Don’t Avoid Complexity. Embrace it.

Sales and Marketing executives need to put their fears of complexity aside and embrace the efficiencies of the modern funnel.

Sales and Marketing executives need to put their fears of complexity aside and embrace the efficiencies of funnel science.

“Too many acronyms!”

That’s a complaint I hear occasionally in the marketing and sales world. It’s a complaint I don’t hear in the tech world and when I’m dealing with the medical world I really want a LOT of acronyms, everywhere. I mean, if my doctor’s tagline of credentials outweighs the his actual name — I’m happy.

Acronyms are compacted nuggets of information. They’re also secret words demonstrating a depth knowledge in a certain space. So, if you’re truly steeped in marketing or sales you should be able to translate this heinous string of acronyms: “Look, SEO has a lower CTR than SEM but the CPC is zero and the CAC payback period with LTV and man hrs is tiny. Let’s get that into the KPIs STAT for the CRO!”

(I love using the declarative STAT! Makes me feel like George Clooney in the ER.)

Those acronyms might seem pretentious but experience is the only thing that will bear our true mastery and as noted elsewhere you have about 9000 minutes in a month. Every second counts. Get your team jazzed about the secret language you employ in your industries. Make up your own acronyms for even greater efficiency!

(Right now I’m trying to decipher some acronyms from my 13-year old. I’m clearly not steeped in his milieu.)

Of course, condensed information may be efficient but it might also lead to complexity. Sales and marketing executives need to overcome their fears of complexity and start treating the sales process as a burgeoning science — because it is.

The modern world of science-based funnels encompasses a host of processes: staffing, division of responsibilities, lead capture, business development, prospecting, partnership development, lead nurturing, prioritization, cadence, content, medium, reporting, on-boarding, referrals… (the list is long).

This week I’m looking at marketing and sales models and what elements you should use to choose the best model for your product or service.

Let’s boil the essence of your decision to 6 “P’s”. The first 3 elements dictate the last 3:

  • Product — What is the product or service you are pushing? What is the benefit for the people who will become your customers?
  • Price — This one is seems simple but has a huge impact over the other elements. How much does your product cost?
  • Profit — Taken together with price and product this element will ultimately help you find the right sales model.

(those elements should influence these next elements)

  • People — What kind of staff do you need to support the funnel for the product or service you are promoting?
  • Promotion — What will it take to promote your product?
  • Process — What is the process of getting someone interested in the product and moving them to the win column?

To take the alliteration a step further you might call this the Proper Protocol for a Proposed Product Promotion and People Power for Profit Performance or PPPPPPPPP for the PPPPPP.

(I kid)

We’ll explore this further in subsequent posts but consider some examples:

Example #1: SAAS start-up with affordably priced solution:

  • Product — A revolutionary cloud-based system for businesses to streamline their event management
  • Price — A subscription model from a low $15 feature set to a high $300 level per company.
  • Profit — Typical profits would be above 60%

Margins look good given that it’s a cloud-based product but with just $300 per customer per month it seems like your model should be heavy on marketing promotion, people and processes. It’s hard to justify a full inside sales team with those type of profits and so you should look to a marketing drip program over several sales channels to boost sales.

Example #2: High End Travel Solution (this one I know something about!):

  • Product — A revolutionary travel product offering subscription solutions for business travelers. Benefits are time saved and convenience. Relatively niche product.
  • Price — Higher premium than the typical ticketed model but still within the range of competition. Four figures a month per traveler.
  • Profit — Capital-intensive business. Profits are not in the SAAS range but their a factor greater than the typical companies servicing this arena. At least double figure profits.

Given the uniqueness of the product, the high cost, and competiveness you’ll need a fully staffed marketing and sales team with delineated responsibilities to address the niche market. The profit margin is pretty good all things considering so you shouldn’t skimp on marketing budgets.

There are nuances within all of these but I’ll walk you through it. Stay tuned!

Justin Hart is a senior technology, marketing and sales consultant. He sits at the intersection of marketing and sales, tears up the sidewalk and plumbs the digital depths of your organization to find efficiencies and improvements to seriously impact your bottom line.


CMO at large. I live at the intersection of AI, machine learning and marketing. It’s a busy corner! (I need to model that).