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The Digital Utopia Podcast Episode #18

How to Turn Your Sales Opportunities into Customers

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About the podcast

The Digital Utopia Podcast is for SMB Marketers and Business Leaders looking to align their Marketing, Sales, and Service departments so they’re part of one powerhouse growth team.

Each episode will dive into the strategies, philosophies, and tools that will change your approach to organizational growth, give you renewed focus and clarity, and allow you to build a brand that not only helps you stand out—but win.

The Digital Utopia Podcast is produced by Digitopia and hosted by Frank Cowell and Joseph Freeman.

Episode transcription

Frank
Hey gang. Welcome to the digital utopia podcast episode 18. I'm your host, Frank Co. and I'm joined by my co host,

Joe
Joseph Freeman.

Frank
Joe. Good morning.

Joe
Good morning, Frank.

Frank
I am excited about today.

Joe
Okay.

Frank
Last week, we talked about our implementation matrix, and how you'd go about implementing Rev ops revenue operations to create a culture of revenue inside your organization. And we talked about this idea of an implementation matrix, a tool that we created, because this idea of revenue operations is really just an idea. And there's, there are a few characteristics that define it. But there really isn't a game plan or how you go about doing that. So what we set out to do with the digital utopia methodology, and this implementation matrix is really create a playbook for how you go about implementing DevOps, creating a culture of revenue inside your organization's. So last week, we talked about on the implementation matrix, the kinds of activities that you would do in your organization, to create fans. And so in the true spirit of top down optimization, we started there, yeah, this week, you're going to talk about customer creation, or whatever you call it in your business clients, patients, members, students, you know, but that customer lifecycle level

Joe
thrown in and out yet. So our lifecycle stages, just as a quick reminder, from the bottom up, you're taking people from visitors to Leads, Leads to qualifieds, qualifieds opportunities, opportunities to customers, and then customers to fans. Now, one of our core philosophies is top down optimization, which is why we're working backwards in these episodes through them. Because we really want to drive home the point that if you're going to start working on anything to optimize your business, you should start at the very top where you can have the most impact, and then start optimizing down, right,

Frank
correct. I mean, it does no good if you have an experience that isn't creating fans, if you don't have an experience that creates fans, then you're missing a lot of opportunity. And I would suggest it's your biggest ROI. Because if we were to go to the other end of the spectrum and try to bring strangers into visitors and then leads and all that, that's the most expensive proposition you have that reminds me of what's that

Joe
Fire Island is that those called fire festival.

Frank
Oh, the fire festival fire festival,

Joe
right? So much hype at the beginning and so much money spend so much whatever, to show up at the end where the product was a desert island with no latrines.

Frank
Yeah, what a dumpster fire that was. They should call it dumpster fire festival.

Joe
So that's what we do not want. We do not want you optimizing from the bottom up just to create customers that only last a week, a month a year. You want to keep these people for a long time.

Frank
Yeah, because let's, let's face it, if you're good at fan creation, there are lots of real business things that happen that are measurable. ROI, give you referrals, leads more opportunity, they can leave you reviews, positive reviews, which leads to more awareness, which eventually becomes opportunity.

Joe
Right?

Frank
Right. They can give you case studies and testimonials, which leads to more awareness and opportunity. They could extend their contracts, you can upsell or cross sell them. There's so many, you know, monetary rewards from turning customers into fans. It

Joe
becomes its own little lead generation and even revenue generation labs. That's cool. If you

Frank
I wouldn't use the word cesspool, I would have said like its own economic engine. Again, the choice of words is not the best in this scenario, but we're gonna we're gonna go with that.

Joe
Well, you bring the textbook and I bring the real life craziness.

Frank
Yeah, yeah, I'm not sure people implementing this would cesspool as the, you know, the vernacular here. But we're gonna just we're gonna pass over that, because that's not your most. It's not your shining moment. That's not your the highlight.

Joe
Yeah, add that to the list. So yes. Last week, again, we talked about turning customers into fans. Today, we're gonna focus on turning opportunities into customers. So to be very clear, we're on the customer's level of the matrix. Yeah, so what that means if again, if you request a copy of this matrix,

Frank
I'm only going to make this offer in one or two episodes. And that's it, because this truly is something that we reserve for our clients and people that engage with our brand. But if you want a copy of this, it literally is stealth, you got to email me frank@digitopia.agency frank@digitopia.agency. And I'll get you a copy of this implementation matrix. So it when you look at this matrix, that the top life cycle that you're looking at, that's the goal. So the the activities in the column below or in the row below are the kinds of activities you do to create that life cycle. So we're gonna talk about the kinds of activities and optimization and experience things to create customers. So it's not it's not that once you have a customer, these are the things you do. These are things you do to create customer

Joe
so since nobody has this in front of them as a visual, I'm just going to quickly describe what we are looking at here, it's a table,

Frank
close your eyes,

Joe
to close your eyes, close the table with a few rows on it. And the rows are the goal. So in this case, its customers. Next down, we have accountability. So who's accountable for making this happen and owning the relationship. Below that we have KPIs. So that is the number one thing you really got to be held accountable to make this lifecycle stage come to life. So

Frank
it's like how you measure it, right? So if the goal is to create customers, the KPI is how you're going to measure that what is the best metric that represents the outcome you're responsible for?

