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The Digital Utopia Podcast Episode #19

Best Practices for Nurturing Your Leads into Qualified Opportunities

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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 19. I'm your host, Frank Cowell, and I'm joined by my co host,

Joe
Joseph Freeman. All right, so we've been talking about this implementation matrix that we have, right, this growth matrix for implementing rev Ops, working backwards through all of the different lifecycle stages, right? So our lifecycle stages from the bottom up, we take people from visitors to leads from leads to qualified, qualified to opportunities, opportunities to customers and customers to fans. So last few episodes, we started with fans talking about how to operationalize some process to get people to customer defense, we work backwards, yeah. Okay. So we do top down optimizations, this is this is one of our core fees. Because we really believe that a lot of the fruit that you're looking for a lot of the new sales or even not new sales, a lot of the revenue you're looking for, actually, it kind of exists in your database and in your tribe already, you just need to dig in. And the easiest way to get big wins is to optimize from the top down, you're going to get your conversion rates to the right place at each of these different lifecycle stages at the top. And as you work backwards, it just makes every new lead that comes in the door cheaper. If you do the math, it comes out cheaper.

Frank
Yeah, I mean, this is this is your flywheel. Okay, like we won't, we have a whole episode on this. So I'm not going to go too deep. But essentially, when you create fans, and you're doing all that work there, you're creating your flywheel, you're creating the things that give back into your funnel into your macro funnel, if you will, right. They're going to increase their contract, they're gonna increase their spend, they're going to give you a referral, they're going to give you a testimonial, they're going to leave you a review, like all of these things help feed Now, the other end of the spectrum. In fact, a guy who talks about this a lot, who I was inspired by a guy named Sam ovens, also a great digital marketer. Sam Evans talks about the fact that, you know, when you build your business model, if you're not building in a return path, you're building a broken model from the outset. And so you need to look at your business as like, Hey, what's what what, what is the return path in my business? Like, once you become a customer, then what? Like, are you building in opportunities to then feed back, create that feedback loop or niches, again, why we sometimes refer to it as a flywheel.

Joe
Right? Right. So we've been optimizing fans down customers today, we're at the opportunities level, but I think we're gonna shift a little bit, we're gonna actually talk about both qualified, which is the stage before opportunities. And we're going to talk about that in conjunction with opportunities because they really do go hand in hand. There's a lot of I don't want to say there's a lot of crossover but there's a lot of handoff between those two. Yeah,

Frank
one two punch, right. Like one sets up the other. Yeah, like you don't get in the range as the as the tiger. Look.

Joe
No, I never. I never saw that movie.

Frank
What is wrong with you? I've never seen it.

Joe
Oh, my and, and my kids play on the drums and the guitar and whatever this instrument is lying around the eye of the tiger. So I keep saying like Saturday night we're gonna watch Rocky and we've never done it.

Frank
You say we're gonna watch a rocky as if there's one.

Joe
Sorry, the Rocky is that hey, call it?

Frank
Which one? Are you talking about?

Joe
the one where he has the gloves on? Or you got the hoodie and he runs up the stairs.

Frank
You're a little hot on your bike, man. back up a little bit this morning

Joe
backed opportunities.

Frank
You got to watch. First of all, you gotta watch them in order.

Joe
That would make a lot of sense. Should I go? Should I go top down? No, I start with number. I'm assuming there's three. Everything's got three right

Frank
no. There's like six.

Joe
Okay,

Frank
I think. Yeah. And you know, you got to start with number one. It's very endearing. It's a great story around Sylvester Stallone, and like, how he put it all on the line, like before that movie. But anyways, that's the show's not about that day, but you got to watch them. And then you tell me which one you think is the best. I know which one I think is the best.

Joe
Okay. All right. If it's a targeted Godfather, it's gonna be number one. We'll see opportunities and qualified. So let's talk about Frank, how do you want to do this? You want to do accountability, KPIs and metrics for both? And then yeah, let's do that. And then we can talk about how the process is kind of interweave a little bit. Yeah, let's do that. Okay. So again, on our matrix, if you go down our matrix, and if you've already requested this from Frank, through email, then you know what I'm talking about. If you don't let me just paint a quick little picture here. Our matrix has 1,2,3,4,5,6, columns representing each of the lifecycle stages. And as you look down the rows of each column, you've got your goal. You've got who's accountable. Who, what are the KPIs? And what are the metrics? Last week, we talked about the difference between those two things. So go back and listen to that if you haven't already. And then we talked about process and we don't cover platform and people on these episodes, but the matrix also outlines what other platforms you need to make these things come to life, these processes come to life, who are the people that you need to put in place to actually deliver the goods on this? So

Frank
yeah, the people is really about like building your revenue operations team, right, your growth team, whatever you want to call it, but it's about building the team that's accountable to make all of this come to life.

Joe
Yep. So After hooked, I have to do a whole nother exploration on that. But today is mostly process. Right? So let's talk about at the opportunities level, who is accountable? Who is in charge of making sure that that prospects are turning into opportunities?

Frank
Yeah, so if we look at qualified, right, what I what I like about what we've done here on this matrix at certain stages, we have co accountability with a primary and a secondary. So when you talk about who's responsible for creating qualified, well, the primary is the head of marketing.

