Over 95% of the time those who have a product or service to sell are blessed by infinitely more buyers in the market than the seller’s resources to call in a one-to-one manner.
Knowing there are buyers for what the seller wants to sell is very comforting for those who have invested everything and often some of what others have in sharing this product or service with that approaching infinite market.
Even with that large group of potential buyers often sellers are waiting for the phone to ring, someone to walk in or something purchased from the shopping cart.
Those waiting for the cart to fill, the phone to ring or for someone to walk in the door are in the Blue section of this RoadMap. There are times and situations where suspects travel from that “All Suspects” place on the map, move through Investigate, Early Qualify, and show up at Late Qualify by putting something in your cart and then disappear as mysteriously as they appeared (for many new businesses most items placed in the cart are abandoned for some reason).
There was a time long ago, in a land far-far away, when the salesperson waiting for the phone to ring would cold call, network, send letters or go door-to-door looking for the person they could move along the RoadMap to the Late Qualify stage.
In this land today, this Revenue RoadMap needs to be proactively managed in a more predictable way, with a lot more digital, help from marketing and a much higher velocity all with a lower cost.
So, what do those who have a product with infinitely more suspects than they can engage one-to-one do today?
Step one is, recognize this is not just a sales problem. At least not like it was long ago in that land far-far away.
Today the problem is a “Revenue Generation” problem, every person in the whole organization has a role in helping that infinite group of suspects travel along the Revenue RoadMap to arrive at the point where they buy or contract to buy and then receive exactly what they intended to purchase.
Remember there are sales with NO revenue, but there is NO revenue without sales.
Another difference is in that land far-far away sales was about “salespeople” and today sales is a process with or without people.
Another difference is those humans doing sales used to do marketing and customer service as part of their role. Less and Less does that happen in this land today and seldom if ever is doing that intentionally a good idea for the customer, the salesperson, or the company. Today that is called doing “dumb stuff”.
Today that infinite pool of suspects are looking to get a problem solved and somehow you think you solve that problem for those in the pool (that is the only way they get in the pool).
While you think you solve a problem those suspect have the suspects may or may not even recognize they have that same problem. The impact they may not be actively looking for anything or looking but not for what you sell or looking for something of greater or lesser value than what you are selling.
Your job is to make suspect is aware that the problem they have (known or unknown) is real, you understand the problem and have a solution. Now, since they are aware they move to the next stage – investigate.
You now have a smaller group you can focus on. This group has some level of awareness they have a problem and think maybe you can solve it. At this stage, this aware group is deciding if the problem is worth solving, if now, and approximately the value of solving it. If they find solving the problem compelling they look for options to solve the problem. They want to determine who is low risk enough to look at deeper – in other words, who looks trustworthy and worth a next step.
Your Job is to set expectations about the solution and the Ideal Future State the suspect would attain by partnering with you for the product and engagement model. Part of these expectations are around the value of the problem and the value of the solution. You can only afford to invest your “Revenue Generation” investments in those who will value you offer.
Those who go beyond this point feel the need to consider fixing this problem and want to go deeper into options, risk level, timeframes, etc. They do things like ask friends what they have done, go to webinars, seminars, read blogs and if they still think you and your offer are trustworthy they will reach out to you for a conversation to Early Qualify you.
Your Job for this group is to help them understand if their Ideal Future State and your offer align in outcomes, engagement, and financial areas. Once this group reaches out to you the cost of moving the deal forward goes up ten times, so move the right ones forward into and beyond the conversation.
This conversation is the point where the buyer qualifies you in or out and you do the same with them. The buyer will have an official or unofficial checklist covering the problem, your engagement model and business issues including financial. The buyer needs to trust going forward is worth the risk and the investment. The buyer is asking you to propose to fix the problem.
Your Job is to take control of the rest of the process. This is like having a heart attack and going to the heart surgeon. The surgeon must be in charge. In this case, you as the seller better know more about solving the problem than the buyer. If that is true you bring thought leadership to the relationship with a proven offer to solve the problem, the engagement model and business issues including financial. You will have a Joint Scope of Work (SOW) process in place that you are sure will lead to solving the problem. This lets the buyer be active in the process you control since you know how to solve the problem.
When you execute a Joint SOW process it is specific in effort and time. At the end of the Joint SOW, there is a clear go forward now, later, or never, because the work effort, outcomes, and cost are clear to all.
Those who go to the next step transition the Joint SOW into the contract and delivery in short order.
Your Job is to deliver the Joint SOW that has been converted into a contract to solve the problem as promised. During the delivery process, you learn as much about the customer as possible to assure the problem is solved and to move to the next problems you can solve for the buyer or their partners.
While sales really start in the Blue part of the Revenue RoadMap – “Revenue Generation” does start with that Infinite Group of Potential Suspects. In this land today, all you must know is how to get their attention to keep moving the right ones to the next step, and the next step and the next step.