Joe
Right? then right below that we have metrics. And so those are some of the leading indicators as to whether or not you're going to hit that KPI, that goal. And below that, we have process platform and people which are the three pieces of the pillars of RevOps as we preach it. And so today, we're going to take you from accountability, KPIs metrics, and talk through the process associated with

Frank
did we talk in last episode, Arianne maybe you can help us remember this? Do we talk about the difference between a KPI to metric and our last episode? A little bit, let's just be really clear on that. Occasionally, you guys will hear me go off on tangents. For example, you've heard me go off on one before about the difference between goals and objectives, right? Like I have a huge pet peeve with that we won't get into that again. So I want to actually little tangent here and make sure everyone understands the difference between a KPI to metric, right? The best way to understand this at a high level, if we before we dive into the specific differences is every KPI is a metric, but not every metric has a KPI. Okay, so through that lens, when you look at the objective of what you're trying to achieve in a given role, right, let's say you're the head of sales. So the number one thing you're supposed to produce in your role is in your organization, you're going to determine whether that's contract value generated every month, it could be number of customers generated every month, it could be service lines, number of service lines sold every month, whatever it is, in your organization, there is a number one primary thing. And the one thing you choose is really important, because it drives behavior drives behavior. So for example, if I were to say, you need $100,000 of ontrack vault value sold every month, that will drive a certain behavior, you might go get one client worth $100,000. But your organ in fact, I had this with a client, the other day, we were discussing this very thing, I was helping him come up with his KPIs for sales. He ultimately came up with two KPIs. Because it had to be both. So the KPIs are the things that must exist for the performance. Right. And so for in his example, it was $100,000 in sales, and an average contract value of $25,000 or greater. That was his other qualifier that had to be there because he didn't want his salesperson going out and getting one $100,000 deal. Right? Right, I sorry, let me take the back. He didn't want his salesperson going, getting 10 $10,000 deals, that's what he didn't want, that would be very disruptive for them. And so that's why he put that qualifier in there. So your KPIs are the things that you have to have as an outcome from that particular area. Another Lehmann example, let's say until you and I were driving from California, to we were going to drive all the way down to, you know,

Joe
the pixel mark,

Frank
South America, we're gonna go down to like, all the way down the bottom of South America, right?

Joe
And it's cool.

Frank
And let's say the KPI was we have to get there in 10 days. Right? That's the objective, you got to get there in 10 days, that's success, if you get there in 11 days, not success. Okay? So a metric might be what our average speed is. average speed is a metric. It's not a KPI. Why? Because when we get there in 10 days, nobody cares whether we average 70 or 75 miles per hour, nobody cares, right? Another metric might be how many stops were making per day on average. Now we we may determine that we should only make two stops per day. But if we made three stops per day, we get there in 10 days, it doesn't matter. So the metrics exist to clue you in as to whether or not you're going to hit your KPI. So then three days into our trip, we look at the metrics and we say, Okay, how much money have we spent of our gas budget yet? That's a metric. What's our average speed? That's a metric. How many SOPs are we making per day? And we're only three days in so we can look at those things and go, Oh, and how many miles have we driven average per day? It ultimately doesn't matter. But we look at those things to determine why are we going to hit the KPI Are we going to get to the bottom of South America in 10 days. And so that's what the metrics exist to do is to clue you in as to whether or not that KPI is going to be hit in advance instead of waking up one day saying, Oh, we didn't hit it. So that's the difference between KPIs metrics, and you should have very few KPIs. You should have one, maybe two, in rare, rare rare situations where you have a third for a given function or given person, but ideally, one and you might have a second as like an also qualifier. Does that make sense? Since Okay, so that's the difference in KPIs and metrics, this is really important, because, you know, I've been doing this a long time. And even I had some really great clarification around this early earlier this year through some coaching and mentoring that I had in once you once you have that understanding, it changes everything. Because now when you have one KPI that you have to pick, you then start asking, okay, well, what kind of behavior will this drive? If I pick just total contract value? What is the behavior? If I pick just total number of customers? What's the behavior? Right? Like if we go to operations, for example, if I were to tell you, your KPI is gross profit dollars, that would be very different than if I said your target is gross profit percentage your KPI is, you might say, well, they're the same thing. It's gross profit. No, if your target was gross profit dollars, that was your KPI, then you're just going to add on whatever you can to your clients, regardless of how profitable it is, because you're just trying to increase GP dollars overall. But if I say no, you have to hit a certain GP percentage, then that changes your behavior, you're going to look for quality, you're going to look for efficiency. And so that's why it's really important. You're very, very clear on what the number one KPI is.

