Your gateway to unlocking revenue

Your gateway to unlocking revenue

Sales can be a slow process on any suitable day, but in this economic environment, it's even slower.

But the other reason your pipeline is slow-moving is that you're always going for the big deal every time.

I get it. We love the 'big close' - very few things feel better than that. But waiting for those significant closes while the business needs revenue is vanity taking over. Or maybe you're following the prospects' questions a bit too literally.

Let’s be honest: prospects rarely buy the 'big thing' with a potential new partner from cold.

Yes, we see big tenders and RFPs, but they're competitive. Who wants you to pitch if you can avoid it?

Well, we all need a gateway in, don't we? That's where your gateway products in your sales ladder come in.

Defining a gateway product.

Easy. A short, sharp engagement that delivers value answers a problem and moves the client's business forward naturally leads to you supporting them further towards success.

The other key thing to consider is that it should be strategically disconnected.

That doesn't mean it's not a strategic piece of work. Being strategically disconnected means that the buyer doesn't have to do anything with the work after it's been done and if it doesn't work out.

For example, if the prospect buys an audit, they don't 'have' to do anything with the report.

But if they buy a performance marketing retainer, they have to do many things. First, it has to work and prove value for the investment; second, there is an internal team cost for management on their side; third, they might have to exit an existing partner or move internal resources around that were doing the work.

That requires a lot of effort and internal cost for them, so it's strategically connected to the business.

How to build a gateway product.

It's not rocket science - actually, the opposite. The simpler and clearer you can define your gateway products, the better.

Here's the recipe:


  • Features - What is it? What does it do? How does it work? What specific problem does it solve?
  • Benefit - What value does it bring? Is it a pain killer or a vitamin? What can you expect as an outcome?
  • How you go about it - What's the delivery process? What does it feel like to be part of this process? What do you need from the prospect side?
  • How long it takes - What's the duration? 1 day? 1 week? 1 month?
  • What's the investment? - What's the price?
  • Who have you done it for before? - What are the best client logos you can share?


How to use a gateway product.

So now you have a gateway or two; how do you use them?

In as many conversations as you can is the short answer. They're geared to speed up sales conversions and prospect qualification.

But as with every potential sales conversation, you need to to identify the problem you're hearing from the prospect.

A gateway product must solve a specific problem, so you need more than one. This means that when actively listening to the prospect's challenges, you can be flicking through the gateways in your head to see which ones fit this particular conversation and problem set.

You can make recommendations once you've identified a problem and the particular gateway or gateways that could help the prospect.

And because you have the card (or cards) in your back pocket, so to speak, you can bring them out as potential solutions for the prospect there and then - shortcutting the potential back-and-forth process of having to go away, work out the solution, get the prospect booked again and then go over the potential route forward.

Now, it's important to mention that we must apply the don't sell philosophy here. The approach is definitely not to shove the 'sell' down the prospects through like a corn-fed goose. We need to be consultative problem solvers and solution finders.

The price may not be on the product card. You could also suggest how many of your clients have solved the same problem before using this approach and referring to the results they've seen.

Let's wrap this up.

So, we've learned how to build out your gateway offer.

What will do for you is shortcut the sales conversation and get that prospect thinking about a clearly defined solution that you can talk about confidently. That goes a long way in sales.

But as with everything, done is better than perfect, and you'll learn more about the market fit for each gateway product every time you walk a prospect through it.

So my advice is not to create an ivory tower. Create a first version and use it as quickly as possible in a live environment.

Good luck out there.

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