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B2C

consumer finance leads
Businesses looking to accelerate their B2C sales cycles get qualified, ready to buy-prospects.

We help business-to-consumer enterprises grow by:

mortgage brokers

 

  1. Building their pipeline of qualified leads in their target markets.
  2. Presenting compelling, needs-based offers – directly to the likeliest-to-buy prospects in the market – delivering raw leads as they are received, or nurturing those leads until they are ready to buy.
  3. Incenting action – we align with your prices, rates, and guidance criteria, and incent action based on the consumer’s level of engagement with the content they consume (we author the content for you).

 

Services are customized to the unique requirements of your brand or brokerage, and can include one or more of the following:
    1. Lead generating social media campaigns, executed on multiple platforms, against strict ‘ideal prospect’ criteria.
    2. Long-tail search campaign, including re-marketing campaign.
    3. Multi-touch, scored-interaction lead nurturing campaign that delivers high quality, unique information to your prospects, while identifying engagement and buy-readiness levels.
    4. Cross-sell campaign with current clients – to identify new opportunities for referrals, new mortgages, new HELOC’s, and to get a ‘jump’ on renewals.
    5. Category-market exclusivity.
    6. Lead exclusivity.
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B2B

B2B MARKETING FOR IT
Business-to-business marketers use our services to help them source, nurture, and bring qualified new B2B prospects into their pipelines.

We help companies acquire more business by:

  1. Building their pipeline of qualified leads in their target markets.
  2. Presenting compelling, needs-based offers – directly to the likeliest-to-need or likeliest-to-engage prospects in the market – delivering raw leads as they are received, or nurturing those leads until they are ready to buy.  For example: we identify prospective new customers by matching ideal prospect criteria (account size, credit worthiness, locale, security, etc) with detailed prospect profiling and direct-to-prospect engagement.
  3. Incenting action – we align with your guidance criteria and incent action based on the prospect’s level of engagement with the content they consume (we author the content for you), and always stay within compliance guidelines.

 

Services are customized to the unique requirements of your brand or service, and can include one or more of the following:
  1. Lead generating social media campaigns, executed on multiple platforms, against strict ‘ideal prospect’ criteria.
  2. Long-tail search campaign, including re-marketing campaign.
  3. Multi-touch, scored-interaction lead nurturing campaign that delivers high quality, unique information to your prospects, while identifying engagement and buy-readiness levels.
  4. Cross-sell campaign with past clients – to identify new opportunities for referrals
  5. Category-market exclusivity.
  6. Lead exclusivity.
  7. Lead quality exclusivity and guarantee (88% of visitors to our platforms have engaged with a services provider within 45 days of first visit).
  8. Daily progress reports.
  9. Weekly update sessions.
  10. Guaranteed quota
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The Value of Sales Development

sales development resources

When your team is operating flat-out, each person going 40+ hours per week, where’s the room for growth?

When things get craziest in the office, sit back, and ask two questions:

  1. How many new prospects have we touched today?
  2. How many prospects have we advanced today?

…the answer might be embarrassing.

Surprisingly, it’s often the elephant in the room – just when activity is at its peak, an analysis of where the time is being spent generally points to things like internal meetings, client management (solving problems, shepherding proposals out the door, negotiating internally for client resources, and so on).

A robust Sales Development program solves this problem for you because:

  • It isn’t caught-up in the ‘busy-ness’ of the office
  • It is held accountable to touch and advance new prospects on a daily, weekly, monthly basis
  • It identifies buy-ready clients while your quota-carrying closers are attending to other important matters; a strong Sales Development program essentially runs out in front, and increases the efficiency of your highest earners
  • It grows your sales funnel, and improves your close rates – instead of having your highest earning Agents do the cold calling and relationship building, they transition to calling only on ‘ready to buy’ prospects – effectively changing their role to ‘closers’.

Calculate the value of Sales Development to your business here:

Interested in growing your share of the market?

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Sales productivity planner

Marketing Math

Are you staffed appropriately to achieve your target?

Is your call productivity appropriate?

What’s the cost of low call productivity?

Use this tool to identify opportunities to implement an improvement plan:

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Driving share from zero-sum markets

Marketing Math

It sometimes feels like we’ve reached the saturation point in some consumer markets…consider the financial services sector:

  • bank branches are being closed, and moving to the web
  • there are more mortgage brokers in some markets than can (reasonably) be sustained by real estate and refinancing activity
  • personal loans are offered on every street corner and app
  • insurance brokers and agents are everywhere
  • financing and credit cards are provided at every retail touchpoint
  • even financial planning has become ubiquitous – with robo-advisors now serving every segment of the market

So, how can a provider stand out in such crowded fields?

Consider the arithmetic, around a plan to steal a tiny piece of market share from everyone.  In this approach, your main brand stands to lose a little too – but through the deployment of a well-defined flanker brand, you’ll gain –  alot.