Joe
Yeah, I think that's a great explanation. And you know, as we're defining these, obviously, you will define these specifically for your business. But we do have a couple of recommended one here, starters. Right? Yeah, starters to get you going. So yeah,

Frank
this is just in the template, like, when you get this template, if you requested from us, you're going to change these based on your organization. And, you know, like, for example, to create customers, the examples here would be, you know, you're creating new contract value, right, like, but in your organization, your contract value might be moot because your pricing is pretty locked in. So instead, you might say just number of new customers, like the volume may not matter all that much. Like if you're a SaaS product and say you only have one or two tiers, like the volume may not be the driving behavior, that you're the revenue volume, or the sales contract volume, it might be just number of seats. Like that's the behavior, you're just trying to drive the most seats possible, because you know, the price is kind of locked in. Right? The number of seats drives the better behavior in that scenario.

Joe
Yep. So when we're making customers here, the goal is customers, right? So we're taking people from opportunity level up to customer? Yep. Who's accountable?

Frank
Yeah. So at this stage, what we recommend is that there's a primary accountability, that's the head of sales. But there's a secondary accountability. And so you'll notice on this implementation matrix, there's a few spots where we have two levels of accountability, a primary and a secondary, the secondary on this one is head of service. Why? Because we're putting the head of service on notice, you're going to have to get involved with the sales in a few different ways. You're going to possibly show up to sales meetings, to help close deals, right, bring someone from the operations team from the service team, to talk to the client, you may have to get involved in discussions about what's driving the value for customers so that the sales team is informed you may have to participate in helping to rate case examples you might get have to get involved in doing an audit for a prospective client. But having that relationship there with sales is critical. We're setting up right from the beginning, that this is a unified team that must work together. The team's marketing, sales and service aren't working together at the appropriate stages. This this whole idea of revenue operations doesn't work.

Joe
Okay, so primary accountability, secondary accountable that we had that fans as well, right, we had

Frank
primary was head of service, secondary was head of marketing. Yeah, marketing now loops back around, right. They, they, they serve the beginning, right of going and getting new audiences aware and into the database. And then they also come back to the end, which we call the top. And they're looping back around and helping to turn people into fans by working with the head of service. Right.

Joe
So that was fans. Today we're talking to customers head of sales is primary, secondary is head of service. And then what are the KPIs we're looking for here.

Frank
So these are just examples. Again, in your organization, it might be different again, like the example I gave a moment ago, if you're a SaaS company, you might just have total number of seats sold each month might be the primary KPI. You might have a secondary KPI a requirement of a certain amount of volume, but in that scenario, it kind of takes care of itself. If you do have a secondary KPI of volume, revenue, volume or contract value Then that might just be an indicator, hey, we don't want you selling 500 of our lowest tier, right? So you need 500 seats, but the mix needs to ultimately end up in you know, $30,000 worth of, you know, MRR monthly recurring revenue, that would be a scenario where you would have to, in in sales, right, here's oftentimes you will have to because you have that qualifier to the quantity, right? Like, you might have a number of customers and then an average, you know, contract value per customer qualifier. And so again, with the KPI we're saying both have to happen. And in some organizations, you might just have one a, it's just contract value. We don't care what the quantity or the distribution is, the number one thing you have to produce is contract value. And if you hit your 100,000, that's a success, regardless if it was one contract or 10. And so that would be one KPI. So here's an example. We just have, you know, new contract value or number of customers per month,

Joe
right? I want to step back just for a second and talk about accountability at a higher level. And that is, we talk about having somebody governing this whole rev ops ecosystem, right? Yeah. Somebody who's kind of looking over overseen making sure that everything's happening the way should we haven't even really looking for bottlenecks, right, and helping to optimize each of these different points. That should be a single person, we could talk about who that should be later. But when it comes to accountability, what would you suggest here? Is it the person who's running rev ops? Or is this actually the CEO like, who is ultimately going to hold the head of sales, who's the primary accountable for hitting this KPI?

Frank
So if it's the head of sales, it's usually whoever the GM is the general manager, whoever's that role.

Joe
So the org chart is going to take precedence here, not the rev ops consultant, or the rev ops leader.

Frank
Yeah, oftentimes, if you've ever seen on an org chart that this concept of dotted line reporting, so the Reb ops person would have be a dotted line reporting scenario, okay, where they're going to report directly to whoever the GM is. But these other heads have dotted line reporting to the Reb ops director, that's not saying that that person hires and fires these people. But they do have to take direction from this person.

