Revenue Architects Marketing and Sales Blog

Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™ (2 OF 9): Build Persona Messaging for Ideal Client Profiles

2018 FA Smart Book

 

Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™

We recently published the 2018 Edition of the Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™.  This resource is a comprehensive guide to help independent financial advisors build an ‘independent difference,’ that is, a strategy-led, systematic growth program with 9 proven strategies. The goal is to help advisors:

  • Increase Volume: Generate More Visits & Inquiries
  • Increase Client Value: Get Better Qualified Inquiries
  • Increase Velocity: Increase Conversion Rates
  • Increase AUM and Revenue: Optimize Engagement for AUM growth and Revenue Impact.

[Strategy 2 of 9] Build Persona Messaging For Your Ideal Client Profiles (ICPs).

This is not an abstract exercise.  You would be surprised how effective it is when you focus on specific personas, personas that represent the needs and behaviors of your ideal clients.

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Increase Revenue at a Lower Cost of Sales

Many management experts remind us to find the most important element to manage and stay focused on it! What is that “one thing” for increasing revenue?

I would argue that most important factor is the difference in the amount of revenue produced by the top sales person compared to the average salesperson during the first years of a product’s introduction.

Frequently for new differentiated products the “top 10 percent” salespeople will sell more than 2x or 3x the amount that the average salesperson sells. The early sales are critical for gaining market share for new products while the differentiation is high.  Over time, as the market and the other salespeople learn more about the product and the customer value delivered, the size of the revenue gap will decrease…but by then the competitors will have started to catch up also and the differentiating advantage decreases.

What does the average salesperson learn after the introduction and a couple of sales cycles that enables them to increase the amount of revenue produced, approaching closer to the sales levels of the top salespeople? If the firm provided that information earlier, would the average salesperson be able to produce higher sales levels earlier? The answer is yes!

Firms really can’t get much more revenue out of the “top 10%” salespeople, and trying to save the “bottom 10%” is a waste of time. But we can provide the information needed by the average salesperson to impact their revenue production by almost 2X.

Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™ (1 of 9): Align Your Team on Vision & Smart Goals

Market Success

Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™

We recently published the 2018 Edition of the Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™, 2018 Edition  This resource is a comprehensive guide to help financial advisors build a strategy-led, systematic growth program with 9 proven strategies. The goal is to help advisors:

  • Increase Volume: Generate More Visits & Inquiries
  • Increase Client Value: Get Better Qualified Inquiries
  • Increase Velocity: Increase your Conversion Rate
  • Increase AUM and Revenue: Optimize Engagement for AUM growth and Revenue Impact.

[Strategy 1 of 9] Align Your Team on a Vision & Smart Goals 

We are surprised how many advisors we work with have not clarified a vision or established clear revenue goals and metrics to achieve them. Having a vision and game plan for growth is important for financial advisors to thrive in a challenging marketplace. The Smart Book™ outlines how you can achieve more predictable and sustainable revenue growth by establishing a Revenue Architecture that fits your firm. The key is to commit to a systematic sales and marketing process by following the 9 proven strategies to guide your approach.

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77% of B2B marketers are NOT making their numbers! Why?

77 Percent

Many so-called “Revenue Marketers” are writing checks that their companies simply can’t cash! According to a recent study by HubSpot, only 23% of marketers are exceeding their revenue goals. Yet, Revenue Marketing has become a ubiquitous concept and is getting tons of hype in today’s market. And rightfully so. No question – it’s the “holy grail” of today’s senior stakeholders.

Here’s the problem—all the verbiage around it was generated by companies and people deeply invested in its success. These include companies that are predominantly staffed by marketing automation technologists and solutions engineers, who are actually software people, not demand marketers. And all the talk isn’t limited to the marketing operations and automation folks who are making claims. There are also many strategic consulting firms and agencies that do the same, but they don’t have enough experience as practitioners to execute on the very recommendations they are prescribing to clients.

Don’t get me wrong, the modern marketing technology stack forms the most powerful marketing enablement toolkit I’ve witnessed in a nearly 25-year career. But it’s just that…an enablement toolkit. It’s a partial solution. You ALSO need effective buyer engagement strategy and execution or the monetization of your marketing investments won’t even come close to its potential.

Quite simply, revenue marketing can work—when (and only when) it’s driven by a worthy buyer engagement strategy. But the primary challenge, which we address in our new eBook entitled Exposed. The False Promises of Revenue Marketing., is all the confusion, misinterpretation and general lack of understanding that exists around revenue marketing and the buyer engagement strategies that are essential to its success.

These points of confusion include:

  • The fundamental deficit in buyer understanding that is killing marketing performance at most companies
  • What’s wrong with persona development
  • How messaging is largely missing the mark
  • Why most B2B content is lousy as it’s “domain-centric,” not “engagement-focused”
  • How most marketers are focused on all the wrong metrics
  • Why so very few marketers are capable of aligning all the requisite elements of a high-performance buyer engagement strategy

In the eBook we highlight these critical elements (and many more) that are too frequently being ignored, simply misunderstood or not fully embraced, but that are vital for true revenue marketing. In it we address 9 foundational principles that when used as a roadmap for marketing automation and social media propagation are the surest way to develop a sound buyer engagement strategy that transforms you into a true rock star of revenue marketing.