Joe
Can I interject I'm sorry, I think maybe to give it a little more context, the purpose of the opportunities level is to get people to engage, right, yeah, to engage with them, right to engage with your brand. So you want to engage with the people, you want your people to engage with your brand, you want to have a lot of synergy here, stepping back one step to the qualifier, it's, we're trying to inspire people at that level. So when we talk about who is accountable, these people are also in charge of coming up with the ideas that are going to help them engage, help their team engage with the prospects and help the prospects want to engage with the team. And we're talking about the whoever's accountable for creating the inspiration as well.

Frank
Correct. And so that's the head of marketing. And so what's really interesting about putting the head of marketing as primary on creating qualifies is because I think a lot of organizations for many years, you know, marketing has been responsible for the logos and the brochures, and the collateral and right, like all your marketing stuff, and then more and more over the past, you know, decade, you know, the marketing departments are responsible for creating leads. But beyond that, like are those leads qualified. And, you know, there's a couple of distinctions there, marketing can't fully qualified leads, because they're not having the conversation. So that's where you get the phrase marketing, qualified lead. And then there's the next level up, which is a sales qualified leads. So that's why we have kind of two areas of accountability. Here, we have primary marketing, driving the initial qualified leads into the database, or even maybe going in procuring a pre qualified list, right? This doesn't have to just be inbound leads. Marketing is responsible for that qualified list, whether it's inbound or a list that's been secured.

Joe
Now, I would say not just procuring, but once you have the list, putting it into some sort of sequence where you can, yeah, vet it and clean it yourself, whether that's through sending emails to the list and seeing who engages whether that's actually picking up the phone as a BDR or an SDR and calling them right. Yeah. Yeah.

Frank
That's a really interesting point. I think more and more marketers need to have roles inside their departments that pick up the phone. Mm hmm. Yeah, right, to do exactly what you said, like, you need to, like, prove out some of your theories, instead of having the theories and then, you know, then they get to sales and sales has to kind of maybe course correct on some things. Yeah. You know, I think more and more marketing departments need to need to have someone who's picking up the phone calling prospects just to have a conversation, not to sell them anything. ringing up the phone, getting on the getting a conversation with existing clients. Right? Yeah. I've often said marketers that don't talk to customers kind of piss me off, right? Because you're not staying close to reality. And as marketers, I'm guilty of this too, at times as we can, like, come up with the ideas, and they're fun. And you know, all the tools that go click, click, click and automate and this and that, but but without talking to somebody without actually engaging and finding out what's really happening, it's theory. Yeah. So this is really where, you know, marketing is driving the primary and sales is driving the secondary accountability.

Joe
Yep. So in the qualified level, we talked about marketing qualified, we talked about sales qualified, we lump them together as one because really, we believe in marketing, we believe that there has to be this constant kind of feedback loop between sales and marketing. And even though there is a delineation between marketing qualified, and sales qualified, and in your CRM, you probably should have them marked out as such, so that you can understand how many, you know, are moving from one stage to the next. The reality is they all come they all fall into this qualified bucket that both sales and marketing need to be collaborating on. Correct, right.

Frank
Yeah, there's two KPIs there. Right. There's an mq l KPI and an SQL KPI. But the, like you said the bucket is is for from a strategic point of view, from a strategic point of view, it's just one bucket, right? Like, you need to have these qualified, brewing, right and being created. Okay, so

Joe
the accountability level in the qualified lifecycle. We are saying that head of marketing should be fully charged with the help of head of sales correct? Have them have some sort of responsibility here.

Frank
And that's the whole theme throughout all this is right there are points where that through this whole process they need to be tied together. If you look at the way we've described this, even when you get to the end marketing comes back around is is co you know, champion ending with this with the head of you know, service, for example. So right, yeah, this is the point at which is what we talked about in the

Joe
fans episode or how they kind of work together at that point. Yeah, yeah. Okay, so at the qualified level of accountability, Head of Marketing head of sales, at the opportunities level, it's just the head of sales at that point who's really accountable for making the opportunities happen. Correct. Let's move down into KPIs. And you just touched on it a second ago for qualified but what are the KPIs that number one KPIs or KPIs that we should be looking at both of these levels?

Frank
Yeah. So on this sheet, again, if you have this in front of you, if you want a copy of it, this is not something we're going to give out, other than only if you listen to these episodes, because they're going to be part of our offering, we're going to have this in a portal, but email me frank@digitopia.agency, frank@digitopia.agency and just say, I want that matrix. And I'll get you a copy of this. So yeah, so the KPIs really are the primary outcomes for that area that are most important. And how I like to describe KPIs is it's what is the form of currency for that function within the company. And when you talk about qualified you're talking about, you know, for marketing, it's mq ELLs for sales. It's SQL so many,

Joe
so marketing, qualified leads, correct. Sales, qualified, correct.

