5 winning moves for launching and selling value-added service to small businesses.

5

Every winning team has a winning strategy. Set the framework for a best in class Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy for the launch and growth of reseller value-add services and products to the small business market.

Go-to-Market Playbook

Whether objectives are centered on acquiring new customers or driving revenue or ARPU growth in the existing customer base, developing and executing on a documented plan with the proper elements and tracking in place is critical to measurable success.

Here are some plays out of our partner Go-to-Market playbook.

1. Establish a game plan.

Determine where you want to get to and what you think it will take to get there. You need to have the overall view of your objectives, customer base, sales channels and other resources. Some areas to start:

  • Understand the market: Through research and installed base analysis, pinpoint segments and sub-segments of the market which are more likely to purchase specific products and what channels they are most receptive to.
  • Define packages and pricing: Using market analysis (customer and competitors), determine packages to be offered and pricing. Consider bundling with core services (e.g., connectivity services) to drive attach rates.
  • Understand all sales channels: Inbound, outbound, online. Which channels will generate what volume? How are they measured? How are they incented? Are they unionized? What are the sales priorities of each channel, and where are their challenges?
  • Know where you’re going: Build a sales growth plan and business case with approval, starting with defining a baseline (run-rate) volume & revenue.
  • Know where you are: Track monthly performance, reviewing both internal and vendor-generated reports, flagging potential issues and deviations from plan. Establish corrective actions.

2. Build a high performing team.

Your channels are your star players and they can make the difference between winning or losing. Create a team that is built to win. Review available channels and consider strengths, weaknesses, KPIs, management and other key factors that will affect your GTM strategy and sales targets.

  • Training regime: Training needs to include initial training on product, sales tactics and technical knowledge. Be sure to measure the quality and effectiveness of training using agent surveys, knowledge tests and performance metrics to identify any gaps. Set up a cadence of recurring training. Consider using high-performing agents as certified or expert agents.
  • A strong coach: Call monitoring and coaching is essential to support and improve your agents and their conversion rates.
  • The right equipment: Sales channels need to be adequately equipped with materials and tools to increase their confidence, product knowledge, ability to demonstrate product value and effectiveness of selling. These might include cheat sheets, value proposition statements, sales scripts including probing questions, pitches and objection handling, sample links to share (e.g., demo websites) and customer-facing emails and collateral.

3. Incent the players

Your channel strategy should include both a standard compensation model, and scheduled incentive programs to drive excitement.

  • Compensation: Ensure your sales force has the right sales compensation plan in place to motivate the right sales behavior. Without compensation models, sales reps often default to core products or value-added services that are easiest to pitch and process. Consider adding compensation levels for “good” sales in service for over 90 days, and for higher ARPU products and services.
  • Be transparent: Channels with a strong understanding of how they are measured and compensated are better equipped to meet sales targets in terms of units and revenues.
  • Reward good behavior: Incentives are a proven tool to boost motivation and behavior when used properly. Incentivize over and above baseline: sales incentives should only apply when the channel delivers growth beyond the established baseline volume. Create incentives based on incremental targets. Keep in mind, sales reps have been exposed to innumerable incentive programs, so it’s important to be creative and keep programs fresh and unique.

4. Keep your eye on the prize with a targeted [customer] approach

Create and keep your focus when developing your sales and marketing strategies. Your sales and marketing strategy should begin with an assessment of your business objectives and audience, customer segments, resources and channels available, budgets, and potential targeted offers.

  • Segment: In order to increase conversion rates, it is extremely helpful to select specific customer segments or sub-segments and create a targeted positioning and offers. Consider understanding business type and size, industry vertical, products in service, customer behavior to start to have the data to position the best fit for product and value proposition.
  • Build the funnel: Look at your available lead generation options (online presence and advertising) and your existing customer base with potential to adopt your value-added service and focus on the best-bet lead generation tactics. Use a lead magnet like a helpful piece of content or contest to drive leads online, and use a free trial or low-cost anchor product to drive interest with existing customers. The conversion and upsell then hinges on your well-prepped channel.
  • Get personal: Consider creating targeted value propositions, creative, and offers based on your customer segmentation.

5. Maximize customer stickiness

When building your stickiness and lifetime strategy, key elements to consider include your customer onboarding experience, ongoing communications and ways to cultivate loyalty and retention. Guiding customers through the buying, activation and creating ongoing engagement has proved to be a successful element in generating stickiness and prolonging lifetime.

  • Full disclosure: A pitch needs to include the product’s benefits, a demo for clarity purposes, clear pricing and contractual commitment if any, cancellation policy, next steps, and a contact person in case of questions or issues. Misrepresented products will result in high slippage and churn rates, dissatisfied users and low brand loyalty.
  • Help kick things off: Customers should receive a confirmation email written in simple language summarizing the purchase and features, reaffirming the value and detailing the next steps. For certain products, a welcome-to-service call can be effective creating a white-glove, high-value service for customers.
  • Stay in the game: Customers will benefit from continuous value-reaffirming and educational communications. Complementary or upgraded products can be positioned. An occasional customer satisfaction call is also highly effective in keeping customers loyal.

So what’s your winning strategy?

 

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