Because the sales cycle is a lot more buyer-centric, where sales teams are typically not in the conversation during the first 60% to 90% of the decision-making process, this can pose some pretty big challenges for creating scalable, predictable revenue growth.
In this post, we’ll dive into the root of this problem and, more importantly, what you can do about it.
“In God We Trust; All Others Must Bring Data”
While many CEOs and sales directors at colocation centers rely on the same playbook today as they have for the past 5 or 10 years, it’s important to do a reality check and make sure that adequate systems and processes are in place to optimize your success given today’s buyer’s journey.
W. Edwards Deming, an American engineer, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and management consultant, is famously quoted as professing, “In God we trust; all others must bring data.”
This is a pretty powerful concept.
Cover All Four Boxes to Avoid Getting Your Colocation Center's Butt Kicked
The way we break down revenue acceleration, also known as sales cycle acceleration, is into four distinct phases:
- Attracting – how to attract the right strangers to your website and turn them into visitors
- Converting – how to convert those visitors into leads
- Closing – how to close those leads into clients
- Delighting – how to delight clients so that they turn into promoters and evangelists of your colocation center, and so they fuel the cycle and bring you more strangers
It’s absolutely critical that you show up in all four phases.
Learn from the Yankees and the Red Sox
We often use a baseball analogy to explain revenue acceleration.
If you think about the players that typically go out on a baseball field, you have your outfield, infield, pitcher, and catcher.
For example, the New York Yankees showed up in Boston at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox have all 25 of their players ready to go, but for some reason, only two players from the Yankees showed up.
What would happen to the Yankees’ chances of winning?
The Yankees would be completely decimated. They could have their best-starting pitcher (their ace) and their best catcher or position player. But if they only have two players and the other team is covering all nine positions on the field and has another 16 players ready to go in reserves between the bullpen and the dugout, it’s very, very difficult for the Yankees to compete against the Red Sox.
Along the same lines, if you’re not covering all four boxes – attract, convert, close, and delight -- if you’re doing a little bit in the attract phase – just worrying about getting visitors to your website – and you don’t have good conversion paths that are optimized for your ideal clients – if you don’t have conversion paths that are designed to get people to re-engage to drive them further along in the sales cycle, it’s going to be a problem.
If you haven’t thought about what it will take to convert and close more of those leads into clients, it will be a big problem.
If you haven’t thought through your strategy of delighting your clients, because in a recurring revenue-based business like most colocation data centers are, let’s face it. It’s not just about getting new clients signed up. It’s about making sure that they’re happy. So they stay. And so they eventually are able to upsell- or cross-sell- candidates. And eventually, a small percentage of them will become your promoters and your evangelists.
The flip side? If you completely drop the ball, your clients become negative evangelists and negative promoters.
People Buy Colocation Centers That They Trust
And that's a dangerous proposition in the age of Yelp, Amazon, and Google Reviews. (We consulted with a colocation data center a few months ago that had this exact problem when they approached us.)
So if you want to focus on creating scalable, predictable revenue growth, we must keep all four boxes in mind.
Remember, people buy from people that they trust. We can’t overemphasize that enough.
What kind of data and metrics are you monitoring as you look to scale revenue? How many of those four boxes do you have covered? And is your team competing more like the Yankees or the Red Sox example explained in this post? Let us know where you’re at in the Comments section.