No High-Level Fluff: 7 Steps to Build the Best Target Account Model
Feb27

No High-Level Fluff: 7 Steps to Build the Best Target Account Model

Selecting target accounts can be stressful. You worked hard to build trust across your Sales team, and now comes a project that could ruin that hard-won trust if you don’t execute it perfectly. Guess what? It is not (and never will be) perfect. This activity can’t be done in a Marketing silo. Marketing needs Sales, and Sales needs Marketing to accurately select target accounts. And don’t forget about your Customer Success team! So repeat after me: Selecting target accounts is a cross-functional project. Now, I know what you’re thinking — “Sounds great, but building the model is hard and everything I read on the internet is just high level. And I need to know how to actually do it!” I hear you, and I’m here to help. Follow these seven steps, and I promise you’ll look back laughing about how stressed out you got when you heard the phrase “target account model.” Identify the data points that make up your ICP Understand what you have and what you lack in terms of company data Review the data provided by third party data vendors Standardize data Find commonalities amongst your customers Rank and score your data points Review, remove, format and share! Now let’s dive into each of these steps, shall we? 1. Identify the data points that make up your ICP Data is great, and at this point you probably have more than you know what to do with. Don’t worry, Sales and Customer Success are here to help. Your […]

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Depend on Recurring Revenue? Here’s How to Contain Creation Costs
Feb27

Depend on Recurring Revenue? Here’s How to Contain Creation Costs

This article is written with field sales teams in mind. However, if you run an inside sales team exclusively, don’t despair, you may still find a nugget or two of helpful information as well. Containing costs is important in every business. But for businesses where the costs of creating new customers are measured by lenders to determine the health of that business, they are especially important to manage. In the electronic security industry, as well as SaaS, telecom and other recurring revenue businesses, customer creation costs are a key component which determines the company’s ability to borrow for expansion. Conference Panel Insights While attending the recent Barnes Buchanan annual conference, which focuses on the various market and financial elements impacting the security industry, I listened to the perennial lender panel discussing the metrics associated with the industry. The session, which featured a group of senior and sub-debt lenders, discussed recurring monthly revenue, customer attrition rates and the cost to create new customers. I also had the privilege of hosting a breakfast where we discussed the state of sales in the security industry. My topics were much the same as the lender panel but from a different perspective. Hearing these many business leaders discuss containing their customer creation costs, it seemed to be the squishiest of the measurements for companies that have field sales teams. However, I shared a few ideas in my presentation that addressed the concern and I will share them here. Consider Utilizing an Inside Sales Team – […]

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4 Fintech Trends to Watch For in 2020
Feb27

4 Fintech Trends to Watch For in 2020

The fintech industry is one of the most visibly disruptive sectors since it can dramatically impact everyday consumers as well as the business of all sizes. It’s also potentially a highly regulated sector, with governments and regulators well aware of the need to both protect consumers and businesses, and to provide a fair, competitive environment for industry players. At the same time, governments don’t always agree on how exactly to regulate this rapidly changing industry. Coupled with intense competition from traditional, established banks and financial services providers, along with constant technological developments, this makes for a volatile, exciting sector to watch. So what do 2020 and the coming decade have in store for fintech and traditional banking and financial services? The growing push for a level playing field The largest banks are products of consolidation starting in the 1980s, and they enjoy a dominant position to this day. In 2020 and onwards, fintech players could increasingly push for a level playing field to prevent banks from taking advantage of their size and market share to crush rather than compete fairly with new market entrants. The banking sector could see governments introducing stricter regulatory measures to ensure a more equitable competitive environment for fintech players. Although these players are already starting to make inroads in terms of gaining market share, existing traditional players can still have significant leverage. Examples such as preventing bank customers from sharing bank details with fintech competitors by warning them of a security risk highlight how traditional […]

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The 5 Most Common Pitfalls in Launching a CSM Team
Feb27

The 5 Most Common Pitfalls in Launching a CSM Team

The Hare, mad at the Tortoise for beating her in a (now world-famous) foot race, said to the Tortoise, “Let’s have a rematch.” The Tortoise thought to herself, “Slow and steady wins the race!” and agreed. “Where’s the finish line?” she asked. The Hare replied, “I’ll race you home,” and took off sprinting as fast as she could. The Tortoise calmly pulled her arms, legs, head, and tail into her shell. “I win!” she said. (That joke is corny, but it will tie in to the theme of this post soon, I promise.) Is your CS org a tortoise or a hare? Customer success is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the world, but where is that growth coming from? Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be another “customer success is a business imperative” piece; I’m saying, realistically, is every company on Earth hiring one CSM each? Or are a few companies hiring thousands? What’s actually driving this rapid acceleration of CSM growth from an operational perspective? And more importantly, what does it mean for you as a customer success leader? Mathematically speaking, we can infer that a huge chunk of the global economy is not hiring customer success managers at all. Many companies are hiring “normally” or incrementally. And that can only mean that the growth rate of CS hiring is driven largely by companies launching CSM teams all at once. And we can see that this inference is true when we talk to leaders who are spinning up […]

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Step-By-Step Market Research and Strategy Guide
Feb27

Step-By-Step Market Research and Strategy Guide

In this article we cover: Intro to Research Define Your Audience Identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) Business Plan & Budget Having you been wanting to start your own business? or maybe you have and you don’t know what to do next? don’t worry, you have come to the right place. For both circumstances we have arranged a step by step guide that will allow you to move forward. Starting a business is not easy, we understand how scary and unfamiliar it can be when starting from scratch. This is why we have provided you with the best guide and to clam your nerves we have even provided you with some insights from the CEO of vCita and how we become so successful. Here, we have created a full step by step guide to help you kick start your business adventure. In this article we will cover all the whole loop, all the way from the introduction stage in your research market to budgeting and creating a business plan. 1. Intro to Research Research your market Want to strike oil? Before you start drilling, you need to find out what are the demands are for oil and how much it will cost you to meet the demand. In other words, you need to understand the market from both perspectives as the customer and the supplier – get to know the market. The aim of doing market research is for you to understand what it takes to run a business in […]

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My Team has Nothing to Say in our Retrospective!
Feb27

My Team has Nothing to Say in our Retrospective!

One the questions I get asked during almost every Scrum Master training course is “How do I get the team to engage in the Sprint Retrospectives?”. Quite often the feeling within Scrum Teams is that once nothing is broken and the team is meeting their forecasts, there’s “nothing to talk about”. So I’ve been thinking about this and how the conscious competence matrix might be a useful model when thinking about… What challenges a Scrum Team might typically face as they mature in their understanding of Scrum What the team should be discussing at their Retrospectives What questions the Scrum Master will typically be answering and what questions the Scrum Master should be asking … bear with me and I’ll try not to get too “Donald Rumsfeld” about the whole thing… The Conscious Competence Matrix If you’re not familiar with the conscious competence matrix (it’s also referred to as the four stages of competence and the conscious competence ladder) then it’s a simple theory of learning that states people go through four phases when they are learning any new skill and I’ve observed this with most of my Scrum Teams. Unconscious Incompetence With any new skill you start off not only not knowing something (in this case Scrum) but also not knowing what you don’t know. At this stage people typically think that the thing they don’t know is easier than it is… because they aren’t aware of everything that they don’t know. In the case of Scrum people might […]

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