Frank
And then if you go to opportunities, the opportunity stage, again, when you look at this sheet, these are suggestions in your organization, that KPI might be different, because the, when you define a KPI, it actually drives behavior. And I'll give the example that we talked about in a previous episode. Whereas for example, if you said the KPI for a given area was gross profit dollars, that would drive different behavior than if you said that KPI was gross profit percentage play gross margin. Right? Right, right. So the percentage versus dollars changes the behavior. Why? Because if it was gross profit dollars, then the the org underneath there is incentivized to just add on dollars, kind of regardless of what the profitability of those dollars are. And then if you say gross profit percentage, then they're gonna start looking at quality. And so the KPI is important, it drives behavior. So we have some here, they're their suggestions, you obviously have to determine this for your organization. But if you look at opportunities, you might have the number of opportunities added each month, you might have the opportunity dollars added each month. Again, depending on your business model, like if let's say you, let's say you sell a product, or you have an offering, that's just one price, just one price. Well, you might have a number of opportunities, KPI here, because the dollars almost don't matter. Because it's a one for one correct and they're directly correlated. So you would just go, that's the quantity we're after, right? Hey, we want 12 opportunities added every month, or 50, or whatever that number is. But if you get into a business where you have a wide range of offerings and a wide range of pricings, you might want an opportunity dollar amount to be the driver.

Joe
Especially if you have a value based model where you have the flexibility to scale up or scale down to meet the budget of somebody you're trying to sell to. You will have discrepancies all over the place there. Right? Correct.

Frank
Yeah, right in. The other thing to look at is if there's a secondary KPI that's a qualifier to the primary KPI that becomes a must have. I'll give you an example. I was working with a company the other day, and they had an opportunity dollars. That was their primary KPI. But he said, but I want a an average opportunity dollar KPI as well. And the reason being is because if he had, you know, $100,000 of opportunity, dollars, he wanted to make sure that that wasn't 10 clients at $10,000 each, that would kind of be disruptive to his business. So he said, okay, the averages have to be 25,000. So it's $100,000 of opportunity generated as the KPI, the secondary KPI is opportunity average at 25,000 Plus, right, so they're only working on for clients as opposed to 10 in which is right, it starts to starts to then drive the behavior. Whereas if he just had opportunity dollars, then the salesperson thinks, hey, I added a 15 $100 deal to the pipeline. That that may not be like worth anyone's time in that particular business. Yeah. So that's why it's important that the KPIs you choose, you have to remember it drives behavior, and you should have very few KPIs. But the ones you pick should drive the behavior you want the most.

Joe
Yeah. Okay. So here what we're recommending a qualified level is marketing, qualified leads,

Frank
sales, qualified leads, those are pretty standard, by the way, like you might have something different organization but most organizations but probably have that as the KPIs for that for that level.

Joe
Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. And then opportunities level examples we gave was opportunities added per month or dollars added per month. And again, you guys can come up with whatever makes sense for your business. But either way, it has to represent some sort. It has to obviously nod towards how many opportunities are coming in the door.

Frank
It has to be the number of opportunities you need to to eventually based on your close rate, end up with the target number of customers you need every month to then hit your growth goals. Right, right. So you're working backwards to determine these numbers. But the targets are, I should say.

Joe
So the next on our matrix here, we want accountability. We had KPIs. Now we're into metrics. And we did a little bit of an explanation of the difference between metrics and KPIs. We don't need to go into the full thing. Listen to the last episode, if you want that. But there is a difference. KPI you just said is the number one thing, it's the currency of that particular effort. metrics are a little bit different. They're kind of like leading indicators, right?

Frank
Yeah. So they can be measurements of sub outcomes that are leading indicators. They can be measurements of critical activities as well. So for example, here under Do you want to talk about the under opportunities or under qualified,

Joe
we did qualified first last times to qualify as to opportunity? Okay,

Frank
so an example of some metrics under opportunities would be the number of intro appointments, the number of outreaches, right? You can measure activity like that, then you can start to look at some various sub outcomes as well, like, number of qualified set became opportunities, for example, that that percentage rate you ultimately don't care about, right? Like, like when we talk about currency, like, what's the currency for that function? It's not always necessarily dollars, it just means like, what's the value that function is supposed to bring in. So when you look at a metric, like the conversion rate, like ultimately, that's not bankable. But it could be an important metric to look at to clue you in as to what's happening that is affecting the KPI. Right, ultimately,

Joe
yeah, another example here might be how many marketing qualified leads get passed to sales, that sales then returns to marketing? Because then that's really clear that there's misalignment there between the two. Right?

Frank
And that would be a great metric under qualified. I thought, I thought that's what you're talking about. But But yeah, I get your point. Like, that's a great example.

Joe
Right? So you know, understanding where there's misalignment is really important, too. Because you want I mean, ideally, you want marketing qualified leads that get passed to sales, close qualified leads, you want that to be a very high conversion rate, right? Because those two teams should be so aligned that they can both smell blood in the water. It's the same blood.

Frank
Yep. Yeah. Yeah, it's interesting, you say that that conversion rate should be high, because I often preach that, then the next stage qualifies to opportunities, you may not be aiming for an extremely high conversion rate there. Because if you follow my sales, you know, methodology that I that I have, or philosophies that often teach people is that, from that very first conversation to then getting into your real opportunity pipeline, I expect that to be low, because the first conversation should be used as a filtering mechanism to ensure only the right opportunities get into your pipeline. In fact, we did a whole episode on it, I believe, episodes, 14 and 15. Go check those out,

Joe
which I do love that. And I'm wondering now, do you recommend that that conversion rate should be lower between MQL and SQL or between SQL and opportunities? There's an opportunity Yeah, because in my mind, MQL and SQL, there's still an unknown, you haven't really talked to them yet. So they should be qualified for all intensive purposes. Now, of course, you're trying to qualify them out based on you know, they have a bad attitude, they don't have the right budget, they're not really in it to win it, whatever. There's all these other things that you cannot find out before you talk to them. But to understand the demographics, are they the right fit? Do they display the right behaviors? Maybe on the website, on Facebook, on social as you follow them around? Are they doing all the things that smell like they're a buyer, that should be a high conversion rate?

