Moneyball forSales & Marketing
Moneyball for Salesand MarketingIt was 2002, and the Oakland Athletics knew they needed to do things differently. Based in...
Marketing is the Same SportWhat can sales and marketing teams learn from this? Let’s see what Moneyball for sales and mark...
Batting OrderOnce you’ve got someone on base, the dynamic of baseball changes. Now, the game is about advancing thatrunner...
Again, Moneyball tells us to look at the numbers. The Oakland Athletics may not have been able to investin expensive star ...
What is KnowledgeTree?                KnowledgeTree helps customer-facing teams use and improve their                best ...
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Moneyball for Sales and Marketing

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It's time to start taking a different approach to sales and marketing collateral. Every piece of collateral that Marketing produces and Sales uses contains data that is influenced not only by the contents of the collateral but by the approach taken during the sales process. This data can enable the Moneyball Manager to identify what collateral works based on defined criteria and historical data. Marketing is then able to refine collateral so that it stays relevant, not only for the prospect, but for Sales.

KnowledgeTree helps companies use and improve their best collateral. Sales teams get collateral that closes deals. Managers identify what's effective. And Marketing makes collateral that drives more sales.

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Moneyball for Sales and Marketing

  1. 1. Moneyball forSales & Marketing
  2. 2. Moneyball for Salesand MarketingIt was 2002, and the Oakland Athletics knew they needed to do things differently. Based in a mid-sized city,they had a loyal, but small, fan base compared with their opponents. And with a smaller set of fans comeslower budgets to hire big-name players. In fact, their payroll was the third lowest of all teams in the league.Competing to sign marquee players was simply not an option.A Different ApproachBut then again, baseball is a different kind ofsport. If you’ve ever been to a baseball gameyou know that it is a game of numbers. Whena batter steps to the plate, you’ll see their $On Base Percentage, Batting Average, RunsBatted In, and other statistics flashed besidetheir picture.Managers study this data relentlessly, lookingfor small advantages in match-ups betweenbatters, pitchers, and other players. Thismeant that Oakland’s management could hireless expensive specialists that deliver a lot ofvalue in specific match-ups. So, a player thatbunts well against left-handed pitchers can becalled in at the right time. And the investmentis lower.This statistical approach to investing in players got a name (and a book, and a movie). It’s called Moneyball.This mathematical approach led Oakland to win 63% of their regular season games, their divisionalchampionship and broke the 1906 Chicago White Sox record for the longest win streak in the American League.This winning season happened despite the loss of three major stars to other teams. And despite paying justone-third of the New York Yankees on player salaries.
  3. 3. Marketing is the Same SportWhat can sales and marketing teams learn from this? Let’s see what Moneyball for sales and marketinglooks like.Sales teams only have limited time in front of prospects and customers. And they need to spend thattime wisely. That requires that they put their best foot forward each time they deliver a presentation, sendcollateral, or submit a proposal. Collateral that supports a sales engagement needs to deliver the rightmessage for a prospect no matter where they are in the sales cycle.And from marketing’s perspective, money is a major consideration. Research by industry analyst ITSMAreveals that 18% of marketing communications budgets goes to collateral – writing, producing, and deliveringcollateral. That is the largest single component of any marketing budget. So, that money has to be investedintelligently.How does this all apply? Let’s walk through some common baseball scenarios and see Moneyball for salesand marketing in action. It’s a rare enterprise sale that closes with a single call. Most business-to-business deals close after advancing through a known, established sales process.Getting On BaseDespite the hoopla around home runs, the reality is different. Most runs come from players getting to first base,and then advancing around the diamond. The same is true in sales. It’s a rare enterprise sale that closeswith a single call. Most business-to-business deals close after advancing through a known, established salesprocess.So it’s important to get over the first hurdle and get awareness and interest from your prospects. SinceMarketing has already created collateral, Moneyball Managers choose players that hit well against a certaintype of pitcher in a certain situation. Sales teams should choose case studies and content that piques aprospect’s interest. Materials that engage, inform, and are tuned to the pains of different prospects are going toget you on base with prospects.Moneyball Managers must know how match-ups play out. Do case studies generate more interest than whitepapers? Does an ROI calculator really have any value? Do banks respond to case studies about insurancecompanies? Understanding this kind of data lets sales and marketing teams match-up their best content withdifferent customers – and get more pipeline.