Joe
Okay, yeah, I just want to be very clear, because in a lot of ways, we're saying that the responsibility or the authority goes to the DevOps person when it makes the call for optimization here. But at the end of the day, you're still accountable to your organizational

Frank
structure, whoever you're supervised, and again, in these scenarios, whoever the head of marketing, sales and service, those people report to some sort of GM type role where whether in your business, you have a separate GM role, that that is the function the function is GM. And in any solid organization, you have a, like a chief executive role, that's CEO, right. And that person's working on the the three year to five year plan, and they're staying, you know, keeping the organization focused on moving forward. And they're working on the bigger things that GM role is the day to day execution. Or you can call that CEO, you can call that President, you can call it GM. There's a number of titles for this role. But I'd like to refer to as the GM because to me, that drives home what you're supposed to be doing. It's the general, right. When we think of the word general, we think of like this person who's there, you know, leading the charge on the battlefield. And that's what the GM is doing with the executive team. They're looking at this quarter this year. Right? And what are we doing to make this quarter and this year come to life? That's the general. So that's who these people report to. That's who they're accountable to, for these numbers. That rev ops person becomes a right hand to the general, to be a be an analyst, figure out where the bottlenecks are, figure out deeper within that bottleneck. What are the root causes?

Joe
Yeah, so in many cases, the Rev Ops, whoever it is the leader, the person who's consulting on Rev Ops, is going to help the general come up with these KPIs.

Frank
Absolutely. The general needs to be involved in establishing these because you're going to work backwards, right? The general is going to say, well, this year, we have to do 30 million in revenue in total sales, every measure in your organization, 30 million total revenue, and we need, let's say, we need 6 million in EBIT, da. Right? Those are the kind of like maybe the big things that Gen is tasked with that year by the the chief and the board, right? And so they would then work backwards and say, Okay, well, how many new accounts Do we have to land and we know there's going to be some churn in there. And we think we're going to raise our prices this year on these areas. And so they're just going to figure that out and start working backwards to where you say, Oh, we need this many. This much contract increase from existing clients, we're going to get, you know, 30% of it from there, and we're going to get 70% from New, you start looking at that distribution of where it's going to come from and then you work it backwards. Well, how many opportunities do we need and how many leads do we need? How many conversations and that's how you develop these numbers by working backwards.

Joe
Got it. Okay. So if those are the KPIs, those are what you're ultimately responsible for. Then some of the leading metrics we might suggest would be,

Frank
yeah, so you could have, and again, this is going to vary by organization. But you could have, you know, things like sales cycle length. You might say, Well, why is that important to give, you know, to helping me predict whether or not I'm going to hit my new contract value KPI? Well, that's important, because if typically, you've operated on a 30 day sales cycle, and you've previously determined you need, you know, a million dollars of pipeline to hit your sales goals, but then all of a sudden, your sales cycle length extends to 45 days, then that million dollars isn't enough anymore. Like your current probable pipeline value, that million dollars, where before it satisfied based on 30 day sales cycles, is now not going to help you hit your goal on a 45 day sales cycle. Okay, so that might be an indicator to you, whoa, wait a second one, we either need to look into why sale cycle lengths are extending, but to if it's just the nature of the market right now. And due to some other factors that we can't control, then we're going to have to increase pipeline probable value that target because otherwise, we're not going to, we're not going to hit our our KPI. So that might be one, we mentioned probable pipeline value, that's another metric. Ultimately, you don't take probable pipeline value to the bank, in terms of your function when you're in sales. And that's what how we want you to think about KPIs. In your function. The KPI is your currency to the organization. And in some situations, like when we're talking about sales, it's actual currency, it's actual dollar value. But for example, if you're in marketing, your currency to the organization, might be mq ELLs, you know, maybe in your organization, it might be marketing generated or influenced contracts, like it might be tied to dollars, right. So it just depends on what the currency is for your function. Like we could even this isn't on this implementation matrix. And I consult with a consult with people sometimes on this similar idea, but this idea of what what I call like a profit path. And so now that involves, you know, kind of other functions in the business? So for example, administration, right, like your head of administration, what's their currency to the business? It's not contract value, it's not GP, what is their currency to the business? So whatever your currency is for your function, that's the KPI. Right? Like, what is bankable? You know, what are you supposed to be banking to the organization and that should clue you into the KPI you know, the ultimate value you're supposed to deliver

Joe
behind that makes a lot of sense. Alright, so then let's talk through we've talked about KPIs. We talked about metrics, I was talking about some of the process that you should be optimizing to create customers from the opportunities that you have.

Frank
Yeah, well, let me talk about a couple more metrics, though. Because I had a couple other notes here. I want to make sure just to give people ideas. This is like the grab

Joe
bag. This is the this is the party favor.

Frank
Yeah. Cuz, look, you, you could have like a list of a dozen 1520 of these things, right, and depending on what you want to look out for your organization. But for example, you might have things like opportunities added each month, that would be a metric that would clue you in like a, we're only adding four opportunities per month, that velocity is just not enough to hit our sales target, we just know, you might have opportunity value added each month, that's another one you could be looking at. And then finally, what I'll say about metrics is typically, the KPIs from a previous stage become the metrics for the current stage you're talking about. Oftentimes, that is, so for example, if we look at the previous stage opportunities, the KPI is either number of opportunities added per month, or opportunity value added per month. So those become metrics to the customers KPI. Does that make sense?

Joe
It makes sense. I wonder, does this tie back into fans as well? So are the KPIs for the customer level? metrics for the fan level that we talked about last week? Or is there no correlation there?

