As much as we would like to admit it, marketing alone is not enough to secure a healthy pipeline of business. I recently heard Kyle Porter of Salesloft (a company that sells sales development platforms) mention that even his senior sellers are required to produce a percentage of their own pipeline.
In response, senior sales people are asked to go from reacting to demand to generating it on their own. With this dynamic, I think the hardest thing for sales management to understand is that their BIG GAME Hunters are unprepared and unwilling to handle this responsibility.
Without any direction outside of a mandate to gain more evaluations – senior sales people do what they do best. They think their industry knowledge, tenure, and high compensation requires them to craft lengthy and well researched correspondence to targeted executives. (Imagine the laborious process of researching, writing and rewriting the perfectly tailored e-mail and phone script?) The problem with this approach is that when these lengthy, targeted pieces of correspondence go unanswered – senior sales people get frustrated. They begin to take on the mentality that they are closers and setting appointments only prevents them from do what they are paid so handsomely to do. In truth – highly compensated / senior sales people rose to their station because they are very productive and demand creation activity that doesn’t generate demand is just……unproductive.
What we need to understand is that our buyers are very busy and even if we craft the perfect pitch to an individual, it could be the wrong time, the wrong person, or even the wrong median. Demand Creation in today’s hectic and busy world requires a different outlook and process. We need to switch from a hunting approach to a farming mentality.
A successful demand creation process allows senior sales people to use their tenure, experience, and status for demand creation – but instead of spending this time focusing on an individual – they focus on a group of individuals. This process takes the same amount of time as traditional targeted demand creation efforts but is wildly more productive because it generates results.
These individuals need a message tailored specifically to them. A recent SAP study found that 45% of today’s buyers want relevant use cases to help them make a decision. They want information about how you have helped similar people in their position and in their industry. And not just vague value propositions, they want to hear specifics. I recommend taking a targeted audience based on job title, industry, and competitive install. Find a pain you have solved based on a recent Win Story (RampedUp.io can help here) for all three. Once the message is created – we need to think multi-touch and multi-median.
The Eight Touch Campaign
Snail Mail Touch – In a FedEx envelope to ensure it gets to the recipient. Reference 3 strategic pains you can solve.
E-mail Touch – Referencing letter, Pain 1, date to meet
Phone Touch – Referencing letter, Pain 1 and date to meet
E-mail Touch – Reference Pain 2, second date to meet
Phone Touch – Reference Pain 2, second date to meet
E-mail Touch – Reference Pain 3, third date to meet
Phone Touch – Reference Pain 3, third date to meet
Transitioning E-mail Touch to Lead Nurture
This process won’t work every time, but it will be strategic enough to motivate a senior seller and tailored enough to motivate the target to respond. Give it a try senior sellers and let me know how it works for you.