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Getting in early: shaping demand through pre-funnel engagement

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Information about Getting in early: shaping demand through pre-funnel engagement
Business & Mgmt

Published on February 19, 2014

Author: AndrewKellam

Source: slideshare.net

Description

A great report from CEB on how to be more successful as a salesperson by shaping demand and teaching prospects
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Getting in Early: Shaping Demand Through Pre-Funnel Engagement From the SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® of the SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE www.sec.executiveboard.com © 2012 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. SEC2936212SYN 1

GETTING IN EARLY: A DISCUSSION Critical Questions to Answer 1. How important is it for your sales organization to “get in earlier?” 2. What commonly prevents your salespeople from getting in earlier? 3. How has your salespeoples’ ability to get in early changed across the last several years? From the SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® of the SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE www.sec.executiveboard.com © 2012 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. SEC2936212SYN Source: Sales Executive Council research. 2

FINDING A READY CUSTOMER Customer Purchase Experience Illustrative ■ The primary commercial objective has been to engage an opportunity at the earliest moment business needs require action. ■ ■ Listening for new ideas ■ Deciding to take action ■ Evaluating current approaches ■ Clarifying needs ■ ■ Searching for solution Predominantly Marketing Evaluating vendor capability Creating vendor short-list ■ Vendor selection ■ Settling pricing and terms Predominantly Sales From the SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® of the SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE www.sec.executiveboard.com © 2012 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. SEC2936212SYN Source: Sales Executive Council research. 3

A SHIFT IN BUYING: RELEGATED TO FULFILLMENT Customer Progress in Today’s Average B2B Purchase Experience ■ This information proliferation has resulted in customers gaining price leverage as they are simply looking for a supplier to fill their needs in a relatively low-cost way. ■ Most consumers purchase automobiles in a similar fashion today. Few go to a dealership without having done research, determined options, and knowing the price they are willing to pay. ■ This trend underscores how customers will (and always have) engage suppliers as late as possible. ■ This alarming trend raises a clear question—how does Sales get in early with a more informed customer? Predominantly Marketing From the SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® of the SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE www.sec.executiveboard.com Predominantly Sales n = 1,460 customers. Source: 2011 MLC Customer Purchase Research Survey; Sales Executive Council research. © 2012 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. SEC2936212SYN 4

IN SEARCH OF ANSWERS Research Overview ■ SEC surveyed more than a thousand reps across a variety of companies, representing multiple industries, across nearly 100 variables. ■ The use of careful control variables ensured data validity. ■ Interviews were conducted with high-performing and core-performing reps at numerous member organizations. ■ Structured Sales Leader Interviews Interviews were conducted with sales leaders across the globe. ■ ■ ■ ■ This research was confined to pre-funnel sales activities. ■ 54 companies 60–90 minute interviews Head of Sales and Sales Enablement A variety of pre-funnel sales behaviors, environmental factors, and various control measures were surveyed. From the SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® of the SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE www.sec.executiveboard.com © 2012 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. SEC2936212SYN Source: Pre-Sales Diagnostic; Sales Executive Council research. 5

GATHER DEEP INTELLIGENCE ■ ■ ■ ■ The information sources most commonly leveraged are those which are very closely associated with the customer organization. Interviews with core and hi-pers surfaced tremendous differences in the information sources most commonly leveraged. Hi-pers heavily relied on people close to the customer organization, including partners, SMEs, consultants, customer employees, and social media sources for this deep intelligence. Change in Probability Going from 25th Percentile to 75th Percentile Performer Improvement in Probability of Being a High Performer 6.20% Conducts NonTraditional Customer Due Diligence ■ ■ ■ Brainstorm with others to think of ways to approach customers Network with internal subject matter experts to learn about different customers Understand the concerns of the buying group n = 1,078. It was evident that many core performers quickly assessed opportunities, but did not probe or search for further information. Their searches were often limited to simple internet research. From the SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® of the SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE www.sec.executiveboard.com © 2012 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. SEC2936212SYN Source: Sales Executive Council Pre-Sales Diagnostic; Sales Executive Council research. 6