Frank
There could be correlation there because clearly you need, the more customers you have the more opportunity you have to great fans, right? So if you decide your organization that that's part of it, then yeah, that becomes a metric. Okay. So that's the other thing too. In fact, going back to the general rule, oftentimes, the KPI would be net operating profit, for example, that's mine. In my role as a general its net operating profit percentage or noi percentage, that's my KPI. The metrics. Interestingly enough, are the KPIs of marketing, sales and service. So marketing's KPI, sales, KPI, operations, KPIs, those those are my metrics as the general. That makes sense, because ultimately, my currency that I have to contribute to the organization is the net operating profit. That's my currency. So the fact that you and operations are aiming for gross profit percentage, it becomes my metric because that's not my bankable currency.

Joe
Right, nor can you do a whole lot about it, it almost is just a leading indicator on your dashboard,

Frank
right for for what I'm trying to produce. But for you as the head of operations, that is your cape, right? Okay. Hopefully that gives enough examples and gives people a good lens on the difference. And really, once you wrap your head around this, and like you start looking at it this way, like, the numbers make a whole lot more sense, they become way more meaningful, and you know, which ones to emphasize, and which ones are, you know, just indicators. And so that those metrics can be other outcome numbers, right, like opportunities, added or opportunity value added is an outcome. The other thing you could track in your metrics, by the way, are behaviors. There's nothing wrong with that, too. And I often recommend you do that we call often call those KPIs key producing activities. So for example, and we'll talk about this when we get to opportunities next week, one of the metrics might be a number of phone calls made, right? That's not an outcome. It's a measurement of a critical activity. And why would you have that as a metric? Because it's an indicator as to whether or not you're going to generate opportunities? You follow me? So wherever you can think about that. critical activities. We call them kPa. Some people call them RG as revenue generating activities. But what are those critical activities that don't necessarily have an outcome, but if you stayed on top of them and measured them, it would clue you in as to whether or not you're going to achieve your KPI.

Joe
Yeah, which, just to be very clear, that's not listed on a matrix here.

Frank
No, but it's just a metric should. It's just another metric. But it's, but it's essentially measuring a behavior, not another, like a sub outcome, right? Like when we say probable pipeline value, that's the measurement of a sub out. But if we measure number of phone calls made, that's just a measurement of activity, but it might be a critical activity to look at, because again, it's going to clue you in

Joe
that makes sense. process.

Frank
Let's jump into process finder process.

Joe
So if we break out kind of subcategories of process, and again, process are the things that you should be doing or optimizing or putting in place so that you can operationalize the movement from opportunities to customers, right, make sure it's done the same way. Every time, make sure there's accountability, make sure there's a way to track it, make sure the technology is in place, and that dips in the platform and make sure the people are there to actually do it. But you can't really do anything with your platform or your people if you don't have a process.

Joe
Correct. And that you said the key word there, which is operationalize and that's the big thing about, you know, I know what you and I believe about systems is that if you don't operationalize it, it won't fully solve the issues and the problems

Joe
where you're documented as an SLP. You can make standard operating procedures. But if nobody is reminded to do that, if that's not automated, if that is not put in front of somebody as a printed out sheet that they have to go through every single day, these steps then kind of gets buried gets put in a drawer.

Frank
Yeah, cuz what ends up happening in most organizations is like we say, Oh, shit hair's on fire. There's this problem. And, you know, we've got to do this thing and address this bottleneck and, and so what happens is the the company freaks out, everyone rallies around, and it feels good, right? Because the teams working together, we're in attack this problem, and then you do a campaign or you do something to attack the problem. And then you move on. And you'd never put in play a system. You never operationalize the solution. So guess what, three quarters later, your hair's gonna be on fire again, you're going to be saying, Oh, shit, what's happening? We got this problem again, this because organizations jump into like project mode and one off campaign mode and one off problem solving mode, instead of saying wait for one second, if we're going to spend the time and effort, how can we do this such that this problem goes away forever, right? That's the that's the critical lens.

Joe
So in our digital utopia, blueprint, the purpose of this customer's level is to transform. We talked about fans last week. And the purpose of that was to elevate to elevating your customers to the next level here. We're transforming them into customers. And so broken into subcategories here in the process column is create content and core offerings to transform. Then we have drive engagement, and we have optimized performance. So let's break down what you might do in each of those three subcategories.

Frank
Yeah, so these key words, elevate and transform your just by turning them into a customer once doesn't automatically create the transformation. The idea is that your core offering through the process of that core offering, whether it's consumed, you know, in a matter of a day, or if it's an ongoing thing, the goal of that is to transform them into the outcome that that person was hoping for. It's the transformation, they were hoping for a good point, the reason they bought the product or the offering, right? It's the whole adage, right? nobody buys a drill cuz they want to drill they buy a drill because they want holes. Right? So that's what we're saying is like, what's the transformation you're offering as opposed to produce and that's what you're supposed to do at this level is like actually create that trend? information, like what's on the invoice doesn't matter. Like when I go to Starbucks, you know, it might say like, you know, cappuccino this, whatever

Joe
it says like frappuccino with extra caramel and a little bit of whipped cream on top.

