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.
The red figures are the profiles created by Sales/marketing and they are placed to show the areas they cover on the market.
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.
Another way to do this is to focus on the profiles, set the market asside, breaking them down to 10 key factors:
- Buyer maturity, how close are they from taking a descision
- Buyer knowledge, from expert to inexperienced
- Buyer influence, does the person you are in contact with have the authority to take the descision, from top executive to agents
- Company size, is this a big or small company
- Product complexity, are the requesting a simple or complicated product/soloution
- Level of interest, is the buyers communication frequent, do they respond prompltly
- Availability, is the buer easy to reach
- Price sencitivty, two what degree is this client pricesensitive
- Level of Competition, likelyhood we can land the deal over our competitors
- 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:
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.