Having a website that consistently generate leads for you is critical.
So is having a deliberate sales process that ensures you don’t blow it with any of the qualified leads your inbound marketing campaign has generated for you.
As the host of a popular podcast, I have had the opportunity to interview hundreds of other CEOs, and, much to my surprise, not very many of them reported having a really well-defined sales process in place.
Perhaps this was because many of them run smaller (under $10M in rev) companies, or perhaps it’s because they just haven’t thought about it.
In today’s post, I’m going to share with you the third installment in our 3-step sales process: how to deliver a strategy presentation (and avoid writing proposals).
The Purpose of the Strategy Call
The primary purpose of the third call, which our team calls The Strategy Presentation is to deliver a customized presentation to a prospect who has been through the first call and the second call in our 3-step sales process.
When we are talking to one of our prospects, we use an online meeting (GotoMeeting) to allow us to be able to show our screen and have a conversation with as many participants as required.
The presentation that we give is a PowerPoint slide deck that has been customized to that particular client.
How to Prepare for the Call
As you would have seen in the exploratory call, we ask a lot of very specific questions about the prospects’ business. There are several reasons for this.
First, we want to ensure that we really understand their business so we can determine if inbound marketing will actually work (inbound doesn’t work for everyone).
Second, we need to gain a deep understanding of their sales process so that we have the data needed for us to make some predictions on the potential ROI of inbound marketing for that particular company.
Once we have completed the exploratory call, we have the information we need to customize our presentation, PLUS, having invested more time in the process, our prospect is going to trust us more than if we’d just tried to close them without going through the full 3-step process that I’m sharing with you now.
Key Points of the Strategy Presentation
Much of our presentation is very specific to our business, so sharing it here won’t really help you unless you run a marketing agency like ours.
Some of the slides, I believe, will help you no matter what your pitch looks like, so those are the slides that I’ll share.
At the start, you need to communicate the call’s agenda. Here’s ours:
After the agenda has been agreed on, we show a slide that summarizes some of the key findings we uncovered in the exploratory call. If you have any participants on this call that weren’t present for the prior call, this is especially important.
Here’s an example for a recent presentation:
Is There an ROI for the Client?
Regardless of what you are selling, it’s critical to convey the potential for ROI very early in the presentation. Failure to do so will result in some of your audience (the one’s that write the checks) to tune out.
In our case, we show the slide below:
Once we have given them a figure for what we believe is possible for their organization in terms of the revenue we devote quite a number of slides to talking about our capabilities, and the 3 phases of our engagement. As you might guess, there are plenty of details here (20 slides), but most would only be useful to you if you run a marketing agency.
Tell Them How We Are Going to Measure Success Together
Now that our prospect has a pretty clear idea of what we believe is possible to achieve and how we are going to do it, we share with them how we are going to measure our results.
Not surprisingly, prospects are very interested in seeing exactly how we are going to be held accountable for the work we are going to do for them.
In our case, we are going to provide our clients with weekly reports that go into detail on the key performance indicator for traffic, leads, conversion rates, etc. We also provide them with a monthly lead qualify report that tells us which sources of traffic are producing the highest quality leads.
Regardless of what you sell, it’s critical that you include a slide that is going to show your customers how they are going to be able to measure the value of your product or service.
Setting Expectations for Deliverables
By this point in the presentation, our prospect has been shown exactly what we are going to do for them, but they don’t yet have a clear understanding of the timeline. To give clarity to that, we show them the following slide:
Experience has taught me that ensuring that expectations are set properly before exchanging money is critical to setting the relationship up for success.
Share Your Assumptions
Earlier in the presentation, you’ll recall that I shared what I believed was possible in terms of gross revenue from leads generated from inbound marketing. Now that we are near the end of the presentation, I want to share with my prospect the assumptions that went into that figure.
As you can see in the slide above, I’ve used what I learned in the exploratory call to make assumptions on how many leads they’d need to get one new investor (customer).
I’ve also shared with them the following:
- estimate for monthly increase in web traffic in the first year
- estimate for the percentage of total traffic that will convert to leads
- cost per lead
- cost per new investor (in this case, an investor is like a new customer to this company)
As you can see, their annual investment of $45,600 with us is just a fraction of the $383,058 that if my assumptions are correct, can be generated in total revenue from inbound marketing.
The reason that I think it’s critical to share my assumptions is this: if your prospect agrees with your assumptions, they are going to be much more likely to believe that your revenue forecast is achievable.
Wrapping it Up
The only other slides that I show after this one are some slides that contain industry data on the impact of inbound marketing on lead generation. I include these extra “third party” slides as yet another way of conveying that inbound marketing works.
How to Avoid the Kiss of Death
For as long I have been in B2B sales (20+ years), whenever I’ve been asked for a proposal, I almost never win the deal. I believe the reason for this is that people who are serious about moving forward don’t ask for proposals, they ask for contracts.
By following our 3-step sales process, we are never asked for a proposal. There are, I believe, a few reasons for this.
- If a prospect is going to invest the time to participate in 3 hour-long calls with me, they are serious about working with us.
- This call (the third) is the proposal, and because we do the call live (instead of sending a proposal and wondering if they ever look at it), we get instant feedback on our assumptions, the timeline, deliverables, and pricing.
By the time this call is completed, there really isn’t much left to do other than to ask them for payment. (in our business, we are paid in advance for our work, or we don’t work with them)
If you don’t want to risk blowing your chances with a highly qualified lead, you need to have a very deliberate sales process in place. In our case, that sales process involves 3 one-hour calls. We call them the Connect Call, the Exploratory Call, and the Strategy Presentation.
We are so reliant on this process that our sales reps have specific private pages on our website that they pull up before the call starts. That way, the rep can ensure that they follow a very consistent process, ask the right questions, and collect the right data.
By following this 3-step process, we have found that our close rate is near 100% for prospects that participate in all 3 calls. Regardless of what you sell, especially if you are a service company, creating a similar process is going to have a significant impact on your results.
If you want our help in creating a process like this, give us a call at 208-391-2057 or just book a time for a Connect Call via our online calendar.
By how you are probably getting the sense that we are a very process driven company. If so, you’d be right!
In my next post, I’m going to share with you how I’ve mapped some automated processes that are triggered by the completion of each one of these calls. Having processes like this in place will go a very long way to ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks once the process has begun with any given prospect.