How to Accelerate Sales- Flip the Drip!
It’s time to drop the outdated drip campaign to meet your potential B2B buyers in a way that meets their unique needs.
How to Accelerate Sales- Flip the Drip!
Traditional drip campaigns rely on gated content and potential customers often can wait extensive periods of time for a slow drip of six or seven additional pieces of content. We know that this is a highly inefficient way to pursue marketing. Because these campaigns provide content in a scattershot way, marketing expenses are often directed toward dead-end leads. On top of that, let’s face it, your potential customers know that you’re just tacking their names on impersonal, automated messages. It isn’t personal and it’s a poor way to nurture customer relationships.
The issues with traditional drip campaigns become clearer when we consider what the modern consumer wants. They don’t want to wait for content. They don’t want sign-ins or paywalls. They want every bit of content on-demand. Because drip campaigns are built around offering content in a piecemeal fashion, they simply can’t meet the demands in this new age of the customer.
That is why marketing teams need to start thinking about a binge-first approach, what I call, “Flip the Drip.” By flipping the drip, all of your relevant content is accessible at once and only after we know a lot about the customer or know they are in the purchasing phase does the content engagement move from binge to drip.
After initial interaction with your customer, AI tools can create curated sets and playlists of content that will become more customized as data is gathered. Post-sale, using data from chats, calls and consumption behavior, you can then move to drip campaigns that are data-driven, highly personalized and generate consistent engagement.
Flipping the drip allows you to engage customers robustly throughout the sales journey. For example — as customers are engaging with the content, an AI Assistant can be brought in to answer any questions about that content, hand-off a lead to the sales team or setup meetings on their behalf.
Engaging potential customers early accelerates the awareness and consideration phases of the sales journey. Rather than waiting weeks to schedule a sales call, it can be done in minutes. The focus on broad content engagement and individualized insights helps to focus the resources on qualified leads and nurturing the relationships with your existing customers to increase ROI, reduce churn and amplify customer success.
Integrated Inversion: Flip the Drip and the Funnel
In the past few years, there has been a lot of buzz around the new sales funnel paradigm, “flip the funnel.” So much so that it generated conferences, blogs, websites, podcasts and a community of marketers dedicated to this approach. Why? The traditional funnel simply doesn’t cut it anymore.
The Traditional Funnel
The traditional funnel, as you guessed it, looks exactly like the funnel you have in your kitchen. It starts broad to capture as many leads as possible and then moves those leads in a linear fashion through the sales process. The problem with the traditional funnel is that it attempts to move lots of bad-leads through the journey, only to have many drop out.
At the bottom of the funnel, you are left with a small proportion of qualified leads from the original body of leads. This means that a great deal of your marketing funds were invested in leads that had little interest in or need for your products. This drives down ROI significantly.
The Inverted Funnel
The inverted funnel begins with a narrow top. The logic is this: begin with your best customers to see what characteristics they have in common and then figure out where you can invest intelligently in building a wider and more dedicated customer base.
Stages of the Inverted Funnel
1. Identify Best-fit
To identify your ideal customers, you can rely on various sources. Begin by looking at your most active customers, whether using an AI or human analyst, to then determine best-fit characteristics. Using form submissions and AI assistants on your website, you can collect user data to identify visitors that meet your nest-fit criteria. By identifying best-fit companies, you are learning more about who wants to hear your story and how you can tell it better.
2. Grow your Connections
Once you’ve identified your best-fit companies, start making connections with people in the company that have real influence. While this may seem like a difficult task, automated tools make it easier to pull all account information into your CRM to minimize your investigative labor.
3. Engage your Connections
You’ve connected with the right influencers in your targeted companies, so now it’s time to let that content shine. To highlight how different an approach the flipped funnel is, note the funnels traditional structure. Now that you know your best-fit characteristics and details of your connections, you can provide broad but customized content so that your connections can binge on what’s most relevant to them.
4. Delight your Customers
Many conceptions of the flipped funnel only include four stages: identify, grow, engage, and build advocacy. We’ve added the delight stage to provide an integrated approach of flipped funnel and flipped drip. The delight stage builds on the engagement stage but departs to the extent that content becomes more personalized based upon past behavior and predictions of future need.
Using automated intent extraction, you can leverage intent and need insights to provide companies with content prior to and after sale. For example, if a company is unsure about how your product roll-out will integrate with their existing systems, you can create a playlist of content specifically curated for them.
