What is product-led growth?

Successful companies grow fast by moving users swiftly through their pipeline. In an ever-evolving market, this requires frequent fresh approaches to revenue generation.  One method of supercharging growth (and used to success by companies like Slack and Candidly) is product-led growth (PLG). And with the impact of PLG on user adoption, customer satisfaction and revenue growth, it’s no wonder the B2B tech world lapping it up. 

PLG emphasizes a user-centric approach. It prizes organic growth, fosters lower customer acquisition costs and focuses on faster time to value realization for customers. This data-driven iteration on business growth can offer your organization the benefits of scalability, global reach and industry validation—if you can adopt it effectively and it’s a good fit for your company. 

Let’s find out if product-led growth is right for the next edition of your B2B RevOps playbook. 


Let’s get started!


What is PLG? 

Unlike market-led growth, product-led growth uses the product itself to drive acquisition, expansion, conversion and retention. The product is designed to be intuitive, user-friendly, and capable of delivering value to customers, requiring fewer sales or marketing efforts. Customers should move through the sales funnel almost without even knowing it. They gain hands-on practice with your product or service and get hooked at the outset. 

Key elements of PLG include providing a free or trial version of your product that allows users to experience its value before making a purchase. The product is designed to be self-serve, so users can easily sign up, onboard, and start using it without the need for extensive training.

PLG relies on the concept of product virality, where satisfied users naturally share their positive experiences with others. This leads to organic growth and increased adoption. Additionally, PLG emphasizes gathering user feedback and data to continuously improve the product and drive customer satisfaction.

By prioritizing the product and user experience, companies adopting a PLG strategy aim to drive customer acquisition, retention and expansion. And the best part, it does it all while minimizing the need for traditional sales and marketing techniques.


Who’s doing it right? 

As it becomes more popular, especially in tech, we see several companies successfully embracing a PLG strategy. Here’s what they’re doing right:

  • Slack: The popular collaboration platform has grown through a PLG approach. It offers a freemium model, allowing users to sign up and use the product for free with limited features. As teams adopt and use Slack, they often invite more users, contributing to the platform’s viral growth.
  • Dropbox: This cloud storage and file sharing service utilized a PLG strategy to achieve significant growth. By offering a free version of their product with a limited amount of storage, Dropbox attracted millions of users. Those user then shared files and invited others to join, driving growth.
  • Atlassian: A software company that offers a range of collaboration and development tools, including Jira, Confluence and Trello, Atlassian has embraced a PLG approach by providing free versions of their products, allowing users to try them out and upgrade as their needs expand.
  • Zoom: The video conferencing platform experienced exponential growth, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers a freemium model with limited meeting durations for free users, allowing individuals and businesses to experience the platform’s capabilities and subsequently upgrade to paid plans for more features and longer meetings.


These companies have a product that solves their users’ problems. They offer limited versions of their solution, incentivize usage and enable sharing right in the product and watch their loyal customer base expand with almost no lift from their marketing orgs (or their budgets). These companies demonstrate how a PLG strategy attracts, retains, and essentially clones customers by focusing on delivering value through products and facilitating organic growth through user adoption and advocacy.


What are the benefits of PLG? 

PLG offers several benefits for businesses. Key advantages include customer satisfaction, reduced sales and marketing costs, faster user adoption, viral growth and network effects, data-enabled iteration, upsell and expansion opportunities, and differentiation from competitors in an already volatile market. Whew! PLG is about as close to a secret weapon as you can get. It offers the potential for scalable and sustainable growth by aligning business success to customer success, reducing friction in the user journey, and leveraging the viral nature of happy customers.


What are the pillars of PLG?

The three pillars of PLG are as follows: 

  1. Design for the converted user
  2. Deliver value before they seek it out
  3. Investment


Pillar 1: Designing for the converted User

With PLG, we immediately put the customer in the driver’s seat of the product. They should find their problem solved as soon as they use the product. The converted user, then, refers to the practice of optimizing the product experience and features to cater to users who have already upgraded from free or trial versions to paid plans or higher tiers of the product. These users have already experienced the value of the product and have made a commitment to continue using it. The first pillar of PLG is designing for the converted user. When designing for the converted user, the focus shifts from initial user onboarding to deepening the engagement and maximizing the value for these users. 

A few key considerations to make in the process of designing for the converted user:

  1. Advanced features and functionality: Converted users often have more advanced needs and are willing to explore the full capabilities of the product. Designing and enhancing features specifically targeting their requirements can help increase their satisfaction. It’s also a great way to ensure they continue to derive value from the product.
  2. Customization and personalization: Providing options for customization and personalization allows converted users to tailor the product to their specific workflows and preferences. This flexibility enhances the user experience and further integrates the product into their daily operations.
  3. Power user tools and efficiency enhancements: For converted users who are actively using the product, incorporating power user tools and efficiency enhancements can boost productivity and streamline their workflows. This can include advanced automation features, shortcuts, integrations with other tools, or advanced reporting and analytics capabilities.
  4. Proactive support and customer success: Designing for converted users involves providing proactive support and customer success initiatives. This can include personalized guidance, targeted resources, and proactive communication to help users achieve their desired outcomes and address any challenges they may encounter.
  5. Expansion opportunities and cross-selling: Designing for converted users also involves identifying expansion opportunities within the existing user base. This can include introducing additional features or modules that align with their evolving needs, cross-selling complementary products or services, or providing seamless pathways for users to upgrade to higher tiers.


Pillar 2: Delivering value before they seek it 

With PLG, the customer gains instant gratification from using the product and solving their problem immediately. This is often done through a demo or free trial. They don’t have to seek the value out of the product because their issue is solved on the spot. Delivering value before the customer seeks it, then, refers to the concept of proactively providing a solution to users even before they explicitly express their needs. 

The goal here is to anticipate and address user needs in a way that creates a positive user experience and builds a foundation for customer success. This approach is rooted in the idea that a product should be designed to intuitively meet user needs and deliver value from the moment they start using it. This includes intuitive onboarding, default settings and presets, proactive suggestions and recommendations, automated workflows, and contextual help and support. 

The idea behind delivering value before customers seek it is to exceed their expectations, make their experience as frictionless as possible, and demonstrate the product’s value proposition from the start. By providing value upfront, businesses can increase user satisfaction, encourage adoption and engagement, and lay the foundation for long-term customer success.


Pillar 3: Investment

Introducing the customer to success before they’re handed off to Sales makes them more inclined to buy. The funnel should lead directly to product usage, not a salesperson, earning the customer’s investment seemingly before they know it. The goal is to provide a self-serve experience that empowers users to achieve their desired outcomes independently. 

Basics of funnel design

Engagement funnel

Sales funnel

  • Drives user engagement, interaction and builds relationships with your target audience. 
  • Creates meaningful interactions, increases brand awareness and nurtures potential customers.
  • Captures leads, encourages users to explore your product or content and foster ongoing engagement. 

The primary objective may not be immediate sales, but a well-designed engagement funnel can eventually lead to conversions by building trust and loyalty with your audience over time.

  • Guides users through the customer journey and optimizes conversions.
  • Moves users from initial awareness to making a purchase or completing a desired action. 
  • Involves lead generation, product education, showcasing value propositions, providing persuasive offers and facilitating the actual sales process. 

The primary objective is maximizing the conversion rate and driving revenue.


Getting the user out of the sales funnel and into the product requires an audit of your funnel structure, as well as implementation of in-product features that foster investment. These may include:

  1. Comprehensive onboarding: Design a self-guided onboarding process that helps customers understand and use the product effectively. Provide interactive tutorials, videos, and step-by-step guides that highlight key features and showcase how to achieve specific goals.
  2. In-app education and resources: Offer in-app education materials, knowledge bases and help centers that customers can access at any time. These resources should provide answers to frequently asked questions, troubleshooting guides and best practice tips to empower users to overcome challenges independently.
  3. Automated success milestones: Define success milestones within the product and track customers’ progress toward those milestones. Celebrate achievements and provide guidance or recommendations for next steps when customers reach certain points in their journey. This helps users feel a sense of accomplishment and motivates them to explore further.
  4. Product-embedded analytics: Provide customers with access to product analytics and data that help them understand how they are benefiting from the product. This can include usage statistics, performance metrics and insights into how their actions within the product contribute to their desired outcomes.
  5. Proactive communication: Establish automated, in-app messaging or email campaigns to engage customers at various stages of their journey. Send personalized messages to provide tips, feature updates and success stories that showcase the value of the product. This ongoing communication keeps customers informed and engaged, driving their success.
  6. Customer community/user forums: Foster a customer community or user forums where customers can connect, share insights, and learn from one another. Encourage engagement and provide a platform for users to ask questions, share best practices and support each other.


Is PLG right for my company?

Determining whether PLG is the right strategy for your company involves considering various factors. 

You must assess if your product has the potential to be self-serve and deliver value without extensive sales or marketing efforts. PLG works best when the product itself is intuitive, easy to adopt and provides tangible value to users. Similarly, evaluate if your target market is receptive to self-serve experiences and willing to try and adopt new products without significant assistance. PLG relies on users independently discovering, adopting and expanding their usage of the product.

Consider if your business model supports a freemium or trial-based approach, where users can start with a free version of the product and upgrade to paid plans for additional features or functionality. PLG is often effective when revenue growth comes from expansion within the existing user base.

Does your product have the potential for viral growth, where satisfied users naturally share their positive experiences with others? PLG can be particularly successful when word-of-mouth referrals and network effects contribute to organic user acquisition and adoption.

PLG relies on data-driven insights to iterate on the product, enhance the user experience, and drive customer satisfaction and retention. Determine if your company has the capabilities and processes in place to gather and analyze user data effectively.

PLG also requires a cross-functional collaboration between product, engineering, marketing, customer success and data analytics teams to ensure a cohesive strategy. Evaluate if your company culture, structure, and resources are aligned with a product-led approach. 

Finally, analyze the competitive landscape and market dynamics to understand if a product-led approach would differentiate your company and provide a competitive advantage. Consider if other successful companies in your industry have adopted PLG and if it has yielded positive results for them.

It’s important to note that PLG is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Its suitability varies based on factors specific to your company and product. Consider conducting market research, customer surveys and analyzing your product-market fit to make an informed decision about adopting a PLG strategy. 


What does the future of PLG look like?

Initially popular among startups and SMBs, PLG is now gaining traction in the enterprise market. Companies are adopting PLG strategies to cater to the changing preferences of enterprise buyers who expect intuitive and self-serve experiences. What makes this strategy really exciting is that it continues to change. New PLG trends continue to emerge. 

For example, more companies are adopting free or freemium models as a way to attract users and provide them with a low barrier to entry. This approach allows users to experience the value of the product before committing to a paid plan.

There is an increasing emphasis on leveraging product analytics and user data to make data-driven decisions. Companies are leveraging these insights to improve the product experience, identify user behavior patterns, and drive engagement and conversion.

There is a growing ecosystem of tools and platforms specifically designed to support PLG initiatives. These tools assist with onboarding, user analytics, product tours, in-app messaging and other aspects of the PLG journey.

Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a significant role in powering PLG strategies by enhancing user experiences, enabling data-driven decision-making and automating processes. One application will have AI algorithms analyzing customer data to segment your customer base effectively. By identifying groups with similar characteristics, behaviors or needs, AI helps you target specific segments that are more likely to be receptive to upsell offers. This segmentation enables tailoring upselling strategies and messaging to maximize their effectiveness.

AI can also analyze user data, behavior and preferences to deliver personalized experiences, crucial to successful PLG. By leveraging machine learning algorithms, AI can provide tailored product recommendations, content suggestions and targeted offers to individual users, increasing engagement and conversion rates.

AI can be used to detect churn risk. Yes, churn. It gives companies insight to address customer needs and situations. And with that insight, companies are better equipped to proactively build retention programs. Sometimes those insights and signals lead to upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

And, AI algorithms can analyze user behavior and usage data to identify opportunities for upselling and expansion. By understanding user needs and preferences, AI can suggest relevant upgrades, additional features or higher-tier plans, driving revenue growth and customer satisfaction.