Frank
Yeah, it should be high. And there's, there's obviously, you're not trying to get it to 100. Because there are some people that you're going to get that are m QL. And then you talk to them. And it turns out while they want the outcome that your brand is able to deliver. Turns out their problem is actually a problem you don't solve, right? So they still want that outcome, but they have to go a different path to getting there. And then maybe that path isn't what you do. So you're going to have an element of that. So while it should be high, you're not realistically trying to get it to like 90% or anything like that, that's there's going to be some mismatch, there's going to be, yeah, they want what they want our outcome, but not what we do. You follow me so there is an element of that.

Joe
So let's move into the process. Let's talk about what types of activities or what types of assets you need to be creating and or distributing at each of these lifecycle stages to to convert them into these lifecycle stages. So where do I start qualified?

Frank
Let's start there. Because in the context of following the the journey that your buyer goes through, that'll probably make the most sense to our listeners. Again, even though from an optimization standpoint, you're optimized, top down,

Joe
let's start there too, because you know what we're going to talk about in here. One of the things that we need to be putting in place is ABM account based marketing, right and that spans both qualified and opportunities and kind of Have a big way. And so I like starting with qualifies to help tell the story of how that matures. Yeah, that's that's. You want to start with ABM

Frank
yeah let's do that well, yeah this idea of ABM I often say ABM or ABS account based marketing count based selling. The what, what I'm always encouraging salespeople to do is to not get too caught up in the M part of account based. Sometimes you have to just go start selling and not worry too much about how much m you have in your, your, in your AB

Joe
Well, we just call it magic count based magic outpaced

Frank
Mojo Mojo motivation, yes.

Joe
Okay. So for anybody who doesn't really know what account based marketing is, it's, it's basically it's like a way of prospecting. So if we have inbound marketing, where we're putting out valuable content, and people are consuming it, and they're educating themselves, and by the time they actually fill out a contact form, they've all but bought at that point. That's the idea of inbound. Now, account based marketing is I have these 10 companies I want to go after, I'm going to figure out exactly who I need to be talking to there. And then I'm going to surround them with love. And by surround them with love, I mean, they're going to start seeing my ads, because you can, you can target individual companies and the people that work there with your ads, you're going to surround them with all kinds of value, right, you're gonna go to their LinkedIn, and you're going to be liking their posts, you're going to be sharing the posts, and you're going to be liking it and saying, I like your post want to see what I do, do you want to see what I sell, you're going to spend time 2, 4, 6, 8 weeks, literally sharing their posts, maybe even connecting them with people in your network that need their services. So there's a long time in this play, where you are not actually offering them anything other than value, you're not offering them your service, you're not even talking about your service, you are just getting on their radar, you are putting yourself in front of them, you are helping to boost their presence by liking and sharing, you are helping to boost their revenue by getting them in touch with people that they need to be selling to. And you're surrounding them. So there's all kinds of other things you can be doing there. People get really creative with this, you know, sending gifts, donuts, you know, it's like Florida them physically,

Frank
right, like right, well, some in some manner, maybe not right now. I mean sending them something right, like you said,

Joe
Right, right. So you can get right. So there are all kinds of creative ways to do this.

Frank
What you described reminds me of eyelid Lang Fisher and Wedding Crashers. Wherever you go, I'm gonna find you. It's not that creepy as it

Joe
is pretty creepy. And I've also watched why we got a movies kick today. I've watched that movie probably 96 times 97 times

Frank
that when she says that I just I lose it every time it's so friggin hilarious. She like plays like, Oh my God, you are a nut job. And she just like that one little line. Oh, love it's gold.

Joe
So when we're talking about account based marketing, it is bridging qualified and opportunities. Because it's a very long play. It's basically it's it's outbound. It's basically an outbound approach with a lot more targeted.

Frank
It's it's, it's outbound without being so like, direct here's my pitch, right? It's you know,

Joe
you don't knock on the door and say want to buy, right, you knock on the door and you say, Hey, I brought your dog back. It was running down the street, right? And you knock on the door and you say like, oh, did you notice your water's on over here? I turned it off for you. The hose was running you, you give them so much value. And then one day you knock on the door and say, Hey, you know me, I've seen you a million times. I've helped you a million times. Did you happen to know that I sell encyclopedias?

Frank
Right, right. Yeah, so maybe we shouldn't call it ABM we should call ILF the island Lang Fisher approach, you're going to find them

Joe
that's going to catch on and that's going to become industry standard. Yes. So I left selling I left marketing. Okay, so I left marketing This is one of the things you can be doing at this level. This is one of the processes and this is a much much bigger conversation in fact, I'm kind of excited about it we should do a whole episode on it. But this is one of the things that that you putting in place at the qualifiers level but the activities span into the opportunities level dude idea.

