In January 2017, I traveled to San Diego with an elite mastermind group. The clever folks in this group are all owners of businesses worth $2-5 million, and we’re all in the service sector (though some sell software as a service, or SaaS.)
We visited several companies who had scaled past the $5 million mark, including Classy.org, whose founders provided an insightful perspective on Sales vs. Marketing.
Classy provides a payment platform for charities. They bill clients (the charities) based on a recurring monthly fee, a percentage of revenues collected, or both.
Their service allows charities to scale without hiring software developers or negotiating payment rates with different processors. It’s a great model, and they have some huge clients.
When Classy started, most of their sales were inbound. Charities heard about the platform, called for information, and signed up (or not) based on the pitch Classy gave them. This is SALES, and as Classy refined its process, more people signed up.
Our sales process is called a “No-Sweat Intro.” It’s the product of years of trial, tweaking and data tracking. We teach it verbatim in the Incubator. The goal of your sales process is a high integration (i.e. signup) rate.
There are two stages of client interaction before the Integration stage. These are Awareness and Interest, and they’re MARKETING.
As Classy grew, they realized they could help more people by adding a Marketing team. The Sales team polished its Integration process while the Marketing team started their Awareness and Interest campaigns.
In the gym world, CrossFit affiliates benefit from massive awareness campaigns from HQ (Reebok, ESPN, the Games, the Open…) and our marketing should be primarily focused on Interest. That means our emails, newsletters, website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, events, seminars, cobranding, and coffee talks should all have one goal: tell the future client how our service can help THEM.
If you want to improve your revenues, focus your attention here:
1) Sales – dial in your No-Sweat Intros. Do role-playing with your staff. Do a LOT of these. Read “Two Clicks To Book”.
2) Marketing – spend all your time making connections between your service and its benefits to your potential client. For example, “Morning workouts help accountants think better”, “Shift Workers should come to groups before going to bed” or “Here’s how you stay accountable in your quest for fat loss.”
Stay away from: 1) Free sample days, weeks (even months – yikes) 2) “Awareness” marketing , like flyers and FB ads to “like” your page
Finally, your biggest opportunity probably ISN’T marketing, but sales. If you consider the people who have visited your business in the past, or attended a free seminar, or indicated interest by downloading some of your content…you probably have an email list with hundreds or thousands of names on it. These people are already at the “Interest” stage, and just need one little barrier to fall away before signing up.
That barrier is usually best overcome through email, NOT social media. Owners in our Incubator program learn why.
This might all seem like theory. But knowing your intent at each marketing stage will help you meet more people, HELP more people, and enroll more people.