Remember: successful implementation of AI in PLG requires robust data infrastructure, ethical data practices, and ongoing monitoring and optimization. Additionally, AI should complement the human touch and be used to augment the user experience rather than replace it entirely.


PLG: Long story short

Remember, optimizing PLG is an iterative process that requires continuous monitoring, experimentation and adaptation. Stay customer-focused, leverage data, and be open to learning and refining your strategies to drive sustainable growth through product-led approaches.

Learn more about how you can optimize PLG with Rev’s AI-powered Sales Development Platform. Schedule a demo with us, and we’ll show you how to identify which of your customers are ready for expansion opportunities—and why.

Data integrity and revamping your ICP

Every GTM motion in a RevOps organization has its own distinct function. Yet somehow, they’re supposed to collaborate darn near seamlessly.

Data is the medium that facilitates that interdependence. It’s a common language that provides common context to everyone in RevOps, highlighting where resources are best focused and driving decision-making across the org.

But all too often, that data lacks integrity, coherence and meaning. We see this perhaps most prevalently in a RevOps team’s ICP. Where nearly every other function benefits from updated tools and cutting-edge practices, the role of data in shaping an ICP is frequently overlooked.

Here, we demonstrate the concerns with traditional ICPs that lack data. Then we look at the kind of data that can redefine and dynamize the way you identify best-fit prospects, strengthen and support the entire RevOps team and optimize your practices for driving business efficiency (and, of course, revenue).


Old-style ICPs lack data

Ideal customer profiles are as old as time… or at least as old as sales. And ICPs are rooted in sound philosophy: if you can identify what your best customers have in common, you can better identify great prospects because they’ll look alike.

Unfortunately, the ICP concept really hasn’t evolved much beyond superficial indicators in all those many years.

ICPs in practice are too often static documents with maybe half a dozen characteristics. These are usually fairly easy for salespeople to access, determine or estimate: an organization’s industry, headcount, revenue and geographic location might combine into a pretty standard ICP.

A sales team, or their company, might even settle on an ICP and rely on it for years—meaning that not only is their ICP built on superficial traits, but static ones, too.

But we know that the world is always changing. ICPs should be just as dynamic, in order to reflect the ever-evolving behaviors, strategies, attitudes and needs of your best customers (and your prospect audience).

ICPs can only become dynamic if they’re infused with meaningful, insightful data—data that goes deeper than surface-level firmographics in order to understand not only how a company looks but also how it behaves.


Exegraphics infuse dynamic ICPs with data

The demand signals missing from traditional ICPs already exist. We call them exegraphics.

Exegraphics are, in short, millions of pieces of information about a company that together build a comprehensive assessment of how that company ticks. Thus, they help B2B sales teams better understand what actually makes their best customers their bestthereby generating a much more powerful ICP.

(We call this an aiCP, for an AI-driven customer profile. At Rev, we utilize the power of AI to analyze where companies stand—and how they are shifting over time—from the value they bring to market to the functions of people within the organization.)

When companies first started aggregating consumer data in the B2C world, they focused on demographics. Learning the age, gender and ZIP code of their customers was a huge leap forward. But that leap could not compare to the leap of using psychographics. These enable retailers to predict when a couple is expecting a baby, or who is likely shopping for a new home, or any other of the uncountable predictors of customer behavior.

Exegraphics do for B2B what psychographics are doing to B2C: redefining the ways we can assess and understand our customer bases.

Think of it this way: if you specialize in HR solutions, you likely care less about a company’s headcount (firmographic) and more about where that company’s headcount is heading in the short-term future (exegraphic). Now, picture two prospects of equal headcount. What if exegraphics reveal that one is about to scale while the other is about to downsize? That knowledge, built from myriad individual data points, changes your RevOps strategy across the board.

And the whole of your RevOps organization stands to benefit.


Powerful data strengthens the entire RevOps team

RevOps teams need powerful data like exegraphics to build the strongest possible foundation for every GTM motion—not just in prospecting, but in retention, expansion and success as well.

With exegraphic data powering their ICPs, your RevOps team can: 


… better identify new market segments.

With a traditional ICP, you’ll keep targeting more of the same. Why would you go prospecting in new industries when all your best customers exist together in one?

For starters, because that’s how you open up entirely new customer segments. But there’s also high risk in venturing into a new market segment, with no guarantee of success.

Exegraphic-driven GTM motions minimize that risk when expanding into new market segments. They can target the prospects who share the right “fit” and “ready” characteristics with their best customers (even if one’s in aerospace and the other’s in medicine).

Analyzing new market segments for prospects with similar traits arms a GTM team with strategies to test surgically and precisely.


… test outbounding strategies on the right target accounts.

Whether in a new market or a familiar one, testing out new strategies and collateral costs less and leads to clearer results when your teams can target their absolute best-fit prospects. Exegraphics enable what we call a SWAT method: a small, skilled team can implement a test strategy, pivot on a dime and adapt based on real-world results.

This kind of strategy doesn’t work with a buckshot approach and little-to-no intel. You’d never know if a strategy failed because the strategy didn’t work, or because the prospects weren’t going to bite anyway.

Powerful exegraphic data can identify which prospects are most likely to engage, so you can get meaningful results—both in new customers and in tighter feedback loops—faster.


… improve and track their aim.

Our research at Rev shows that up to 2/3 of the leads in the average pipeline sit untouched. The average RevOps org loses well more than half of its best future customers, simply because the pipeline is clogged with less-than-ideal prospects. This is what happens when you cast a wide net: you catch a lot of fish, many of them not the ones you’re fishing for.

A strategy driven by strong data helps your teams improve their aim and track results over time, continuously honing the ICP based on actual results.


… strategically expand existing accounts.

Of course, an efficient RevOps organization isn’t just prospecting; it’s also expanding existing accounts. Exegraphic data demonstrates the qualities of your customers that have already expanded—and you can better understand what makes other accounts ripe for the same kinds of expansion.

After all, identifying which exegraphic predictors exist among your current customer base is far more likely to lead to new expansion than the superficial predictors we often use, like “highest spending,” “high activity” and “most friendly.”

Plus, creating aiCPs for each of your specific products or services can optimize a RevOps team for not only who is ripe for expansion, but what direction they’re ready to expand in. (Your team may even be able to speak to pain points that the customer doesn’t yet realize they’re experiencing!)


… stay ahead of churn.

Powerful data also assists with the opposite of expansion: identifying the early signals of a customer’s likelihood of dropping off.

Of course, churn happens for all kinds of reasons, many out of your control. Unless your company is brand-new, you’ve experienced it. Those lost customers are learning opportunities! Exegraphics can identify the shared traits of your lost clients just the same as it can your best ones—then anticipate the most at-risk customers based on those same trends.

Imagine your RevOps team being able to connect with those organizations—and work to resolve their pain points—long before they begin conversations to shift away from your product or service. This puts you in the proactive role of helping customers succeed, rather than reacting to their deficits once they’re too late to fix.

Being proactive in this way is a powerful approach for reducing churn and sticking with companies as they transition.


Final thoughts: The competitive edge of advancing how you use data 

Data is pervasive. It’s how organizations utilize and optimize that data that differentiates them from their competitors. It’s how they integrate data usage that connects them most efficiently with the customers that need them most.

We’re reminded of discussions around one of today’s worst baseball teams. The coaches, players, scouts and front office have access to essentially all the same data as every other team in the majors. But they don’t use the data coherently; they don’t mine it for all the value it contains; they don’t communicate it between departments and they allow old-school mentalities to override its lessons.

That baseball team is competing with the baseball equivalent of an ICP, ignoring the exegraphic-level data sitting on the tablets in the dugout. And the results show in the standings.

Data integrity matters to the success of all the GTM motions in a RevOps organization. What data is your team playing with—and are they maximizing its potential for optimizing results.

Curious to see the exegraphic data behind your best customers? Contact us and we’ll show you—and conduct a free ICP audit.

Everything you need to know about growth marketing

Growth marketing is a multi-pronged approach to scaling profits, gaining an edge in a competitive market and driving tangible results with minimal effort. It’s become a respected and core marketing function because of its ability to open opportunities that create massive lift—with minimal effort.

This powerhouse strategy offers an efficient way to acquire, convert, engage, and retain customers over time and gives companies a significant edge in expanding their market share. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore everything there is to know about growth marketing—from what it entails to the strategies and tactics marketers use today. Get ready. Here we go.


What is growth marketing?

Growth marketing is a holistic approach to marketing that focuses on experimentation and optimization. It is an iterative process that leverages data and analytics to identify and target high-value customers and optimize marketing campaigns for maximum conversions.

This is different from any other type of marketing in that it is highly focused on testing and optimizing. Instead of relying on intuition and guesswork, growth marketers constantly test and refine their campaigns to get the most out of their investment.

By testing different strategies and tactics, you can identify the most effective ways to reach your target audience. This type of marketing requires an understanding of analytics, data-driven decision-making and an ability to think outside the box.

Growth marketing involves several techniques, from social media marketing to email marketing and SMS marketing. It’s a great way to maximize the return on your marketing investment and is especially helpful for startups and small businesses that need to make every dollar count. (And let’s face it, in today’s economy, every company is measuring the impact of every dollar.)


Growth marketing vs. traditional marketing

Growth marketing is a relatively new concept, but it is quickly becoming the go-to approach for many businesses. So, how does growth marketing differ from traditional marketing? 

At its core, traditional marketing focuses on creating and delivering messages that appeal to potential customers. It can involve anything from radio and television ads to billboards and even direct mail. Growth marketing, on the other hand, takes a more holistic approach. 

Rather than focusing on single messages, growth marketing looks at the overall customer experience to identify areas for improvement. This includes everything from product design to user experience and even customer service. 

The primary purpose of growth marketing is to increase a business’s metrics and user engagement. To that end, growth marketers will use data and analytics to measure their campaigns’ success and adjust accordingly. This helps them get the most bang for their buck, leading to more conversions and sales. 

In short, growth marketing is a far more efficient way of getting customers. Its focus on data and analytics makes it a more efficient approach than traditional marketing, and its ability to track metrics gives businesses a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.


Key components of growth marketing

We just touched on a few things that growth marketing does, but let’s get more specific and dive into the “how.”


A/B testing

A/B testing is a crucial component of growth marketing. It compares two versions of a website ad, or other marketing assets to determine which version performs better. This testing allows marketers to quickly identify the most effective version of a marketing asset and optimize their campaigns for maximum performance.

When creating an A/B test, focus on testing the elements that are most likely to influence customer behavior. This could include the headline, images, call-to-action or other features likely to impact customer behavior.

Note that A/B testing isn’t a one-and-done process. You should continuously test and refine different elements to identify the most effective combinations.


SEO strategy

You want to make it as easy as possible for your buyers to find you, and that’s where SEO comes in. SEO involves optimizing a website for search engines, such as Google, to ensure that it appears at the top of the search engine results page. 

It requires an understanding of how search engines work and how to optimize content for maximum visibility. This involves a combination of on-page optimization (content optimization and keyword research) and off-page optimization (link building).

SEO is an iterative process, and it’s important to test and refine different strategies to make sure you’re always ranking the highest you possibly can. It’s also important to keep up with the latest trends and best practices to ensure your website remains competitive. And trust us—this is key. The world of SEO is always changing.


Data-driven email campaigns

An email is a powerful tool that allows you to reach a large audience with highly-targeted messages. Email campaigns help to build relationships with customers, drive conversions, and promote products and services.

Data-driven email campaigns combine the power of email with data analytics to create highly-targeted and personalized messages. This type of marketing involves segmenting customers based on their behavior and preferences and creating messages tailored to their needs.

It also allows marketers to identify the most effective messages and offers for a given audience, increasing engagement and conversions and building customer relationships.



Personas are an important part of growth marketing. They are fictional representations of a target customer and are used to help marketers understand the needs and behaviors of their target audience.

