Lead profiling – here’s a thought…

Continuing from my last blog..

I was at a lecture on content management and how to drive traffic and I got a concrete tip how to make content into context. You need to create profiles of all the types of people you are trying to communicate to and test the content on them. So the speaker presented Bill (45 year old male who is conservative and believes things when he sees it), Susan (30 year old female who is a straight arrow and calls things on the spot), and so on. Extensive personalities where presented, a total of 10 I think. Every new content was then run against each profile and scored. Based on the scores the company could decide if the where to publish, or change the content. It was very efficient.

This exists in companies that work with internet based sales. Here I find a lot of models, and it is quite clear that this is common here because these clients have made it easy by surrendering their information by beeing on the web and logging on to the company sites sharing age, gender, geographic intel, and so on. So much has happened in internet based sales in such a short time and “traditional” sales need to learn a thing or two…

Sales should have a good idea of what the ideal prospect looks like, what is the best case? By putting together a profile of these prospects, sales can break down what characterizes of the different prospects. What are their pains? How far are they from taking a decision? What level of awareness do they have? What industry segment do they belong to? Did they contact your company? Have they purchased the product/service before? Do they have a contract with a competitor? How price sensitive are they? And the list goes on…the trick is to collect intel.

I found a site with a great example of a way of profiling that makes the profiles feel real and how to present relavent information at the zuyderblog

Then there needs to be a discussion with Marketing around the profiles on how these different profiles will be reached thru different Marketing activities. There might be a profile that your market analysts can see that Sales have never worked with, then Sales need to bring this into their strategy and find a way to sell towards this profile.

Matrix view

The red figures are the profiles created by Sales/marketing and they are placed to show the areas they cover on the market.

Segments with lead profile spread

Each market activity  (A1-A4 in the example below) needs to be matched against the profiles, the score converted into how many % of the profile match the campaign goals and content, and if there is gap the group (Sales and Marketing) can decide that this activity does not have to reach this profile, or the plan might need to be changed to include this profile. I have talked about Demand Shaping before and this will definitely give you means to attempt to shape your demand.

Campaigns mapped against segments and Lead Profiles, pies

Profile diagrams

Another way to do this is to focus on the profiles, set the market asside, breaking them down to 10 key factors:

  1. Buyer maturity, how close are they from taking a descision
  2. Buyer knowledge, from expert to inexperienced
  3. Buyer influence, does the person you are in contact with have the authority to take the descision, from top executive to agents
  4. Company size, is this a big or small company
  5. Product complexity, are the requesting a simple or complicated product/soloution
  6. Level of interest, is the buyers communication frequent, do they respond prompltly
  7. Availability, is the buer easy to reach
  8. Price sencitivty, two what degree is this client pricesensitive
  9. Level of Competition, likelyhood we can land the deal over our competitors
  10. Purchase history, times we got won vs lost opportunities for this company.

The optimal score is 1 on all of these. To describe the perfect prospect: A buyer who is ready to make a purchase and who can take this descision. The buyer has a high level of knowledge and works for a large company, price is not the main issue. This buyer is interested, has reached out and is available to discuss buisness. This deal is not subject to competition, the specifications are standard and the buyer is already a client.

Probably not that common…

By creating profiles with specific target scores you can set  a score on a campaign on what areas it is supposed to target and get a comparison between the profile and the campaign. In this example I have two profiles compared to a campaign:

Campaign Webgraph

In this example I would draw the conclusion that the campaign will be good for Profile 1 in improving knowledge, bringing the descision makers into the purchase process and raise the importance  of our item to ensure good responce rates, For Profile 2 it will bring the small companies  and raise the level of importance of the item. The element in the campaign that intends to raise the interest in the companies is waisten on these profiles as the already have this quality, but there may be some effect.

Collaborate with Operations

This collaboration can easily stretch to include Operations. If there is chaos here, there is a high cost in both Sales and Operations.

Getting companies to see the entire picture is my calling, I hope this can lead to a productive discussion. Looking forward to your opinion.

Leadcycle, improved

Starting in the right end – marketing and sales collaboration

As usual I have been reading up on what is going on and I came across this blog post: Marketing Bingo – You Might Be Playing And Not Even Know It. I have never been part of working within Marketing, so there might be something I’m missing, but for me Kyle makes a good point. Work from the outside in…

I started to think about how I percieve marketing, wich is more inside out: Who are we selling to? Is this changing? Can we see any trends? What precision can we expect in the conversion from Lead to Opportunity? How do we segment the market? How do we process the leads when they come in (different approaches based on segmentation)?

From a B2B sales perspective, the marketing actions need to create leads or make the lead creation possible. In order to give the sales organization a fair chance to sell, the leads need to be half decent or the customers need to be interested. There needs to be a common approach on the pipeline effeciency, in my view this is Gross Margin, taking all costs in account.

I made a model (probably exists but I could not find it anywhere) I would like to get some feedback on:

Sales, Marketing, Market mix

If Sales and Marketing create a plan that does not reach the intended market they have an “Ineffective Strategy”. If Marketing reaches the market, but these recipients never come in contact with sales, then we get “Uncaptured Lead”. If Sales work the Market in order to reach the quota and land prospects without the support of the Marketing we have a “Lead Deficit”. When Sales and market work the market in the same area we hit the “Sweet spot”.

Companies need to find a way increase the collaboration between sales and marketing to get better at targeting the sweet spot. First of all you need to have a common picture of what market looks like, what you want to achieve and how this transforms into customers.

An example

If we look at how this can be done, let’s start with a segmentation of our customer:

Segments

Let’s say that S1 is Low price/Low complexity, S2 is Low Price/High Complexity, S3 is High price/Low complexity and S4 is High price/ High complexity.

If we study our customers purchase behavior the last 12 months we find that we have a strong tendency to land in the S4 segment:

Segments with customer spread

Looking the Marketing we are targeting the following area:

Segments with customer and marketing spread

Looking at this picture it is easy to see that there is untapped potential. What needs to be cleared out is if Marketing I over reaching / targeting the wrong market, or if Sales are missing out on Prospects because they have the wrong approach to the market. Wouldn’t you like to know why and correct the situation?

My thought is to try and move the circles by increasing the collaboration and  achieving a higher efficiency in the sweet spot = more results with less work:

Changing the Sales, Marketing strategy

Stay tuned…a blog comming up on the topic of “Lead Profiling”, how to increase the “sweet spot”…