Frank
That's not what I order at Starbucks. Oh, but the point being is that's what's on the invoice. But that's not what I'm ultimately buying, right? And Starbucks has to remember that every day that what they're ultimately selling isn't what's on the receipt. And that's what I want every organization who's listening here today to remember what you sell isn't what they're buying.

Joe
What we talk about that all the time and use Starbucks as an example, but I think it's even worth talking about here. What are they buying, just to really paint that picture, you're not buying the cappuccino, you're not buying the latte, you're not buying, you're buying,

Frank
you're buying a moment. But you have to remember, and I'm old enough to remember this. And this isn't like an old ancient story. But a lot of people don't remember that. Pre Starbucks culture. The idea of like, coffee was like, not a big thing, like people drink coffee, because it was just, you know, part of this morning habit and you brewed it at home and whatnot. And, and that's still a habit that people have. But it wasn't this like thing.

Joe
What wasn't an experience, it was a thing, right? Coffee, and cigarettes have been a thing my experience in cigarettes. But the experience shared in a local place, and in a communal place was not a thing.

Frank
Well, in fancy coffee, too, right? Like coffee back then was just like black coffee. And then you put some sugar and creamer? Maybe

Joe
not unless you went to Italy, of course,

Frank
right. But in the US, we're talking about the US. So if you recall, back then nobody was asking for expensive fancy coffee. Nobody. That wasn't what the marketplace wanted the market, like a viewer to do a study, like pre Starbucks and say, you know, we're really thinking about this product. In it's going to be you know, three and four and $5 cups of coffee. And we think it's going to do really well. Like if you were to just look at the forensics of that, like the logistics of just like the raw data and the facts, you'd be like, Who the hell's going to do that? Right, who wants to do that nobody wants to pay three times for coffee, like they'd it wouldn't make sense in black and white, because you would be focusing on the idea of selling coffee. But that's not what they're selling. Right? When you talk about the fact that in our American culture, we're missing this commonality of delight that exists in other cultures. In the UK, it's the pub, they have this common place. It's the common place of delight, it's woven into the fabric of their culture, we don't have that here in the US. And we are going to be the company that's going to fulfill that. If that's your pitch, you're like, Where do I sign up, I want to invest in this. But if the if you're if you're emphasizing the fact that you know what's on the receipt is what you're selling, then you're missing the point of what you're selling.

Joe
So wrapping that back into our process, here, we are trying to get you to create process that is going to help create the transformation just like Starbucks correction information. So your

Frank
core offering needs to do that. And if your core offering isn't doing that, you've got to start there. You've got to say, Okay, why isn't that happening? Now you sell the core offering to create that customer lifecycle. But the objective of your offering is to create the transformation that that person seeking,

Joe
okay, it's a core offering, that's an obvious one, make sure that's good. If it's not good, make it good. Yeah, they'd work on it.

Frank
So at this stage, when you're just like doing the initial conversion, right, moving them from opportunity to customer, the core offering has to be competitive to whatever degree that means in your industry, it has to be attractive, it has to have a price point, it has to have an ROI. Like all those things have to be there to make the customer feel like this is what I want. This is the thing, this is the company this is the brand

Joe
really in the delivery of it has to be good, because you can actually package up everything you just said and sell it. And then once you experience it, if it doesn't live up to all of those things, you don't have a customer for very long, you certainly don't have a fan.

Frank
Yeah, you're not creating the transformation. And to your point, then you're never going to get them to found it. And then during those other things that we talked about last episode to create fans, like doesn't matter because you kind of got to watch my language here. You're really messed up. Your choice of words in the first place. Yeah, I could say some very colorful statements. I'm not I'm not. Yeah, so core

Joe
offering and then once you've got that dialed in, or are working on dialing that in, what else can we be doing?

Frank
So like, here's an example like, as soon as you are right at the stage of getting ready to close this customer, this client, this patient, whatever, why not send them an expectations video. Right? You could send them a video of like, okay, when you do business with our firm, here's what you can expect. And the reason this is important is because you start to get them excited, you start to get them enthused, you start to create what is called a psychological transfer of ownership. And we've talked about this in previous episodes. But we'll give you an example again of what I mean by that psychological transfer of ownership is when the buyer starts to see themselves with that product that offering in their lives. So we used to do this when I worked in retail many, many, many moons ago, we would train our salespeople to give the customer, the remote or the mouse and let the customer navigate the controls themselves. And we would instruct them on what to do. Before we did that, we would obviously ask them about their use case and their scenario, what are they trying to accomplish, and then we would show them how to do that. But instead of us pointing and clicking, we, we allowed the customer to point and click, because once the remote was in their hand, once the mouse was in their hand, and they were the ones clicking around, you start to create psychological transfer of ownership, they now start to feel like this is mine. Right. And when you have ownership, psychologically, the brain doesn't want to let go of things it believes it owns,

