More is not better. Better is more.
Familiarity breeds contempt
Over the long term, a focus on the latest optimization tricks and trends can put serious distance between your brightest minds and some of the most common problems. It’s not intentional, but apathy and entropy are constantly chipping away at your bottom line.
Solving common problems—especially those super basic ones you don’t want to admit you might have—can be a path to quick wins. Sometimes the best way to raise the bar is not by stretching the uprights thinner and thinner, but rather building up and elevating the foundation.
Let’s take a look at a common marketing problem and a not-so-common sense way of solving it.
Generating Traffic & Leads
One of the first lessons rookie sales reps learn is the value of truly qualified leads. In another life, I spent the better part of a year becoming a licensed life and health insurance agent—and learning this crucial lesson firsthand.
I came in early. I stayed late. I spent my Saturdays with a phone and a script. I did everything I could to fill my weeks with appointments. Because I knew if I dialed X phone numbers, I’d set Y appointments, and close Z deals. Except, I was so desperate for those appointments, I took whatever I could get. I wasted precious time sitting with people either unqualified or unable to buy. Three months after getting my license, I was flat broke and had to find another job.
The most basic of metrics
With as much as we all have to think about on a daily basis, it’s easy to get into a more is better mentality when it comes to traffic and leads. The reality is, better is more. Better traffic has more qualified leads. Better qualified leads are more likely to close—and more likely to be more profitable both immediately and over time.
Traffic and leads are among the most basic of metrics; things we’d be embarrassed to admit we’re not as good at as we’d like. So we tell ourselves more is better. It’s a dangerous perspective because it can actually be effective. All things being equal, if we can double traffic and leads, we can double sales and revenue. Unfortunately, all things are not equal.
This is a common problem with a subtle solution. Instead of solving for how to generate more traffic and more leads, solve for how to generate better traffic and better leads. By the time you get to the bottom of a traditional sales funnel, only 1% end up buying. So the question stands: Do you want more of the 99% that will never buy—or more of the 1% that does?
You want more qualified leads.
And that’s when the whole Account-Based thing clicks. You don’t want more leads. You want more qualified leads. But why stop there? A good lead makes a purchase. A better lead makes a bigger purchase. And the best leads are so perfectly matched to your offering, not only do they tick all the boxes, they remain loyal customers year after year—and become consistent brand advocates.
Flip your funnel.
Instead of wasting money trying to fill your funnel, flip it, and begin with the end in mind. Develop a detailed vision of the best possible customer you could possibly find—then reverse engineer your processes around that account. What’s their story? What are they struggling with? Who else has the same story and pain points? What can we assemble now that can be easily customized and scaled to serve those similar accounts?
When you truly understand your ideal customer profile, you know where to find your ideal customers. And when you demonstrate you understand their wants and needs better than anyone else, they will start coming to you. Will you see more traffic and leads as a result? Probably not much overall, but you’ll see your conversion rate and go way up—on more profitable deals!
Ready to get better?
Invest in getting the clearest picture you can of what your best customer looks like. Think about the three biggest deals in recent memory. What did they all have in common? Leave no stone unturned! Were they all about the same size? The same age? Same industry? Who and how many had to approve the deal before the contract could be signed? What did it take to get those approvals?
The more data you can bring together around these questions, the more accurate the picture you can draw of your ideal customer profile (ICP) and the buying committee. From there, it’s question of identifying the gaps in your data and getting resources mobilized to fill in those gaps.