Posts Tagged ‘reactive selling’

Five Steps to Creating a Go To Market Strategy That Works

Once there is a resource plan in place, creating a strategy to activate the new business development plan is crucial. Building out a Go-To-Market (GTM) Strategy will guide the team to success and reduce common pitfalls like misuse of budget and missed revenue or profit projections. So what is a GTM? It’s a comprehensive action plan that outlines the approach and steps to attract and win new clients, enter new markets, increase market share, and achieve projected sales targets and revenue. Five questions that should get answered in a GTM include:

  1. What are we hoping to achieve? 
  2. How will we track progress? 
  3. What does success look like? 
  4. Who are we selling to and why? 
  5. What tools do we need to enable the team? 

Thinking through these “why” and “how” questions will force the team to delve into the details. A GTM will clearly define positioning, analyze the competitive landscape, and establish an initial offering that will gain credibility with the marketers you intend to sell to.

Right to Win 

Starting with the end in mind, bringing new clients onboard that the business is well suited to solve problems for is the main goal when designing a new business development strategy. 

Imagine you’re at a business conference. You get into an elevator along with two senior marketing decision-makers from a company that you would love to do business with. You overhear their conversation about one challenge that they are experiencing and you happen to be uniquely positioned to solve it. What is their challenge? And try to keep this answer to less than 50 words. This will force you to zoom in on your Right to Win. 

Your Right to Win should be firmly rooted in your ability to articulate value to the types of prospects you want to pursue. Questions around the problems you’re capable of solving or how you structure your fees all play a role into the type of clients the business is positioned to win. Once this is outlined, the most important question to end on is whether these answers will hold up to a prospect that doesn’t know you. 

Gathering enough information to tell a compelling story and arm this newly established business development team will be the first step before creating a list of dream accounts you’d love to work with.

Positioning 

The reality is, your position cannot speak to all people. It needs to be narrow enough to demonstrate your expertise, while also being broad enough to gain market share. Examples of narrow, yet broad positioning revolve around:

  • Service/Capabilities
  • Category Expertise
  • Demographic Solutions
  • Intellectual Property

Competitive Landscape 

Everyone has competition. It’s important to keep track of where your clients are going when they leave or why you lose a deal. It’s painful, but it will allow you to better understand your position and why you win the type of work you do. 

In a GTM, you’ll want to look at your competitors’ positioning and what you’re offering that they can’t. When comparing, think about who they are trying to sell to and why, and what kind of technology is used to enable their business development efforts. An effective competitive analysis should have two primary outcomes:

  1. What are the market barriers?
  2. What are the market opportunities?

Initial Offer 

The initial offer is a compelling insight that can convey to a prospect that you understand their business and can provide solutions to the challenges they are evaluating. The initial offer is most compelling when you raise awareness to a business need or opportunity. Examples of this include proprietary, vertical specific research, a creative lab intended to provide a brainstorm around a specific need, or presentations that frame their problem and offer guidance. 

With a GTM strategy to guide your team, you will be able to put them into action.

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10 Must-Do Activities to Catapult your Sales Pipeline

Marketing team’s are strapped with projects and plans from digital transformations to staying ahead of the evolving marketing shifts, and on top of this do their day-job. There’s more than $100 Billion in marketing spend every year. That’s a lot of money and not a lot of time. 

After a full day of being asked to prepare, present, and solve business problems, corporate and brand marketers rely heavily on partners coming to them with solutions. Awarding business to proactive and thoughtful partners is a marketing professional’s favorite part of their job. So how do you get in front of them in a way that feels authentic?

The activities needed to attract, attain, nurture and win new clients can vary, but every successful new business development plan has one thing in common: It takes a team to make it work. A team based model to business development focuses everyone’s activities around increasing the visibility of your expertise. The first step in resourcing a new business development plan is identifying who will be responsible for the following types of activities: 

Research

Which markets should you pursue? Who should you reach out to? And when would it be most effective? These are the types of questions researchers should be finding answers to. This team member will support prospecting efforts and provide critical information to others when a qualified business lead wants a meeting. 

Strategize

Analyzing where you have a Right to Win and what gives you a competitive advantage whether through positioning or your offer is key. Even better, document your strategy and have it vetted by team members with experience in Go-To Market strategy. 

Promote

With a digital-first economy, it is important to have someone with specific digital expertise such as search engine optimization, website management, marketing automation and analytics to support inbound marketing activities. Depending on your business, this activity can play a crucial role or it could play a supportive role in the overall program. 

Enable

Creating a sales process that uses a tech stack, content, email assets, call scripts, and capabilities deck will enable your new business team to produce qualified business opportunities. These activities fuel sales and help prospects easily understand what you can do for them.

Expertise

Becoming a member or sponsoring organizations where other subject matter experts in your domain share ideas is a first step toward this. Then, you can move onto submitting work for awards, pitching subject matter experts for interviews or byline articles, and participating in speaking opportunities. All of which will help validate your credibility as an expert. 

Write

Compelling content that demonstrates expertise will get used by almost every team member and will most definitely have reached your prospects before anyone else has. This activity is the fuel for enabling sales and promoting your business to prospects. 

Guide

New business development is a journey, and on every great journey you have a guide. Having a clear understanding of the strategy and the ability to navigate day-to-day organizational challenges will be important to steer the team in the right direction. 

Respond

The MVP on the team plays this role. Closers will typically excel in presentations, thinking on the fly and have deep knowledge of your business. A team approach to closing business can be very successful, especially when paired with a networker and subject matter expert.

Win

Taking a team approach to close a deal is a winning strategy. Creating a capabilities deck and customizing it to the prospective client’s problems will get you into negotiations.

