Land & Expand!
All too often lead generation campaigns are focused on taking to market big-ticket solutions and services with a six or seven figure investment value. These large strategic transformational projects are certainly out there; however, they are obviously fewer than smaller more tactical projects that are being managed by the same client organisation. A strategy that INCo has seen work very well, is the “Land & Expand” sales methodology.
Identifying smaller projects in your target accounts, and assuming an approach led by life-time value is a great way to engage with new clients, while demonstrating the full scope of your solutions and/or services. Meaning that whilst you are delivering chargeable work you are in prime position to seek out the big-ticket transformational projects.The information held in the buyer personas for the “ideal” client, decision maker or project will often hold details pertaining to the “ideal” budget size and minimum spend value, and while these details are included in a persona for a reason, engaging only the opportunities that surpass these thresholds in terms of budget or project size is not a sound lead generation strategy.
INCo has first-hand experience of where the sales strategy of “Land & Expand” can be used to boost your sales pipeline and help you win new clients with a significant six or seven figure life time value. This strategy centres on the concept of securing the second deal or project engagement with a prospect before the delivery process has been completed on the first; always re-engaging with them for further projects. For many organisations the initial business secured is often smaller than would usually be considered for a typical client investment, however consider it as paid for marketing time.
While everyone likes to see the flashing pound signs that accompany the big and exciting customers, efforts should be made to ensure that the slightly smaller projects are also actively engaged with and “qualified in” as part of the lead generation and sales cycle. With successful client centric relationship management both the large transformational project and the smaller tactical projects can become consistent sales pipeline contributors. Focus on targeting the right type of prospects and growing their life time value to your business turning them into a reliable source of revenue and a great customer advocate.
So growing a client’s life time value? How is it done?
It was reported that 44% of technology buyers feel that less than 25% of their providers consistently work with them to maximise value. While statistics show that if value could be demonstrated, providers could expect an increased likelihood of repeat purchases from 66% of their existing customers. Demonstrating to your customers the value you bring to them is a certain way to see your ROI figures multiply.
Consider your Landing Strategy – When the goal is to drive an initial deal value up towards a life time value of magnitude, some organisations alter their lead generation campaign to include a conversion phase with a higher appeal value. These could include pilot projects or limited time offers. These tactics secure an initial interaction with potential lifetime customer and gives you that “paid for marketing platform”. If you delight the client with the small project, you are already ahead of the competition for the larger piece of work.
Identification process – Cultivating a onetime buyer into a lifelong customer can take time effort and resources – not just from one department but from the organisation as a whole. Make sure that you are placing your efforts on the prospects that have the traits that will make a long term relationship painless. This is especially important to consider if you decide to attract your prospects with discounted offers – very rarely do serial bargain hunters make good long term customers. With time you will be able to identify and incorporate the traits of a desirable long term customer into your buyer personas.
Understand your product life cycle – Technology is one of the fastest advancing sectors, with products and services undergoing constant advancement or face becoming obsolete. This creates a defined product life cycle. Incorporating these market place advancements into your campaigns mean that with life time customers you will be able to use these points to initiate renewed interaction in a cyclical fashion.
Crossing Departments for a Unified Relationship Delivery – Through your lead generation campaign your prospects first interacted with marketing, then sales and as they became customers they moved on to touch base with multiple departments throughout the rest of your organisation. Ensuring there is a consistent standard of brand delivery and relationship maintenance being upheld throughout the organisation as a whole is the primary way to ensure that the expectations of your prospects and customers alike are being met. Maintaining a strong relationship is a key step in progressing your customers from one-time buyers to lifelong customers.
Everyone is a Sales Professional
Land & Expand has to be a business led approach, not just a sales and marketing initiative. Make sure all the team including operations and finance are listening for opportunities to win more business with your clients. We have spoken of the importance of sales and marketing working closely together (Smarketing :) ), however to really leverage Land and Expand as a strategy sales need to have a strong relationship with every department and most importantly…..the customer!