Big Ideas for Leaders of Mid-size Service Firms
Here are insights you need to reach your next level
The Organic Prospect
Most service firm leaders believe that there are hundreds or possibly hundreds of thousands of great new prospects out there whom they could be serving but are not serving today. The organic prospect has no prior knowledge of your firm or services and has no inclination to pick you. Yet they fit your ideal client profile. Can you pull organic prospects into a business relationship with your company? Absolutely yes – if you develop the right strategy.
Shallow-Swim And Deep-Dive Content
A great content marketing strategy has two major parts: shallow-swim content and deep-dive content. Both of these are necessary to pull organic prospects along their in-bound journey. Shallow-swim content delivers bite-sized ideas that can be consumed quickly. Deep-dive content is a feast of great ideas that a prospect can chew on for quite some time.
The Digital Sales Funnel
The digital sales funnel is the new sales model that you need to carefully monitor and expedite to acquire great new organic clients. The digital sales funnel contains five distinct stages: awareness, consideration, interest, evaluation and selection. You can absolutely accelerate prospects through this process if you take the right approach.
The Self-Persuading Prospect
An important corollary to the new 90-10 rule, the self-persuading prospects is a phenomenon of the digital age. Prospects now want to make their in-bound journey toward your organization completely autonomously – independent of a conversation with one of your team members. As they progress on this journey, they are persuading themselves that you are right for them - if you have great ideas.
5 Prerequisites Of Sales-Ready Prospects
As prospects progress on the four stages of the in-bound journey, they go from not being willing to talk to a consultant to being entirely open to meaningful sales dialogue. But at what point should you talk to prospects? At what stage are they most open to dialogue? How can you know which prospects to engage and which to allow more time on their journey? The sales-ready prospect demonstrates 5 key characteristics.
Your Website Is Not About You
This is probably a counterintuitive idea. But we find it to be true nonetheless. If your website is primarily about your company, your services, you capabilities and why prospects should pick you – they have little reason to visit or stay on your website. But if your website contains great ideas that help your prospective ideal clients understand how to achieve goals that matter to them, you position as the expert. You become the trusted advisor. Your website is, ultimately, about the goals of your ideal client.
The Digital In-Bound Journey
Prospects now pass through four distinct stages on their in-bound journey: anonymous, acknowledged, engaged and leaning-in. If you build the right digital model, you can pull prospects through this process at an accelerated pace. If you don’t build a digital process that facilitates this journey, prospects will take the journey with someone else, likely your competitors.
Why Focus On Ideal Clients?
Organizations who focus on ideal clients have higher profits, more satisfied clients and stronger loyalty from staff. There are 7 major qualities the make ideal clients ideal. There are also 7 major benefits that we have identified that service firms realize from focusing on ideal clients.
The 95-5 Rule
The new 95-5 rule holds that 95% of the people you are marketing to at any given time are not ready to enter serious sales dialogue. They lack one or more of these crucial five criteria: budget, need, timeframe, reason to act or willingness to engage in serious sales dialogue. However, if you build content that matters to your audience and constantly provision it to them, over time, nearly all of them will encounter need, budget, timeline, reason and willingness to engage in dialogue. This is why lead nurturing is critical to your ultimate success.
The Digital Ecosystem
The digital revolution has forever changed the way professional service firms go to market. It is not wise or effective to think of digital strategies as stand-alone campaigns. This is particularly true of your website. Some organizations have discovered how to integrate digital strategies into a highly effective ecosystem that consistently pulls organic prospects into business relationships.
The New 80-20 Rule
The new 80-20 rule holds that no more than 20 percent of your webpages can be about your company, team, services or even testimonials. For websites to pull organic prospects into a business relationship, at least 80% of your webpages must be about ideas to help ideal prospects achieve their goals. Websites that follow the new 80-20 rule never lack for prospects, deals, revenue or profits.
The New 90-10 Rule
The new 90-10 rule holds that organic prospects want to make 90% of their in-bound journey before they have a conversation with anyone at your company. This has two important implications for your company. First, the sales conversation that used to start new business relationships has now moved to the end of that process. Second, if you are not giving prospects a reason to engage your ideas BEFORE a conversation, you are missing out on great new deals.
Lead Score – The Real Value Of Marketing Automation
There is a lot of confusion today about the reasons service firms should implement marketing automation. We believe the number one value of marketing automation is lead scoring based on the individual digital footprint of your users. Lead scoring makes it very clear who is a prospect and who should sit in the sales funnel a while longer.
Consideration – The Key To Great New Clients
The new digital sales funnel contains five distinct stages. Of these five, consideration is the most important stage for acquiring new organic clients. As prospects make their in-bound journey, they are considering your ideas, the clarity of your thinking, the applicability of your counsel and how you might help them. Service firms that stimulate a deep consideration phase pull organic prospects into meaningful sales conversations.
The Online Brochure Versus Ideas-Based Website
An online brochure website talks primarily about the service provider. These websites are clearly identifiable based on links in primary navigation – at the top of the page. These links often include: about us, our services, our blog, our team, our mission and vision. Online brochure websites are highly ineffective at pulling ideal prospects along the in-bound journey. But ideas-based websites are highly effective at this process.