This is used to create content that resonates with a target audience and to identify the most effective messages and offers for a given customer segment. This type of marketing requires understanding the customer’s needs, motivations and behaviors.

Building your personas allows you to create highly-targeted and personalized campaigns. By understanding the customer’s needs, marketers can create messages and offers tailored to their target audience.


Ad copy

Ad copy is a critical component of growth marketing. It’s the text that appears in an advertisement and is used to communicate a message to potential customers.

When creating an ad, focus on creating a compelling message that resonates with your target audience. Ad copy should be clear, concise, and persuasive and focus on the product’s or service’s benefit.

Test different ad versions to identify the most effective messages and offers. 


How to build a growth marketing strategy

To build a meaningful (and impactful) growth marketing strategy, you need to first have an intimate understanding of your customers’ journey, from how you identify them as a prospect to when they make their purchase—and even beyond. It’s what will guide how you interact with them and how you iterate to optimize results.  

Your growth strategy should be all about optimizing the customer journey. (After all, that optimizes your funnel too.) So, without further ado, here are the steps you should take to build your growth marketing strategy.


1. Determine your goals

The first step in creating a successful growth marketing strategy is getting clear on what you want to achieve, your goals. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to increase your customer acquisition rate? Increase your conversion rate? Increase your customer retention rate? Or all of the above?

Your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. SMART goals will help you track the progress of your growth marketing efforts and ensure you’re on track to achieving your desired outcomes.

2. Understand your ideal customer profile and personas

An ideal customer profile (ICP) defines the types of companies you sell to, the ones that are most likely to become your most valuable customers. This is a step a lot of company’s gloss over (and pay for down the road).

The misstep? A lot of companies define their ICP using only firmographics. The problem there is that firmographics alone are superficial. We find that companies that include exegraphic data into their ICP have a better picture of who to target—and how to talk to them.

From there, it’s also important to understand the personas within the companies you’re targeting. A persona is a fictional character that represents your users and buyers. Knowing who they are is vital in creating strategies to reach and convert them effectively.

When building personas, you should focus on your target customers’ needs, motivations, goals and pain points. This will help you understand their needs and empathize with their pain—which will serve as a solid foundation for building trust.


3. Map your customer journey

The next step in creating a successful growth marketing strategy is mapping your customer journey. Your customer journey is the path your customers take from when they first become aware of your company to when they make a purchase. By clearly defining the journey and the stages within it, you’ll be better poised to serve them at any given time.

The customer journey typically consists of the following:

  • Awareness stage: Your customers become aware of your product.
  • Consideration stage: They’re considering whether or not to purchase your product.
  • Decision stage: They’re deciding whether or not to make a purchase.

At each stage of the customer journey, your potential customer will have different questions. At the awareness stage, they may ask questions like, “What is your product?” and “How does it work?” At the consideration stage, they may ask, “Why should I buy your product?” and “What are the benefits?” At the decision stage, they may ask, “How do I purchase your product?” and “What are the payment options?”

Understanding the questions and objections they may have at each stage will help you proactively address them, making the entire experience smooth. The other element to take into consideration is how to reach them during each stage of their journey.

It takes time to really understand where to effectively (and efficiently) reach potential customers during each phase of the journey. So, test. You may find that social media is great for awareness and that email is better for consideration, but other channels may work more effectively for your audience.


4. Build creative and intentional content for every stage of the journey

Next, create assets and content that will resonate with your potential customers at each stage of the funnel, from awareness to decision. And remember, the content needs to be compelling enough to move them to the next stage.

At the awareness stage, you should focus on creating content that will help introduce your product and get your customers interested. Include blog posts, videos, infographics and even podcasts. 

At the consideration stage, you should focus on creating content to help your customers understand why they should purchase your product. Case studies, product demos and customer testimonials work great. 

For the decision stage, create content that helps your customers make a purchase: sales pages, special offers and even payment options.


5. Go live

Once you’ve created your campaigns, it’s time to launch them. This is where you’ll start seeing results from your growth marketing efforts.

When launching your campaigns, ensure that they’re well-targeted. Target the right audience based on your ICP, and make sure the campaigns resonate with them. Additionally,  make sure that your campaigns are well-timed. 


6. Test, test, test

Testing is what growth marketing is all about. You should test different elements of your campaigns, such as the copy, the visuals, the timing and the channels. This will help you see what’s working and what’s not and adjust accordingly to drive the results you want.

When testing your campaigns, track your progress. Make sure that you’re tracking your metrics, such as customer acquisition rate, conversion rate and customer retention rate.


7. Repeat

Repeating the process is the last step in creating a successful growth marketing strategy. Growth marketing is an ongoing process, and it’s important to test, optimize continually and repeat. It continuously improves your campaigns and ensures they’re effective.


Final thoughts

Creating a successful growth marketing strategy can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and techniques, you can create a successful growth marketing strategy that will help you acquire, convert and retain customers.

If you’re looking to make the biggest impact possible on your growth marketing strategy, start by getting clear on who you’re targeting. Afterall, if you’re targeting the wrong ICP from the beginning, you’re spending resources—time and money—on accounts that will never close or will churn quickly.

Let us help you avoid that. Contact us, and we’ll build you a free AI-powered ICP and even give you a free list of target accounts that fit your profile.

Sales prospecting ultimate guide: Tips, examples, techniques and templates

When it comes to sales prospecting, there is no magic formula. Yes, there are some key ingredients like patience, persistence, persuasion and hard work. But, at the end of the day, prospecting is a skill.

That said, there are certain tactics and strategies that can help you become more successful at prospecting. That’s why we’ve compiled this ultimate guide to sales prospecting, providing actionable steps and advice so you can start growing your customer base and driving sales. 

We’ll start by exploring the basics of prospecting, from understanding your target audience to defining a productive process. Then we’ll end by looking at specific prospecting techniques that can help you secure more leads and close more deals.

Here’s an overview of everything we’ll cover along the way: 


Let’s get started!



What is sales prospecting?

Sales prospecting is the first step in the sales process. It involves researching potential customers and finding qualified leads that could become paying customers.

Prospecting is tedious, requiring a lot of research, outreach and follow-up. However, it is essential to a successful sales strategy as it helps you identify potential customers who are likely to be interested in the product or service you offer.


What makes sales prospecting challenging?

Buyers now have access to more information than ever before, so it’s easier for them to understand a product or service and make their own decision without ever having to speak with a sales rep.

With the rise of digital marketing, it has also become easier than ever for companies to target their audiences with precision and accuracy. This has led to a highly competitive environment where companies compete for the same customers.

Sales prospecting is also becoming more difficult due to the sheer number of companies now operating in any given space. With so much competition, it’s become increasingly hard for sales reps to identify and target those potential customers who are most likely to make a purchase.

Lastly, success rates for prospecting methods can also be discouragingly low. For example, if you’re just starting your sales career, you may only convert 1 out of 10 prospects, meaning that 9 out of 10 potential customers don’t make a purchase.


Why you shouldn’t neglect prospecting

As a salesperson, you’re going to “fail” a lot while prospecting. Despite recent surveys reporting that 40% of salespeople view sales prospecting as the most challenging part of the sales process, it’s still an effective method to drive revenue and build strong customer relationships 

Here are some reasons why you should never neglect prospecting (even when it feels like a waste of time):

  • Prospecting leads to more opportunities: The more people you talk to, the higher your chances of making a sale and increasing your customer base.
  • Prospecting helps you build relationships: By talking to people, you can start to build a relationship with them and get to know their needs and wants. 
  • Prospecting helps you establish yourself as an authority: By engaging with leads, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field and increase the credibility of your business.
  • Prospecting helps you build brand awareness: Through conversations, you can increase your company’s visibility and help to spread the word about who you are and what you offer. 


Sales prospecting vs. lead generation

Sales prospecting and lead generation often get confused, but they are two distinct strategies. And understanding the difference between them is essential if you want to maximize your sales team’s efficiency and success.

Lead generation is the process of developing potential customer leads, while sales prospecting is the process of actively identifying and engaging with these leads to generate sales.

Lead generation typically involves creating content and experiences that capture potential customers’ attention and contact information. The goal of B2B lead generation is to create a database of companies that have the potential to become customers.

Sales prospecting, on the other hand, is the process of actively engaging with leads to create sales opportunities. This often involves researching potential customers, sending cold emails, making cold calls and setting up sales meetings.

Learn more about the difference between sales prospecting and lead generation: Lead generation vs. sales prospecting: Key differences, examples and strategies


How to prospect: General tips

Your goal while prospecting is to connect with your prospects and create the opportunity to discuss how your products or services can meet their needs. As such, you’ll want to apply the following tips to maximize your success:


Become an expert on your offering

This first tip is basic. But it’s essential because, without in-depth knowledge of what you’re selling, it will be difficult to establish credibility with potential customers.

If you’re in a new sales role, selling a product or service with which you’ve never interacted, take the time to become an expert on your offering. Understand every aspect, from its features and benefits to any literature or training materials your company has produced.

Also, schedule some time to speak with your organization’s product and customer success experts. They can provide detailed answers to any questions you may have about the product or service and give you additional insight that can help you understand how your offering fits in with the customer’s needs.


Update your ideal customer profile with exegraphic data

Your ideal customer profile (ICP) is the foundation of sales success. As such, you should update it regularly to ensure it reflects the ever-changing behaviors, trends, and pain points of the companies most likely to buy from you.

Most companies develop their ICP using a combination of firmographic, demographic, and technographic data. But there are limits to the insights you can draw from these data types.

For example, how well can you really determine if a company with the following data points will be interested in buying a new marketing software solution?

  • Firmographic: Technology company, 100+ Employees
  • Demographic: Based in the USA
  • Technographic: Uses a web marketing platform

The answer: not well.

However, by supplementing firmographic, demographic and technographic data with exegraphic data—data on how companies operate and behave—you can create a profile that more accurately reflects your target market, allowing for more precise targeting and more efficient prospecting.

Exgraphic data helps you answer questions like:

  • To what degree does a company show willingness to take a chance on new technology?
  • How much data risk does a company handle as part of its operations?
  • How much of the company’s workforce is IT compared to their peers?
  • What’s the frequency of turnover within a company?
  • How fast/slow is the company growing in terms of headcount, revenue or both?

By combining traditional customer data with exegraphic data, you can prospect more efficiently and target your campaigns with precision. This can result in higher conversion rates, a better customer experience and more returns on investment for your organization.

For more information on exegraphic data and how to use it to update your ICP:


Prioritize your list of prospects based on fit and readiness to buy

You can and should segment your target audience and prioritize prospects who meet specific criteria for fit and readiness to buy. This way, you can invest more time and energy into prospects most likely to convert.

Using a platform like Rev’s Sales Development Platform, you can take advantage of AI technology to build and prioritize your target list for you. But, if you’re doing this manually, consider the following questions to help you decide which prospects are most valuable:

  • What needs to happen for this prospect to become a customer?
  • How urgently do they need your product or service?
  • When was their last interaction with you or your website?
  • How well do they fit your customer profile?
  • Where are they in the buying process?


Provide value before attempting to make the sale

You and your prospects have at least one thing in common: you’re bombarded daily with advertisements, sales pitches and other attempts to influence you to buy. That means, just like you, your prospects are more suspicious of sales tactics than ever before. 

So, start by connecting and building relationships with your prospects. Don’t just go in for the sale right away; instead, work to educate and inform them about your product. By providing helpful information and insights, you can create a positive impression, start to build trust and show prospects how they can benefit from your solutions.

You can also give away something of value to your prospects, such as a free trial, demo version or complimentary consultation. This helps them get to know you and your product better and provides an incentive to learn more.


Personalize your messaging with specific pain points

Prospecting is an art of persuasion. And to be successful, you must be able to craft a message that speaks to the individual and their needs. By focusing on their pain points, you can craft a message that resonates and inspires them to take action. 

You must also make your message timely and relevant. Consider the current market conditions, what is top-of-mind for your customer, and the exegraphics that show how the customer is a good fit for your product or service.

