“These Leads Suck!” – How Market Research Led to a 2.5x Profit Increase in 6 Months

Client Background

Brad Blazar, founder off Blazar Group LLC, specializes in assisting real estate entrepreneurs in securing funding. The amount of capital he helps his clients raise ranges from $1 million to $100 million.

Over the course of his career, Brad has facilitated over $2 billion in transactions. His knowledge and expertise is most valuable to clients seeking to raise $5 million or more.

Brad not only understands real estate regulations, but also how to secure the pivotal interest of high-net-worth-individuals (HNWI).

Through his consulting services, Brad helps clients engage potential backers and navigate complexities of the funding process.

This case study shows how market research led to a 2.5x profit increase in 6 months for Blazar Group LLC.

The Problem

The sales ecosystem within Blazar Group faced multiple challenges.

The team was overstaffed and misaligned with the buyer journey, marketing efforts, and the sales process. This resulted in the inundation of low-quality leads.

Often, a “lead” was nothing more than a haphazardly submitted email address.

Consequently, close rates were painfully low and scheduled calls were often “no-shows.”

To make matters worse, client acquisition employed a forceful approach. This attracted clients who were looking to raise a relatively low amount of capital (about $1 million).

Eventually, Brad and team became overwhelmed by calendars filled with fruitless calls.

The monthly close rate teetered between 0.5% to 2.5%, pushing Brad to realize the need for transformation.

Profitability declined as both the sales team and Brad himself were spending extensive time with unqualified prospects.

Results Snapshot

Through shifts in thinking and by honing the quality & intent of generated leads… Be Known was able to make a massive impact upon this client’s business:

BK Case Study Image 1

The case of Brad Blazar serves as a testament to the pivotal role of market research in redefining lead quality, increasing close rates, and, ultimately, more than doubling profitability.

This study illustrates how strategic insights can yield impressive turnarounds in the most challenging sales environments.

Challenge 1: Web Copy Was Too Generic

The first challenge we faced was an excessively broad messaging strategy.

Additionally, we lacked essential customer data needed for more effective targeting.

Approach: Identify and Assess the Highest Value Customers

Our comprehensive approach included extensive customer research, consisting of surveys and 1-on-1 interviews.

The process began with the distribution of surveys to all audience segments. This encompassed everyone on Blazar’s contact list from the previous 12 months: Past and current clients as well as non-customers.

The objective was to first gain a holistic understanding of the customer base.

To determine the highest-value customers, both quantitative and qualitative metrics were employed.

Client Recommendations

We asked Brad (who was also one of the closers) and his team to identify the top clients. This provided us with a starting point for the ideal customer profile (ICP).

Spending Patterns

We employed quantitative analysis of spending behavior to identify high-value customers.

Quick Closings

We also looked at quantitative data on the speed of deal closures to further refine the selection.

Top 5% Best Customers

Finally, our initial assessment produced the top 5% of clients. This number represented those with the financial capacity necessary to benefit most from Brad’s services.

The next step involved conducting personalized interviews with the coveted top 5% of high-value customers.

Interviews were conducted via Zoom. Each call revealed valuable keywords, phrases, verbiage, and buying intent signals that were absent from the existing messaging.

However, a key insight emerged during this process: customers were approaching Brad at different stages of the sales funnel with diverse needs.

This was a vital aspect of the buyer journey that wasn’t reflected in the current marketing strategy.

We discovered this through a call-to-action that we included in the survey. After answering a host of questions, respondents were invited to book a call with Brad and his team.

Remarkably, this resulted in 80 booked calls out of 160 contacts that completed the survey, revealing a latent demand. We now use this exact survey as the foundation for future communications and lead qualification.

By leveraging both quantitative and qualitative insights gathered from the survey, we were able to segment customers in a number of ways.

We continued to optimize the qualification process and increased close rates from 7% to 10%.

However, before we could achieve those metrics, we had to actually develop and implement the new messaging.

Challenge 2: Web Copy Wasn’t Resonating With The Target Market

Our client’s website, landing pages, brand colors, font choices, and overall design lacked focus and overall aesthetic appeal.

Furthermore, its out-of-tune messaging suggested a misunderstanding of the target audience.

Approach: Competitor Research

We came to the conclusion that Brad’s target audience needed to be approached like businesses instead of customers.

To gain a deeper understanding of this new audience, we embarked on a multifaceted approach.

First, we conducted competitor research to learn what kind of user experience (UX) was currently performing well in the industry.

This involved an exhaustive examination of competitor strategies. We chose 2 main avenues.

Analyzing Google SERPs

We combed through Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) to identify patterns and trends in the top-ranking content and design choices.

This gave us the basics of what users were searching for and what competitors were doing right in terms of SEO.

Social Profile Analysis

We analyzed platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to determine what was resonating with the target audience.

This helped us pinpoint elements that were driving engagement and brand awareness.

Next, we set out to reshape our client’s online presence by employing a series of tactics.

Effortless User Experience

We recognized the importance of making it effortless for visitors to land on the page, learn about Brad’s services, and schedule a call.

We revamped the call scheduling process, eliminating all unnecessary barriers.

Visitors can now schedule a call by entering their information directly into a user-friendly form on the site.

Hyper-Targeted Messaging and Design

We published messaging that spoke directly to the top 5% of potential clients by addressing specific business requirements.

In tandem with refining the messaging, we redesigned the entire website.

This encompassed overhauling brand colors, typography choices, and the design aesthetic.

The result was an authoritative image that aligned with Blazar Group’s industry positioning.

New research gave birth to better messaging for Brad and his team but the original problem remained.

Challenge 3: Low-Quality Lead Flow

The heart of the problem was in the marketing strategy. The current model revolved around offering low-ticket books & digital products priced between $10 to $100. 

