Low-to-no cost ways of fullfilling basic needs and making meaningful projects happen
Topic:Driving sales & generating revenue
- Challenge \#1: Surfacing prospective customers
- Challenge \#2: Building and managing sales-oriented relationships effectively
- Challenge \#3: Creating relevant contexts that you're geniunely excited about
- Challenge \#4: Presenting options to choose from for working together
- Challenge \#5: Getting word of what you have to offer out to many people
- Challenge \#6: Learning to get better at generating revenue and teaching others
Surfacing prospective customers
The case: Edgeryders offers x and what makes us special is y. One of the challenges of generating the sales is knowing how to find the right prospects- potential customers who have problems that what we have to offer could solve. This is a challenge many people trying to get initiatives off the ground have. A huge contribution would be to build a shared database of names of people and organisations, with credible information about what their most pressing problems and needs are, and how they are currently trying to solve them (or not). This would help us identify the ones with a high likelihood of matching what we have to offer. But it is hugely time consuming if we do it as a small group. How do we engage hundreds of people all over the world to help get this done in one week? Thousands? How do we get people to pay to cover to cover the cost of keeping database updated and improved over time?
Building and managing a sales-oriented relationships effectively
Perpetual networking. A year between first making contact with a prospective client and a paid invoice.This is the space where a lot of new initiatives get lost. How do we shorten the length of time between initiating a conversation with someone and either finding out that what you have to offer does not match what they need or in the best case signing a deal?
I think it comes down to breaking down the long process of building a mutually generative, strong relationship into smaller steps which involve sharing the risk between both parties (payment for smaller batches of work along the way). What those steps should be depends on what kind of resources the person you are dealing with can mobilise for which kinds of outputs. Those constraints will be different for different people, kinds of organisation, and points in time. For example, individuals working in large organisations work have to navigate a lot of rules and administrative processes. They may have little or no discretionary spending, or only be able to spend money in certain amounts for very specific kinds of deliverable. If what you offer does not match them then no matter how convinced they are they can’t pay you for the value your work generates.
You discover this some way into the sales process and it can’t be done “theory” so let’s try an experiment. Living on the Edge offers x and what makes it special is y. The value generated by this event not only on the participants but the knowledge generated and shared is really really high. If we could harness the same dynamics that go into building an awsome event into generating revenue we would not only cover travel costs, for everyone involved. We could also share the skills, processes and connections made to surface support for community members individual initiatives.
If you’re reading this post you are already involved in it, so it makes sense to use it as our case study.
So how do we start a conversation with someone in a way that sets the conditions for an individual or organisation to be able to become a paying customer or client? Try small experiements based on your own research and document how things go between now and next week. At next weeks google hangout we’ll get personal feedback from (name of someone credible here) about each of our individual strategies and how we could maybe improve them
Creating relevant contexts that you're geniunely excited about!
I was going through the edgeryders.eu website ahead writing this post. And I realised that, a lot of this part of the work has already been done. Huh? We have loads of really high quality content and reflections, an event which is gathering some really awsome people and even some session proposals! What we need is to connect the hard questions prospective customers would be asking with the solutions found in the many threads, conversations, and activities which offer solutions or at least paths worth exploring together in search of answers. And somewhere where all of this comes together.
Saving time by presenting clear options for working together early on
How do we productify the tracks so we generate resources to pay for the work of building and following up high quality community events? How do we enable participants to use them to personally initiate new relationships and sell track related work to clients to generate revenue for themselves?
For the product i’ve put together this table as a first rough sketch to have something to base the offers on that we know we can deliver (for each client you have in mind we’ll need to do design pricing, packaging, communication for the one that you think is most relevant)
Pricing: One off / Subscription- one off, short term, long term
Communication and collaboration skills Writing for online engagement Reading and making sense of online data Building thriving policy-oriented communities online Social media training workshops and master classes
Networking assistance Research, articles, reports and books Consulting hours Proactive alerts
in situ network analysis in situ ethnographic analysis social software
Large swarm-organised gathering (online, offline) narrow scale facilitated exploration (online, offline) match making & collaboration kickoffs
Getting word out to hundreds of thousands about what's on offer
Now it’s time to look at how to how to speed up the sales cycle, how to make it so that for each sale new customers with a probelm we can solve can find us and pay us to help them. So far my strategy has been to do outreach through keynotes that are recorded, one to one interaction, videos etc. Let’s get creative about this and put our collective intelligence to work!
First of all how do we align our own incentives and online behaviours so we are supporting one another’s ability to generate revenue?
Lecture – Social Capital: why it matters and how to build it (45 mins) [Bert-Ola, would you be up for holding this talk?]
Break (15 mins)
Workshop: the Edgeryders software and community members online and offline presence as a platform for generating visibility and opportunities for individual members. We discuss Edgeryders in the context of what we know of social capital and effective social media engagement; try to understand how to leverage online presence; check it against the social glue keeping the community together; assess it; and propose improvements. (45 mins)
Challenge \#6: Learning from our experiences & sharing what we learned!
Looking back at our different efforts and experiences over the past six weeks what did we learn, as individuals and as a group? What did we manage to do? What difficulties did we come across and how could we overcome them next time? The outcome of this week is a session outline for lote aimed at sharing what we have learned, and together filling in the gaps in knowlege, resources, tools etc needed for us to generate revenue for inititiatives. Depending on the interest of the participants, in this session we also could together, tweak the Edgeryders platform and communication according to the results of this process to make it better suited to generating revenue for community members work.