SONAR1 is a methodology to formalize inbound marketing activities to turn ‘surfers into buyers’ through the application of conversational marketing methods and conversational path principles.
Where SONAR1 Came From
SONAR1 was developed through the customer experiences of Newton Day, a London-based marketing agency specializing in B2B conversational marketing and sales enablement solutions, serving the technology market. The methodology was created as a benchmarking tool to help B2B tech businesses identify areas of sub-optimal performance in their inbound marketing processes, and to expose misalignments between sales and marketing teams in B2B companies. It is used in conversational marketing to optimize sales performance.
What Problem Does it Solve?
As a society we’ve become I-W-WIW-WIWI buyers. Most buying activity happens before individuals engage with potential suppliers. For B2B companies, it demands a different way of thinking compared to consumer sales . Decision-making for B2B purchases is (seen as) less emotional, more pragmatic – people who buy products and services have little or no personal bias in the select In most cases, it still takes a salesperson to close a deal
In the last decade, most B2B businesses have been required to transition from an outbound sales approach characterized by sales teams cold calling and blanket emailing prospective clients. The effectiveness of these methods have been undermined by advances in technology that mean up to 80% of the corporate buying process these days is conducted online. Other factors inhibiting sales lead generation effectiveness include the ability of target prospects to evade telephone calls and the introduction of data privacy legislation to protect the personal data of customers.
To overcome these challenges, what is needed is a B2B marketing approach that blends inbound marketing with an outbound sales approach. Both elements are needed to create a high-growth and predictable sales pipeline.
Unfortunately, most organizations operate dedicated marketing and sales team that don’t work as one. Nor do these departments always report to the same accountable owner in the executive team. Also, the cultures found in marketing and sales teams are vastly different. In some cases, young digital marketing teams find themselves working with mature salespeople. Often, this causes conflict; the marketers accusing the salespeople as being out of touch, while salespeople complain about the quality of useful leads being created and their efficacy as genuine opportunities for the business they serve.
Addressing these issues requires a hub and spoke review of sales and marketing processes. The starting point is to understand and articulate the customer conversational path that begins when a prospective customer shows an interest in ‘the job’ that needs to be performed that is the problem the company solution addresses. To analyze the effectiveness of incumbent systems, methods, data, tools, competencies and resources (etc.) to deliver against the task of turning ‘surfers into buyers’ requires some form of benchmarking model. This is the role SONAR1 performs.
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How Does it Work?
There are five phases to the SONAR1 model:
Identify the prospect market segments and PERSONAS. Qualify the JOBS they need to get done better, the EVENTS that create a sales prospect, interpret how buyers FRAME their requirement for a solution and WHERE they are most likely to go looking for a solution. Define the behavioral outcome you are trying to achieve. Determine how to seduce them. Define the conversational path.
SEED content that will appeal to prospective customers looking for a better way of getting their job done.
Deliver one or more content EPICs that entice a prospective customer to offer their contact details.
4. Gain Consent
Make it really easy for the prospective customer to submit their personal contact information through a Call-To-Action (CTA) mechanism.
Assign the enquiry to a salesperson.
Designing a conversational process
While SONAR1 is essentially a way of benchmarking ‘what’s not working’ to recommend improvements in current working practises, systems and data-sets, underpinning it is the conversational path theory created by Newton Day to help businesses establish a joined-up approach to winning new customers, one customer at a time–at scale.
What Are the Benefits?
SONAR1 brings value to B2B companies that use it because it:
- Rapidly exposes weak links in sales and marketing processes
- Maximizes the effectiveness of marketing spend by pinpointing the best places to invest in organizational improvement and systems while avoiding wastage–the result of a ‘leaky sales funnel’
- Minimizes sales time spent on unproductive sales leads