By showing your customers that you understand their needs, you will drive customer success and satisfaction. Delighting the customer is a step above and beyond engaging them with beautiful, tailor-made content. Delighting the customer depends on nurturing their relationship to your brand and products and response to their needs in real-time, without them having to ask.
5. Build advocacy
Building advocacy is an essential feature of the flipped funnel. You want your best-fit customers to share their experiences and love of your brand. Your product might be killer, but if you don’t tell the right stories, or if companies can’t optimize it, you are out of luck. Engaging and delighting are essential for driving customer success, which will grow your network of advocates in turn.
Flip the Drip
Your content is great. But that isn’t enough. And while a great drip campaign used to be enough, it isn’t anymore. We are in the age of the customer, and that means that you need to be proactive in meeting their needs.
A lead-based approach that relies on treating each lead as the any other lead just doesn’t cut it anymore. We need a new approach. We need to flip the drip.
The flipped drip looks a lot like the traditional funnel: wide at the top, narrow at the bottom. The idea is to start with broad access to content that will become more specific with customer-based insights. Your customers and potential customers drive the narrowing themselves, so that they only get the most relevant content.
Customers can now only get the most relevant content, but at the same time, they need to get a great deal of it so that they can get the absolute most out of your product.
3 Stages of the Flipped Drip
Let’s take a look at the three stages of a flipped drip campaign:
1. Broad Binge
When you signed up with Netflix, they provided you with broad access to their content. This was likely curated based on content popularity, but not to your specific characteristics. As you watch, Netflix’s algorithms then assess what you watched and when to add highly specific micro-genre tags to your viewing history. Simply put, curation starts broad and then learns about your tastes as you engage content.
The flipped drip operates using the same logic. Starting with what you know about best-fit companies and the roles you are targeting, you can curate a relevant but broad playlist of content to drive engagement. When users begin consuming your content, ML algorithms learn intents and preferences.
The broad binge is the best way to start getting to know your potential customers. It’s like speed dating for sales.
2. Personalized Binge
Taste data from engagement with content (what was viewed, for how long), text from AI assistant conversations/chats, and language from sales calls allow playlist algorithms to provide masses of specific content.
The personalized binge stage approach allows you to provide just the right content to close the deal.
By understanding and predicting the intents and needs of your potential customers, you can show them both how your product meets those needs and that you are responsive to their needs. When you work for your potential customers like this, they are more likely to convert and stick around.
3. Drip Binge
Sales doesn’t end at sales. Customer satisfaction is a driving force behind churn; it is expensive to acquire new customers rather than retain your current customers.
The drip binge demonstrates that you are still all in with your customers, and it shows it 24/7/365.
The drip binge provides customers with a playlist chock-full of all of the most relevant content for their success with your products. Whether they need ongoing training and education, the occasional tutorial, examples of unique solutions with your products or want to know more about other products, a content playlist nurtures the customer relationship post-sale. Playlist drips can even suggest collaboration partners to drive customer success. The applications are vast.
By adding drops of content to customer playlists based on user interaction, usage, and real-time need, customers are always getting the content they want now and the content they will want tomorrow. This allows you to anticipate their needs to better cross-sell and up-sell at just the right moments.
Benefits of Flipping your Drip
Flipping your approach to the drip campaign is necessary for the modern sales landscape, but it doesn’t just catch you up, it gives you a leg up.
Increase ROI and reduce inefficient lead-based investments
Increase customer success
Increase customer retention and reduce churn
Target best-fit companies
Cross-sell and up-sell
Expand advocate network
The traditional drip is going the way of the traditional funnel. Getting as many leads in the top of your funnel inefficiently eats up expense and decreases ROI. Customers no longer respond to piece-meal drips of impersonal content. These realities call for an integrated inversion of a flipped funnel and a flipped drip.
Rethinking marketing as binge-first will help you better understand and respond to your customers, accelerate the sales journey and provide stellar customer support and success.
Keep an eye out for our next blog, Flip the Drip How-to, where we will go into greater depth in how you can use our Flip the Drip method to easily create a binge content strategy in five simple steps. It is time to Flip the Drip!
Social27 is an AI powered Automation, Augmentation and Analytics platform. Social27 Playlists empower B2B marketers to deliver a personalized and ‘binge-worthy’ content experience in real-time. Our AI Assistant identifies buyer intent, qualifies leads, and schedules meetings; accelerating sales and revenue growth. Social27 Deal Room automates all the repetitive and time-consuming processes in the deal workflow, keeping all calls, contracts, and compliance in one place. And finally, the Partner Ecosystem Accelerator enables velocity across your ecosystem by enabling a #NoFriction customer journey.