Frank
Here's what we do. Everyone's gonna love this. We're coming up with episode ideas on the fly. Let's in a future episode, let's actually showcase real AI lF campaigns and talk about like, what went into them and what happened and do you think we could get eila on the show to help us with that? In case you're listening, and you knew eila we want to find her so in and have her as a guest

Joe
you know how we do that we first start by getting her to send like personalized birthday message video to you because that's the rage right now. Yeah, right. And then that's our in.

Frank
Okay, done.

Joe
Okay, ABM campaign. So I'm not going to go any further into how to do ABM but the point is that it is an approach that spanning qualifies and opportunities and we're going to talk about a few other approaches here that might do the same. So

Frank
while they're there, the Right, like we should talk about, like the specific kind of content offers that need to be created at each stage. Because those those content offers facilitate the the, the elevation to that relationship stage. And then once you have those content offers, then there's ways to engage with those, you know, get those in front of those audiences.

Joe
So I like the way you're thinking. And fortunately for us, these are the first items on our list. So unqualified, creating content offers that are actually going to inspire give us some examples, Frankie,

Frank
yeah, so the Inspire is a really important word here, because at this stage, people may not be ready to talk to you. And so the best way to get somebody ready to talk to you, when they maybe have something going on in their world, where they could be doing business with a business like yours, but they just haven't necessarily engaged yet. You have to inspire them and get them thinking that wow, you know, this story, I just saw this example, I just saw this proof I just saw, I want that too. And so if you can create that kind of effect, then you're going to tee up that conversation much better. So when like you said, when you do say, Hey, would you like to get on the phone? Or would you like to discuss X, Y and Z? They're going to be more apt to say yes. Because now you've already helped them envision like, yeah, I want that kind of outcome too. And so you're thinking of things like case studies, right case studies, for example. And I'm not talking about how case studies have been done by most companies for you know, decades, where it's really just a pitch on what the brand did and why the brand is so awesome. The way you want to do case studies is you want to make your customer, your client, the hero in that case study and you want to tell their story. So instead of, you know positioning the case study, as Look how we took one company from x to y, and we're going to show you what we did, what you need to do is flip that and say, Hey, learn how this company who was struggling with this went from x to y, and we're going to show you exactly what they did. Right? Right. You tell their story. In through that story. Your brand comes in as one of the guides, right, your Yoda, your client, your is the hero there Luke Skywalker. And that's the relationship you want your case, then you need to tell the story that way. It's a story. Right? This is not just a Hey, look what we did. And we put in our x 9000. And, you know, because of the turbo and calculator, like, things are awesome. Like, that's not the point of the case study. Okay, by the way, look up turbo and calculator, you're gonna love it, you're gonna thank me.

Joe
So like a flux capacitor.

Frank
Very, very similar. So case study is one example

Joe
real quick, if you need help, you know, getting your case studies back into or getting them to a spot that are better, I would recommend checking out Donald Miller's story brand, because using his framework, even though it wasn't necessarily made for case studies, adapting that I think is a really good way to tell a story where it puts not the it doesn't showcase the company, what the company, what the company got the value they got, it actually makes the individual buyer, you can tell a story around the buyer and their life, the human's life.

Frank
Exactly. And that's where most people go wrong with case studies, they don't do that. And so what I'm suggesting is the only way you're going to inspire through a case, because you've seen most case studies on websites they don't inspire. So in order to make it inspirational, you have to turn it into a story about them. And here's the ultimate effect. I said this a moment ago, the ultimate effect is you want your your ideal prospect to watch it to read it to listen to it and go with that, too. Yeah, if you can get that kind of reaction, I'll man that's exactly what I want, I want that to that's then you're doing it right,

Joe
I love it, we're gonna have to rattle through some of these, we've got quite a few on here. And we are covering two lifecycle stages today. So some won't get as much of an explanation as the others. But if you do want more information on any of the things that you hear in here in terms of processes, we'd love to chat about that separately. So offers that inspire. Now moving into digital, is there any other offers you want to talk about there?

Frank
Well, just like case studies, how it works contents, or how it works content is your opportunity to show a deep dive into allowing that person to picture what it's like to be doing the thing that you're suggesting they do. Um, so this is kind of like where you would put product demos or offer demos, but again, through the lens of the prospect, talk about their experience their day to day, not what we do for you and why we're awesome. So and how it works, that deep dive there is can be really powerful as well. Those are the two primary ones, two primary ways you're going to inspire and inspire them through the proof with the case studies. And you're gonna inspire them through the how it works so they can start to like get excited and picture themselves doing the thing and going through the journey that you're proposing. Whatever your offer does.

Joe
There's a very specific commercial I'm thinking of and I think this was when I was growing up, but it was a Disney commercial. And it wasn't the commercial where you see them right riding on Thunder Mountain or going down the Matterhorn which there are commercials too. But this particular one was, I believe it was a little girl. And she was sad for some reason. And the family seemed like they were happy. But she was sad. And all of a sudden, a white gloved hand like, enters the scene with a balloon in it and hands it to her. And she lights up. And of course, it's Mickey Mouse. But the whole point of the commercial was the transformation that this little girl went through by being at Disneyland and experiencing magic come to life. And they didn't have to say, we've got the coolest mainstream, we've got the best roller coasters. And we've got there was nothing, none of that he was literally just this little lit up glittery eyed, seven year old child that told the whole story.