Sold in the hope that they would naturally ascend to higher ticket products in a timely manner.

While these offers attracted attention, the revenue generated from them wasn’t justifying the ad spend.

To make matters worse, when the sales team followed up with leads who had purchased these low-ticket items, they didn’t convert into paying customers.

The disconnect was between what the sales team believed to be a promising lead and the reality of the situation.

A fundamental shift in mindset was needed but had to be delivered tactfully.

The crucial message to both marketing and sales was this: Even though someone has made a low-ticket purchase, they shouldn’t be considered a high-value lead.

However, this change was likely to disrupt revenue operations and leave the entire sales team in a state of confusion.

Approach: Restructure Revenue Operations

Our approach to the low-quality leads conundrum was akin to optimizing a manufacturing process in a warehouse.

Here’s the analogy we came up with:

Imagine a scenario where each machine in a warehouse is optimized for maximum output per hour.

This results in excess parts because the machine is optimized to produce as many parts as possible, not as many as needed.

Now imagine that every machine within the warehouse is optimized the same.

Soon, the warehouse will be inundated with excess parts cluttering up production, resulting in an inefficient warehouse system.

Applying this analogy to the current situation, we recognized that Brad and team were generating a high volume of leads that were unlikely to convert.

The solution required us to change the definition of a lead.

A lead would no longer be a potential buyer with a phone number. It had to signify a more promising prospect.

Next, we had to restructure operations. We introduced an intermediary step between lead generation and closing the sale.

After a prospect filled out a form, they were no longer routed directly to the closer. Instead, they went to a dedicated team member responsible for further qualification.

The restructuring produced 2 primary outcomes:

  1. Leads were more thoroughly vetted before reaching the closing stage.
  2. The sales team spent less time chasing down leads with minimal potential, and instead, prioritized those more likely to convert.

The results were tangible and transformative.

The newfound efficiency in lead management filled the sales team’s calendar. These new leads were high-quality and actionable.

Their potential for closing had also been maximized, which caused a surge in conversions.

But, despite the apparent success, the sales team didn’t respond favorably. From their perspective, they were simply getting less leads to work with.

Challenge 4: Sales Wasn’t Aligned With Marketing

Some individuals expressed discontent over the perceived decrease in the overall number of leads.

Furthermore, it became apparent that everyone was grappling with the disruption in an established workflow.

Approach: Educate and Incentivize the Sales Team

For the sales team to effectively convert who was coming in, they needed a better understanding of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) vs. Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs).

Additionally, sales goals (from the top down) were unclear. A lack in clarity accompanied by a lack of quantifiable objectives required a concerted effort in reeducation.

To that end, we employed several initiatives to bridge the gap and foster buy-in.

Educational Workshops via Zoom

To ensure everyone was on the same page, we organized informative virtual workshops.

These sessions served as a platform to educate the sales team on current changes and expected benefits. It also provided an opportunity for open dialogue, enabling the team to voice their concerns and seek clarifications.

Strategic Downsizing

Recognizing the need for a leaner and more agile sales team, we made the decision to downsize by 40%.

This move was not arbitrary. It was a calculated step towards creating a team that was perfectly aligned and optimized for the new lead qualification process.

Role Restructuring

Pivotal changes to the composition of the sales team were made.

We let go of one unnecessary Account Executive (AE) and introduced a new Business Development Representative (BDR). This individual was tasked with responsibilities including lead qualification and guiding prospects through the buyer journey.

The sales team saw that those unwilling to adapt to the new model struggled to find their place within it.

This realization underscored the importance of embracing change and encouraged buy-in.

Paradigm Shift in MQLs

Moreover, the revamped process led to a paradigm shift in how the sales team perceived MQLs.

They witnessed firsthand that these new MQLs were not only valuable but also much more likely to convert.

The shift in perception solidified the alignment between sales and marketing. Both teams recognized the mutual benefits from a more cohesive and efficient process.

Result: 2.5x QoQ Profitability Within 6 Months

The culmination of our efforts yielded remarkable results for Brad Blazar and the entirety of his business.

Not only did we generate measurable outcomes but we also reshaped the entire landscape of business operations.

Here are the notable outcomes.

2.5x Increase in Profitability

Our client experienced a 2.5x quarter-over-quarter increase in profitability as a direct result of an increased close rate, reduced costs, and increased offer price.

Enhanced Lead Quality and Intent

Significant improvement in the quality and intent of leads generated from marketing efforts.

204% Increase in Close Rate

Within a 6-month period, close rates catapulted from an average of 2.25% over 18 months to 8.5%. As of September 14, 2023, it stands at 10%-15%, reflecting a transformative leap in revenue.

Successful High-Ticket Offer Closures

The average high-ticket offer went from $3,000 to $25,000.

Saved Time and Increased Capacity

We strategically reduced call volume to focus exclusively on the highest intent leads. Not only did we save time (and stress) but we also enabled the sales team to engage more with higher-converting prospects.

Substantial Cost Savings

Our client experienced significant cost savings on multiple fronts:

  • Reduced ad spend resulted in immediate financial relief.
  • Downsizing the sales team provided an additional $120,000 per year.

Increased Gross Revenue Potential

Our client is now poised to triple their company’s gross revenue using the current strategies as a launchpad.

Owner’s Financial Prosperity

Perhaps most significantly, Brad Blazar reported making more money in the past nine months than he had in several years.

This achievement not only reflects the organizational success of our strategy, but also the profound impact on the owner’s financial well-being.
If you’re ready for the next growth phase of your business, schedule a free strategy call with us. We’ll discuss how you can improve lead quality and spend your money better.

Ready To See How We Can Do The Same For You?

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