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by Mary-Rose Hoja in EPE, Sales

No matter what your niche, it’s all about sales and business growth. It is imperative that you build a relevant pipeline. In Expert Profit Engine world, that means a pragmatic and integrated, hybrid analog/digital funnel, where you mix phone calls and meetings on the golf course with digital channels.  Different roads lead to Rome in your sales funnel when targeting senior levels.

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You need to be agile and really follow and predict your ideal customer profile/avatar and their user experiences. You must know that many of your decision makers are in their 50s up to their 70s and beyond, and they don’t necessarily use Instagram.

Their influencers do, though.  You don’t want to end up like Kodak, so the digital piece here is important.

Let’s talk about some potential problems.

Too few meetings. Not necessarily because the customer base is too small, but because the sales people simply don’t have the contacts, or are having difficulty in getting new contacts. The thing is, to get to where they are now, that probably didn’t face this problem. But I frequently see situations where a worked-up contact network has been either exhausted and/or it’s in, say, in academia or mainly in research and development or human resources. Essentially, this means that you need to be developing a cold audience.

The result is that hard work is necessary to build up awareness of you, awareness of your products, services and programs, and awareness of your business. It can be difficult to meet customers, especially if, say, your products, programs and services are sold more through project-based sales.

The problem might not be getting meetings if they have the contact details. Or indeed, the problem might not be a dialogue with the clients, although I’d really want to be looking at conversion rates and to make sure that they are using an illumination method. This means using a pragmatic and psychological approach to clients – to see what is going on in the big picture.

You’re really looking at how can you help at a visionary, strategic level, for the longer term.  To uncover the bigger picture and find out what else is going on in the company and the people. You will find that sales will be faster and you will have faster success if you target your meetings at a higher level, and if your people are targeting their meetings at a higher level.

The thing is, salespeople may be feeling most at home talking with researchers, discussing lab results, or chatting about the solution to events or pieces of a product system, rather than discussing business at a higher level.

So, if you or your salespeople are not getting in front of the right people, you do need to implement a process of coaching, mentorship, or a system. If this wasn’t needed, you would be having more success by now.

You need to develop a plan that includes getting help with contact persons and getting help with sales support. You want to be putting in place a support effort to get into companies, so that you and your salespeople can focus your time on meetings and not lead finding.

This is where the Expert Profit Engine Method comes in. The solution here is that you do need to be getting a critical mass of high-probability meetings. You need to understand that there is a conversion rate, and know what yours is.

In Expert Profit Engine world, we want your conversion rates to be at 60% to 70% or higher for the funnels that we build. If you have dialed in your pipeline and your customer profile or avatar correctly, you should be at those levels. If not, you’re wasting precious time.

Your number one commodity is time. You don’t want to be on calls with people who are at the wrong psychological stage of the buyer journey, with potentially the wrong people altogether, and/or selling the wrong things.

The key here is imperfect action every day. You do not need to think all the time.  Do not overthink, sometimes you just need to do. You need to beat your brain. We are hardwired to procrastinate things that are scary. You really need to be just moving faster, and that’s why systems are so important. And that’s what the Expert Profit Method is all about.

Finding yourself in the wrong meetings? You need to stop those. Again, it boils down to contacts and relationships. In my experience, people can be very sensitive to criticism about this, so you need to approach indirectly and with prudence.

The real problem lies with self-worth, with confidence, clarity, and contacts.

If you don’t have these things, your focus is off.  Rather than selling your high-value outcome for your client, you’re selling your input.  You’re selling point solutions, tiny product deals, talks, workshops, or consulting. You are massively underselling in order to get your foot in, because you believe that the client will never pay what you deserve.  You’re seeing yourself as a consultant or a one-off help, rather than as someone or as a business who solves urgent, pervasive, expensive problems, and helps your clients grow.

Remember – the client’s ultimate destination, the ultimate destination of their business and helping clients grow – those are actually the ultimate end users here.

You need to be positioning yourself as a headache remover. You need to have clarity on where your business is at. You need to have clarity on who you serve. You need to have clarity on what you can offer at high impact and high price points. If you’re not doing that, it means that you’re not relevant and visible to the right people, and that you are attracting the wrong people.

What you need is real strategy, as well as processes, systems, and packages that reflect great, non-limiting beliefs about yourself.

You do not need to do everything on your own, and you need to know that there are other options beyond your current methods.  If you’re doing things on your own, it means you don’t have leverage, and you don’t have scalability to truly monetize your expertise, your products, and your programs.

Is this resonating with you? Perhaps your partners are pressuring you about when this will turn around, both personally and professionally. Maybe you can’t really remember the last time you felt praise and pride and hope from your people, and you’re looking for validation and to be successful in their eyes.

What often happens is meetings are held and plans are made, but then the same cycle starts again. There are promises that things will turn around, but in the end you just get kind of tired of having uncomfortable conversations.

If you’re feeling that you are alone in your sales process and your business, and that you don’t have anyone to talk to, it doesn’t have to be like that. If you’re tired of not knowing if what you’re doing is the right thing, there are alternatives. I don’t believe in creation and growth in a vacuum. I believe in the model of co-creation.

What the Expert Profit Engine Method does is provide systems and processes for what is already proven to work for key opinion leaders, senior levels, and for closing these deals and getting in front of these people at that level.

Also of huge importance in the Expert Profit Engine method is the use of a KPI dashboard. It takes the analog parts – the calls, meetings, etc. – and combines them together with the digital channels. This allows you to know how many meetings you’ve had, how many of those resulted in a call, what the second call was about, and how many sales there were. You have data on all of your lead magnets and white papers, the challenges that have come up, and more. We keep this really, really simple, and input all of these numbers into a spreadsheet.  

We then apply a triage system to it – red, yellow and green.  Red means that the conversion rates are very low, which means you’re going to need to spend a ton on ads. Yellow means it’s okay, but further work needs to be done on it. Green means that it’s working. The beauty of this system is that all of your marketing and sales decisions are completely based on data.

I’m a huge believer in formulas, as they prevent you from needing to make decisions all the time. When you find a formula that works, you can use it again and then scale it up. You can then reverse engineer from that data to build marketing material. A data-based marketing approach is simple and structured.

KPI dashboards are an awesome part of the Expert Profit Engine method. If a data-based, structured approach to your marketing and sales appeals to you, head on over to ExpertProfitEngine.com, download our free guide and get in touch.

 

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