Frank
Yeah, I mean, that's a great example. Right? I think where a lot of people fixate is on the features, like you said, the roller coasters and like, what are all the features instead of the story of transformation? And that's what you're trying to do with content and offers in this section is you're trying to inspire them in that way. See, see themselves? Yeah, in that. I mean, as humans, you know, we have these portions of our brain where when we see those images, our brain actually plays through it as if it's us. The same reason why, you know, when, when your favorite team scores a touchdown, and it was just this amazing pass, and then dove and like, just grabbed it into the fingertips and like, went into the end zone. It's the same. It's why you jump up and like pump your fist, because your brain is literally like doing that play as well. And so you have to show those things because you want your your persona to like see themselves experiencing those things. That's a great point.

Joe
There's subcategories in this process section. For each of these. We just talked about the content and qualified. Let's talk about what you do to drive engagement, what are the processes you can put in place to drive engagement at the qualified?

Frank
Yeah, so obviously, you're trying to get people to these content offers. So you can like optimize your your pages for search to just increase more traffic to those pages, for example, you could also go get inbound links from relevant websites and sources to start to drive more awareness to these to this kind of deep dive content. Having company leaders and teams, people on the team share this kind of content on social, like you don't necessarily need a huge advertising budget. Like for example, if you go on LinkedIn, if everybody in the company is sharing this content, especially the company leaders, that's another way to start driving engagement to these to this content. For

Joe
every marketer out there. I'm going to say this business owners or whoever's in charge of the budget, you also need an advertising budget,

Frank
right? Don't be stingy there now, which is the next piece, right? Like you can advertise these things on social. You can advertise on relevant websites, it doesn't have to just be on your, you know, your Google's in your Facebook's right, you can find industry websites to advertise on. You could also and you better do this announced the content to your database, and these offers to your database, like Shame on you, if you're not like letting your database know about the new, the new information, the new stories,

Joe
let's talk about that for a second. Because sometimes the offers themselves are not totally appropriate for your customers, because a lot of times they're aimed at getting new customers. So I do hear pushback on now that wouldn't make sense. But you can still announce it and pitch it in a way that says, I know this isn't for you. But who do you know that this could help? Right? You can also put out to every person in your database, the same offer with three different messages message for the people who haven't bought yet the message for the people who have bought the message for the people who are fans and they love promoting you like you can tailor that message but either way, get the offer out to every person in your database.

Frank
Yeah. And then this is where you can go a little bit one on one there. And this goes back to fan stuff, right? Like one to one send it to some of your best clients and say, Hey, would love to do a story like this on your brand as well? Yeah, right. Like, yeah, to your point, you've got to get this stuff in front of people. Alright, so engagement, what else we got? Yeah, so get in front of people through your database included in your nurturing sequences. So you're going to blast it out one time, the moment it goes live, but you're going to have some email nurturing sequences that when new leads come in, put it in that sequence. Make sure your sales team is proactively engaging a targeted list and sharing value. So that's where we go back to the ABM stuff. So this is content for your ABM to get it in front of those people. You can create like reengagement campaigns for people who were dormant to you talk to but didn't go anywhere. And they remain in MQL status. So

Joe
let's stop there for a second because this isn't a technicality. But talk to a lot of people who say what do I do when I have matured them to a lifecycle stage of opportunity? I put a deal on the table. We went through the you know, whole dance, and they didn't buy from me, do I then set them back to an M qL? Do I set them back to an SQL or do I leave them as an opportunity and we could probably talk through all the different reasons why you could do both or either whatever But there needs to be distinction made, there's a difference between an opportunity level contact, and an opportunity level company. And there's even a different, you know, stage that you can go through on each of the deals, the individual deals you're creating, to put in front of people. But I think that's important to understand that the person might still be an opportunity, in theory, there might not be an opportunity on the table right now that they are ready to buy, but they have been qualified as someone who is an opportunity for this company at some point. So I'm not sure you know, what's best for your company and your team to understand, you know, kind of the flow of lifecycle stages. But what Frank, you're talking about here, I think is really important that some of these offers, may be going to somebody who has an opportunity, but not an opportunity right now. And it's important to wake them back up again. Yeah, send them an offer that's going to put you in front of them again. So they can say, Oh, yeah, last December, we talked about that. And actually, now is probably the time let me call them up.

Frank
In fact, if it's a company that you would still like to work with, and you just lost the deal. Absolutely keep in front of them with this kind of content, because if you're in front of them with inspiring stories, and then the the provider they're with is not giving them that kind of experience. And that kind of transformation, right? Like, you get to continue to whisper in their ear.

Joe
So I'm staying here and how you doing this is one of those examples of content that we put in the qualified ads column. And the reason we're talking about qualified opportunities in conjunction today is because that same content actually might be used for an opportunity level person, or contact at some point. But we've officially categorized it here and qualified.

Frank
Yeah, because I mean, if they're an opportunity, you lose it, you probably would bump them down, technically back into qualified because they're no longer at an opportunity level relationship with your brand. You know, we can get into semantics there. The idea is that, you know, you need to use this inspiring content to re engage people as well, you can wake them up. And, again, they may be with a provider that isn't cutting it. And so you're you're in front of them with these inspiring stories, you have to be in front of them and say, Are you ready to talk to me now? How are they doing? Speak in front of them with these inspiring stories, you know, if the other company is just not cutting it, like you'll you'll get a phone call.

