The painful truth is, if you've been struggling to grow or your growth trajectory has the peaks and valleys of a roller coaster, it's because you're not ready to grow. Predictable lead generation is the #1 lever to driving revenue growth. Repeat business from existing customers is great and we all want and need that. But if you can’t predictably go out and generate new leads and opportunities and win them profitably, you are going to struggle to grow.
Signs You're Not Ready to Grow
- Lead generation is inconsistent at best
- Adding new, qualified opportunities to the top of your sales funnel is haphazard
- Only tenured/top performers possess the ability to bring in new accounts
- You’re good at too many things and struggle focusing on the one best opportunity to sell and deliver repeatedly, over and over again
- Even when reps get good quality meetings, far too few customers buy
- You experience high sales turnover, especially with new hires
To systematically grow, we first need a repeatable and sustainable system for generating sales leads that creates predictable revenue pipeline. It is hard to build a big business, let alone any business, while trying to sell and deliver dozens of different solutions concurrently. I don't think anyone can expect to build their business by placing "purple squirrels," that is not a scalable sales system for achieving sustainable and predictable revenue growth.
Remember when Amazon only sold books? And if you recall, for years, Salesforce.com only sold SFA or salesforce automation cloud. Only after they built a process for repeatable and scalable revenue growth did they start developing their service cloud platform and then their marketing cloud offering. Today they compete with Oracle and SAP and others in the ERP space.
Since 20016, Hubspot has grown from 0-$1B in revenue. For years they were just a blog. Then they demonstrated how the blog drove inbounds leads. From there they demonstrated how to convert those leads into paying customers using inbound marketing software. To them, they slowly built their business. They were methodical, building it one product at at time.
My point? All of these hypergrowth companies started with a very specific niche in which they focused on selling one product at a time. Second, they developed a repeatable and predictable process for how to sell and grow each product. They didn't roll out multiple products all at once and tell their reps "sell whatever product you want, just so long as you hit your number." No, they were very methodical about their approach.
How Much Time Are Your Reps Wasting on the Wrong Customers, Opportunities?
Nailing a niche is about figuring out which types of customers will make you successful. It’s about avoiding customers that will suck the life out of your sales team, recruiting team and your back office. It’s about keeping your team focused. Without a niche you create confusion and confusion distracts salespeople which stunts company growth.
Having a niche means that your sales new hires can find and sign up unaffiliated customers, those who are not friends, family or referrals from current customers or others associated with your company, in a predictable way. These customers started out cold.
If your sales new hires and even your tenured salespeople struggle to sign up new customers then you likely have an issue with either your marketing, sales process or the salesperson.
On the other hand, one sign that you have nailed your niche is that your sales new hires and tenured reps are able to consistently and predictably find and sign up unaffiliated customers-those who are NOT friends, family or referrals from current customers. These customers started out cold.
The Entire Point of Nailing a Niche is to Overcome The Credibility Gap
Your customers including hiring managers and HR leaders are incredibly cynical of salespeople and they're even more cynical of salespeople from staffing and recruiting firms. You can’t blame them for their cynicism. Staffing firms have been overpromising and underdelivering for decades. As a result, salespeople are met with skepticism and kept at arm’s length by prospects who don’t know or trust them. Quickly demonstrating credibility is the key to closing or "filling" the credibility gap.
But when salespeople have no niche they are stuck trying to be all things to all people. They're "winging it," and customers know it. In fact, the entire industry knows it because as an industry we've been kicking and screaming, "stop treating us like we're a transactional commodity supplier!"
Customers will stop treating us like a transactional commodity supplier, but not until we figure out how to enable our salespeople to overcome the credibility gap.
Enabling Your Salespeople to Overcome the Credibility Gap
To enable your salespeople to overcome the credibility gap you need to define for your salespeople the one best opportunity to sell in which your team can deliver repeatedly, over and over again.
Doing this simplifies messaging and outbound prospecting, improves sales productivity and it makes successful sales onboarding repeatable and predictable. By taking this step you can enable your salespeople with a go-to-market value proposition that says:
- Here is the one problem we are best at solving
- Here is how we have solved it hundreds of times for customers just like yourself
- Here is how it made an impact on their business
Until you do this, your salespeople will continue to waste countless hours agonizing over how to structure each and every message. Not only that, they struggle to overcome the credibility gap, and as a result, the top of your sales funnel will fail to grow. This is important because at the end of the day, predictable lead generation is your number one lever for driving revenue growth.