Lead Generation, Sales, And Maximizing Lifetime Customer Value
To refresh: the growth machine’s first layer focuses on creating value, and the second layer on conveying value to the right markets and prospects. The third layer, capturing value, is where the rubber meets the road and usually needs the most help. It is the monetization layer. And if this does not come easily for your company, you are in good company!
Why is this so challenging? Buyers want relationships built until they trust you and want to get as much as they can for their organizations, sometimes at your short-term expense. In addition, sales can be complicated technically, protracted, involve multiple decision-makers, and get derailed by factors you have no control over.
In the third layer of the growth machine, our goals are to:
effectively convert prospects into interested leads and interested leads into buyers,
upgrade sales practices and people to better qualify and close,
make it easy for customers to buy repeatedly, and
make customers into raving fans for high NPS scores.
Step 1: Lead Generation That Converts Prospects Into Leads
Lead generation is effective when your team consistently succeeds in converting prospects into solid leads. Solid leads (1) have pain, (2) want to address the pain urgently, (3) are willing to invest in solutions that can address the pain, and (4) see your firm as the likely solution provider.
As most prospects don’t advertise their pain or their plans, effective lead generation systematically identifies and connects with ideal prospects. Once connected, lead generation engages prospects, educates them, and you jointly discover where they have pain that your solution can address.
Building an effective lead generation system includes hypothesizing, experimenting, and iterating to discover what works best. Questions you might consider as you design and refine your lead generation process include:
How do you generate prospects - what sources and which processes work better?
How can most effectively provide research/insights that engage and educate prospects?
How do you manage the progression of prospects and leads through your pipeline?
What are your key qualifying questions, and how do you score leads to qualify them?
Step 2: Focus Sales on the Win-Win
After lead generation creates leads, it’s the job of the sales team to qualify and help leads decide and buy. Sales works when your team finds the win-win; when your solution addresses their pain in the best way and at a price that works for all. It is like solving a puzzle together.
Easier said than done! Yet, sales productivity is closely tied to the effectiveness of sales processes, which can be codified, standardized and systematically improved. To more consistently achieve your sales goals, you might ask:
What are your sales goals and are they stretch goals that are still realistic?
Who are buyers and influencers of your solutions, and how can you best reach them?
How can your sales culture support your growth strategy and sustainable success?
How can you align value propositions and sales messaging with your key targets?
What steps can you take to improve/iterate sales systems, practices and processes?
How can you enhance your sales team’s capabilities to adjust to market dynamics?
Working through our question set, including those above, will help your sales team succeed.
Step 3: Partner for Long-term Success
While initial sales are crucial, long-term success requires customers who buy repeatedly and become brand champions. This requires a Lifetime Customer Value mindset instead of thinking short-term. Value can be accumulated in multiple ways. As your relationships improve and you build trust, customers buy more of the same again and try new solutions. As you become more trusted and relied on, customer “stickiness” increases. As customers reveal more about future needs and ask for your input, your potential to be their go-to provider increases.
As your customers consider you a business partner, growth becomes more robust and resilient. To accelerate this shift, you might use questions such as:
How do you assess Lifetime Customer Value and are you willing to invest in customers?
Do you understand how your solution helps your customers grow their businesses?
How can your behaviors build trust and increase customer loyalty?
Do your customers ask you to provide new solutions or “think out loud” with them?
How will you evolve your business to continue to help your customers grow?
So the Growth Machine’s capture value layer effectively converts prospects into leads and then buyers; gets to a win-win; and helps customers view you as partners, which maximizes LCV.
Want to know more about your growth machine and capacity for growth? Take our free growth assessment.