10 Steps to Align Legal Sales & Marketing
by Melissa Rogozinski, Chief Executive Officer
An abbreviated version of this article first appeared in the December 13, 2021 issue of Law.com.
If you want to want to drive real revenue growth in an environment manipulated by a global pandemic, then you must find new ways to think about, study and prepare to meet the needs of the new legal services buyer.
Marketing and sales strategies that depended on interpersonal relationship-building have lost their impact after nearly two years of social separation, remote meetings, and backtracking on budgets. Further, technology is revolutionizing the way professionals buy, sell and generally want to conduct business.
As Minoo Razavi, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Kobre & Kim, observes, “Marketing needs to sit at the intersection of sales and operations in order to function effectively to drive growth.”
Follow these 10-steps to realign your technology, marketing and sales strategies.
1. Bring marketing and sales together as one team.
Marketing should be an investment – not an expense – and every idea, every decision, every move you make should be designed to help the sales team generate revenue.
In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of the Chief Revenue Officer, who oversees all revenue-generating activities. LinkedIn provides this job description: Their cross-functional expertise ensures sales and marketing communicate well, share information, and collaborate in content creation so that all messaging fits their target customers.
Your organization chart should reflect the integration of sales and marketing as one collaborative team.
2. Know your marketing and sales tech stack.
Even the best marketing strategy won’t work without the appropriate technology setup to manage it. Your tech stack will reveal the prospects’ journey as well as intelligence you wouldn’t know otherwise.
3. Implement proper marketing and sales operations.
Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the World Wide Web once said, “It’s difficult to imagine the power that you’re going to have when so many different sorts of data are available.”
Marketing and sales operations specialists stay behind the scenes and are rarely client-facing, but they are, undoubtedly, the backbone of every successful revenue strategy. These professionals are highly technical and understand the individual tools for marketing and sales as well as how to integrate them in a manner that creates hyper-efficient automation and workflows.
A couple years ago, we had a client who came to us with a half dozen marketing and sales technologies and a complaint that they weren’t generating enough leads. We realized that the problem was not a lack of leads but rather a disjointed tech stack, which should have included integrations, filters, automations, workflows and sales operations.
With a proper operational structure, we uncovered 165,000 leads and opened up a more efficient sales and follow-up process.
4. Understand your prospects better than they understand themselves.
Prospects trust and engage providers who understand them.
Several years ago, a client asked me, “Do you know why I chose to do business with you instead of your competitor?” I confidently responded that it was because of our great product and technology. He said, “No. It’s because when you walked into my office, you knew more about me than I knew about myself.”
Features and benefits don’t sell.
What are your prospect’s pain points? What messaging will best address those pain points? Who is the chief decision-maker? What are their major goals or challenges? What communication preferences work best with that person?
Invest in sophisticated prospect persona research, and leverage the rich intelligence from your tech stack in order to answer these questions so that you can leverage that information in marketing communications and sales processes.
5. Create marketing content that generates ROI.
Now that you have your prospect personas, you can begin content creation.
Bring your marketing, sales and client success teammates together to collaboratively answer the following questions:
a. Who are the prospects?
b. What is most important to the prospects?
c. How do our products and services make the prospects' job easier?
d. Where do we really fit into the prospects' process?
e. How do we communicate effectively with the prospects?
f. How does sales need to work with prospects?
g. How does the client success teamwork with the prospects?
Leverage your content marketing strategy to reframe features and benefits as solutions to your prospect's pain points, and apply that to their specific business challenge.
6. Ensure you have the right sales team.
Assess the resources you have with the existing sales team and fill the gap with the sales people who strengthen the whole.
Do you need a seasoned sales veteran with an existing network to jump start sales and drive revenue? Do you need a sales intern to provide support to a sales executive who can barely move the needle because they are buried in administrative and reporting tasks? Is the sales manager supportive or abusive?
The right sales professionals will share your company’s core values, bring energy to the culture and deliver results through their roles.
7. Identify leads through distribution and analytics reporting.
With a prospect-centric marketing strategy in place, you can now begin the process of distribution and lead identification.
Use Google Analytics on your website to measure visitor traffic, engagement of content and SEO strategies. Make sure you have clean lists for email campaigns, and leverage the scoring system that tracks how often a subscriber engages with your content.
Regular analytics reporting from these channels provides clear indicators about what works, where improvements can be made and, most importantly, your strongest leads.
8. Generate revenue with solutions.
Now that your operations has identified the best leads, conduct some pre-sales research to identify key obstacles to their business success. The best way to organize this is with a detailed strategic account plans (SAP).
Among other information, a winning SAP will include:
· Lead qualification analysis based on BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timing)
· Factual findings and available information on the prospect’s financials, funding, leadership and key stakeholders
· A listing of the prospect’s products, services, and target audience
· Intelligence on clients and competitors
· Articulation of the prospect’s pain points
· Analysis on how all of the above affects the prospect’s business processes, operations, efficiencies, risk management, and profitability
· Assessment on how your products or services provides solutions to the prospect’s business challenges
The information you uncover with a well-prepared SAP should help construct targeted and personal outreach that secures discovery meetings which leads to pitch presentations and closed-win deals.
9. Learn how to sell through technology.
Since we cannot rely on cultivating relationships in person anymore, we must leverage technology for the accessibility and efficiencies it provides.
a. Have all of your research ready
b. Put your most appropriate people in the virtual room
c. Determine what you will share on your screen and how you will share it
d. Conduct practice runs before you meet with the prospect
e. Maximize your time by presenting your best business case and emphasizing your value proposition, differentiators and ROI strongly
Harness the knowledge gained through your prospect-centric marketing, analytics and SAP strategies along with the power of technology to leave no room for “No” at the deal table.
10. Generate Leads Through Cross-Training.
Sales efforts should not be limited to the sales team. Cross-training marketing and client success professionals will deliver an exponential increase in lead generation.
Invite marketing to attend sales calls, demos and pitch presentations with your sales reps. They’ll gain a deeper understanding of why clients do or don’t engage your company and be able to apply that to your marketing strategy.
Make sure client success knows all the products and services your firm offers. Attend project planning meetings together, and train them to identify opportunities to upsell, cross-sell or generate leads through referrals.
Most of the legal industry has been struggling to make sales during the pandemic, but don’t give up. Following the steps outlined above will help you align marketing and sales to convert more leads into revenue.
RPC Strategies’ “Lift Your Sales” series is our response to several requests for solutions to this pain point. We have several more topics in store for the coming months that will address strategies like setting up your CRM for sales success, how to write and use an SAP for more effective lead qualification, sales process and workflows for higher close-win rates, the most important (and overlooked) member of your sales team and many more. Please connect with us on LinkedInand/or register for our newsletter here.