Download a copy of the eBook to discover 9 ways to exponentially increase leads, conversion, pipeline velocity and revenue impact:

 

 

Three Reasons to Audit Your Sales Messaging

Improving the quality and completeness of sales messages delivers hard ROI. Here are three reasons you should review the content your sales teams are using and take a diagnostic approach to assess the effectiveness of your sales messaging:

Office

Three Reasons to Audit Your Sales Messaging:

1) Reduce the time required for achieving channel effectiveness: 

  • Channel effectiveness occurs when the average salesperson can cost effectively close the sale. Eventually the sales channels [and customers] will learn the value of the differential being offered, but while the market is still learning these values, the effectiveness of the sales channels is reduced. It is difficult to close the sale when the customer doesn’t know the value of the differential being offered, and the sales channels has not been provided with the values, calibration, and evidence needed to convince them.

2) Increase sales capacity

  • Sales capacity is the number of salespeople [or outlets] that are effectively selling your products and solutions. Retail uses a term “self ware” to refer to products that are sitting on the shelf but aren’t being bought. Having salespeople that are expected to sell the product but can’t/don’t is the channel equivalent of shelfware. Frequently this occurs when the skill required to sell the product exceeds the skill available in the channel. So the top 10% of the salespeople can sell the product, but the average salesperson can’t. Poor quality sales messaging is frequently the cause of product shelfware.

3) Reduces the cost of sales

  • Improved messaging increases the close rate and reduces the number of sales calls required to do so because the customer value being offered is clear and with evidence.

Use a diagnostic process for more consistent implementation

  1. Review the “top 10” sales messaging deficiencies to see if the issues are identified.
  2. Check the material being sent to sales people –  before it is sent!
  3. Use a checklist to ensure the quality and completeness of the information being provided.

Make certain your content and messaging is sufficient for the average salesperson to cost effectively close the sale. Would you like a copy of the checklist? Check out the 9 Sales Enablement Content Imperatives.

Here is another article by Bud: 10 Message Deficiencies.  Contact us to schedule a discussion.

This is a guest post by Bud Hyler – a member of the Revenue Architects’ expert network.

What Amazon means for Whole Foods’ core values (and how it’s connected to the Washington Post)

In 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post. (Granted, he bought it personally instead of via Amazon, but it’s still relevant to the Amazon/Whole Foods story.) At the time, the paper was facing a steady decline and staff layoffs, as most newspapers were, and its online presence was stagnant. Bezos got involved with the business side and its technology—no surprise there—and he didn’t interfere with editorial direction.

Nieman Lab has a transcript from an interview with a Post staffer who talked about the bots they now use to help run the business, deliver news, provide information for stories, and even automate the writing of basic stories. The content management system they built works so well that other news outlets license it from them. And there’s an energy in the Post’s reporting that I haven’t seen in a long time. This is cool stuff.

Web traffic doubled and 1,200 stories are posted per day—500 of them original— outpacing their competitors, including The New York Times.

I think Bezos’s game plan for the Post hints at how Amazon will manage its new supermarket chain.

Refocusing on consumers

Bezos has told staff at the Post to “focus on the reader.” Whole Foods could stand to remember its core shoppers, those consumers who are drawn to Whole Foods’ core values. Some long-time fans feel that the chain has catered too much to a broad market and made less visible their adherence to the core values of environmental protection and support for organic farming. The New York Times wrote about this worry 10 years ago, when Whole Foods had become a “mega-chain” of 303 stores (which has now grown to 431), with “gelato stands, chocolate fountains and pizza counters.”

Legions of shoppers live within proximity of Whole Foods stores but have an aversion to their prices. Clearly, Whole Foods has tried to cater to this audience but delivered mixed messages. They have alternately highlighted the reasonable prices of their store brand items while also creating high-quality, indulgent offerings for those who are indifferent to prices. That juxtaposition has made it hard for shoppers to believe the low-price message.

I believe Amazon will re-focus on Whole Foods’ core values, making noticeable changes in its product assortment to win back true believers who have become alienated. At the same time, they will look closely at the offerings geared toward consumers looking for a more general grocery offering. Can they offer delicious food while respecting the company’s core values, at reasonable prices?  And without a doubt, Amazon will reinvent the supply chain — more on that soon — and Whole Foods’ IRMA system, the back-end technology that is universally despised, not unlike the back-end systems at most supermarkets.

How should Whole Foods’ suppliers position themselves for the changes that are bound to happen?

Better Salespeople Need Less Sales Enablement Content

Generating revenue and winning customers requires a balance of good content and confident sales. Design your sales enablement content around what your medium-skilled salespeople need.

Bad Sales Guy

Your top salespeople have sufficient confidence and sales skill that they don’t need a lot of content to be successful in their sales efforts. However an average salesperson with less confidence and less sales skill will require much more content.  Top sales people usually need less content because they are able to develop a greater level of customer relationship and trust.

One of the responsibilities of sales management is to specify the content requirements that sufficiently augments the sales skills of the average salesperson so that revenue is successfully generated.

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