Network

This is an age-old activity required for new business development. In-person or on social channels, this is something that will help expand your circle of influence.

Connect

Creating new opportunities for the business proactively requires dedication. Prospecting, qualifying potential clients, preparing the closing team to win, and facilitating conversations with the team in order to keep everyone on task – growing the business – takes dedication to drive everyone toward that winning opportunity. 

When you’re building out a resource plan for outbound sales efforts, it’s important to focus on the activities around researching, strategizing, and connecting. Hiring a 3-5 person team with these skill sets will open doors for you proactively. 

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Insights: Sales Growth in an Economic Downturn

In the beginning of 2022, brands struggled with their supply chains and what was thought (at the time) to be temporary inflationary pressures stemming from the war in Ukraine. Now we know that inflation and consumer spending changes will continue to be a challenge going into 2023. So where will the opportunities shift in an economic slowdown?

Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands are not slowing down in terms of growth, but inflation and consumer spending shifts are still major challenges. This combination leaves the industry primed for opportunities to double down on their marketing efforts by leveraging digital, branding, packaging and creative, media and more.

Fear of Downtrading

While headlines have been mixed on where the economy is headed, the softness in the market that people feel is starting to become etched in hard numbers. Noteworthy CPG retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon missed their earnings. The fear earlier in the year that consumer behavior would be impacted by inflation is starting to take shape and show in financial reports.

CPG giants like Nestle, Unilever, and Campbells all experienced market share losses to private label brands in consumer staple categories. Strategies to protect against trading down were all prevalent in their reports. Price increases have been steady all year and most reported an additional 5% increase in the last quarter. Balancing price increases with the decline in spending is a top initiative for 2023.

CPG Opportunities

CPG is gaining back most of the lost margins through eCommerce. Digital sales continued to rise another 5% in Q3 bringing the YTD increase to just shy of 40%. This is partially fueled by the consumer behavior shift from in-person shopping to online, due to COVID. This convenience is one that many consumers still enjoy even with the upcharge.

Of all the categories to go after during an expected recession, CPG has the best outlook during the downturn and has fared better than many sectors. While most CPG companies are still down for the year, they continue to see organic growth gains and are not experiencing the declines that other sectors are seeing.

Key Takeaways

As inflation is here to stay, CPG brands are looking to make a two-pronged approach: Increase prices to adjust overall margin rates while deterring consumers from downtrading.

Increasing prices comes with a risk, and it’s that coveted phrase investors are asking every CPG brand about: Downtrading. Brand equity becomes highly important because brands won’t be able to compete on pricing given inflation challenges. Because of this, marketing and innovation will continue to see investments, skewing toward heavier investments in digital strategies and campaigns as brands aim to increase brand equity or premiumize their brands to offset the consumer perception of increased pricing. If the economy does dip into a recession, then brands will need to combat downtrading even with steady overall growth to their portfolios.

Find more opportunities with CPG brands. Download the full report

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Proactive vs Reactive Selling: Building your revenue streams with both approaches

Proactive Vs Reactive Selling

There are two revenue streams that sales and growth leaders build out: reactive and proactive. When creating a revenue generating process for your business, these two approaches should be monitored.

Response-Based Activities: This type of activity includes inbound inquiries and RFP responses. If RFPs are part of the team’s Go-To Market (GTM) plans, having an update on each stage of the RFP process will help the team win more frequently. Three main points to monitor regularly around RFPs include:

  • New RFPs and which ones to pursue. 
  • Deadlines and due dates throughout the RFP process. 
  • RFP win rate dashboard with budgets allocated to each submission. 

Inbound is likely part of the GTM too, and many teams will have two processes – one for those who want to talk to sales and one for those who are not ready for sales. The three main points to monitor for Inbound leads include: 

  • Response time to new sales inquiries. 
  • Outcomes from initial conversations from inbound leads. 
  • Engagement from leads that are still being nurtured by marketing. 

These response-based activities are considered reactive and will only take your sales pipeline so far. It’s often the case that simply responding to a situation – whether an inbound inquiry or a Request for Proposal – without a strategy to arrive at a desired outcome won’t grow the business. 

Waiting for the perfect client can lead to wasted time and effort by responding to prospects who aren’t a great fit. When taking a proactive approach, your team is able to guide the pace of the sales process and better serve the potential client. This also allows the team to ensure they’re meeting with the decision makers who care about the outcomes from the work, resulting in more closed-won business.

What is proactive selling?

Proactive selling is a sales approach that allows a sales rep to take control of the sales process instead of waiting on a lead to take some kind of action. This puts the sales person in a position to grow their sales pipeline instead of waiting for the right client to show up.

When engaging with potential customers, taking a proactive approach can help build trust and close more deals. Proactive strategies will require the sales rep to anticipate customer needs, show empathy, and solve problems before the customer is aware of them.

Proactive Approach: A proactive approach to new business development will look different from the response-based approach. The team members responsible for this should actively seek out new prospecting lists, adjust messaging based on who they’re interacting with, and focus on the responses received from their efforts. The four main points to monitor for outbound leads include:

  • Prospecting lists and attributes of those prospects. 
  • Sales cadences, including messaging for emails, social, phone calls and voicemail. 
  • Messaging and content to get prospects engaged. 
  • Response rates and engagement to outbound outreach. 

When is the right time to find a partner for proactive selling?

Taking a proactive approach to selling requires a dedicated resource with surrounding support. When your team does not have the ability to dedicate resources to this, partnering with Catapult can be a great option. Outsourcing proactive selling can aid your team and ensure success from all new business approaches. It supplements already over-taxed in-house growth leaders and allows your team to stay focused on its core strengths.

Ready to catapult your sales pipeline? Contact Us.

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