For example, let’s go back to the example of selling a marketing software. The exegraphics of your ICP might show that the customer is a small business owner with limited resources and struggles to keep up with their digital marketing efforts.

In this scenario, your message should focus on how the software can help small businesses save time, make their marketing efforts more efficient and help them drive results despite limited resources. In addition, you could also focus on how easy it is to use the software and how it can be integrated into their existing workflow. 


Align your sales strategy with your marketing strategy

It’s essential to ensure that your sales and marketing teams work together to create a unified message and that each team is reinforcing the other’s efforts. So, how can you get your marketing team to support your prospecting efforts specifically? 

The key is to get marketing to focus on building awareness and trust with prospects early in the buying process. This means creating content that educates, informs and entertains your target audience and provides them with valuable insights.

Marketing should also be prepared to provide sales with qualified leads so they can focus their time on closing deals. This involves using automation tools for tasks like email marketing and lead scoring to identify prospects who are ready to move through the sales cycle quickly, as well as nurturing those who may not be prepared to buy just yet.

Finally, marketing can help sales by providing the necessary resources to close deals. This includes things like case studies, customer success stories, demo videos and product information sheets.


Ask your best clients for referrals

Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to acquire customers in the B2B world. Some report that more than 90% of all B2B sales are influenced by a peer. So, why not reach out to the best clients you’ve worked with and see if they’d be willing to provide a referral? 

Ask them directly or offer an incentive such as a discount on their next purchase if they refer a customer. This can effectively drive in new clients who have already received positive feedback from your existing customers.

You can also consider incorporating referral programs into your customer retention efforts. Offer incentives to businesses that refer their contacts to you or provide discounts for customers who refer a certain number of new clients. This type of program can be an effective way to build your client base and increase revenue.


Follow up with prospects regularly

The likelihood that your prospects will be ready to buy from you the first time they hear from you is slim. That’s why it’s important to nurture your prospects with careful follow-up.

Reach out regularly and remind them of the value you offer and why they should buy from your business. This steady reminder can help keep your business top of mind and ensure that prospects don’t forget about you.

It’s also important to note the following sales statistics that demonstrate why following up is essential to succeeding with prospecting:

  • 50% of all sales happen after the 5th contact (InsideSales)
  • 80% of prospects say no four times before they say yes (MarketingDonut)
  • 83% of prospects who request info don’t buy for 3–12 months (MarketingDonut)
  • It takes 8 cold calls to reach a prospect. 72% of all sales calls aren’t answered (Baylor University)


Use outbound and inbound sales prospecting techniques

Some prospects may need more convincing than others before they’re interested in purchasing your offer. Some may also prefer a more subtle approach to sales that doesn’t feel as intrusive as a cold call. That’s why you should use both inbound and outbound sales strategies to reach potential customers.

Outbound tactics include cold calling, cold emailing and social media prospecting. Inbound tactics involve warm emailing, social selling and creating helpful content that draws potential customers to you by emphasizing the value of your service.

Which method is best? The answer depends on your business and the customer’s needs. But there are some tips that can help you make the most out of outbound and inbound sales prospecting techniques.


Outbound and inbound sales prospecting strategies, examples and resources

Remember when we said there’s no magic formula to succeed with sales prospecting? Well, there is something you can do to make your life easier and increase the success of both outbound and inbound prospecting: learn from the best.

That’s why, in this section, we’ve compiled examples, tips and resources on sales prospecting from sales, marketing and customer success professionals.


Cold calling

Cold calling is a classic outbound sales prospecting technique. It involves calling up potential customers and trying to start a conversation with them. But is it still an effective tactic in the age of digital marketing?

The short answer is ye —if you know what you’re doing. According to recent statistics, 82% of buyers reported setting up sales meetings after receiving a cold call. But cold calling also only has around a 2% success rate for most sales professionals.

So, if you don’t have the right strategy, cold calling can quickly waste time and energy. It can also make potential clients feel frustrated and put off by your unwanted call. 

How do you ensure that your cold calling efforts are effective and are a good use of resources? Before you start dialing numbers, it’s essential to research your target customer, build a script and create a target list.

Here’s an example of a script that you might use to start a cold call and capture your prospects attention within the first 15 seconds: 

“Hi, is this {Prospect’s Name}? Hi {Prospect’s Name}, thank you so much for taking this call. Do you have a moment before your next meeting? 

The reason I’m calling is because you’re a {Prospect’s Title} and we help {Titles} increase their client base and maximize their ROI. 

Do you want to have this conversation now, or should we put something on the calendar?”


Resources to learn more: 

Cold emailing

Similar to cold calling, cold emailing involves sending emails to potential customers in an attempt to start a conversation. But do people actually open and respond to cold emails?

Yes, but not all of them. According to recent data, around 50% of cold email campaigns have a reply rate of under 10%. 

To get the most out of cold emailing, you need to craft an interesting subject line, create a compelling message, personalize the content and include a clear call to action. Additionally, you should conduct A/B testing to understand what works and what doesn’t.

Here’s an example of a cold email you could use for outbound prospecting:

Subject line: Question about {Name of Prospect’s Company}

Hi {Prospect’s Name},

How are you growing your database with new leads? 

The reason I’m asking is because our software platform, {Software Name}, offers comprehensive helps {Title} boost engagement, built an your audience and drive conversions.

Curious to know if you’re growing your database at the pace that works for you—and with an audience that’s turning into closed-won.




Resource to learn more: 12 cold email templates for sales teams to nail outreach (2023) 

Social prospecting

Social prospecting on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram can offer a wealth of opportunities for connecting with prospects. But it also requires tact to ensure that your messages don’t come off as too salesy or intrusive.

Start by researching and engaging with prospects on their public profile and look for opportunities to create meaningful conversations. Keep in mind that direct messaging is best used for continuing an existing conversation or starting a new one when it feels natural.

Once you’ve established a rapport, you can transition to more sales-oriented topics and suggest ways your product or service could benefit them. Maintaining a friendly but professional tone throughout the conversation is important, so avoid sounding too pushy or aggressive.

Here’s an example of a message you can send to prospects found on social media platforms:

Hey there! I saw your recent post about the challenges small agencies are facing and thought our software might be able to help. Our software offers a range of features that make marketing easier, such as automated customer segmentation, analytics and reporting and CRM integration.

Want to hear more about it?


Your Name

Resource to learn more: Social prospecting: What it is and 5 tips to do it well

Warm emailing

What makes a warm email different from a cold email? Warm emails are personalized and focus on establishing relationships with people already familiar with your product or service. 

For example, you might send a warm email to someone you’ve networked with in the past, someone mentioned by a mutual connection, or someone who has already expressed interest in your product or service. 

A warm email should be tailored to that individual and include personal details—such as mentioning something relevant from your conversations—to show you remember them. You should also highlight any shared interests or experiences that could help build a stronger relationship.

When writing warm emails, you should also use a casual yet professional tone, be direct and concise with your message, and include your contact information if the recipient wants to follow up.

Here’s an example of a warm email:

Hi John, 

I hope you had a nice weekend, and that the weather held up for your family camping trip. (I’m looking forward to hearing all about Yosemite!)

I’m reaching out to you because I believe you could benefit from {your company, product} to scale your marketing impact.

Our software is designed to give you the insights and reporting needed to make data-driven decisions. We also offer custom features that can be tailored to your specific needs. To help you get started, I’d love to schedule a demo where I can walk through our product in more detail. 

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please let me know, and we can set up a meeting. I look forward to hearing from you soon! 


Your Name

Resource to learn more: What is warm email? How to write a compelling warm email 

Social selling 

Social selling is the process of using social media platforms to build relationships with potential customers. It involves engaging prospects in a meaningful way, such as providing helpful resources and responding to inquiries.

As a sales professional, you can use a variety of tactics to make social selling effective, including:

  • Establishing an online presence: A strong presence on social media platforms is essential for building relationships. Make sure your profiles are up-to-date and professional, and engage with your target audiences regularly.
  • Personalizing content: Tailor your messages to your target audience by providing relevant and helpful content. This can include blog posts, videos, and other forms of media that give insights into their industry or area of expertise.
  • Building relationships: Social selling is all about building meaningful connections with people. Take the time to get to know your prospects, answer questions, and offer advice or solutions to their problems.
  • Engaging with prospects: Once you have established a relationship with your prospects, stay engaged and continue to nurture the relationship. This can include responding to comments, answering questions, and providing helpful resources and information relevant to their industry or the product being sold. Doing this will create a sense of trust and loyalty with the customer, which can lead to sales in the future.

Here also is an example of something you might see a salesperson post on LinkedIn as part of a social selling strategy:

Did you know that over 38% of small digital agency owners struggled with converting leads last year? We didn’t either! We also didn’t understand why until we at [Company] looked at the results of our recent survey of 125 small agency owners.

Oddly enough, [company name] added a premium feature right before the survey closed that solves the issue. Want to know more? Click the link in the comments to read the full report and learn how to boost conversions in 2023!

Resource to learn more: 6 social selling examples and strategies to improve sales 

Content marketing

As a salesperson, it’s not your responsibility to create content for your prospects; that is marketing’s job. But, you can use content marketing to your advantage by curating and sharing relevant articles, blog posts or other materials with your prospects. 

Using your company’s content this way will help you strengthen bonds with existing prospects and show potential customers that you are knowledgeable and up-to-date on industry trends.

This method also gives you an opportunity to work closely with your marketing department to strategize the creation of useful, targeted materials that can help you generate leads and influence prospects to move through your sales funnel. This could include whitepapers, e-books or in-depth guides with information tailored to the specific needs of your prospects.

Resource to learn more: How to use inbound prospecting to win better deals 

Final thoughts on sales prospecting

Sales prospecting can be intimidating, especially when there are fewer sales opportunities and more competitors vying for the same customers. However, proper planning and research can significantly improve your chances of success. 

Exegraphic data also provides invaluable insight into the prospects you are targeting, allowing you to hone in on the best prospects that fit your product or service. It helps you understand the trends in the market and allows you to tailor your message to better meet the needs of your target customers.

Want to see the power of exegraphics for yourself? Contact Rev and we’ll give you a free custom target account list and show you how to harness exegraphic data to update your ICP and start closing more deals.

Stop the random tactics and optimize your demand gen

Frozen, slashed, cut, trimmed, tightened—no matter which word you hear, this is what happens to demand gen budgets in the current economic environment. And this reality is forcing demand gen organizations to rethink the way they operate.

“Our budgets are roughly 75% of what they were in 2022,” reports Kendrick Shuler, Outbound Marketing Manager at Tipalti. “Yet we still have very similar lead goals. We actually increased booking numbers.”

Plenty of demand gen teams are experiencing cuts in areas like media spend, testing and investment in new programs. They also see stronger asks for ROI analyses, particularly for larger spends, and increased scrutiny on the dollars going out the door.

This new normal forces demand gen teams to operate as lean as possible—and the high-performing ones are claiming this opportunity to improve.

“The silver lining is that both we and our clients are being forced to look hard at what we can do better,” says Howard Sewell, President and Co-founder of the Spear Marketing Group. “‘Optimize’ is the term for the day. What can we make more efficient? If we’re not going to spend on new technology and new programs, what can we do better to generate better results?”

When demand gen organizations were flush with resources, we could afford tactics that today might feel reckless and random. Now, with expectations holding steady (or increasing!) while budgets are shrinking, it’s time to hone our approaches.

That’s why we turned to Howard and Kendrick for their insights and experiences. Howard’s agency specializes in demand gen, primarily with B2B technology companies, and he’s been in the agency business himself for 25 years. And Tipalti provides AP procurement and payment automation; Kendrick’s teams sell mainly into finance functions globally—customers and prospects who experience this economic climate as keenly as anyone.

In talking to these two experts, we look at multiple ways to optimize demand gen strategies for a more restricted resource environment—a reality that requires more certain decision-making (and the ability to pivot) ever earlier in the sales cycle. Ultimately, we hear how this leads them to create stronger, more focused approaches to demand gen.