Joe
So I want to move us into opportunities. There's one more subcategory here under qualified and so after you've created the content, after you've driven engagement with that content, the last category is optimizing performance. And what can we be doing to optimize? Yeah,

Frank
so the three like the three categories in the process area are to create the content offers, then drive engagement with those content offers, and then optimize performance. Those are kind of like the three, the three steps you would do so under optimized performance, you know, you could be doing a B testing on your landing pages, you could be doing a B testing on your calls to action. You could also just simply be creating new, deep dive offers or reframing existing deep dive offers. if things aren't resonating, we're talking about like those case studies and the how it works videos and those kind of deep dive content and creating, you could create new ones, if those aren't working, or you can reframe, you can reposition and kind of figure out like, Is there a different angle that is going to draw more interest on this, you can recast them, you can just you know rewrite them and redo them to try to increase the the effectiveness of those assets. Okay,

Joe
so let's talk about those same three subcategories for opportunities now. So again, opportunities we're creating content to engage or to get them to engage to get us to engage right

Frank
yeah, with the brand with the brand Yeah, to this is now we want them to engage directly with you. Now you're like in a sales conversation, you're in an opportunity conversation is

Joe
no longer window shopping.

Frank
No, you're doing this to engage them directly. This is a one to one now kind of thing.

Joe
Okay, so what kind of content we talked about opportunities level? Well, first

Frank
of all, to facilitate that kind of trance transaction, if you will, you need whatever your foot in the door opportunity is. So what's a foot in the door? So foot in the door is a give you an example. Let's use your example you always talk about with Cutco knives, right? Hmm. Right. So one of the foot in the doors is, hey, let me come in. And let me just show you how to use these knives and what they could do. You also, I believe you said they used to leave a knife behind. We'll come back and pick it up next week and just use it for a week, right? Those are kind of like footling doors,

Joe
that's literally a foot in their door. You literally go into their house, they don't pay for it. And you you demo these knives and you let them use them and you actually maybe even prep a meal with them with the knives.

Frank
Yeah, the foot in the door is oftentimes the very first thing that needs to happen before they can buy. Yeah, okay. So for example, before, like if I were to, when I'm selling the kind of services that our firm sells, right, the very first thing that has to happen is a consultation around what's happening now in that person's business to try to understand Where they have gaps and opportunities in an implementation matrix like this, for example, that this has to happen because in with professional services, I can't just, you know, have someone send me an email and I send them back a contract. Right? There's some sort of analysis that has to be done to understand what to sell them and what to provide to them in so that foot in the door offer needs to be value driven and such that if that person doesn't move forward, after that conversation, they can walk away with it being worth their time, that it wasn't just a sales pitch they listened to which by the way, time is a currency, correct. It's a form of currency. So mean for that with their time? Correct. So they're giving you their time. So what what can you do as a first step, to start to show them value. And also, that first step is the natural first step that has to happen anyway. So when you when you start to develop this kind of like, you know, call it a funnel, if you will, but when you as you start to develop this progression, you want it all to be linear, you don't want anything to be a sidestep. So what is the natural thing that has to happen? Before you can do business with them anyway?

Joe
Get your foot in the door, that's your foot. It could be paid or not paid. And when I say pay, I'm talking about dollars now. You know, just like a dentist office who gives you the, whatever $69 cleaning just to get you in the door to tell you that you have $3,000 with the cavities, right?

Frank
Yeah, they always tell you you have. What's the thing that they always tell you, you have now no matter what,

Joe
well, for me, it's beautiful teeth,

Frank
you get a perfect teeth and they tell you, you have periodontal disease. That's their favorite thing these days.

Joe
I've never heard that you I guess that do you have very done? I don't even know how to say that.

Frank
Well, I've got beautiful teeth.

Joe
Yeah, I've never heard them say that.

Frank
They say that. They become the used car sales of the den

Joe
smile for me right now. It was look good.

Frank
Yeah. So anyway, I just smiled, he loved it. He can't contain himself. So you got to have a foot in the door opportunity, right? You've got to have that foot in the door. Because that's the thing that's going to facilitate that progression of the relationship. Okay, so that could be an audit of their, of their machines of their whatever, right of their business of their books of whatever mean audit. It could be a planning session, right? It could it could be an analysis.

Joe
Or what about an on site visit of your factory

Frank
on site visit, right? It could just simply be a quote, maybe in your business, maybe the quote is the foot in the door free quote, right? Whatever that is, you've got to be very clear on what that is. And it's got to be valuable to your prospective client has been valuable to them. Can't be just because it's your sales process can be part of your sales process.

Joe
But it has to be framed as valuable.

Frank
It has to be valuable, right?

Joe
Yeah, not even framed, it literally has to be valuable, right? It has to be pitched that way too. Okay, right.

Frank
And if you're a business where like, you kind of just operate off of quotes, anyway, that's great. And if you got plenty of quotes, then obviously don't break anything. But if you can look for an opportunity to drive value while you're doing the quoting. So for example, you might say, Hey, here's the quote, by the way, went in. And also notice this, I did just this 37 point inspection on these other areas of your factory. What because I was out here and figured I would do this, while I'm here, no cost to you. Here's this also, like look for ways to bring value into that process. Because then the odds that you're going to turn them into a customer goes through the roof as

Joe
like the Jiffy Lube model or the discount tires, where they get you in with a free Hey, we'll patch up your tire for free and then you get it in there like the nail went through the side of the tire, not the bottom. So you got to buy a new one

Frank
that that or like, Hey, you know look like your air air filters were we did a free inspection on your car, look, I get some air filters need to be replaced and whatnot, through there provide value they give you give you value in advance.

