referral program will actively engage existing clients for facilitated introductions. This referral program is enhanced with a credible online presence and messaging platform. Key components include:

  • Referral requests from best referrers
  • LinkedIn network analysis for introductions
  • Referral reminders in key communications.

 

Active Outbound Program (50% of Rev / Close rate from qualified meetings is 40% ): Take advantage of successful in-person engagement and close rates. The outbound program will be a metrics-driven outbound prospecting program targeting specific segments/ sub segments with clear value propositions and case-study marketing. The trick – and it is not easy – is to find a repeatable model that consistently delivers.

  • Engage a consistent level of outbound sales calls / smart and targeted emails / LinkedIn In-mails – all using a well honed value proposition
  • Partner with affiliates to share prospecting load and expand audience reach
  • Conduct regular  briefings for target audience (e.g. lunch/learns, meet-ups) and drive people to these events.

 

Inbound Marketing Program (30% of Rev / Close rate from qualified meetings is 30%): Enhance your online presence and content marketing programs to increase visibility and credibility. Use email marketing to nurture and drive new leads. This strategy requires new brand positioning, and messaging as well as web presence improvements.

  • Unified website experience with strong SEO
  • PR – sponsored articles
  • More active, integrated blog with targeted segment content and CTA
  • eMail blog to subscribers, eMail, LinkedIn, Twitter
  • Consistent and active Twitter account
  • Stronger calls to action on site and landing pages
  • Newsletter (Product Positioning) with sharing links
  • Facebook / LinkedIn Advertising for targeted reach

We have developed a range of models and spreadsheet to help model and define a tailored structure. If you would like to learn more, feel free to contact me.

Prerequisites and Related Capabilities

Ensure the following are considered and positioned for continuous improvement. An initial one-time investment may be needed to reach a level of baseline credibility/brand equity online and to reinforce/ support offline activities. The website experience must not be a detractor.

  • Market positioning / value propositions and brand identity
  • Content and editorial plan
  • Website experience and content management
  • Calls to action and optimized landing pages
  • Potential SEO & PPC / advertising plan
  • Sales operating model and process with stage definitions and metrics
  • Appropriate CRM integration with marketing automation
  • Marketing database
  • Branded newsletter, brochures and sales collateral
  • Videos to educate and enhance self-select strategy
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