Run the numbers to see how it can work for you:

Caffeine can help you drive awareness, engagement, and qualified leads to your site, team, or broker network.  Delivered through a portfolio of share-building multi-dimensional flanker brands such as Together Financial (and others), you’ll build brand awareness with your ideal prospects, drive peer-to-peer endorsements, differentiate your product, and drive and nurture qualified leads.

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7 Ways to Build Client Base in Mature Markets

growth options in mature markets
build client base
Maturity of markets can be identified in two ways: 
  • Lack of growth
  • Increased competition

Of course, lack of growth is really how your organization describes it (in terms of number of clients, value of client portfolios, spend per client, etc)

Increased competition is fairly straightforward.  Despite regulatory guidelines, lines are being blurred in many industries all over the place, largely due to disruption caused by new business models leveraging the web.

No matter how these headwinds affect your business, it’s likely that your market has reached some level of maturity.

To prosper, business leaders need to adapt – quickly.

There’s really seven options that can be taken to protect and build market share – many of which have already been done (or are underway) by the deep-pocketed incumbents in each industry:

1.  Improve loyalty with existing clients
  • Keep the customers that you have!
  • Build loyalty in ways that are difficult to replicate by your competitors (who will be chasing your clients).
  • Consider adapting innovative technology (study how robo-advisors are working – can you adapt this technology?)
  • Improve your level of service – consider hiring an outside firm to monitor client satisfaction and engagement and monitor NPS religiously.  Implement service guarantees on the aspects of service you can control (eg: “one hour call backs”), and generally challenge and refocus the business on its core competence
  • Communicate frequently, and effectively with your customers.  Know who is engaged (and who isn’t), and have follow-up plans in place to re-engage the non-engaged clients and a plan to sell-more of your services to the very-engaged clients.
  • Implied in this strategy is a plan to increase penetration by selling more to the customers you already have.  Credit Unions are an interesting example of financial services firms with ‘wide but shallow’ penetration of their membership base.  With many clients, industry stats show less-than-optimal penetration rates in the areas of mortgages written, savings per member, and other key stats.
2.  Build complementary services or brands to attract new clients
  • This strategy tends to be more complex, time consuming, and potentially expensive, as the intent of the new services will vary by market and core-brand.
  • A good example might be Scotiabank‘s use of Tangerine to reach out to a completely different market segment.  While still aligned with the main-brand’s core competency (banking), the online brand targets a different demographic, and brings new business to the bank.  It can be argued that it ‘competes with itself for market share’, but the point is that it also competes – successfully – with other competitors in the market.
  • By targeting very specific segments – and building specific solutions via ‘fighting brands’ financial services providers attract new clients, without damaging their core business.  Examples might be: a mortgage broker that partners with a fintech to drive mortgages from the U35 crowd, a wealth advisor who partners with a fintech to provide a unique service to a unique need in the market, an insurance provider that specializes in providing insurance for first-time car buyers, etc.
  • See Marketing math: driving share from zero sum markets
3.  Communicate benefits-of-use more effectively to increase referrals and inquiries
  • How many times do we see or read data or publications from financial services providers that are filled with jargon?  Words like ‘amortization’, ‘compounded’, and even ‘interest’ may or may not be suitable for the intended reader.  We need to challenge ourselves and each other with two simple questions: 1. “Who will be reading this?” and 2.”Are we sure that they understand this stuff?”
  • We also need to consider how we can control published messages more effectively, by providing more context.  Every day we hear that the ‘the markets are up/down by 25 points’ (for example) – but rarely is the information accompanied by an explanation as to the reason for the movement, or even rarer, what we should do about it.  An investment advisor could easily publish these insights, along with other (perhaps more provocative thoughts) that inspire sharing, attending in-person events, etc.
  • Publishing opinions to social media platforms is a good start.  Shaping those opinions and distributing them in a way that educates clients and prospects so that they actually generate leads is really the gold standard.
4.  Lower your prices, or get ahead of the curve on service
  • Mortgages are an example of a financial service that have become commoditized.  The game now is to shop the market for the lowest possible rate/best terms, and sign asap.  While this may be buyer-centric, it’s a tough business model to sustain, because it’s essentially a race to the bottom.  And as regulations tighten and brokers consolidate, the race is getting faster in that sector.  Something will give – bottom-feeding will be it.  Mogo has developed a unique new ‘service forward’ feature to their online mortgage platform, where they promote the fact that they celebrate milestone events (like paying off the first year of the mortgage) with their client in unique and creative ways.  Like the fighter brands discussion above – look to brand differentiation as a way to ignite change.
  • The advent of robo advisors threatens the wealth management industry in much the same way.  While segmenting the market is a good approach (eg attracting just high net worth clients), in the end it could have the effect of fostering increased competition in those segments.
5. Consider an acquisition, JV, or alliance
  • Long a practice in the financial services industry, the opportunities – the necessity – to reach across normal alliance-partners exists even more due to the advent of fintech.
  • Non-traditional partnerships that might be considered include with firms in the publishing, marketing, and association sectors.
6.  Grow the size of the market
  • While this is a nice thing to do, it’s likely one that will be determined by societal shifts, regulatory changes, or other external issues.
  • For financial services providers in local or regional markets, the best strategy may be to identify and pursue under-serviced segments.  Pursuit will likely involve development of unique-to-market/buyer products, and identification of strategies to engage current non-buyers (look to youth and recent immigrants as a first step).
7. Find and cultivate more clients from your current prospects