Scrutinize your CRM to shorten the sales cycle

Demand gen organizations don’t just have to produce more with less—they often have to produce more quickly with less, too.

This means that demand gen teams are learning to practice greater scrutiny. They have to find the biggest bang for their bucks—and they can’t always wait 12 or 18 months to see some well-nurtured leads pay off.

This reality has generated what Howard refers to as more sales-oriented tactics. Where can you find the active buyers? How can you accelerate the pipeline? How do we generate revenue in the short term?

“One of the things that we’re preaching as an agency, and that clients are doing more aggressively, is looking at the leads we already have,” he says.

It takes more effort (and more money) to identify buyers who are making decisions in the short term when those buyers have no brand awareness and no relationship with your company. Your CRM database is a curated selection of leads who already have heard of you, because you’ve been nurturing them. It’s a list you can hyper-segment to prioritize where you spend your resources.

“We’re following up with syndicated content leads. We’re refreshing the data and following back up with individuals who came into our system a couple years ago. We’re squeezing out every last drop of juice from our campaigns,” Kendrick says. “It’s making us dig a little deeper, get a little more creative. Ultimately we are evolving as an organization to see through the noise and pick and choose campaigns that will work really well.”


Dig into data to ID a good investment early—and recognize the limitations

Everyone claims that their organization is data-driven. The differentiator, as always, is how an organization uses that data, and how they evolve those uses over time. In today’s economic climate, demand gen has shifted from full-cycle analyses to trying to identify strong ROI early in the cycle.

Howard again points to the increasingly short-term nature of demand gen goals, and how it creates challenges for assessing them. “If you’re generating a lead today that isn’t going to close for 6, 12, 18 months, at what point in the cycle do you say Wow, that was a good investment?” he says.

“It’s going to be very difficult to measure anything right now on down funnel metrics because you’ll be waiting a good long time before those numbers come to the fore,” he adds. “It’s a tough chore, when people are taking their sweet time to make purchase decisions.”

Some of the short-term metrics demand gen teams are using include lead-to-op conversion rates, total ops, total bookings and engagement with Sales. Yet these metrics, while certainly insightful and beneficial, provide an imperfect look at how the data will look after a full long-term sales cycle.

These aren’t the full picture,” Kendrick says. “You can influence ROIs. You can influence ops to close. LinkedIn and Facebook bring in leads, but they don’t often close leads because they’re so top of funnel. But we’re still looking at these key metrics and analyzing our programs based off them.”


Reimagine short-term KPIs as assessment opportunities

Since short-term demand gen goals are an imperfect predictor, we wondered: what KPIs are most helpful to today’s demand gen orgs? Are there ones that teams are paying more or different attention to than they did in the past?

“I know there’s a school of thought that the MQL is dead,” Howard says, “and that we’re also supposed to be looking at opportunities and pipeline now, but we work with some very large clients for whom the MQL is very much alive. Especially in this climate, it’s a metric that still has significance as a leading indicator for how a particular program or message or ad test is performing.”

Leads are converting at a much lower rate and a much slower rate than they were even just a year or two ago, Howard adds. This is why so many leaders focus on those short-term stats like total ops and total bookings—which Kendrick identifies as the ones management tends to care about most, alongside ROI.

But when I’m trying to improve my programs,” he says, “the KPI I care about is where is the biggest room for growth.

Put differently: he identifies the biggest weaknesses in a campaign, and how he can help improve them.

For example: the sales cycle duration is just too long on syndicated content to see a genuine ROI. So Kendrick’s team is working on nurturing those leads across different channels, educating the Sales team on what exactly those leads do in order to enter the system (in order to improve their follow-up) and providing the Sales team with tips from their vendors.

Rethinking KPIs to create a more optimized demand gen function is itself one such growth opportunity. It’s an edge where such edges are precious: the stark truth is that there is no magical KPI for demand gen orgs, when ROI is ultimately where it’s at.

“It’s a struggle in any kind of attribution model to prove ROI in a very short-term window,” Howard says, “because those leads just aren’t going to convert.”


Final thoughts: Test everything, collaborate with everyone

Demand gen as a whole is in largely uncharted space. Reduced budgets, combined with longer sales cycles, would challenge even the hardiest among us. But rather than this climate forcing us to do without—these experts take the view that these restrictions allow us to do more with what we’ve got.

Howard’s advice: Test everything.

“What we’re all going through is an opportunity to take a close look at all the programs and content and ads we’re running and figure out how to make them better,” he says.

“Every LinkedIn ad and every Facebook ad should be a test. Every subject line should be a test. I would look at the nurture programs. What can we do to better segment those? Are they working? Are they pulling people through the cycle? Those leads that you have in your database were paid for long ago. So make them pay and do what you can to move them along the journey. So, I think there’s a lot of opportunities to be had, things you can do to get through this.”

Plus, we’re not in this alone. Kendrick’s advice: Collaborate with everyone.

“We’re really trying to integrate our Sales and Marketing departments, make sure we’re collaborating as much as possible,” he says. “We want to make sure that what we’re doing is working for the Sales team because that’s the ultimate goal. And they’ll be the first ones to tell us if a program is not working. They’ll scream it from the rooftops. So make sure just to talk with them and know what they are saying about your programs.”

Because, in the end? As Kendrick says: “We’re all focused on one central goal.”

5 strategies to effectively sell software to enterprises

Selling software to enterprises? Good luck! Enterprise sales are tough–even for the most seasoned sales professional.

You’ve got to navigate complex decision-making processes, deal with a lot of red tape and bureaucracy, and build strong relationships with key decision-makers.

But guess what? Enterprise sales is a skill. And that means you can crush your sales goals with the right mindset and approach.

And in this blog post, we’re sharing some key tips and strategies to help you do just that. So, this advice will help you take your software sales career to the next level, whether you’re just getting started or looking to boost your sales performance.


What is enterprise software sales?

Enterprise software sales involves navigating the complex, often bureaucratic world of large organizations to sell software solutions to key decision-makers. To succeed, you’ll need to have a deep understanding of the software you’re selling and the needs and challenges large organizations face.  


Challenges of selling software to enterprises

Enterprise software sales can be the bane of your existence if you don’t have an effective strategy for approaching and engaging potential customers.

At the core of this challenge is the fact that software solutions are often high-priced, complex products that require a significant investment in time and resources to implement. 

On top of that, large organizations have strict requirements for vetting software solutions, including extensive market research, product demos, and trial periods to ensure that the software meets their specific needs.

To overcome these challenges, you’ll need to navigate this complex landscape and develop a tailored approach that resonates with potential customers. This involves understanding their needs, building strong relationships, offering valuable insights and support, and effectively addressing any concerns or hesitations.


Selling software to enterprises vs. selling software to small businesses or individual consumers 

Enterprise software sales require a different approach than other types of software sales. Unlike selling to smaller organizations or individual consumers, selling to enterprises requires a strategic mindset and a focus on building long-term relationships with potential clients. 

Additionally, you will need to be adaptable to different situations and environments. Enterprise software sales can often be highly competitive and require you to constantly stay up-to-date on industry trends and emerging technologies.

For example, think about how different it would be to sell software to a small start-up company versus a large software enterprise like Microsoft or Google. At the smaller company, you would likely need to focus more on building rapport with key decision-makers and tailoring your pitch to fit the individual needs of that particular client.

In contrast, selling software to an enterprise like Google would require a more in-depth understanding of the company’s software landscape and demonstrate your ability to understand their specific needs and respond to their unique challenges. This may include leveraging your knowledge of industry trends and emerging technologies and developing strong relationships with software engineers and software vendors at Google.

Overall, succeeding in enterprise software sales requires a combination of the following:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Technical expertise
  • The ability to effectively position your software as the ideal solution to your prospects’ problems 


5 effective enterprise software sales strategies and tips

To succeed in software enterprise sales, you need to be highly organized and responsive, as well as flexible and adaptable to changing customer needs. You should also build strong relationships with customers, leveraging your knowledge of software technologies to help them achieve their business goals. Here are five strategies and tips to help you stay ahead of your competition.


#1 Update your ideal customer profile

If you created your ideal customer profile (ICP) years ago using firmographic and demographic data, it’s time for a much-needed update. 

How do you update it? By adding behavioral characteristics, companies display when they’re ready to buy software solutions. At Rev, we call this type of information exegraphic data. Our Sales Development Platform makes it easy to collect and analyze that information to inform your sales strategy. 

We’ll talk more about the benefits of exegraphics for software enterprise sales at the end of this post. But you can start by using the following questions to update your ICP: 

  • Which enterprises are you already selling software to?
  • How do those enterprises typically purchase software solutions?
  • What were the specific pain points and challenges those enterprises faced when they first contacted you? Are there any similarities across those enterprises? 
  • How can you position your software products or services as a solution to those specific pain points and challenges?


#2 Identify your high-fit target accounts

Focus on quality, not quantity. Rather than trying to sell to as many enterprises as possible, focus your efforts on those most likely to buy from you. To do this, you need a method to identify and prioritize high-fit target accounts.

Mapping out your ICP, as we just mentioned, is a great starting point, as you can use this information to target the right accounts and focus your sales efforts on those most likely to be a good fit.

Of course, you’ll also need a lead scoring method to determine which companies best fit the bill. At Rev, we recommend prioritizing the companies that behave and operate most like your current list of best customers. 


#3 Personalize your messaging for key decision-makers

No one likes hearing sales pitches that lack personal touch. So, customize your messaging for key decision-makers within your targeted accounts. Again, this is where exegraphic data is beneficial.

If you can identify a current pain point that tends to influence prospects to buy, you can mention in your pitch how you’ve helped similar companies solve this issue and how you can do the same for your prospective customer. 

Demonstrating that you understand your client’s needs will help build trust and establish yourself as a reliable software enterprise sales professional. 


#4 Lead prospects through the customer journey

The customer journey for enterprises is a lot longer and more complex than for smaller businesses. Enterprise software sales professionals must be prepared to guide their clients through the process. 

This can involve everything from sharing content highlighting your company’s software solutions to answering questions and providing feedback on the client’s software needs.

Demos are also a vital part of the software enterprise sales process. So, it’s essential to make sure you can present the software in a way that is engaging, informative, and useful for potential clients. 


#5 Maintain contact after closing the deal  

Enterprise software sales don’t stop once you’ve closed the deal. You should continue building and maintaining relationships with your clients to ensure their continued success with your software solution.

This ongoing support will likely be a collaborative effort across the sales, marketing, and customer success teams. So, communicate regularly with these teams and develop a system to ensure all accounts receive all the information they need. 

Also, remember that building strong relationships is key to long-term success, as it’s one of the best ways to increase customer satisfaction and prevent customer churn.


How to build a high-performing enterprise sales team

You can’t do this alone. So, at some point, you’ll need to invest time to build a high-performing sales team. To start, identify the qualities and skills your team members will need to execute your enterprise sales strategy.

Some key attributes to look for include strong prospecting and closing skills, a deep understanding of your target market, and the ability to build effective relationships with key decision-makers.

You’ll hire these individuals to fill roles like:

  • Account executives, who are responsible for targeting and acquiring new accounts
  • Business development reps, who reach out to potential customers and secure new business
  • Sales engineers, who provide technical expertise and product demonstrations to clients


How exegraphic data from Rev can help you reach your enterprise software sales goals

AI technology is transforming the software sales industry, and companies that leverage tools are already seeing tremendous success. For example, by using a tool like Rev, you can collect and analyze exegraphic data to better understand your target prospects and identify the key decision makers and influencers within their organizations. 

Whether you’re looking to grow your business or improve your enterprise sales strategy, Rev can help you achieve your goals by providing you with data indicating how likely an enterprise is to show interest in your offer. 

Want to see for yourself? Contact us, and we’ll show you how Rev can help you succeed in enterprise software sales by giving you a free audit of your ICP. 

