Tom LenhartWhat do we think of when we think of outbound marketing? Direct mail pieces, social media, billboards and the most terrifying one of all: cold calls. However, thinking in terms of tactics leaves out an essential piece of the ever-evolving marketing and sales puzzle: the sales representatives behind the phone calls. These salespeople begin the journey to a client’s success.

The sales funnel has transformed drastically over the past several years. Gone are the days when just one sales representative would work with a customer from the very first interaction all the way to closing the deal. Now, sales roles have shifted. We have a variety of roles — “hunters,” account executives, client success teams and marketing departments — all of which are accountable to one another and play an integral role in meeting clients’ needs.

The speaker at the November BMA Chicago breakfast, Tony Lenhart, knows all about the shifting role of Sales. He has been a sales professional for many years, starting at ADP and eventually expanding his role as “sales drummer” with the Sales Empowerment Group and Sales University Group. There, he builds inside sales teams from the ground up, working with groups to develop contact strategies, provide CRM training, enable solution-based sales and more.

During his talk, Tony shared the foundation of his teaching methods: a model called the Revenue Tower, developed by Pepper Group. This framework aligns both Marketing and Sales in every part of the buyer’s journey. The Revenue Tower has six main parts:

Revenue Tower

  1. Strategy. The underlying goal for all efforts at this level is to build market awareness. That can include buyer personas, value propositions, channels, positioning, determining “the why,” training employees and so on.
  2. Showroom. In this step, the goal is to showcase the credibility of your company’s product. Website design, PR, social media, factual support and graphic identity all fall under this heading.
  3. Initial Engagement. Next, Sales and Marketing work closely together to extend enticing offers to potential buyers. This can take a variety of forms, including social engagement, targeted ads, conference events or direct prospecting.
  4. Ongoing Engagement. Sales and Marketing’s job isn’t done after the first interaction. Now it’s time to nurture relationships with potential buyers, keeping your solution top-of-mind and proving your value.
  5. Sales Enablement. As buyers move deeper into the funnel, Sales communicates directly with the customer, offering proposal tools and guiding them through the actual purchase.
  6. Customer Retention. Finally, after each of the previous steps has been taken successfully, retaining existing customers becomes the focal point. Delivering ongoing reports, providing education and insights at special customer events, and generally delivering an experience that goes above and beyond are all best practices in this stage.

Tony ended his round table discussion with a few key takeaways for us to remember:

  • Targeted outbound can lead to some of a company’s biggest accounts. Follow the Revenue Tower to build success and, well, revenue for your clients!
  • It’s essential to focus on key verticals and buyer personas.
  • If you build an outbound marketing team, hire at least three sales development representatives so they can bounce ideas off one another.
  • Build the right cadence.
  • Craft the right incentive plan to intrigue your consumers from beginning to end.

As a marketer, it was incredibly beneficial to learn the best practices for sales and marketing teams to align themselves to develop and execute a cohesive and intriguing message.