When a CEO or sales VP tells me: “Our leadgen efforts suck. Let’s improve the efficiency”…
and I go: 🤔 ⁉️ ”what do you mean?”
They tell me: “we’re hardly getting any meetings booked but we know the solution!
– we just need better scripts
– we need a nurturing sequence
– we need to reach out on more channels
»»» I tell them (in a convincing, messianic tone): “there is a better way”
You are fighting in a red ocean full of competitors, on a rubber raft, against nuclear warships.
Because you’re trying to get a piece of the market where big guys have created the demand… you are unknown and undifferentiated.
So, in the red ocean raft vs warship analogy: putting on an extra sail or a small motor on your raft isn’t going to help against the warships.
(I let this one sink in – no pun intended)
Here is what you need to do:
1. pick a small sub-segment of the market where you are most likely to succeed
2. build the right narrative and differentiate yourself. Figure out what’s wrong with the status quo for this segment/niche.
What you’ve done now is: rather than taking on the entire red ocean, you’ve selected a friendly harbor where you can play more on your terms, leveraging your strengths.
3. create assets for this niche: content, events, social that build up your narrative, your point-of-view that challenges the status quo.
You are now generating demand.
And generating demand is how the big guys in the open waters are winning – and you’ve just stepped on the path to do that.
You’re actually building and testing your warship in that safe harbor and are already seeing success.
4. create campaigns that capture the demand you’ve created: now you’re ready to reach out to the RIGHT accounts with a laser-sharp message. You’ll also be more nuanced than “let’s book a demo” – your weapons will be more sophisticated…
And when time comes for the demo and sales play, you will win.
Then the CMO and head of sales nod in agreement… until, about 9 seconds later, they realize with fury:
“But this will take months… years!!”
Then, trying my best not to sound like a smartass, I call ancient Chinese wisdom to the rescue:
“When was the best time to plant a tree?”
(answer: 20 years ago)
“…and the second best time?”
The problem with this piece of wisdom?
Although it’s true, it doesn’t get people excited who need new business (ie., the shade of the tree) today.
At this point, I tell the business leaders (putting on my comforting, soothing, late-night DJ voice):
“But don’t worry – there is a way to speed things up. We can actually start working on this, and launch micro-campaigns the right way. You’ll start seeing results early on.“
Follow the above process. Stop doing cheesy cold outreach. Differentiate and do exciting, electric B2B marketing.
ps. I really don’t like war analogies, but they work so well for marketing (along with dating analogies, btw.)