I increased my pay by 100% in 1 year and I did it by showing exactly how our online marketing campaigns were turning prospects, into purchasers and how I was able to directly affect prospect behavior and their engagement with our company online. Side note, threatening to quit also helped.
The revenue table. The place where executives like to hang out and everyone is trying to get to. The place where you get to talk to the CEO and say “Hey, we generated this much business this year”. The place where you’re considered a profit centre, not a cost of doing business. A place typically reserved for sales, sometimes marketing and rarely optimizers and growth hackers. Most importantly it’s the place where dollar dollar bills are smoothly being flicked into the air like a deck of cards.
It’s the place I always dreamed of being, but I don’t have an MBA. So, using everything I learned in tech startups I went to work to figure it out. It took me almost a year. But I finally made it.
Nobody asked me to do it. I just started doing it, and telling everyone how cool it was that we could track our online leads. Here’s how I did it.
We have two types of “clients”: real estate developers who hire use for our services, and purchasers who buy the homes we’re selling on behalf of those developers. We’re a sales and marketing company.
Step 1. Build an online presence.
- Find out exactly where your clients live, whether it be LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or wherever. Wherever they are online, figure it out. For us it was LinkedIn and Facebook. Having a lot of Twitter followers was more of a vanity metric. Not much coming from Twitter.
- Create content. Figure out what questions your customers might have about their business. Answer those questions for them using blog posts, webinars, infographs or whatever cool new thing is out there. Our clients are tough to educate. They are highly intelligent real estate developers who know a lot about the market. To educate, them, I decided to educate them about online sales — the thing I was learning about. It worked, they loved it!
- Repeat creating content, optimizing and testing along the way figuring out what reasonates with your clients.
- If you have a website, it probably sucks. Rebuild it and make it look awesome, and populate it with the content you just created.
- A/B test and optimize the shit of that website using Optimezely, Mix Panel and whatever other tool you can find to create the best experience and highest conversion.
- This should’ve been higher up, but get an email list going. Emails are the best way to push your amazing content to your potential clients.
Step 2. Track your leads throughout the whole sales cycle.
- Map out the sales cycle and utlize a CRM to track it. Figure out what the sales cycle looks like and map it out. If you’re dealing with offline and online leads, things get a little confusing but creating a defined sales path using flow charts will help clarify the sales cycle. See if you can utilize a CRM system to help sales people make more sales, and help you track the touch points in the process. I used salesforce.com. It was a bitch to setup and it was expensive, but once you have a good setup and good UX it makes reporting and data analytics a lot easier. Moreover, we used salesforce’s dashboards to help track every aspect of a sale for our clients as well. We could show them how their leads were turning into purchasers and was driving that sale. They loved it! It answered questions they never had answers to, like “what is our CAC on ad campaigns”, “how many purchasers were converted from online or walked-in”.
- Track your leads online and offline touch points if possible. For online touchpoints there are a bunch of services out there like Marketo, Pardot, HubSpot etc. I chose Pardot because it had the best salesforce.com integration and had a descent all in one service for landing pages, forms etc. It’s not the best though. For offline touch points, you have to find a CRM that is so user friendly that sales people will want to use it and record calls and emails.
Doing this on the cheap is hard. But if you’re techy enough you’ll be able to get by without paying for astronomical implementation costs that run in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Step 3. Identify a conversion event.
- Identify the point of conversion, where your lead turns into a purchaser. Make sure your CRM is able to track a sale. It’s going to be different for every business. For us it was when a home buyer bought a home. I had to include all of the homes in the CRM system aswell to get monetary value of sales.
Step 4. Pay me!
- Test some online campaigns through Google AdWords, Facebook Ads etc. Get a conversion.
- Show up at the revenue table and sit down. People might think it’s weird that you’re there. Don’t worry about it. Now take out your computer and show the CEO exactly how your last campaign turned into a sale, showing every step along the way.
- Figure out how much a lead is worth to your company. If you can come up with dollar value for a purchaser, you now have grounds to get paid. If all you’re doing is online campaigns, then get paid on online conversions.
- Get paid! Or quit, you just learned a shit ton of things that will get you hired at any tech company.
Once you’ve proven the model and have gotten it down to basically a mathematical equation, you can graduate your MVPs and get professionals to focus on U/X and U/I.