OWN LEAD GENERATION ■ Interviews showed considerable differences between core and highperformers within the same companies regarding lead generation. ■ High performers devote significant attention to independently developing their business pipeline. Change in Probability Going from 25th Percentile to 75th Percentile Performer Improvement in Probability of Being a High Performer 10.00% Personally Owns Lead Generation Conducts NonTraditional Customer Due Diligence ■ ■ ■ Brainstorm with others to think of ways to approach customers Network with internal subject matter experts to learn about different customers Understand the concerns of the buying group n = 1,078. ■ ■ ■ I devote considerable personal time to finding and nurturing leads Working with Marketing falls within my core responsibilities I always customize collateral to ensure relevance From the SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® of the SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE www.sec.executiveboard.com © 2012 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. SEC2936212SYN Source: Sales Executive Council research. 7

LEAD WITH INSIGHT ■ Leading with insight, strongly echoes the Challenger Rep’s traits. Change in Probability Going from 25th Percentile to 75th Percentile Performer Improvement in Probability of Being a High Performer 11.57% 10.00% 6.20% Personally Owns Lead Generation Conducts NonTraditional Customer Due Diligence ■ ■ ■ Brainstorm with others to think of ways to approach customers Network with internal subject matter experts to learn about different customers Understand the concerns of the buying group n = 1,078. ■ ■ ■ I devote considerable personal time to finding and nurturing leads Working with marketing falls within my core responsibilities I always customize collateral to ensure relevance Leads with Insight ■ ■ ■ Teaches the customer insights Does not shy away from highlighting flawed assumptions Does not shy away from obstacles in the way of valuable business From the SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® of the SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE www.sec.executiveboard.com © 2012 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. SEC2936212SYN Source: Sales Executive Council research. 8

GAIN PRESENCE AND INFLUENCE ■ Interviews highlighted that high-performers deliberately use social media to position themselves where customers learn. ■ Social media channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn present tremendous scale and reach benefits over traditional networking channels. Change in Probability Going from 25th Percentile to 75th Percentile Performer Improvement in Probability of Being a High Performer Conducts NonTraditional Customer Due Diligence ■ ■ ■ Brainstorm with others to think of ways to approach customers Network with internal subject matter experts to learn about different customers Understand the concerns of the buying group n = 1,078. Personally Owns Lead Generation ■ ■ ■ I devote considerable personal time to finding and nurturing leads Working with marketing falls within my core responsibilities I always customize collateral to ensure relevance Uses Social Media as Critical Channel Leads with Insight ■ ■ ■ Teaches the customer insights Does not shy away from highlighting flawed assumptions Does not shy away from obstacles in the way of valuable business ■ ■ ■ Connect with potential customers via social media Use social networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter to share points of view and news about your company and products Use social media for lead generation purposes What this entails: Positioning oneself as a key influencer within social networks to best leverage their scope and scale to cultivate a business network. What this is not: Using social media as a “spamming” or purely commercial channel. Questions About Social Media ■ ■ © 2012 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. SEC2936212SYN Is there evidence that real companies are successfully using social media for B2B sales? ■ From the SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® of the SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE www.sec.executiveboard.com Is social media really where customers are going for information? Is this relevant to companies outside tech? What about regulated industries? ■ Does social media help with global or key accounts? Source: Sales Executive Council research. 9

THE ELEPHANT(S) IN THE ROOM 1. Is social media really where customers are going for information? ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 2. Is there evidence that real companies are successfully using social media for B2B sales? 78% started with informal info gathering online 59% engaged with peers who addressed the challenge 48% followed online industry conversations on topic 41% followed online discussions to learn more about topic 37% posted questions on social networking sites looking for suggestions/feedback IBM arms salespeople with “social soundbites” which help sales reps engage social networks, ultimately generating considerable sales. Morgan Stanley allows 600+ advisors to use LinkedIn and Twitter, generating considerable leads and reinvigorating past client relationships. n = 100+ B2B buyers across industry. Source: IBM; Chief Marketer; Morgan Stanley; Reuters. Source: Genius.com. 3. Is this relevant to companies outside tech? What about regulated industries? 4. Does social media help with global or key accounts? “LinkedIn and Twitter give me access to the whole ecosystem around that account— consultants, other providers, my key contacts…. Based on [my contact’s] connections, it’s easy to see if competition is lurking.” LinkedIn Contacts Across Industry 0.36 Agriculture 2.0 1.7 Legal Service 2.6 2.4 Transportation Non-Profit 3.2 2.9 Media Arts 4.3 3.7 Government Construction 6.5 5.2 Star Account Manager, Telecommunications Recreational Consumer Goods 7.7 7.1 Corporate Educational Medical Finance 9.1 © 2012 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. SEC2936212SYN Manufacturing From the SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® of the SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE www.sec.executiveboard.com High Tech Source: The Timken Company; Dun & Bradstreet, SocialMediaB2B.com. 8.3 11.7 13.6 Millions n = 92,000,000+. Source: LinkedIn.com; Sales Executive Council. 10