Joe
I mean, exact same reason that you drive off a lot with a car and test drive it for three days, right? Not because they're nice, not because the throne your bone,

Frank
because they that psychological transfer of ownership. And the reason this is important is because the brain assigns higher value to the things it thinks it owns than the things it doesn't own. And there have been studies that validate this, they give students an object and say, Hey, this is, you know, this price point. And then the students like, well, maybe I'll buy it at that price point. But then once they get it, and then they reverse the exercise where the student now has to sell it, they don't want to let it go for, you know, a lower price point, because now it has more value because they own it. So the psychological transfer of ownership is something that you're trying to create in your sales process to turn them into a customer. And so an expectations video is great. You can start to delight them, you can start to excite them, you start to get them envisioning what it's like to do business with your brand and get them seeing themselves, you know, clicking the widget using the thing interacting with your team. So an expectations video is a great one. One of the things you can do is make sure that whatever your sales process is that you differentiate it in its experience, like for example, if you're using a sales deck in your sales process, which is very common in a b2b scenario, you'll How can you do that to where that's a differentiated sales process. That's a completely different topic that I can go into and train on, for example. In fact, we talked about it in one of the previous episodes, we talked about sales process. So actually, for this, go listen to that episode, I believe was Episode 14 and 15. I believe we talked about sales process heavily in 14 and 15. So this is important, because if you can create an experience there that's differentiated from your competition and create something that's story driven, create something that isn't so like we we focused and really bring them into this experience and show how you're you're really differentiated in your approach to what you're selling, you understand that what you're selling isn't what you're selling, right? All those things. A differentiated sales process is huge here. And so you need to examine, you know, is your team consistent with what they're saying? do art? Is everyone trained up on how to give the presentation in the same way? Does it really highlight the story and the experience and the journey that your customer is on? Does it highlight your points of differentiation? an anti position against competitors? Does it do those things. And so if you have that consistent, and the team consistently can execute on that, that goes a long way towards customer creation.

Joe
So this is creating content and core offerings. It's just a few examples. There's all kinds of things with your your business, we should move on in the interest of time, but really dive into that and really figure out what you can get creative with in terms of content in terms of that experience around the core offer.

Frank
Yeah, so once you create those things, then obviously you can deliver the consistent sales process, you can actually send the expectations video, you can share case studies and reviews. Right. So if the first part is are the assets you need to create this next part is how you drive engagement now, and the things you do to drive engagement with these assets and throughout the process. So sharing case studies and reviews, those are huge sharing those at the right time. This is why it's important when we talked about in the fan creation stage of getting your your customers to give you reviews and participate in case studies because one not only does that facilitate this relationship ascension to fan because remember the psychological principle of commitment and consistency. Oh, if I give you a view, if I agree to participate in your case study, I must like you. Right, that helps cement that so that that is not only part of turning them into a fan, but then that content is helping to create other customers.

Joe
Yep, right.

Frank
That's why that's so important. When Talk about that top down.

Joe
And I think this is interesting, because we have case studies here at the customer level, which makes a lot of sense, right? You're trying to really push them across that finish line. And what better way to do that than to show them how well this has worked for others. But we often use case studies earlier in this sort of journey as well. Right? Yeah, we'll use this as gated or ungated offers really early on in the marketing funnel. So what would you say is, is there a better time to use it? Is there you know, how do you choose when and where to use a case study? And if you're putting them earlier in the funnel, and engaging them potentially just putting them on your website? Is that a problem for when they get low later in the stages here, and you're kind of pulling them out again, and showing them

Frank
so I think it depends on format. Okay, so if I'm thinking about from a lead generation standpoint, I use it early on in the journey right towards the bottom, I would probably do a format that's more like webinar driven, where I'm being very educational about the case study, where most people go wrong with case studies, we've talked about this, in previous episodes, where most people go wrong is it's very brand focused, you know, the brand is the hero, instead of making the customer, the hero. And so if we look at like, how we would use that earlier on, then it's really like customers, the hero, were telling their story, learn how one XYZ company went from x to y, and we're going to show you what they did, instead of saying, Look how we took this company, you make it educational with the customers, the hero, and I would do more webinars style or video style towards educational. That's why they call it deep dive content, by the way, because now this person is like, ready to like really dive deep into into this and really start making a solid consideration for making change making a decision. And so I would do it in that format here in the sales process, when you're like now, getting ready to close somebody, right? I might, I might have the format be something that's more of like a single slide, you know, and turn it into more of a success story format.

