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6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process


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The Six Failure Points in the Customer Aquisition Process by Matthew Iovanni, CEO of FullFunnel

Published in: Sales
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6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process

  1. 1. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process
  2. 2. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 2 – Table of Contents Introduction #1: Targeting the Right Customers #2: Attracting Customers with the Right Message #3: Choosing the Right Channel Mix #4: Monitor Qualifying events #5: Clarity and Persuasiveness During the Presentation #6: Proposal, Pricing, & Product Summary 3 4 8 11 12 15 16 20
  3. 3. – 3 – Introduction During the past three years FullFunnel has worked with +75 clients, in 15 different countries, and across a variety of industries. Companies usually fit within the following categories: • Early stage technology companies searching for product/market fit • Series A+ growth companies looking to expand • Middle Market Firms with limited repeatable sales processes • Publicly traded firms with direct and indirect global sales channels Across this wide variety of companies and programs we’ve identified six common areas of failure in companies’ customer acquisition programs.
  4. 4. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 4 – Targeting the Right Customers The first failure point that can derail a sales & marketing program is who you are targeting. If you’re going to pinpoint your prospect demographic, there are a few key questions that every customer acquisition program needs to have answered up front: 1. Who has a pain that my product or service provides a solution for? 2. How many people have this need? 3. Are these people actively looking for a solution? Failure Point #1:
  5. 5. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 5 – Pain Points Prospects only buy when they are in pain (thanks, Sandler). The reality of any transaction is that it revolves around some pain, whether it’s emotional, physical, or professional. Are the potential customers you’re engaging really looking for your offering?
  6. 6. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 6 – Market Size While some companies do figure out their customer demographics, there are very few cases where they’ve added a layer of quantification to their sales programs. If you’re going to identify how much you need to invest into different customer acquisition channels or overall sales efforts, you need to know how valuable - or dispensable - a single prospect is. Getting really granular and putting up strong estimates of your total addressable market will inform both overall sales strategy and the selling tactics you will employ.
  7. 7. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 7 – Interested Market Listen up! If no one is actively looking for your product, there is no way to really project market absorption. You’re going to have to educate your prospects and create pain before encountering demand. Although startups almost always encounter this problem, middle market firms can suffer from this challenge, as well. If the market is highly commoditized and buyers are approached frequently from multiple vendors, “seeking out” a solution is not necessary.
  8. 8. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 8 – Attracting Customers with the Right Message The next key failure point is messaging. I’m not just talking about the quality and persuasive power of those messages. Frequently, distribution pathways are vastly underutilized, or just plain wrong for the audience. Failure Point #2: The American consumer wants everything and they don’t want to pay for it. “ ” Alan Mulally
  9. 9. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 9 – Message Content & Quality What are you saying and how are you saying it. Modern customers, whether in business or personal engagements, are overwhelmed with marketing messages promoting a wide variety of products or services. With the rise of digital channels and social media, consumers are being bombarded with sales messages. Make an impression by putting pressure on the prospect’s pain point.
  10. 10. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 10 – 1. Be brief. Get to the point quickly and clearly. 2. Be a human. Be approachable. Be humble. 3. Focus on the customer’s pain. No one cares about your company, they care about themselves. 4. Remember prospects are risk-averse, so focus on the positives. 5. Make it easy! The experience must be easy. Don’t burden your prospects in any way. 5 Tips for Effective Communication
  11. 11. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 11 – Choosing the Right Channel Mix Once the messaging is right, you need to ensure it reaches your target audience. Failure Point #3: Channels Include: • Inbound Marketing • Paid Digital Advertising • Email Prospecting • Tele-Prospecting • Social Prospecting • Print Media • WOM, Network, and Referrals Sales and marketing is about the distribution of capital with the intent of gen- erating the highest return on deployed capital. Adjust your channel mix base on cost per lead and cost per qualified opportunity. Don’t underestimate the power of paying attention. Measure everything.
  12. 12. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 12 – Monitor Qualifying Events Failure Point #4: If you are targeting the right people and engaging them with messaging that resonates with their pain points, you will get a qualification event - an active response to your message. This qualification event serves as the measurement of how effective your sales process actually is.
  13. 13. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 13 – Two Key Questions When someone agrees to a qualifying event, do you always: 1. Demonstrate and promote the value of your solution quickly and effectively enough to lead to the next step? 2. Convey how your solution benefits the prospect and people like them, in response to their specific pain? If you can accomplish these things, you will get the decision maker or decision-making unit to commit to a full demonstration or consultation of your offering.
  14. 14. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 14 – Identifying a Process Problem If your sales teams has a qualifying events that don’t progress to demonstrations or consultations, you have a process problem. Ask yourself these questions: 1. Are we talking to the right people? 2. Is our messaging sufficiently informing our prospects? 3. During initial conversations, are we selling, or solving? 4. Do we need to further validate our product/market fit? Finding the qualifying events is the job of lower stage sales team member such as a SDR, BDR, or any inside sales position. Only relying on exceptional “closers” is not scalable. Fulfilling your sales process should be like a paint by numbers exercise. Any college- educated person with some grit and communications skills can successfully close deals.
  15. 15. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 15 – Clarity and Persuasiveness During the Presentation Failure Point #5: This failure point is the easiest to identify. If your product is not that compelling, doesn’t remedy the prospect’s pain points, or is cumbersome and awkward, they are not going to ask for a proposal or consider buying it. If you have less than a 20% close rate from presentations, you need to get back into the lab and work on your product. Plain and simple.
  16. 16. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 16 – Proposal, Pricing, & Product Failure Point #6: At this point, you’re in good shape. You just need to move your deal across the goal line. Industry averages tell us you should win at least 25% of all proposals that you submit. If that’s not the case, it is very likely your qualification process is incomplete. I encourage companies to strive for a 33% close rate or better. If this isn’t you, look for the three Ps.
  17. 17. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 17 – Proposal The failure point in the proposal itself usually falls within the key business terms and structure of the agreement. Anything from payment terms, termination, limitation of liability, indemnification, enforceability, and term can derail your prospects ability to move forward and execute the deal.
  18. 18. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 18 – Pricing Absent BANT, there is only price. If you are losing deals based on pricing, either you are not actually qualifying your prospect, or you are pricing yourself out of the market. Price is really important if you are competing in a saturated space that views your product as a commodity. Ensuring you are communicating and validating your key value to the customer is critically important.
  19. 19. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 19 – Product This is the failure that stings the most. If you are getting constantly bested by competitors based on features of the product or service itself, go back to the lab. Don’t blame your salespeople if you are converting less than 20% of BANT qualified opportunities. No one likes hearing their baby is ugly, but if you’re converting below that 20% benchmark and doing everything else right, have a self-effacing moment and deal with the problem.
  20. 20. 6 Failure Points in the Customer Acquisition Process – 20 – Summary When companies are suffering from deficiencies in their customer acquisition process, underlying failures can be found in one or more of these six areas: Luckily, uncovering each or any of these failures means you’re closer to operating more effectively since every failure reveals an opportunity. You just need to know how to fix it. Proposals, Pricing, Product Appropriate Targeting Quality of Messaging Message Distribution Clarity of Qualifying Events Presentation or Product Demonstration
  21. 21. To find the dead weight, cut it from the process, and replace it with something sustainable, realistically manageable, and successful. To learn more about how our team can help you achieve the results you desire without the costs you dread, click here to request a consultation. At FullFunnel, that’s our purpose. Request a Consultation