SHAPING DEMAND Change in Probability Going from 25th Percentile to 75th Percentile Performer Improvement in Probability of Being a High Performer Conducts NonTraditional Customer Due Diligence ■ ■ ■ From the SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® of the SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE www.sec.executiveboard.com © 2012 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. SEC2936212SYN Brainstorm with others to think of ways to approach customers Network with internal subject matter experts to learn about different customers Understand the concerns of the buying group Personally Owns Lead Generation ■ ■ ■ I devote considerable personal time to finding and nurturing leads Working with marketing falls within my core responsibilities I always customize collateral to ensure relevance Uses Social Media as Critical Channel Leads with Insight ■ ■ ■ Teaches the customer insights Does not shy away from highlighting flawed assumptions Does not shy away from obstacles in the way of valuable business ■ ■ ■ Connect with potential customers via social media Use social networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter to share points of view and news about your company and products Use social media for lead generation purposes n = 1,078. Source: Sales Executive Council research. 11

SHAPING, NOT REACTING Variables Most Indicative of Performance Comparison of Core and High Performers ■ Core performers largely wait for business opportunities to present themselves. They depend on Marketing to deliver leads, and qualify opportunities based on clarity of customer needs. ■ High performers embody a “micro-marketing” mindset across their territory, teaching customers into their funnel. Distinctive Core Performer Behaviors Distinctive High Performer Behaviors n = 312 of 1,078. Fills orders by reacting to existing demand and settled customer needs Teaches where customers learn. Shapes demand by teaching customers into the funnel. From the SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® of the SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE www.sec.executiveboard.com © 2012 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. SEC2936212SYN Source: Sales Executive Council research. 12

SHAPE DEMAND: TEACH WHERE THE CUSTOMER LEARNS Customer Purchase Experience Shaping Demand Reacting to Demand From the SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® of the SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE www.sec.executiveboard.com © 2012 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. SEC2936212SYN Source: Sales Executive Council research. 13

REVISING THE COMMERCIAL FRONT Critical Shifts in Sales and Marketing Relative to the Customer Purchase Experience ■ Marketing has traditionally driven awareness and thought leadership in the “learn” phase. ■ However, the wealth of information available to customers has crowded out traditional marketing messages. ■ Sales can earn the required access to customers in this state, helping them think differently about their business in ways traditional marketing collateral cannot. Define Needs Assess Options Make Decision Customers have applied filters to the information they consume, granting access to few sources. ■ Learn Marketing Marketing must provide worthy contributors that enable sales in gaining access to customers in the learning stage. From the SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® of the SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE www.sec.executiveboard.com Enable sales reps with short messages to engage customers while learning. ■ Sales ■ ■ Support sales reps’ personal brand building. ■ Train sales reps to be involved in channels where customers learn (e.g., social media). ■ Teach reps to personalize marketing messages. ■ Identify unique differentiators. ■ Develop and package commercial insights which highlight unique differentiators. ■ Enable further exploration of needs through interactive, yet scalable, messages and content. ■ Adapt marketing insights for direct interaction with customers. ■ Train sales reps to deliver commercial insights in compelling ways. ■ Teach reps to target and identify the right stakeholders to carry insight into customer business. Source: Sales Executive Council research. © 2012 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. SEC2936212SYN 14

ROAD MAP FOR THE PRESENTATION Summary of Key Learnings High Performer Demand Shaping Toolkit 1 Pseudonym. Source: Sales Executive Council research. From the SALES EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® of the SALES, MARKETING, AND COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE www.sec.executiveboard.com © 2012 The Corporate Executive Board Company. All Rights Reserved. SEC2936212 15

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