  4. 4. Batting OrderOnce you’ve got someone on base, the dynamic of baseball changes. Now, the game is about advancing thatrunner around the bases to score a run. Moneyball Managers know that, so they are careful about the order ofwho bats. A player that gets on base a lot is often followed by batters that can advance the first player. Thatcould be because they’re skilled at directing the ball to different parts of the field, or perhaps they often hit homeruns.The order of how sales people communicate with prospects is just as important. Sending educational materialat the start of a sales process might work well, while using competitive differentiation documents near the endof a sale may just lead to complexity. Moneyball for sales and marketing tells us that we should test whichpieces of collateral work best. Understand your collateral batting order, and choose what works at differentstages in the sales cycle.Fresh ArmsBaseball games aren’t short. And over the course of a game a starting pitcher will often throw the ball morethan a hundred times. With that much exertion, a pitcher’s effectiveness is going to drop off. So a managerwill assess when a pitcher’s endurance is likely to give out, and when they are better off at pulling in a restedpitcher.Just the same, sales cycles for enterprise deals are often lengthy. Hitting a prospect with the same messagerepeatedly may work for a while. But a sales cycle may get stuck as the champion struggles to make abusiness case to his team.Moneyball tells us that we should be prepared to make changes and substitute in new players (or tools) asneeded. A fresh piece of content, a new perspective or resource, might help. Which pieces of content canshake a stalled sale up and get some momentum going? The Moneyball Manager will look back to deals thatwere stuck at this same stage and recommend a new approach with new collateral that has been proven tokeep the momentum going. That enables your champion to continue building a compelling business case.Challenging the SuperstarThere are often special, risky situations in baseball. The other team has loaded the bases and their star playergets ready to hit. The star has a great record at hitting home runs and has a phenomenal batting average.That all adds up to a strong chance that the other team is going to score, and possibly score big.In a sales situation you’re seldom selling alone. You generally are facing large numbers of competitors. Andthese competitors might have great solutions, or strong sales teams, or terrific post-sale service, or some otherdifferentiation. You need to shut this competitor down before they derail your sale.
  5. 5. Again, Moneyball tells us to look at the numbers. The Oakland Athletics may not have been able to investin expensive star players, but they knew how to disrupt other team’s stars. The same holds true for yourcollateral. Sales teams should choose collateral that helps them stand out against the competition. Youhave to look back and see what has worked in this scenario. Getting the right match-up means competitorsquickly drop from view.The CloserThe end of the game is in sight, it’s the bottom of theninth inning and your team is ahead. All that’s needed )is to shut down the last few players on the opponent’steam and it is victory time. In steps your closer. Acloser is a breed of pitcher that calmly arrives andstrikes out the remaining few batters. When the gameis on the line, you want their steely effectiveness.In a sales situation, you have sales people that areclosers too. You even have collateral that closes. Thatis your sales proposal. A fantastically tuned proposalcan put a sale in the win column. But a general,cover-all-the-bases, generic proposal will leave yourprospect wondering if you’re the right solution. Closers,like proposals, are specialists. They are finely tunedto close up any loose ends and get you over thefinish line. But that means you need to find the rightelements to pull together into your proposal. Organizecontent intelligently, marking what works in differentgeographies, for different products, in various verticals,so you can pull together the best closing contentpossible for your deal.ConclusionYou only have so many resources. And with the biggest slice of marketing’s budget tied up in collateraldevelopment, you need to make that money work. By selecting the right collateral for use at the right time in agame – or sales pursuit – you’re going to dramatically increase your win rate. You even have collateral that closes. That is your sales proposal. A fantastically tuned proposal can put a sale in the win column.
  6. 6. What is KnowledgeTree? KnowledgeTree helps customer-facing teams use and improve their best content. Sales people instantly find content that closes deals. Managers identify what collateral works best – and where gaps are. And marketing improves content to drive more sales. Find out why Network World called KnowledgeTree one of the 10 SaaS companies to watch. And learn why Alcatel, Genesys, Fuji Chemical, and 500 other global companies use KnowledgeTree to get insight into their business content. Visit Our Website www.knowledgetree.com Follow Us On Twitter @knowledgetree© KnowledgeTree 2013. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/ orsend a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA

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