6 tips to optimize lead handoff between marketing and sales

You have one hour. Yes, just one hour to follow up with leads and secure the best chance of speaking to key decision-makers and converting them into customers—at least, that’s what a study from the Harvard Business Review found.

Of course, this one-hour rule only really applies if your lead handoff process prioritizes highly-qualified leads that are, in fact, ready and able to buy. Unfortunately, at many companies, that’s not always the case. Low-quality leads make their way to sales, and some of the most qualified leads fall through the cracks.

Sound familiar? If so, this blog post will give you 6 tips to optimize your lead handoff process by getting your marketing and sales teams working together more efficiently. We’ll also share how you can use AI technology and exegraphic data to find the best-fit leads at the top of the funnel.

Let’s begin!


What is lead handoff between marketing and sales?

Lead handoff is the transfer of marketing-generated leads to sales for further follow-up and potential conversion into customers. It’s a critical step in marketing and sales alignment and must be handled carefully to ensure that no prospective customer falls through the cracks.

You see the issue? Lead handoff is a particularly challenging process for sales and marketing teams to get right. It’s time-sensitive. It needs to be highly efficient. And it requires shared definitions for terms like “marketing qualified leads” and “sales accepted leads.”


When is a lead qualified for handoff from marketing to sales?

There are several criteria that marketing teams should consider when deciding if a lead is worth passing along to sales. These include things like the contact’s engagement with marketing campaigns, their level of interest in products and services, their budget and their timeline for making a purchase decision.

It also helps if marketing and sales teams have shared definitions for the following terms:

  • Marketing qualified lead (MQL)
  • Sales accepted lead (SAL)
  • Sales qualified lead (SQL)

Marketing qualified lead

A marketing qualified lead is a contact who has engaged with marketing in meaningful ways, usually through marketing campaigns or content. The marketing team decides if the lead meets the criteria for qualification and passes them along to sales as an MQL.

For example, if someone attends a marketing webinar, they might be classified as an MQL because they have shown interest in marketing content and may be ready to learn more from sales.


Sales accepted lead

A sales accepted lead (SAL) is a marketing qualified lead that the sales team has accepted for further consideration. This means marketing has done their job, and now it’s up to the sales team to nurture the lead through the sales funnel and convert them into a customer.

To qualify a SAL, sales usually relies on information that marketing shares during the handoff process. This could include contact information, form responses or marketing content the lead has engaged with.

For example, a sales team at a marketing tech company might receive a lead from marketing that has expressed an interest in their marketing automation product. The marketing team could pass over the contact information and any engagement data showing which marketing content they engaged with and how often.

However, the sales team will still need to evaluate whether the lead has the potential to be a good fit by also considering things like whether the lead fits their ideal customer profile and whether the lead has the budget for a new marketing automation solution.


Sales qualified lead

A sales qualified lead (SQL) is a lead that sales reps have determined to possess the potential to become a customer based on how they’ve responded to sales outreach activities. 

For example, the lead may have responded positively to emails or calls from the sales team. They may also have asked several questions about the product and submitted a form for a demo request.

If your lead handoff process is properly optimized, marketing will send sales only the most qualified leads that meet the agreed-upon criteria for a SAL. This way, marketing ensures that sales isn’t wasting time on low-quality leads that won’t result in closed deals, allowing sales reps to focus on more productive tasks that can shorten the sales cycle.


6 ways to improve your lead handoff process

Every company is different. So, you’ll need to experiment to find the most efficient way for your sales and marketing teams to perfect lead handoff. Still, there are some basic principles and strategies that you can implement right away.


#1 Establish a shared definition of a SAL

The definition of a SAL in the previous section is just a starting point. Your sales and marketing teams should agree on what leads will qualify as a SAL for your company specifically. To achieve this goal, sales should provide marketing with set criteria for what makes a qualified lead, including customer pain points, unique interests and budget size.

For example, sales can tell marketing that qualified leads need to have at least $10,000 in budgeted spend for their marketing efforts, or they need to have expressed a serious interest in the product. 

Knowing these criteria upfront will help marketing focus on creating and distributing content that appeals to qualified leads instead of wasting resources trying to attract leads who aren’t likely to convert.

Once marketing has identified the qualified leads, they should provide sales with the lead’s contact information, background info, interests, and information on whatever factors could influence a purchase decision. 

These insights will give sales a jumpstart in engaging the leads by allowing them to tailor their conversations around topics relevant to each lead.


#2 Automate lead scoring

Automating lead scoring can help reduce the time marketing and sales teams take to evaluate lead qualification. Lead scoring is the process of assigning numerical values to leads based on their behavior, allowing marketing and sales teams to prioritize leads that are more likely to convert. 

Lead scoring typically takes into account a wide range of criteria, such as website visits, page views, email interactions, social media activity, and lead data like industry or job title. At Rev, we like to add a bit more rigor to this process by using exegraphic data. What’s that?

Exegraphic data is data on the factors that represent how a company operates and behaves. It can provide insights into a customer’s motivation, interests and other external factors influencing their buying decisions.

For example, by looking at the exegraphics of your best customers, you may find that businesses are most likely to buy from you when they’re in the process of expanding their marketing team or have recently hired a new CMO.

With that information, Rev’s Sales Development Platform automatically prioritizes the targets that best fit your ideal customer profile. That way, sales can quickly identify and contact the most promising leads.


#3 Use a CRM that streamlines lead handoff

In addition to lead scoring, you can also automate lead handoff by using a CRM (customer relationship management) system. If you’re unfamiliar, a CRM is a marketing tool that helps sales and marketing teams store, manage, monitor, analyze customer information and track marketing campaigns.

Using a CRM, marketing teams can collect and store leads’ information in one place and automatically assign those leads to sales reps based on individual lead criteria. 

For example, marketing teams can automatically assign leads based on lead scores, the marketing campaign they were generated from, or their position in the sales funnel.

Rather than manually transferring lead information from marketing to sales, a CRM system makes it easy for marketing teams to set parameters for what type of lead should be assigned to different sales reps. 

This automation helps marketing and sales teams create a seamless transition from marketing efforts to successful sales conversions.


#4 Regularly analyze lead performance

Measuring the long-term lead performance is essential to ensure your process is working and that marketing and sales teams continue improving how they guide leads through each stage of the sales funnel.

Common metrics to track and evaluate during this analysis include:

  • Marketing qualified lead (MQL) to sales qualified lead (SQL) ratio
  • Average sales cycle length
  • Sales conversion rates

If any of these metrics are lagging, it could indicate a need for better marketing and sales alignment. Similarly, understanding which marketing channels lead to the most successful conversions can help marketing teams focus their efforts and ensure that leads from certain channels get handled with the utmost care.


#5 Implement feedback loops between sales and marketing

Communication is critical when it comes to marketing and sales alignment. Sales teams should provide marketing departments with feedback on which lead sources are most successful and which marketing messages resonate best with leads.

This feedback can and should be incorporated into marketing campaigns moving forward. It can also help marketing teams target their efforts more effectively by focusing on lead sources that are proven to work.

To make this process easier for marketing and sales teams, it’s a good idea to set up automated feedback loops. This way, marketing and sales can stay in sync with each other’s efforts. 

For example, marketing can set up automatic reports to know when marketing campaigns or channels have generated a high volume of SALs. 


#6 Continue to optimize the process

There will always be room for improvement when it comes to lead handoff. To keep the process efficient, marketing teams should continually review their lead sources and campaigns to identify areas for improvement. Similarly, sales teams should review their qualifying criteria and methods to find ways to better qualify leads.

For example, at Rev, we recommend companies continue updating their ideal customer profile (ICP) as their client base grows. Why? Because your ICP is rarely static. It evolves as the market changes, your company grows in size and scale, and when you attempt to expand into new market segments.

Using Rev, you can create a dynamic model of your ICP (we call it an aiCP). This model considers changes in your customers’ exegraphics, firmographics, intent, and more to ensure you’re marketing and selling to the right customers. 

Once marketing and sales teams better understand their ICP, they can collaborate more efficiently on defining which leads marketing should prioritize most for handover to sales.


Final thoughts

Lead handoff can be challenging to get right due to the complexity of timing for follow-up and defining the criteria of a qualified lead. However, with the right strategy, marketing and sales teams can collaborate to develop an efficient system for managing leads while also increasing visibility into lead quality and conversion rates.

Want to ensure you’re targeting and passing the best leads to your sales team? Contact us, and we’ll give a free audit of your ICP and use exegraphic data to show you the leads most likely to become your next best customers!

9 steps to craft your perfect go-to-market strategy

A well defined go-to-market strategy is the difference between a successful launch and a flop. It outlines your product’s target market, customers, channels, pricing and more—and makes sure that all teams are aligned and working together.

Creating and perfecting a go-to-market (GTM) strategy that works for your business is essential. It optimizes the way your business stands out from the competition, reaches more customers and increases revenue. Not only does it help you effectively communicate your value proposition and product offering, but it also helps bring customers closer to you.

Whether you’re new to building a GTM strategy—or you’re ready to refresh any areas of your existing one—this blog post is for you. You’ll get a close look at the critical components of go-to-market plans, the steps to create one and tips to help you make the most out of your strategy. 


What is a go-to market strategy?

A go-to-market strategy is a plan to introduce your product or service to the market, reach customers and generate sales. It outlines the steps you need to take to get your product or service to market and the tactics you need to use to make it successful.

GTM is a critical part of a successful business plan. It outlines how a business will make its products/services from concept to reality and create an effective path to market, fully ready for launch. It’s here in the GTM strategy that most companies create the process for identifying, segmenting, and targeting potential customers and the tactics and strategies marketing, sales and customer service will use to reach them.

Strong GTM strategies also include a combination of market research, product positioning and pricing, and orchestrated plans across marketing, sales and customer service. The comprehensive approach is what enables your product/service to reach the most potential customers.


Why do you need a go-to-market strategy?

You might already be doing several things that are part of a comprehensive GTM strategy and wondering why you need to formalize your efforts. Here’s why you need it. 

  1. Position your company against competitors: A well-designed GTM strategy ensures that you understand how you compare to your competitors. Through this process, you’ll gain insight into the key differentiators you should play up in your messaging to customers and prospects, giving you the edge with customers and any new markets you decide to enter.
  2. Create a unified inbound and outbound strategy: Far too often, companies run inbound and outbound efforts independently. With a GTM strategy, you can tightly align the two to reach more ideal prospects. You’ll also be able to create campaigns that are well-tailored for the individual needs of each potential customer segment, and regardless of how they enter your funnel, you’ll know they’re getting a consistent message from your team.
  3. Achieve your business goals: A GTM strategy gives you a roadmap of where your business wants to go and how it will get there. By positioning yourself correctly and understanding your customer base, you can adjust as needed to achieve success quicker than the competition. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to make accurate predictions and decisions that drive your business forward faster. 
  4. Reduce marketing costs: By evaluating your competition and crafting an effective inbound and outbound strategy, you can save high costs on marketing efforts. You’ll be able to focus resources on campaigns that are more likely to yield results instead of wasting money on activities that won’t drive growth. 
  5. Understand your customers: A go-to-market strategy enables you to deeply understand your customers, their needs and their pain. This data can be used to tailor your products and services (and your sales and marketing efforts) to meet their specific needs, which can help you increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. 

Components of a GTM strategy

If you’re still reading, you’ve seen the vision of what a GTM strategy can do for you and your business. Now, let’s drive into the components you need for your strategy.