Joe
Yeah. And I think another thing to point out here is that when you use a case study early on, you're usually dangling it in front of whoever's doing the prospecting, you know, kind of who's ever looking to use you as a vendor who's ever out there trying to find the different solutions to their problem. That's kind of a single person. Later, in the, in the journey at this customer level, yeah, we're talking about a single person, but they're really part of a cohort, they're gonna share it, they're gonna share it. So they're going to need to have something that's a little bit more robust, something that they can go put in front of the CFO potentially go put in front of the people who are not doing the research, but need to be convinced,

Frank
yeah, it's gonna be part of like, whether it's your proposal or you're sharing these early on, as they're deciding whether or not to shortlist you and whatnot, you know, early on when you're doing it. I would say it's less about like decision making on, you know, you or other vendors, but it's more so decision making on, you know, approach. And are we ready to do this is this? Are we ready to start the process of fixing this problem, right. And that's what that piece really helps, because now they're starting to feel like, Okay, I'm getting a good idea of what it's going to take to fix this problem. I need to dive deeper now to like, be sure that this kind of approach is what I need to solve this problem. That's what deep dive does, right? It like takes them from like, I know, I've got a problem. And now I'm really seeing the various options at my disposal the various paths, I need to dive deeper into this one particular path, because I got the hunch that this path is what's going to solve this problem. And that's what the deep dive is.

Joe
Right? It's just convincing them that you should be part of the race period, here later on. This case study is is convincing them that you should be the actual winner of the race.

Frank
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. They start to get acclimated with your brand earlier on, right. And so, you know, the other thing I like to do at this stage of drive engagement, is to involve your prospects in the planning process. So so many b2b companies, after they do their, you know, connect call on their discovery, they'll often do their planning, and then come back with a proposal. I don't like that. Because if you're going to do the planning work internally with your team, I would in you're going to do the work anyway, I'd like to involve the main point of contact, right, your prospect, the main point of contact at the prospect company, involve them in the planning. So that way, a couple of things happen. One, you start to show partnership early on, and you start to actually demonstrate it by physically doing it, too. You vet out the actual budgets, the very specific budgets, the very specific requirements, the very specific, you know, stakeholders. When you involve that person. You say, okay, like we need, let's help you figure out how to allocate this budget. Because in a lot of lot of scenarios, when you're selling something as a b2b, you're not the only expense. There are other related expenses related to solving this problem in mind. A situation in our situation, for example, you know, we might recommend a set of professional services, but related that there might be advertising, there might be software costs. And so working with your main point of contact in the planning process, you can start to ask the question, okay, how do we move this around? What? Where do you think we should allocate the advertising dollars, I'm kind of thinking it's this much, you think that would work for you guys, you get them involved in that planning. So that way, when you do go present, they're not surprised. And they could also be your champion until you? Yeah, we probably shouldn't try to push for the advertising budget at this just yet. We can get there. But we should probably start out the gate with this kind of advertising budget. Great. That's great feedback. So when you go present the plan, it's their plan to so I'm a huge believer in involving your prospect in the planning, so many b2b B's, you know, go off in their, in their corner, and they're the magic corner, and they do their secret industry, sauce magic. And, you know, they got to get together with their team and their secret formulas. It's all Bs, there are no secrets, bring them into the process, help them figure out the plan with you, because then it becomes their plan. But again, psychological transfer of ownership, right, we go back to that concept.

Joe
Absolutely. Yeah, that's good stuff.

Frank
And then finally, like, if you're going to optimize for performance, right? Right, the things you can do to optimize optimize for performance are start to look at things like what is your close rate? How many customers? Did we land that bailed quickly, because they weren't a great fit? Like, what was our not a good fit ratio, however you measure that in your organization, you can start to look at those things, and then start to optimize the content, optimize your targeting, you can optimize your terms, you can optimize your pricing. Right?

Joe
Yeah, I think, above and beyond how many didn't stick around? How many did stick around that the team hates working on? or How many did stick around? Yeah, you have to continue to, you know, hop on the phone and and kind of caress the relationship. That's not the ideal customer. And if you're bringing more and more of those in and something's wrong, you got to optimize that to

Frank
correct, right. Yeah. So those are the kinds of things you're going to look at to optimize performance, right? Like fit, total number of customers, the conversion rates, like you're going to look at those things and start to say, Okay, what is that telling us? What, what is the quality telling us? Then that will clue you in as to what you need to shore up those become your rocks, those become your projects, then for the next quarter?

Joe
Right? All right. So that brings us kind of to the end of some of these initial recommendations for process again, there's so many additional things you can do at the customer's level. But that really is dependent on you getting in rolling up your sleeves, getting your hands dirty, you know, and really figuring out what it is you need to do to delight your customers and to transform them. Right. Yeah,

Frank
I mean, and the basic cadence here is, there are certain content, assets and offer assets and offers that need to be created. And then once those are created, you drive engagement with those things. And then finally, you optimize like, that's the that's the cadence we're looking at here, create the assets and the offers, drive engagement, and then optimize the performance. Cool. I think we're out of time. I'm getting the we're out of time signal. This has been super fun. I'm excited for the next several episodes, we're going to go through the rest of this matrix. Get if you want a copy of this matrix frank@digitopia.agency, email me and say, Frank, I want that matrix. That thing you keep talking about that sounds awesome. And I will email you this awesome thing. So with that, looking forward to chatting with you on the next episode. This has been fun. It's been real. Take care. Have an awesome day.

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