To win at the growth game, ownership is everything – and in fact, you would agree that the leaders in the marketplace truly “own” the customer journey.
But if you’re among those looking up at the market leader, it’s possible that you have a secondary ownership problem –- an inability for all your cross-functional teams to own their role in the sales funnel, which is a big part of the customer journey.
If, in fact, you don’t have responsibility for your sales funnel – loaded with valuable leads and the promise of success – aligned across your cross functions, you likely will never ascend that peak and earn the right to be called a trusted brand.
The need to align has never been more urgent -- especially in today’s marketplace, where companies spend more than half their marketing budgets on lead generation!
I recently have been serving a client who was struggling with this same challenge. Now, in the past, I would have led this CEO and his executive team through a traditional RACI matrix exercise – for the uninitiated, that helps teams determine who is responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed, at each stage of the lead generation process. So, for example, you would have marketing passing off to sales at the top of the funnel, then bringing in account managers and operations toward the bottom, and so forth.
What we realized, however, is that simply parsing out these responsibilities is not nearly enough, if we are to move at the speed of commerce – and to match the cadence of our competition.
This realization gave birth to the idea of RACI+ – a way to assign content-specific responsibilities to each stakeholder, and to dictate the terms of the response. This ensures that we are all speaking the same language as we incubate the lead, and if there are precursors at each step, then those are communicated at the handoff.
In this new RACI+ matrix (pictured below), you can see where we’ve extended the traditional matrix. Now, we’ve added columns for content type and issue, and, as with the traditional RACI, assigned responsibilities for all levels of the funnel, from the moment of first impression to onboarding as a landed client.
Aside from simply ensuring an appropriate response, we found that the expanded matrix helped all stakeholders understand when and what is being communicated to a potential customer and what the issues are as opportunities stall in the funnel. Now, everyone – from sales, to marketing, to procurement, to the C-suite – was brought in to the customer journey and was empathetic to their coworkers’ role in facilitating the journey.
It also helped the company gain a greater handle on the ideal customer profile, or ICP. With communication occurring at each stage of the funnel, it provides greater assurance that once the prospect hits the bottom of the funnel, they’re the right fit for our company, its products, and its services.
Think of it this way: If you are an angler fishing for bluegill, but find yourself catching bass instead, are you succeeding -- or just filling the cooler for the sake of counting fish?
Not that the bass are completely useless in this example. One other benefit of RACI+ is that you can, through time, take note of the leads you’re “throwing back” – and evaluate whether, with a small tweak, or, in the case of a SaaS product, some code upgrades, you can find a product or service that earns you this add-on business.
I worked as a fractional CMO with a finance client that specialized in lending to business customers with $500,000 in net revenues and above. But we found that they were getting a lot of inquiries from people at or above $250K. So, the question became: Can we put together a lending product for this group – understanding that we could likely grow with them, as their revenues scaled up? Without the collaboration and understanding facilitated by RACI+, this next tier of customer might have escaped notice.
Other benefits of the RACI+ matrix include:
Best of all, this RACI+ matrix moves with you – it encourages refinement each week (the minimum interval I recommend that the team members meet to gauge effectiveness), and ensures you are being responsive to the marketplace.
How are you encouraging your cross functions to improve their collaboration around lead generation? If I can be of service to you, please reach out.