Q: I have looked at your website and based on some of your blog posts you seem to provide a full range of tactical services–content, outbound messaging, SEO, videos, newsletters, demos, etc.. Why do you talk about “leads and deals” instead of focusing on the full range of services that you offer?
We sell to founders and they pay for leads and deals.
Any tactics or strategies we propose we have to connect the dots explicitly to how this will generate new leads or help them create opportunities or close deals. There are many good marketing services firms who sell to the Director or VP of marketing. People in those roles tend to be measured on the number of “marketing qualified leads'” (MQL) that they generate and sometimes look to contract out tactical marketing services to specialty firms.
A Deal Is An Integration Test For Lead Generation & Negotiation Strategies
We are a generalist firm that can look holistically at the new product introduction and implement–often with the help of partners–tactics across a wide range of lead generation techniques with an eye to assist in the negotiation to close of opportunities that are uncovered. We do content development for websites, email campaigns, newsletters, articles, and blog posts. We develop scripts and decks for presentations: live talks, webinars, or videos–and we provide rehearsal and coaching to refine and tune them. But these are all tactics in service of lead generation and preparing for negotiation to close of complex deals.
We look at a closed deal as a successful integration test for the lead generation and negotiation strategies that were employed.
New Products & Markets vs. Known Products & Markets
We also understand the difference between the sales methods needed for new product introduction and those for a product that has many satisfied customers, proven collateral and messaging, and a clear target market. Founders sell to keep the lights on, meet payroll, but primarily because–in the beginning–no one else can. We work with them directly to rehearse, ride along and support, de-brief, and any other way we can make them more effective. To be able to hire a good sales person the founders will need to demonstrate that they have a working product, a lead generation process that works, and satisfied customers that can be used to substantiate their claims and address the doubts that can block deals from closing.
But a good sales person does not want to have to learn how to sell a product through trial and error, they want to see a recipe that works and proof that it does so in the form of satisfied paying customers. They are able to tolerate a high failure rate (e.g. only closing one in three to one in five opportunities) and are happy to continue to tune and improve it through experience, but they want to know they are following a recipe that has been proven to work.
Our methods assume that the product only has to work in founder’s hands, at least initially, and that we will have to earn the customers trust directly through our actions and the results the product can deliver either in their environment or on their data. Once they have a base of satisfied paying customers, the founders can look at scaling using specialists; we can help either to bring on direct staff or find other more specialized sales firms.
Office Hours: Schedule Time to Walk Around Your Sales Issues
If you are looking for advice on lead generation or closing deals consider scheduling “office hours” to walk around your current sales process or a particular opportunity you are trying to close. SKMurphy functions as a startup advisor to help you understand the process of building a business. We understand the challenges of selecting an advisor–and advising entrepreneurs–and have blogged about it a few times:
- “Seeing The Elephant: The Entrepreneur’s Challenge of Integrating Advice“
- “The Challenge of Advising Entrepreneurs“
- “Advising Entrepreneurs“
- “We Don’t Encourage Individuals to Form a Startup“
- “Doing Less with Less“