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Not enough leads? Is it a Lead Generation Problem or a Business Model Issue?

Dave Orecchio
by Dave Orecchio on May 6, 2014 1:45:00 AM

Is it Lead Generation or a Business Model issue? The art of marketing is the ability to describe a product or service in a compelling and engaging way where the value of the product motivates the reader to take action and generate leads through inbound marketing campaigns that draw the buyer toward your business. In your career, you will inevitably come across a situation where a product is not selling at the rate you would like, or the lead flow is not what it needs to be. Is there a lead generation problem or could it be something else?

Before you spend time and money on new marketing campaigns, a significant amount of foundation work is required for any new product or start-up business to clearly understand the product value proposition, competitive advantage and sales process. The best practice for working this out is called "Business Model Generation".

Business Model Generation helps Companies Refine their Product and Business

Book about business model generation
Business Model Generation is a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow's enterprises.

It is the foundation of the Lean Start-up methodology and provides an approach that rapidly determines a start-up or new product viability and to set it on a path for success. Bristol Strategy has applied the same methods to diagnosing revenue problems with our client's products at large and small companies and have had great success in resolving issues and executing marketing campaigns that are more effective because of the analysis. The key is to first make sure the product value proposition is compelling to the users in a differentiated way to alternative products and also test the other elements of the business model to minimize friction with your approach to selling the product.

Of course, you know that understanding the value proposition is most important because it succinctly identifies the financial or competitive benefit your product provides your customer. All products either help increase operational efficiency (lowers cost in some way) or enhance a companies competitiveness (increase your customer's sales); therefore, you should be able to explain your solution's ability to increase top line (revenue) or bottom line (cost).

The Value Proposition and Sales Motion Enables an Effective Inbound Marketing Program

Understand the relative competitive position of your product because it helps you to understand the customer's decision process. It is well known that a good salesperson can sell anything to anyone, but cannot generate broad-based pull for a product unless it is significantly better than competing products. Don't be fooled by a few sales that you have your approach to the business right. Getting the competitive position right will enable you to determine if your product has the differentiation necessary for broadly based scaling or not. If not, customer discovery is a good way to diagnose the best enhancements to building a "killer product" that benefits each Buyer Persona. Don't stop there. Continue to review the business model to refine all of the elements of your go-to-market plan.

When engaging with a company with lead generation problems, the process described here is very effective. It is critical to making sure there is not a business model or value proposition issue before investing in inbound marketing or any other marketing campaign.

In a recent case; the company had a product that was mostly a "me-too" product, but had the potential to be much better than the competition. The pricing was way out of whack with industry norms to the point that they were being disregarded without a feedback by prospects. The channel they were using did not fit with the product, meaning they were calling on the right companies but did not have any relationships with the users or management chain for their product. We helped the company successfully work through the business model, made changes after customer discovery, made minor enhancements to the product based on customer input. As a result of business model and product analysis, sales began to ramp up, and the company experienced significant increase in sales including repeat business. Inbound marketing is important because it amplifies the sales methodology for your products leveraging the expansive web leading to sales pipeline generation that is sustainable.

NSF Innovation CorpsBristol Strategy mentored a start-up through the business model generation class at Stanford University funded by NSF. The iCorps program, as it is called, helps university-backed research teams to determine if there is a commercial market for products based on the research. Big companies are also exploring the use of the "Lean Start-up" methodology. In a recent discussion with the president of the division of a large company who was looking for a way to assess the value of new R&D efforts and a way of choosing which ones to fund. The applications are numerous.

Contact Bristol Strategy if you have an issue with product sales rates and need to determine if there is a business model problem or just need to add more fuel to your sales engine with Inbound Marketing.

8 steps to attract qualified leads for your business

Bristol Strategy is a full funnel inbound marketing agency and inbound sales agency offering the full complement of  Inbound Marketing services that enable our clients to surpass their business objectives by transforming the way they engage with their buyer on-line.  Reach out to us to learn more about how our experience and capabilities can help your business grow. 

Tags: Email Marketing Lead Nurturing Inbound Marketing Marketing Strategy

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Dave Orecchio
Written by Dave Orecchio
Dave Orecchio is one of the earliest adopters of Inbound Marketing. As one of Hubspot’s first customers and CEO of a Boston-based startup, he experienced the benefits of this effective digital marketing methodology. Dave now provides Inbound (marketing & Sales) services to businesses to help them grow and realize the positive results that an integrated program can provide. Dave is a high-tech marketing and sales expert with more than 25 years of business experience.
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