Digital Selling Strategy
For Professional Services

Action Plan Template for Services

The most important element is to present an initial strategy and approach to reviewing your business and existing methodology and how it is presented to your clients with the intention of acquiring as many clients as possible without the need for face-to-face or even voice-to-voice engagement.  This is where we would start...

Review Website

  • Performance | Accessibility | Best Practices | SEO
  • Security | Back up | Staging
  • Assess Digital Assets (Marketing & Sales)

Review Usability

  • Call to Actions - Customer Journey
  • Content - Quality, Variety, Conformity
  • FAQs | FAQ Requests | Chat | Support
  • Digital Selling & Self Service Ability

Review Services Visuals

  • Interviews, Consultants Talking, Case Studies, Client Offices
  • Motion graphics - User & Customer Experience
  • High Quality | Colour Graded | Authentic
  • Clients, Authentic Users
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The Best B2B Marketing Strategy for Professional Services Businesses

It's important to recognise why there is a marketing problem in the first place.  It could be very easy to liken the big-tech and mar-tech industry to the the Spectre operatives sitting aound the table in a James Bond film: -

The James Bond Spectre Analogy

Google says "Yes Number One, we've got every business paying for clicks but they're not getting any business from it". 

Marketo as the leader for Marketing Automation, Hubspot and Pardot says, "Yes Number One, we have convinced all the B2B companies to pay for our software every month and pay millions every day to Google for PPC, but they still don't know they're hiding all their content, so Google can't and won't index them on their search engine. 

The Reverse IP Look Up representative speaking for Lead Forensics, Candii and Demandbase beams to Number One and says "joining them Number One, we have convinced businesses they need to stalk their prospects by telling them who is visiting their websites and we give them the telephone numbers for them to keep cold calling, this is still working well with our ABM strategies that makes the businesses think they have to market to everyone in the company, massively increasing their workload but not getting any better results"

Number One says "I'm pleased to see that business are still cold calling, the fifty-year-old strategies are always the best.  What are the current cold calling success rates".

The Spin Selling & Miller Heiman spokesperson for sales people, BDR's and SDR's pipes up "It's currently 400-1 Number One and getting worse as more people work from home".

"Excellent" says Number One.  

Microsoft stands up and says "We have, Number One, maintained the illusion that B2B companies can achieve the same results as B2C and the requests for investment gets ever longer, this means our investor operative are commanding a higher percentage of their new businesses before they've even started trading".

"Commendable Microsoft, as always", "Is there any other news to report?"

The Government Agent slowly stands to attention and says "Number One, I am pleased to inform you we have had a record number of business failures, even with futility of pandemic bail-outs we have exceed the average of 500,000 business failures this year and businesses are so focussed on survivlal they have failed to realise they cannot achieve any higher than the average of £120,000 per person per annum because of the collective system we have all put in place."

Number One, stroking his white cat, with his identity obscured by frosted glass concludes the meeting by saying, "Well done ladies and gentlemen, your regular bonuses will be transferred to your Swiss bank accounts as always", as the steel shutters roll down he bids them goodbye until next years gathering of the Big-Tech/Mar-Tech controllers! 

How Replace your Marketing Operating System

There is a fair amount of information below, however, this is to be viewed as an illustration to show how a new operating system can be put in place in your professional services business that will reduce monthly costs and increase exposure and profitability, within months.  And it's not about more marketing software, it's about creating a system that your prospects and customers actually want and not a system that is reminiscient of the 1950's.

  1. Create new or edit existing content to fit in to categorise in line with Primary, Secondary, General, Product and How-to-Buy categories.
  2. Create multi-format content for each main theme. For example, if you have a thought-leadership piece, you do not know if your audience would like to read or listen to your content.  Yes, they can be forced to read, but you increase your chances of engagement if they have a choice, just like you have
    • Written – Online
    • Written – Downloadable
    • Video
    • Podcast
    • Live Stream – See Below
  3. Ensure every content item has a call-to-action
  4. Analyse existing conversion-rate-strategy to ensure prospects can order or buy online
  5. If you have a high following on LinkedIn or Facebook, adopt Social 444: -
    • Create 120 adverts in advance, 5 adverts per main content item
    • Set up posting automation using SmarterQueue (£40 per month) or other
    • Schedule 4 adverts to be posted 4 times a day over 4 weeks = 444
    • 120 adverts are sufficient for 30 days, which means they can be repeated every month for as long as you choose, without social media cost
  6. Un-gate your content by removing all marketing automation email forms and associated landing pages
  7. Using Open Graph, categorise every item of content with Primary, Secondary, General, Product & How to Buy
  8. Implement Google Tag Manager and Analytics to monitor relevant attributes of each content item, i.e., scroll-depth, video-watch-duration, download and so on.
  9. Set up Google Data Studio, Tableau or other to automate daily/weekly report distribution

