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So much of sales content is focused on how to do cold prospecting, grow your sales team, and generate inbound leads through marketing. But all of this information overlooks a key area for growth–leveraging your prospects to drive revenue.
Tom Burton is an investor and co-founder of LeadSmart Technologies, a unique CRM platform that enables businesses to help their prospects reach the Revenue Zone. Tom joined the Predictable Revenue podcast to discuss how to transform prospects into your own top performing sales team.
THE REVENUE ZONE: A NEW WAY OF PROSPECTING
Now more than ever, B2B prospects want to be in control of their own buyer’s journey. They prefer to do their own research rather than deal with a sales team. The problem is, if left to their own devices, prospects may end up overwhelmed by their options and the amount of information. They may go with a competitor or not buy anything at all.
According to Tom, the solution is what he calls The Revenue Zone approach: letting the buyer be their own rep while using your sales team to enable the buyer’s journey.
The Revenue Zone is the point at which a prospect is ready to spend money with your business. To get there, Tom recommends building “a yellow brick road” by working backward to identify what information a prospect needs before they’re ready to buy. What do they need to understand about your business to get to The Revenue Zone?
Once you’ve defined the yellow brick road, you can use it to outline content and touchpoints that lead your prospect through each step of the journey. By providing information as they need it, you’ll keep prospects from falling into a rabbit hole of their own research.
HOW TO IMPLEMENT THE REVENUE ZONE IN YOUR PROSPECTING PROCESS
Most companies have the tools they need to facilitate content; implementing this approach simply requires using those tools in a new way.
Rather than sending a prospecting email that immediately asks for a meeting, try suggesting a piece of content (ie. “It looks like you might be interested in this topic, why don’t you watch this short video?”). Then guide the prospect to the next logical piece of content as they move step by step down the yellow brick road.
According to Tom, it takes an average of 25 touchpoints to move a prospect from initial awareness to the Revenue Zone. Here’s an example of what that might look like for a software company:
Revenue Zone prospecting in action
Since prospects are unlikely to be familiar with the product, start with a five-minute introductory video to build awareness
Follow up with a few short case studies
At this stage, prospects may start to do their own research–make this as easy as possible by providing a few links and information on what to look for in reviews
Send pricing information and/or a proposal
Invite them to book a meeting with the sales team
At this point, the sales conversation is more about validating and confirming what the prospect has already found. This approach positions the sales rep as a trusted guide or consultant and allows the customer to feel more in control of the process.
THE BENEFITS OF BUILDING A CUSTOMER-LED SALES TEAM
In the Revenue Zone approach, prospects spend more time-consuming content, move smoothly from one piece to the next, and reach the point of sale faster–all while requiring less time commitment from your sales team.
Enabling your customers to do their own research also provides a competitive advantage. By guiding your prospects down the yellow brick road, it limits the chances of them turning to a competitive option or ending up down a Google rabbit hole.
HOW TO MAKE REVENUE ZONE PROSPECTING WORK FOR YOU
The first step is to shift your mindset (and your sales team’s) from controlling the buyer’s journey to enabling buyers to be their own sales rep. In this approach, your sales team is focused more on advising and closing the deal than cold prospecting.
Your sales team will also need to work closely with marketing to create content that enables your prospects through their buyer’s journey.
Tom recommends picking one product, service, or offer to test this new prospecting process. Follow the steps outlined in The Revenue Zone book to build your yellow brick road, then work on adding technology and integrating this approach with your tech stack.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON CUSTOMER-LED PROSPECTING
When it comes to improving your sales process, your buyers are an untapped resource. Letting prospects sit in the driver’s seat can result in streamlined roles for your sales team, higher conversion rates, and a better customer experience.