Mastery 8: Developing Your Lead Strategy

When it comes to lead strategy, efficiency is the key to success. On this episode of mastery, we explore the reasons startups struggle to establish an efficient and profitable lead strategy. How to leverage customer validation to create your customer persona, and messaging. And the metrics that will allow you to quantify success, while avoiding the common pitfalls that can hinder your lead strategy.

Talking Points

Where do startups go wrong with lead strategy?

The number one reason that we pass on entrepreneurs we’d otherwise like to back is they’re focusing on product to the exclusion of everything else. Many entrepreneurs who build great products simply don’t have a good distribution strategy. Even worse is when they insist that they don’t need one.   – Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape

  • Startup Genome – Startup Genome found that 80% of inconsistent or prematurely scaling startups were overly focused on the product prior to product market fit.

The Components of a Winning Strategy

  • When it comes to lead strategy, EFFICIENCY is the name of the game.
  • Efficient Lead Strategy requires a few datapoints from the validation stage and specifically, the customer interviews.

Your customer persona

  • Who are they? Age, gender, role, industry, segment.
  • Where can you find them? Traction – references 17 different growth channels. Not all apply to your business and not all will consistently be your primary strategies.
  • What are the customer pain points? – Your customers are your best source of content. True learning is found in the details. Dig deeper and ask why they have those pain points. It will help you understand the needs better as well as a more specific picture for how your solution can help.
  • How does your solution address those pain points? This is a good place to dig deeper into the customers “why” and an excellent contribution to marketing collateral.

Your Sales Process or your funnel. 

  • Before you can capitalize on the content and messaging you’ve created, you need to map your lead funnels, sales process, and content strategies.
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV) – estimate of net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) – marketing and sales spend (including personnel) divided by the number of new customers.
  • CLV:CAC Ratio – Knowing when to scale.
  • Sub-CAC – a more specific approach to compare individual lead sources (even including conversion rates) relative to campaign costs.

A Few Cautions and Best Practices

“A growth hacker is someone who has thrown out the playbook of traditional marketing and replaced it with only what is testable, trackable, and scalable. Their tools are e-mails, pay-per-click ads, blogs, and platform APIs instead of commercials, publicity, and money. While their marketing brethren chase vague notions like “branding” and “mind share,” growth hackers relentlessly pursue users and growth—and when they do it right, those users beget more users, which beget more users. They are the inventors, operators, and mechanics of their own self- sustaining and self-propagating growth machine that can take a start-up from nothing to something.”  – Ryan Holiday

Comparison Fallacy

  • Just because it works for your competitors, or similar businesses, doesn’t mean it is going to work for you. Even within your own organization, customer preference and behaviors can be totally different.
  • You need to approach this stage with an open mind and as few untested assumptions as possible. Along that line, not everything will work. The key is to develop measurement criteria to test and compare.
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