Set up The Live Stream Show

  1. The Live Stream Show – coral salespeople and marketing personnel to contribute ideas to your new show
  2. Create a name for the Live Stream show
  3. Create a Live Stream graphic to appear on YouTube and website
  4. Create Live Stream section on your website
  5. Create the Live Stream marketing strategy; 1% of your total addressable market (TAM) are looking to buy right now!
    • Blend your existing CRM database with purchased data to define your TAM.
    • Upload your TAM email data to LinkedIn & Facebook if applicable
    • Create PPC banner advertising campaign to your TAM database now on LinkedIn
    • Email your TAM, send 4 x emails prior to first episode
    • After first show, maintain weekly emails, informing about previous weeks content and what’s planned for next week’s show.
  6. Decide on a recording frequency, daily, weekly, or monthly
  7. Choose the live stream technology: -
    • Cameras & Lenses or Motorised Pan-Tilt-Zoom
    • Switching Docks
    • Streaming Software
    • Super Source Templates and overlays (like you see on the news)
    • Microphones, Pop filters
    • Headsets
    • Microphone stands
    • Recording studio, whether to use a Green Screen, quiet room, set design etc.
    • Sound treatment: sound panels, blankets or stands
  8. Pre-recorded intro and outro
  9. Pre-recorded business adverts
  10. Select an editing platform such as Adobe Premiere Pro
  11. Housekeeping Rules – Do’s and Don’ts for guests

The Show Flow Checklist

  1. Choose a show or series ‘theme’
  2. Decide if the show is to be completely free-form or if you want to direct the questions for a reason
  3. Identify guests: customers, influencers, suppliers, staff, CEO, C Suite etc
  4. Allocate timings and sections to the show, e.g., Industry News, New Staff, New Customers/Clients, New Technology, Software Updates etc.
  5. Create a series of questions, pointers and guides to help maintain the flow
  6. When including guests, allow time before the show to warm up your guests up. Some streaming software has ‘Green Room’ which is broadcast speak for a waiting area.  You can talk to people here before the show to make sure everything is working properly.
  7. Introduce this week’s show
  8. Introduce the guests
  9. Play the intro
  10. Start with the opener question or statement to begin the show
  11. Mention future guests and shows
  12. Invite your viewers to subscribe to your LinkedIn, YouTube channel and/or Facebook
  13. Most important of all - Have fun doing this
The Consultant's Comment

This long-term problem creates an undiscussed division based upon control and finance, i.e., CEO's and sales on the control side and CFOs on the finance side. 

CEOs believe they know the marketing process and visualise it through the lenses of sales.  Sales and selling is supposed to be the ultimate challenge and so commands the highest reward. However, when presales and a raft of Internet content is brought into the equation, not to mention ABM, then the act of selling is miniscule. But because of its perceived importance it allows sales directors and CEOs to be dismissive of marketing as salespeople believe their jobs are infinitely harder.

The CMO has no choice but to defer to sales, with the ultimate sacrifice of CMOs falling on their swords for poor performance, with the CEO and VP of sales looking for another martyr.

And so the poor turnover per person per annum continues because selling/sales maintains a one-to-one ratio of staff to contact and orders. 

Finance on the other hand is dispassionate towards the employees, i.e., 1+2=3, and if 3 is not sufficient and it often isn't, then the CFO and investors are left shaking their heads as to what's going wrong.

Naturally the blame is focused on the CMO for not providing enough marketing qualified leads to be handed over to sales. My background is in selling telecoms, voice over IP and CRM and having sold millions of pounds worth of hardware and services I know that doing an appointment and closing a deal has nothing to do with marketing except of course finding the willing prospect in the first place.

The above scenario has nothing to do with marketing and selling in 2022, so why on earth is the tenure of a CMO 18 months or less?

The answer is, the CMO is a scapegoat for the collective refusal of an SMT to read or research what is happening at the moment. It only takes a few minutes to join the dots, however, there is too much to lose: - 

  • Salespeople will lose their jobs
  • Existing CMOs will cease to hide behind a Mar Tech stack
  • Marketing people need to learn new skills or lose their jobs
  • CEOs will have to relinquish the control mentality

CFO is will simply say I told you so...

It is essential you forget what everyone around you is saying. It will not work it never has unless you are prepared to give away your company and watch it changed hands. Investors want to earn out of you and if you don't make it happen and show and demonstrate progress, and growth, you're out.  The average tenure for both CMOs and CEOs in all Fortune 500 companies is 18 months.

You, your business, and marketing are intrinsically linked if one goes you all go. That's why there are so many start-up and private equity focused recruitment companies servicing the churn.

Some facts to consider, in the first, second and third years of trading 20%, 30% and 50% of all businesses go bust. By the tenth year 91% of businesses are gone. And for those who do obtain investment, 40% go bust, 75% fail to achieve their own targets, and 90% fail to achieve an ROI for their investors.

There's no shortage of money and no shortage of seeking out unicorns, but boy oh boy are there some casualties. Don't be one of them!

Marketing automation is not lead automation and if you're not producing the content your customers want to read, your competitors will.

It’s time to changing your marketing operating system and start making acceptable levels of profit, without the stress.

F.A.B.

Feature | Attribute | Benefit

Why should someone engage your services?  There are always questions they ask themselves.  So we consider the following: -

  • What's In It For Me? | VIP Treatment | Insider Knowledge | Educational
  • Can they incease profitability, efficiency, accuracy, intangible assets?
  • Can you demonstrate reduced costs, time, error or ROI?

Click on the image below to enlarge.

Professional Services infographic
Professional Services infographic
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I hope this has given you a taster as to how we would approach your business and manage some of the marketing elements to get your business and SaaS the most exposure possible.  To learn more, take a look at the Digital Selling Overview pages.

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