  1. Product market fit: Your GTM strategy needs to ensure that your product has market fit. You’ll do this by talking to customers, conducting research and keeping a pulse on your market. It’s not enough to have market fit. Make sure your product also has a key benefit that differentiates it from the pack.
  2. Target audience: You understand how your product works—and you need to understand how your target audience could benefit from it. Knowing the ins and outs of your target market and potential customers can give you actionable data to inform the direction of your  marketing campaigns and product distribution plans.
  3. Competition and demand: You’ve got competition. (Louder for the companies in the back who think they don’t.) You shouldn’t ignore it. Get intimately familiar with how you compare to them, and what sort of demand they’re seeing compared to what you’re seeing. This assessment will help you understand if/where you need to invest in product development to stay afloat—and where you can invest in product development to take the lead.
  4. Distribution: Your GTM strategy should consider how your products will be distributed to customers. It includes understanding where potential customers are located and determining the most efficient way to get the product into their hands (or network, or database…. You get it.). 
  5. Pricing: Let’s not forget pricing. Your pricing should be based on the outcomes your product can create and its ability to solve customer pain points. Consider how you can price your products and services to maximize profits while meeting customer expectations. 
  6. Promotions: Promotional activities, such as advertising and public relations campaigns, are necessary for the success of most GTM strategies. It’s all about creating awareness of your product and aircover for when sales teams start outreach. 
  7. Measurement: Last, but certainly not least, you need to track and measure the performance of all GTM functions. This will help you understand where to double down and where to divest. 


How to build a go-to-market strategy

Whether you’re launching a new product or expanding into a new market, having an effective go-to-market strategy is vital for any business looking to increase its reach and stay ahead of the competition. So, if you’re ready, let’s get to it.

To help alleviate the confusion around GTM strategies, we’ve created this comprehensive guide on creating an impactful GTM strategy that increases visibility and drives sales and conversions. Here are 9 essential steps for creating an effective GTM plan for your products and services.


1. Get clear on your ICP (ideal customer profile)

Every company should have an ideal customer profile (ICP), which clearly documents what their dream customer looks like. This document helps the entire organization understand whom they’re selling to and why. It helps the company narrow their focus and invest their energy on the right accounts. Most ICPs include details like industry, company size and geographic location. But, that’s not enough anymore—and the companies with strong GTM strategies know that.

So, stop and really think about the characteristics that your best customers have. Are they early or late adopters? Do they have a growing or shrinking IT workforce? This level of detail that goes deep to uncover how companies operate, is called exegraphic data. And while your current ICP may have only included demographic and technographic details, you’ll change the game (for the better) by bringing exegraphics into the fold. 

Lastly, don’t be like other companies. Don’t let this doc collect dust. It should be a living document that’s adjusted to account for your product’s evolution and changing market conditions.


2. Craft a value proposition for messages

Your value proposition should be crafted to clearly articulate your product’s or service’s main benefits and how it will solve a customer’s problem. Your value proposition should be clear and tailored to your target market. It needs to be eye-catching and easy for customers to understand.

Concisely explain your product’s unique features, how it differs from competitors and how it will meet customers’ needs.

When crafting your value proposition, consider the core benefits that differentiate you from the competition and create a clear message that resonates with your target market as they browse your website.

Tip: Use customer reviews and testimonials to support your value propositions.


3. Test your messaging

Once you’ve crafted your value proposition, it’s time to test it. (After all, they need to resonate with your target audience.) You can test your messaging online and offline, with customers and prospects. Test variations of the value props to see which show the most promise. 


4. Optimize ads based on messaging tests

Once you’ve tested your value statements and determined a winner, you can start optimizing your ad campaigns. Afterall, advertising is a critical component of any go-to-market strategy as it helps to build awareness, generate leads and ultimately increase conversions.

Using the results from your messaging tests, you can create ads that target the same audience with more relevant copy and visuals. Be sure to use up-to-date data when optimizing your campaigns, so they’re consistently delivering the best results.


5. Understand your buyer’s journey

The buyer’s journey is the process by which customers become aware of, evaluate, and purchase products or services. Everyone involved in your GTM strategy needs to know what the buyer’s journey looks like as if it was the back of their hand. It’s this level of obsession that will empower everyone to spot friction and come up with innovative solutions.

As you dive into the buyer’s journey, think about the questions they have at each stage, what they’re looking for and how you can solve their problem. Creating content that resonates with your target market at every stage of their journey is important and increases the chances that they’ll stick around until the end.


6. Build awareness and brand demand with inbound and outbound methods

Building awareness is essential for any successful go-to-market strategy. You must reach your target market with the right message on the proper channels.

Inbound marketing methods such as content marketing, SEO and social media are effective ways to engage with potential customers—they’re looking for you. Outbound methods such as email, print advertising and direct mail can help you reach a broader range of potential customers.

Mixing inbound and outbound methods helps you create brand recognition, generate leads and build customer relationships.


7. Optimize your sales pipeline

Your sales pipeline is the process by which prospects move from leads to opportunities and ultimately become paying customers. Optimize your sales pipeline to maximize conversions while reducing costs.

Think about each step of the process and ensure it’s as efficient and cost-effective as possible. Consider automating specific steps, such as follow-up emails or lead qualification. Also, look at ways to measure the success of each step to identify any areas that need improvement.

Often, the first step in optimizing pipeline is making sure that your prospecting team knows who to contact and why.


8. Strategize ways to tap into your current customer database

Your existing customers are likely your most valuable source of revenue. To maximize your ROI, consider increasing existing account value by upselling or cross-selling products and services.

Also, consider what incentives you can provide for current customers and how to engage them with relevant content. These incentives should include discounts, free products or services, exclusive content and other offers to encourage customers to purchase more from you.


9. Adjust and iterate as you go

No go-to-market strategy is perfect the first time; adjustments must be made based on feedback and data analysis to get the best results. As you go along, keep track of the successes and failures so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

Make sure to track key performance indicators (KPIs), such as leads generated, conversion rate, cost per acquisition, etc., to measure success. And, be prepared to make changes quickly if something isn’t working—after all, the best go-to-market strategies are constantly being optimized.


Set your GTM strategy up for success

A GTM strategy will help your team march in unison in the right direction. But if you made even one wrong assumption at the very beginning of your launch, your team will go wildly off course and not reach your goal.

One of the most common missteps? Having an incomplete picture of who your ideal customer is. Let us help. Rev’s AI-powered Sales Development Platform can tell you the hidden characteristics that make your best customers your best—and find you others that look just like them. Our platform can show your demand gen team which accounts to target and give your SDRs a prioritized list of accounts to contact.

Contact us, and we’ll get you started with a FREE ICP audit so you can understand the deep and more meaningful characteristics of your ideal customers.

6 proven methods for reducing churn, and how to prevent it altogether

When companies wait to put customer retention strategies into action until after churn becomes an issue, they essentially write the script for their own demise. Look at once-industry leaders Blockbuster, Kodak and Sears. Each failed to adapt to an evolving market. Almost as quickly as they skyrocketed in popularity, they lost their customers and fell well behind their competitors. While these are B2C examples, we’re all familiar with B2B companies in our industries that are slipping down and to the right. Now, their logos collect dust while churn-savvy companies collect revenue.

At the other end of the spectrum are companies that prioritize customer satisfaction and get ahead of churn before it eats away at their bottom line. Churn-proof your organization and you become, in a word, timeless! Apple and Amazon are prime examples—both surely had growing and retaining a loyal customer base baked into their business strategy from the outset, making the case for early churn prevention and regular churn reduction.

The results are in. Reducing and preventing churn is an absolute must-do for successful, sustainable business growth.


Identifying customer churn

Customer churn (aka attrition or turnover) is the amount of customers that stop using a product or service over a period of time. 

High churn rates substantially decrease revenue, but having a strategy in place to act on early can change the odds of tipping the scale too far too fast to recover. A hopeful statistic: According to research from Bain & Company, just 5% increase in customer retention positively impacts profits by 25% to 95%. 

Left unchecked, however, churn will lead to a decline in revenue, lower profits and decreased market share. Identifying the warning signs of churn, then, is critical to sustaining a business. 

Traditional red flags for churn include: decreased engagement, declining usage, customer complaints, late or missed payments, low Net Promoter Score (NPS) and lack of response to outreach. There are quieter signals of churn as well—harder to spot at a glance and, therefore, detrimental to revenue growth. When a company experiences office closings or a reduction in workforce, security concerns, or fail to adapt their product or processes to sudden change (global pandemic, anyone?,) they may start the slow march to annihilation without warning. When the signs of churn are identified too late, it becomes difficult to pinpoint the reasons why your customers are churning, resulting in missed opportunities for improvement. 

Think of your last lost customer. Was the problem poor customer service, lack of perceived value or inconsistent product quality? Did you provide a poor user experience, or was it a lack of communication that drove loyal customers away? Did reducing your workforce to cut costs actually hit the end user where it hurt the most? Having strategies in place to spot and address churn early–before the possible reasons pile up and become impossible to identify (let alone correct) enables companies to remain competitive. 


How to reduce churn

Monitoring six touchpoints in your customer experience will help nurture and maintain your customer base. Relationship-building throughout the lifecycle is crucial to reduce churn. Have a strategy that supports customers during: 

  1. Onboarding
  2. Education
  3. Feedback 
  4. Product usage
  5. Engagement
  6. Follow-up


Steps to take at each touchpoint are detailed below. 


1. Improve your onboarding experience

Your first defense against churn is to help new users quickly and easily learn how to use your product or service, understand its value and achieve their desired outcomes. And remember, keep it simple. Some tactics for doing so include:

  • Providing clear and concise instructions
  • Creating a personalized approach
  • Presenting your value proposition 
  • Being interactive and engaging
  • Allowing for progress tracking
  • Offering ongoing support


Another way to optimize user experience and grow a loyal customer base during onboarding is to drive home your company values and beliefs. To do this, you’ll need to first define them. Craft a clear and concise statement that describes what your company stands for and what you want to achieve. Your values should be aligned with your brand and mission.

Next, find ways to incorporate those values into your company culture. This can include hiring practices, employee training and internal communication.

Showcase your values in your messaging. Ensure that they are prominently featured throughout your website, social media and marketing materials. Use language that reflects your values when communicating on behalf of your brand and products or services.

Engaging in social responsibility is another way to show you don’t just talk the talk. Supporting local communities, environmental sustainability and charitable causes that align with your company standards.

Finally, always engage with your customers and stakeholders in ways that reflect your company’s values and beliefs. This can include responding to customer inquiries and feedback in a timely and respectful manner, and showcasing examples of how your company is living its values in the community.


2. Educate your customer

Once your customer is onboarded, they need to be educated. Education is typically focused on building relationships and loyalty—critical to reducing churn and retaining your customer base. It builds trust and credibility and increases customer satisfaction. Provide information and resources about the features and benefits of your products or services, model how to use them effectively and reiterate your value proposition while educating your customer. 


A mini-guide to instructional content

Expert tip: Use different mediums for customer education. Here are some examples to inspire offers that teach while keeping people engaged.

To illustrate the features and benefits of your products or services, consider creating how-to videos. These videos can show step-by-step instructions on how to use the product, how to solve common problems or how to take advantage of advanced features. 

User manuals and guides can also provide detailed information about a product or service in various formats, such as PDFs or physical books. 

Tutorials and online courses provide structured learning experiences for customers. These can include interactive lessons, quizzes and other tools to help customers master a product or service. 

Webinars and live events offer customers the opportunity to learn from experts and ask questions in real time. These events can cover a wide range of topics, from product updates to industry trends and best practices. 

Additionally, infographics and other visual aids can be made to simplify complex information and make it easier for customers to understand key concepts, compare features or provide other educational information.

Give customers a hands-on experience to teach about what you do in a more interactive way. This can include product demos and/or free trials or samples. 

Take advantage of opportunities on your website to help customers learn. Consider creating an easy-to-find knowledge base: A resource library or frequently asked questions (FAQ) section on your website provides easy access to information about your products or services.

Finally, offer training or workshops. Engage users with in-depth knowledge about your products or services and how to use them to maximum impact.

Educating customers about your products or services is an ongoing process that requires a commitment to clear and effective communication. By educating strategically through multiple mediums, businesses create a broad approach that both attracts new customers and builds strong relationships with existing ones, setting themselves up to knock the main goal out of the park: buh-bye churn! 