Joe
By the way, I'm not saying bait and switch them. No, I'm saying actually truly give them value those examples of bait and switch to me. Okay, so let's breeze through then here. What do we do for engagement at opportunities level?

Frank
Okay, so now you've got you've got your offer, whether it's your foot in the door, and, and whatnot, you also can develop some content by the way to make sure your sales sequences and your sales scripts are up to snuff. And those have been polished. But now you got to drive engagement with that. So one of the things that needs to happen is the sales team needs to proactively connect with people that are marked as qualified. Yeah, and this is just wait for the person to ask for the appointment.

Joe
Right. And the ABM. I in Eileen Fisher model earlier, this is you know, a huge part of it, where you're actually proactively at this point connecting with them and reaching out and touching them on a regular kind of aggressive sales schedule. But hopefully you've warmed them up so much, it doesn't feel aggressive,

Frank
correct, because again, value in advance, right? So you the sales team has to be proactively reaching out. What you also want to do you want to add calls to actions, to any sort of downloadable offers that you have. When someone downloads something, there's what you call a thank you page afterwards, you want to make sure you have calls to action on that thank you page to let them know about this foot in the door offer. Right and the follow up email. So often I get a follow up email that says hey, here's that cool thing you downloaded, let me know if you like it. But it should say here's that cool thing you downloaded, the very next step you should take if you really want value from this thing is that Yeah, in fact, that's the last point we have, which is include in immediate email, follow up sequences from actions they've taken. And what you mentioned was a great psychological framing. Now that you've done this, you should do this right, now that you've done, excuse me, now that you've done that you should do this. That's the that's the languaging you want to use, right? Hey, now that you have that template, now that you have that calculator now that you have that assessment tool or that free piece of software, you should talk to one of our specialists who can help you do an analysis on your x, y, z. Yeah, right. So include that in your immediate follow ups, optimizing for search, right? Obviously, all of these pages you have you're optimizing for search you want to advertise this to like actually advertise your foot the door opportunity. I know we often talk about that in the relationships have to go through a progression, but the reality is some people are kind of already at this relationship level just they don't have to happen to be there with your brand. So you might as well try to catch those people who have already progressed naturally either on their own or through being wooed by another brand. You want to make sure you're advertising your foot in the door opportunity on social channels, relevant websites, Google Display Google search, for example. But you want to have your foot in the door out there. Because for people who are ready now ready to talk, like you want to capture as many of those as possible, we're not suggesting you'd like, just do all of this really slow stuff. No, you need to be actively out there in the marketplace with your advertisements, not just with your logo, and like, Hey, we do this service want to quote but like, whatever your foot in the door is, whatever your value driven offer is, okay?

Joe
Love it.

Frank
And then you want to optimize performance, right? So like you've you've created the content offers, you drove the engagement. Now you want to optimize the optimize the performance, and you want to do that with we mentioned this on the previous stage, but AB testing, right, you got to AB test everything, landing pages, your calls to actions. And then you also want to look at those foot in door offers and refine them, optimize them, reframe them, break new ones, rewrite them, whatever it takes to ensure that they're converting, they're actually driving conversations. Because if your offer isn't getting people to, you know, say, Yes, I want that, and let's get on the phone, or let's meet, or let's talk or do this initial audit, or this initial quote, if it's not doing that, you've got to figure out why. And so that might be reframing, rewriting, it might be just creating a new footnote or offer altogether.

Joe
We don't have as on here, but I think we should, in our own process, our foot in the door we feel is so so valuable, that even if someone doesn't care to buy from us, we feel like they've they've gotten a ton of value. And we actually ask them to go leave us a review on how they felt that consultation, yes, Ronnie, Google, or whatever, go Leave us a five star review. And that to me is optimization. Because if they start saying, I'm not going to do that, or they go leave a one, two or three, we got to make our value better.

Frank
Yeah, I can't tell you how many times we've had reviews, just from our quote unquote, sales process. Yeah, unsolicited, like people will go review us just because of the experience. They're having the sales process, which that tells you, that tells me that we're providing value. And if you're getting that kind of response, then you know you're providing value in the process. And

Joe
by the way, even if they don't buy from you, you now have more reviews, the person who's going to buy from you is going to go see how rad you guys are

Frank
again, going back to that Sam ovens suggestion, like everything should ever return path as much as possible in your business. Yeah. Cool. So I think we covered it all today, we covered a lot we did. Again, if you want a copy of this implementation matrix, you can only get it by being a listener of this podcast and these particular episodes. Actually, email me frank@digitopia.agency. I'll get you a copy of this implementation matrix. Otherwise, behind the bolts ever to be seen by those non listeners. Okay, guys, this has been super fun today. Had a great time. Hopefully you learned a ton. Join us next week. We're going to be talking about this implementation matrix even for the red talk about like visitors and leads and how you're going to create those relationships with your business. Have an awesome week. We'll talk to you next time.

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