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How To Grow Your Business By 45% in One Hour

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Christer HollomanThis guest post is written by Christer Holloman, CEO and Co-founder of Divido, which lets retailers allow their customers to pay for anything in interest-free instalments, increasing basket sizes and conversation rates by an average of 20%. Divido joined Seedcamp in late 2014 and have been attending our Academy learning sessions. In this article, Christer shares his learnings from a recent B2B & Enterprise Sales workshop.

I saw the headline of this post for the first time as an email subject line along with an invite to attend a one hour workshop with Tim Jackson. It seemed almost too good to be true, but was it? I signed up to find out and here are my key takeaways…

Back in 1997 Tim founded an auction site called QXL; he listed it on Nasdaq and LSE in 1999 and the company was later acquired for $2bn by Napster. Today he runs an early stage investor and advisory firm called Lean Investments.

To deliver on his promise of showing us how to grow our businesses by 45%, following this one hour session he referenced Damien Tanner’s Mediacore Playbook which focuses on three particular themes; List Building, First Contact and Continued Engagement.

The session was peppered with other examples and hands on advice, but here is a selection of the tips that resonated the most with my team and that we are now incorporating in our B2B acquisition strategy.

1. List Building

Regardless of whether your strategy is to contact people by email or by phone, you want to build good prospect lists. The key is to improve the way you collect the input, then how you enrich, merge and clean it.

When it comes to enriching data Tim recommended DueDil – which we are already using at Divido. Because the industry we operate in is heavily regulated and we are operating under a license authorised by The Financial Conduct Authority, we don’t want to do business with just any retailer. They need to be of a certain size, have at least two years of audited accounts, and be in good financial standing, etc. DueDil helps us establish that before we start investing time in the prospect.

2. First Contact

Once you have developed a solid list it’s time to make the first contact. Again, there are some great tools that can help you do this and Tim gives examples like SalesBeach and QuickMail.

When it comes to the logistics, Tim recommends you start with around a thousand contacts and drip feed them tweaked versions of a template to see which ones appear to generate the best response. Use automation features to adapt the messaging in the 2nd email to create the illusion you’re sending these personally one at a time. It’s also important to not send too many per day, as when they do reply you need to have the bandwidth to reply to them straight away while the lead is hot.

3. Continued Engagement

As the cycle for a B2B sale is longer than your average B2C equivalent, it’s important that you put activities in place to create reasons to re-engage with your leads over a longer period of time using site analytics, webinars, white papers, etc.

At Divido we host an industry breakfast seminar once a quarter and invite high profile speakers talking about topics that are of interest to our audience of prospects. It’s a great opportunity to develop relationships over time.

To monitor success Tim recommended some specific KPIs to keep track of:

  1. Outbound calls and emails per month
  2. Open rate for emails
  3. Response rate to emails
  4. Discovery calls per month
  5. Opportunities per month: so called Sales-qualified leads (SQLs)

45% improvement

If you improve your List Building by 10%, your First Contact by 20% and your Continued Engagement by 10%, combined you will achieve an overall improvement of 45% (1.1 x 1.2 x 1.1). In other words, everyone can improve their business by 45% in one hour if they improve the way they do some of the basics.

Tim’s session reminded us all that there isn’t one silver bullet to get the job done and that success is directly correlated to effort; trial and error.

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