3. Work the feedback loop

Open lines of communication are key to customer retention. Collecting feedback is essential for understanding how customers feel about your products or services and identifying areas for improvement. Here are some steps you can take to collect feedback and measure satisfaction:

  1. Define your goals: Determine what you want to achieve through customer feedback. Are you looking to improve a specific product or service? Do you want to identify customer pain points? Focus your efforts to collect the most relevant feedback.
  2. Choose your feedback channels: There are many channels you can use to collect customer feedback, such as surveys, feedback forms, social media, email or in-person interviews. Choose the one(s) most appropriate for your business and audience.
  3. Create a feedback survey: Keep it short, easy to understand and ask relevant questions. Use a mix of open-ended and closed-ended questions to gather both qualitative and quantitative data.
  4. Analyze the data: Once you have collected feedback, analyze the data to identify patterns and trends. Look for areas where customers are consistently satisfied or dissatisfied and identify opportunities for improvement.
  5. Take action: Use the feedback you have collected to make improvements to your products or services. Communicate with your customers about the changes you are making based on their feedback.
  6. Track customer satisfaction over time: Regularly measure customer satisfaction over time to track trends and identify areas where you need to make further improvements.


By listening to customer feedback and taking action based on their insights, you build stronger relationships and improve the overall customer experience, reducing the risk that they will seek alternative products and services.


4. Integrate retention hooks

In-product retention hooks encourage users to return to you. They’re a great way to keep existing customers engaged and reduce churn. 

Think about your favorite products and apps. The ones you keep coming back to. They likely integrate some mix of the following:

  • Easy-to-use interface: Simple and user-friendly
  • Personalization: Aligned with your preferences, behavior or history
  • Gamification: Including points, badges or levels 
  • Frequent updates and improvements: A demonstrated commitment to quality and satisfaction
  • Social proof: Customer reviews or endorsements that build trust 
  • Customer support: Help should be available to those who ask for it
  • Exclusivity: Unique benefits or access to a product or service


The key to using retention hooks to keep customers engaged and loyal is understanding their needs and preferences. Enhance the effect by continuously evaluating and improving retention strategies to ensure they remain effective in an evolving market.


5. Incentivize engagement

Offering a discount, promo, loyalty program, etc. gets customers to stick around. You may want to personalize offers based on a customer’s purchase history to help them feel understood. Provide excellent customer service and promptly address any issues or concerns that customers may have to earn trust and loyalty. Offer exclusive access to products, services or events so they feel valued. Then, regularly communicate with customers through email newsletters, social media or other channels to keep them engaged with the business and aware of new offerings or promotions.


6. Follow up, check in, re-engage

Retention emails provide your customer with ongoing value, keep them engaged, reduce churn and increase customer lifetime value. 

Personalized messages to inactive customers are a great way to get feedback on why they aren’t using your product or service and rehook them. 

Retention emails can also be used to encourage active customers to make repeat purchases. For example, businesses can send emails that highlight new or popular products, offer personalized recommendations based on past purchases, or provide special discounts or incentives for repeat purchases.

And don’t forget to check-in with your customer base with product updates and education. Make offers of exclusive content and promotions that are not available to the general public. 

By staying in touch with customers and offering relevant content and promotions businesses increase customer loyalty.


How to avoid churn in the first place

Stay ready and you don’t have to get ready, right? This philosophy applies to business beautifully. If you avoid churn in the first place, you don’t have to scramble and spend costly resources (and risk your foothold in your market) attempting to reduce it.

Prevention begins with spotting the deep signals that churn is brewing. Superficial indicators are external or observable factors, often based on actions that customers take or do not take, like decreased engagement, declining usage or customer complaints. Deep indicators of churn, on the other hand, are internal behaviors or traits that may drive customers to abandon a product or service that no longer serves them. In B2B, deep indicators can include changes in team structure or staffing, challenges with scaling, substitution or replacement in key roles, expansion or pivoting to new markets, and more. When a company makes adjustments to the way they operate (adjustments that aren’t apparent in their demographics but impact the behaviors of the organization) churn becomes more and more likely. 

Superficial signals of churn

  • Decreased usage and engagement              
  • Customer complaints
  • Late or missed payments
  • Low NPS
  • Lack of response to outreach

Deep signals of churn

  • Changing needs
  • External impacts on internal business structure
  • Product or service mismatch
  • Competitive pressures
  • Scaling or expanding challenges


Deep factors are difficult to observe directly, but not impossible. In fact, keeping tabs on your customers’ deep signals may save your business from going the way of the dinosaurs. 


Behave like a churn-proof company

Only by focusing on both superficial and deep indicators of churn can businesses develop a most comprehensive understanding of customer behavior and take targeted actions to increase retention and loyalty. 

And those deep signals of churn are only revealed to those with a handle on exegraphic data. Exegraphics are the quiet and early signals of your customers behavior. Understanding exegraphics—insights into how companies operate, like their investment level in customer care for example—makes swift and early intervention possible. 

Exegraphics are your churn-proofing magic wand. 

Mitigate future turbulence with retention. Preserve and protect your existing revenue stream with the pattern-predicting power of exegraphic data plugged into Rev’s Sales Development Platform. Want to see the exegraphics behind your best customers—and the ones churning? Contact us, and we’ll show you.

Lead generation vs. sales prospecting: Key differences, examples and strategies

They’re not the same. But you’re not wrong for thinking that the goals of lead generation and sales prospecting sound similar.

While both strategies aim to generate new customers, lead generation focuses on generating large volumes of leads, while sales prospecting focuses on targeting and converting specific, high-quality prospects.

Easy to understand, right? Maybe. But you’re also not wrong if you think you’d benefit from a deeper understanding of how lead generation and sales prospecting work and what makes them different.

In this blog post, we’ll look at some key differences between lead generation and sales prospecting, including examples to help illustrate these concepts. We’ll also discuss how exegraphic data can help integrate the two processes, allowing you to focus more time and energy on developing high-quality leads and closing more deals.

Let’s get started!


Leads vs. prospects

Before diving into the intricacies of lead generation and sales prospecting, it’s important to first understand the difference between leads and prospects.

Leads are individuals that have shown some interest in your product or service. They may have visited your website, signed up for an email newsletter or engaged with your company on social media.

In contrast, prospects are individuals who have been identified as potential customers and are actively being pursued by your sales team. They may be entirely new to your business and still trying to understand what you offer.

Of course, both leads and prospects are essential to the success of your business. So, you’ll want to ensure your company has a strategy that effectively targets both and engages them in meaningful ways.

How do you do that? We’ll help you begin brainstorming some ideas by looking individually at the definitions of sales prospecting and lead generation, as well as examples of how you can apply them in your B2B marketing and sales processes.


What is sales prospecting?

Sales prospecting is a short-term strategy focused on finding, qualifying and closing deals with prospects in a specific market segment. Sales prospecting is typically performed by sales teams who use various techniques such as cold calling, cold emailing or social media outreach on platforms like LinkedIn.

Sales prospecting can be particularly challenging, as it involves navigating complex buying processes and competing with other vendors for the attention of busy decision makers. However, there are several strategies that sales professionals can use to make their prospecting more effective.


B2B sales prospecting examples and strategies 

At its best, prospecting is a powerful way to build your pipeline and generate revenue from new customers. However, it can also be time consuming. According to a Crunchbase report, the best sales reps spend around 6 hours a week researching their prospects. But, if you’re doing it incorrectly, it can be an inefficient process.

For example, many sales reps rely on lead lists purchased from outsourced lead generation services as a starting point for prospecting. But since a lead generation service may not accurately understand your ideal customer, these leads may not actually be interested in purchasing your products or services.

Fortunately, there are now many innovative tools and techniques that can help you prospect more effectively. One strategy is to leverage exegraphic data on your best customers to update your ideal customer profile (ICP) and identify the most promising market segments.

For example, let’s say you sell a solution that helps IT companies manage their software licenses. To improve prospecting, you could look at exegraphic data and discover that you have the most success converting IT companies that have recently merged with another company.

With that information, your sales reps can focus their outreach efforts on the prospects that best fit this characteristic, personalize their messaging to speak to specific pain points and improve the likelihood that they can convert those prospects into customers.

Learn more about how to succeed with sales prospecting:

What is lead generation?

Lead generation is the process of finding new leads that match your target market, building brand awareness, and nurturing leads to influence their interest in your products or services. 

Marketing teams are typically responsible for this process, as lead generation activities involve various digital marketing strategies such as email marketing, social media advertising, content marketing and more. For 91% of marketers surveyed by Ruler Analytics, lead generation is their most important goal. 

But lead generation is not just about finding new leads—it’s also about qualifying those leads and ensuring they are who you want to focus your sales efforts on. For example, some lead generation strategies may attract many unqualified leads, such as unsolicited email blasts. But these leads may require a lot of time and energy to sift through and qualify and, ultimately, may not be worth the effort.


B2B lead generation examples and strategies

To avoid wasting your time on unqualified leads, you need to have a strategy for determining the characteristics that make a lead worth pursuing. Again, this is where exegraphic data comes in handy.

Let’s go back to our example of selling a solution that helps IT companies manage software licenses. Since you’ve already used exegraphic data to determine that your best customers tend to be those that have recently merged with another company, you’re already on the right track to creating an effective lead generation strategy.

Your next step would be to brainstorm and create content that would generate interest from IT companies in this scenario. For example, you might create:

  • A whitepaper with tips and best practices for successfully integrating two separate IT systems. This could include real-world examples of how other companies in similar situations have successfully merged their IT systems and recommendations for avoiding common pitfalls.
  • A webinar that walks IT professionals through the process of planning and executing a successful IT merger. This could include an overview of common challenges, sample timelines and budgets, and tips for successfully communicating with stakeholders throughout the process.
  • A blog post that offers tips for managing software licenses and IT contracts during company mergers, including recommendations for creating systems to track and monitor expiring licenses, negotiating renewal terms with vendors, and understanding the importance of data security and compliance.

In exchange for the value provided in that content, you can request contact information, which you can then use to start building a lead database to nurture with marketing materials.

As you can see, lead generation is a long-term strategy that requires consistent effort over time. However, as you identify and nurture more leads, your lead database will grow, which helps to fuel sales prospecting efforts.

Learn more about how to succeed with lead generation:

Lead generation vs. sales prospecting: 5 key differences 

Now that you have a better idea of how sales prospecting and lead generation work individually, let’s look at some key differences between these two strategies.

  1. Lead generation is focused on generating new leads to be nurtured over time. In contrast, sales prospecting focuses on identifying potential customers who are already interested or show signs of potentially being interested in your product or service.


  1. Lead generation focuses on generating large quantities of leads that can be converted into prospects. In contrast, sales prospecting aims to identify specific, high-quality leads that are likely to convert into customers.


  1. Lead generation is a long-term strategy for building a quality base of potential customers to drive sales. In contrast, sales prospecting is a short-term strategy for finding, qualifying and converting the prospects who are most likely to buy your solution.


  1. Lead generation involves using a variety of tactics, such as social media ads, content marketing and email marketing. Sales prospecting typically relies on more traditional outreach methods such as cold calls, cold emails and in-person meetings.


  1. Lead generation tends to be the responsibility of marketing teams, while the sales team typically drives sales prospecting. However, there are some cases where lead generation and sales prospecting can be combined to create a more seamless process that benefits both teams.

How to use AI to integrate lead generation and sales prospecting

With the help of platforms like Rev, it’s possible to integrate lead generation and sales prospecting, consistently engaging the type of high-quality leads and prospects most likely to convert into customers.

Rev’s Sale Development Platform uses AI technology to help businesses identify the companies that display similar exegraphics to your best customers and, therefore, are likely to be interested in your product or service.

With this information, your marketing teams can improve their lead generation efforts by better understanding what type of content will resonate best with your target market. Similarly, your sales teams can use this information to know which prospects to prioritize when prospecting and tailor their outreach to speak directly to each prospect’s unique pain points.

Want to see how exegraphics can help your company generate more revenue? Contact us, and we’ll conduct a free ICP audit and give you a free target account list, so you know exactly who to target to generate quality leads and succeed with sales prospecting.