Sales processes: find out what the main models are and how to use the potential of each one for your agency’s commercial strategy
Networking and referrals aren’t the only ways to attract new business; know the main sales processes to realize their potential
Sales processes have changed a lot over the years. From active prospecting to evolutions in Digital Marketing, we see that every day new concepts and technologies emerge that bring innovation to the old practice of selling.
One of the main news in this field was addressed by Aaron Ross, from Salesforce. One of the largest SaaS companies in the world, for a little over 6 years.
After intensive study and several changes in the company’s Inbound and Outbound marketing processes, Aaron achieved what many people would find impossible: over $100 million in annual revenue!
Along with this incredible story, the book Predictable Revenue was born, focused on helping the most diverse companies — from software and technology to those that work with services, such as an agency, for example — to explore their full potential in sales.
Then you ask me: why are you saying all this?
After doing some research, Aaron Ross realized that there were three main types of Leads: seeds, nets and spears.
Leads seeds (seeds) and nets (nets) are closer to the inbound proposal, since the maturity process of these Leads foresees an investment in the relationship, loyalty and nutrition with interesting and useful content for your reality. Already spears (spears) are closer to the outbound model for being cold Leads.
In this text, I’ll tell you some practices that the author suggests in the book and show how you can apply the main sales strategies that can make your agency become a reference.
Imagine the following story:
In January, you, the owner or owner of an agency, finish a big project and this client (really satisfied) recommends you to several companies (seeds). Ending up the month hitting the sales target and this gives a deserved break in the cash flow for the next month.
However, in February, no new client enters the agency. How do you ensure you’ll hit your goals in March?
The decision for Inbound
As seen, the referral channel doesn’t provide the predictability you need to hit sales targets every month. So, the proposal is that you also work with a channel that will help you build an opportunity generation machine: Inbound Marketing.
If you invest heavily in content production, SEO optimization and social media, you will certainly gain entry to many business opportunities (nets).
Unlike traditional marketing, in which you have no control over the amount of fish that will reach your agency, much less if they will be of quality, in Inbound Marketing you can do all that control?
You start to study your persona better, invest in ads with better-designed target audiences, making the Leads come to you more and more prepared to leverage inbound sales.
And if it worked for you, it’s much easier to pass on your expertise to your clients, right?
In an agency, in which the culture is based on the focus on results, the option for Inbound marketing/Inbound Sales can help in building your own opportunity generation machine.
Remember when I said there were three types of Leads? Well, it’s time to get to know the latest of them in-depth! The so-called spears (or spears) are the Leads that come from the so-called Outbound Marketing.
These are cold Leads (no prior contact) and pre-qualified through a business intelligence process.
Let’s go back to our story:
Remember February, that month that wasn’t good for your agency? This era also marked a turnaround for the company.
You started to do a study with clients and ex-clients and realized that most of them have a problem in common. And that the reason they’re looking for you is pretty much the same. Along with that, he realized that they all belong to the same segment.
A light came. Would other companies in this sector have the same pain? Do they know that their services as a Digital Marketing Agency can solve these problems?
That’s how he joined LinkedIn and, with some tools, he was able to extract the contact of some people with authority to make decisions within these companies (spears).
Now there’s only one thing left, getting a connection, qualifying per profile and sending a bullet!
This active prospecting is the most current version of Outbound, called Outbound 2.0. As it is a more direct strategy, an outbound sales machine can bring quicker results, but, on the other hand, it requires a “heavy” investment for the agency. However, if you attack the right person, you will be able to bring in some very strategic projects.
Y sales funnel
The fight between which sales process (Inbound versus Outbound) is better is over. They can be quite complementary. The combination of these two techniques is able to give greater volume to your sales funnel and increase your team’s productivity like that of Blue World City.
Thus was born the Y sales funnel.
As you may have already noticed, some Leads that arrive at your agency via Inbound are more qualified than others, presenting not only greater fit with your service, but also more maturity.
Thus, as the Leads profile is quite different, it is not recommended to carry out the same sales process for all of them.
When a mature Lead converts to a Landing Page, it is not necessary to insert it into a nutrition stream with basic materials. On the other hand, if you prospect a company that may not be at the right time to buy, you can feed it with content so that it will return to your agency more mature.
Furthermore, this is a way to give more efficiency between strategies and reduce your sales cycle, since your salesperson will only talk to the Leads that really matter.
Field and Inside Sales
If you’ve made it this far, you already know how to attract new Leads to your funnel and that the Inbound and Outbound Sales processes can complement each other for your agency to reach the famous predictable revenue.
However, one question remains: is it better to invest in face-to-face or remote sales processes? Before answering, let’s learn more about each of the possibilities.
Field Sales is nothing more than the sale made in person, that is, at some stage of the sale there is personal contact between the Lead and the seller.
On the other hand, Inside Sales is remote sales, carried out without face-to-face contact. It is quite different from telemarketing, as these Leads may have been well qualified through an Inbound Marketing strategy.
Both models have pros and cons, and an agency’s own assessment of what works best and what brings the best ROI (return on investment) is required.
Some people argue that for more complex sales it is necessary to have a face-to-face phase, as for higher average tickets, customers miss more personal contact.
In other words, it is necessary to create a deeper relationship with Leads and therefore invest more in creating rapport to close the sale.
On the other hand, other factors impact more on the complexity of the process than having a meeting live or not, as Neil Rackham, author of SPIN Selling, already says.
Bringing the entire sales team to work within the company is able to increase sales productivity and reduce the cost of bringing new clients to the agency.
Believe me, it’s great not to waste two hours in traffic just to have a 30-minute meeting!
Even though there are different sales processes, some can bring more results than others, depending on the context and the business model your agency adopts.
Despite this, it is always interesting to merge the strategies like Sky Marketing so, which fills the gaps of the other and profits are realized more quickly.
Is that you? Do you have any questions or want to share about how your agency works? Share your questions here! You can be sure we’ll love getting to know you a little better.