Arguably the most effective strategy is to re-qualify your entire prospect database, to identify buy-ready prospects.

  • This process takes substantial planning, but can help the firm get the ‘jump’ on its competitors, by having sales people make calls as the leads are just beginning to display buy-readiness.
  • Elements of this strategy include a complete sales development, and content marketing campaigns, powered by marketing automation software
Interested in growing your market share?

Let’s talk:

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Deciding which Sales Development Strategy is Best

Marketing Math

Imagine that you’ve been given the assignment to increase sales by 5%.

You can’t raise prices.  You can’t add more staff.  You don’t have the budget for additional marketing support.

What do you do?

The worksheet below presents you with two options – and the process to identify others, to determine your route to achieve your goal.

  • Option 1 involves asking (demanding?) an equally higher productivity from each of your reps.
  • Option 2 involves asking your high producers – arguably the team members with the best personal pipelines, and the best ability to close – to contribute more, while asking for a lesser contribution from team members who probably can’t step-up their games

Use the worksheet to compare options, adjust goals, and plot your route – acknowledging that you’ll need to step-up your game as a Sales Leader to support your team as they deliver these stretch goals:

Interested in growing your market share?

Let’s talk:

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What’s the right mix between technology and people?

caffeine group - demand generation for financial services
I had a lively conversation this morning with an old friend, that can best be summarized as : ‘tech stack or rep stack’?
Now, I can argue both sides – passionately – I’ve experienced the transformative power of a well-oiled tech stack, but the realist that I am, I fell firmly on the side of ‘Rep Stack’ – having lead sales teams – and seen many more – the simple power of an effective performance management system in the hands of a capable leader is like a maestro leading an orchestra – the tech stack are really just tools.

Sales technology stacks most commonly involve tools to helps us prospect, communicate, and manage leads more efficiently:

  • Automated programs do the heavy lifting for us while our CRM notifies us when we have a new lead…how cool is that?
  • Automated dialers amp-up our call productivity while adding a new layer of scoring capability, as we touch more prospects than ever before.
  • Basic email now even has score/open capability to give us further lead-intent intel.
  • Even snail mail is more efficient than ever at generating leads and pin-pointing who is a prospect worth following-up and who isn’t.
  • CRM has finally graduated from the clunky network-based systems of the old days to cloud-based, freeing Reps and Distributors to hit the road, while teams back at the office work on the same data.

In the real world, when the pressure is on to deliver those revised quarterly results…we need to close business – now.

Technology gives us the edge – by identifying ‘who’ we should be calling on, if we’re lucky, it gives insight into ‘what’ we should be talking about with them – but in the end, it’s up to our Reps and Distributors to visit prospects and present proposals…and get contracts signed.

So, let’s take a look at the ‘Rep Stack’ – the services that are currently in place to assure that your Reps and Distributors are motivated to perform at peak capacity – especially when you need the extra ‘oomph’ to close more business:

  • Competitive pay and benefits
  • Competitive bonus and commissions – based on SMART goals, paid on-time, and paid graciously
  • Periodic monitoring (and actioning) of Rep and Distributor engagement (or at least satisfaction) – to prevent flight to a competitor with your data, or other adverse condition
  • Non-Cash Incentive Program – above and beyond your bonus and commission plan.  Aberdeen Research found that organizations that provide non-cash rewards experience 3 times higher revenue increases than those that rely on strictly cash.  Significantly, they also found that companies with the highest customer retention and sales growth rates in their sectors also provided incentive travel programs.  Non-cash incentives such as travel rewards have been found to be the most effective at activating discretionary sales effort – those deep wells of passion, talent, energy, will, and time buried deep within each of us.
  • Internal Marketing – how effective is your internal marketing to your Reps and Distributors?  Are messages to Reps and Distributors ‘policy-and-memo’-style, or are Reps and Distributors also engaged at a personal, visceral level, frequently?  Companies that engage Reps and Distributors via internal marketing messages are more likely to achieve sales-growth, and report higher findings of Rep satisfaction with their jobs.