When you enter a new organization, you need to assign them to a Funnel stage, see red box below.

This field is meant to be used to keep track of where they are in their buying process and (hopefully) your sales process. Typical and simple process steps are:

  1. Unqualified
  2. Prospect
  3. Customer

Think of the stages as steps down through a funnel. At the top of the funnel there may be many organizations and the further down you get there are fewer and fewer. The funnel is a mental image for effectively identifying and focusing sales efforts on clients with revenue potential.

Data collection and qualification

Let's say you hire an administrative resource to scour the internet for potential clients. The resource does not put a lot of effort into figuring out whether a company is a good match for your magazine. It's rather volume that is important and for every organization they enter, they assign it to the "Unqualified" stage. They also search for and enter some data like address, contact names, titles, phone numbers, and email addresses. Whatever information they can easily find.

Prospecting

Then you have a lead generation specialist that is great at contacting these unqualified organizations. The specialist can essentially just filter to find any unqualified organization in the database and open their record and educate themselves on who to contact. In the best of worlds, the administrative resource has provided a bit of intel, such as what the potential client is selling and why it could make sense for them to advertise in your magazine.

The lead generation specialist diligently plows through the never ending list of unqualified organizations and contacts the individuals working there, with the goal to discover whether the organization is a potential client or not. Every call and email is logged in RunMags and eventually the organization is assigned to the "Prospect" stage or to "Cold", depending on if the effort was successful or not. The organization can also be assigned to a sales rep with a profile suitable for the potential client. 

The goal for the lead generation specialist is not to sell advertising, but rather serve warm prospects to sales reps.

Selling

Finally, sales reps search and filter to find any prospects that have been assigned to them. They read up on all the information gathered by the administrative resource and the lead generation specialist BEFORE the call the potential client. In the best of worlds, the lead generation specialist has provided a bit of intel, such as if there are sales targets or strategic initiatives that could be driving a need to advertise. The sales rep should be educated on the potential clients needs and opinions on advertising.

The sales reps use RunMags to log calls and emails. They produce their proposals and emails them to the clients. When a deal is signed the organization is assigned to the "Customer" stage or to "Lost", depending on if the effort was successful or not.

Aligning your commercial process to the client's buying process

The internet has completely changed the buying behaviour of advertisers. As a publisher you need to design a sales process that is mapped to how your clients want to buy. Your business is going to be in a lot of hurt if you miss the fact that most people these days use the internet to educate themselves and that this drives emotional needs.

If you don't educate potential clients early on in their buying process, i.e. long before they even think about advertising, your competitors will educate them in your place. We encourage our customers to educate their clients using website blog posts, industry insight, trends, and readership interests because it positions the sales reps as domain experts and consultants. Clients trust them and will always come back for more insight and means to reach those they want to communicate with.

The generic commercial process below starts with understanding the typical client's buying process and then mapping the sales process to it.

In the green field you can find specific activities, including those that are done in RunMags when it comes to updating the Funnel stage.

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