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The RegTech Sales Leaders’ Playbook

Go-To Market Strategies that deliver ROI for RegTechs

With more and more regulations coming into play in a globalised economy, higher scrutiny on supply chains and greater interest in companies’ ESG goals, it’s no wonder compliance is such a concern for business leaders. And Compliance Officers, Third Party Risk Officers and Learning and Development Managers – as well as Boards – all of them are committed to getting compliance right.

Of course, as a RegTech leader you know the importance of compliance.

You know your technology helps businesses make better decisions and simplify processes. You know it effectively reduces the risk of human error and ensures businesses and people are compliant. Perhaps it even helps businesses expand into new markets.

Moreover, you know your RegTech effectively reduces risk – the kind of risk that can sink businesses and ruin reputations.

Does your market know what you can do for them?

Creating a GoToMarket strategy that delivers ROI for RegTechs

Your remit is growing your RegTech’s top line – cost-effectively, and (ideally) quickly.

The problem is all your competitors have the exact same ambition. And are targeting the same companies and people.

However, there are ways to stand out.

In this playbook from Gungho Marketing, we share our experiences from 17 years of serving RegTechs.

We’ve distilled insights from:

  • our unique, proprietary and exclusively RegTech focused database, consisting of 550,000 decision-makers working in regulated entities worldwide;
  • our average 14,000 yearly sales qualified appointments, and,
  • countless demand generation campaigns that have created $1billion in pipeline for our clients.

So along the way, we’ve learned a thing or two. And we’ve packaged our learnings to help RegTech leaders like you get your product the attention and market share it deserves.

550,000 decision-makers worlwide
14,000 yearly sales appointments
17 years serving RegTechs

Ready to learn how?

Let’s begin.

Be crystal clear on who you are, what your product does and who your RegTech serves

It may sound painfully simple, but being crystal clear on who you are, what your product does and who it serves really is the first step to revenue success.

Your Go To Market strategy will look different if your RegTech is best suited to a small, US-based banking chain versus a product that serves the global banking behemoths. And it will be different again if it’s more suited to corporate clients versus clients that exclusively deal in financial services.

So consider these questions:

  • What size of business does your RegTech serve – small, medium, large, enterprise?
  • What type of business does your RegTech serve – financial services, corporate entities, something else?
  • Which and how many jurisdictions those businesses operate in – single jurisdiction, regional, global?

Once you’ve answered these questions, a good way to validate your answers is checking for Product-Market fit.

Check for Product-Market Fit

Listening to the market – especially when you’re expanding into a new one – is critical if you want your product to land. Not only can it help you check your RegTech offers a superior experience, it can also help you understand objections and any barriers to adopting it.

There’s a number of different ways to hear directly from your target customers. You can:

  • Ask your current clients why they chose your RegTech over another product, and what features and benefits they’d like to see from future products;
  • Use a ‘listening engine’ such as AnswerThePublic to find out what search terms buyers are using to find RegTech solutions;
  • Commission market research from a consultancy – work with a RegTech industry specialist to get the most actionable insights;
  • Ask an industry database holder for insights; for example, our proprietary database has deep insights into the RegTech market, garnered from an average 50,000 actions per month across our 550,000 compliance decision-makers. [LINK to page about Gungho’s data team].
  • Buy data from an external list provider and do market research yourself: Make sure any database you access is cleansed, current and compliant to ensure you’re getting accurate information (we don’t sell any part of our database, but other providers can offer this service).

Understand how many RegTech buyers are really out there

Once you’re sure you have a solid product-market fit, it’s time to find the right audience.

Many Go To Market strategies include buyer personas – avatars of ‘typical’ buyers of your product. Buyer personas can help you tailor your Go To Market strategy for your target market, but before you start creating them, it’s worth understanding how many RegTech buyers or influencers are really out there.

Traditional compliance job roles in banks and corporates, such as Chief Compliance Officer, Anti-Money Laundering Officer, and Third-Party Risk Manager could seem like obvious targets – but depending on which jurisdiction your RegTech serves, there can be regional differences between job titles.

And if your earlier work identified that big, global or regional organisations are your target market, be prepared for a longer journey to the ultimate decision-maker. You’ll likely have many conversations with different gatekeepers, stakeholders and influencers on the way to your ideal buyer.

In fact, Gartner research suggests for typical companies between 100-500 employees, an average of seven people are involved in every buying decision. Imagine how much higher that number will be for global enterprises that with thousands, maybe 20,000 or more employees!

In that scenario, it’s critical to have a good understanding of job roles and internal networks of influence. If you can’t get through to the Head of Financial Crime through a cold approach, who else can you reach in the organisation, and how can they connect you both?

In summary, your potential market may be bigger than you think – and you may need to think of different tactics for each buyer persona.

When moving onto the next step – mapping your customer journey to your sales cycle – it’s worth checking you haven’t missed any key decision makers or influencers just because they don’t have a job title that fits neatly into a ‘typical’ compliance buyer’s profile.

As an example, the job roles in our database span very specific compliance jobs and broader roles, including those within:

  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
  • Anti-Bribery
  • Anti-Corruption
  • Audit
  • Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)
  • Credit Risk
  • Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD)
  • Financial Crime
  • Fraud
  • Payments
  • Cyber Security and information security
  • Technology Risk
  • Legal and General Counsel
  • Learning and Development (Human Resources)
  • Operations
  • Risk and Third Party Risk Management
  • Regulatory
  • Sanctions
  • Surveillance
  • Vendor Management and Procurement

Map your customer ‘s RegTech purchase journey to your sales cycle

It sounds obvious, but it’s important to know your sales cycle and its length to build realistic goals and KPIs into your Go To Market strategy.

This is where having a tight product-market fit makes a real difference to your purchase journey. If you understand exactly the pain point you solve, for exactly what buyer persona in exactly what size company, in which jurisdiction(s), you won’t waste time, effort and money chasing the wrong people.

For example, let’s say your ideal customers are Heads of Compliance at mid-size businesses operating across the EMEA region. Perhaps you’ve found it takes 18 months from first contact with you to purchase, with an average of twelve or more touchpoints including building relationships with at least three other internal influencers.

If that’s the case there’s no point setting a goal of growing 150% in six months using just three touchpoints. That’s not reality – it’s a recipe for frustration. Worse, it will demotivate your sales team.

Discovering the key moments in your existing sales cycle depends on having current, accurate data. If you have an internal demand generation team and/or a data team, you can find out where specific conversion points happen and which tactics are the most effective. Pull that data into your customer journey to highlight key moments your sales team should act on.

If you’re working with an external lead generation company you can ask how they track prospects across touchpoints and what their lead nurturing strategy looks like. A demand generation agency may even be able to benchmark the length of your sales cycle against other RegTech providers and offer pointers on how to streamline it, helping you grow faster.

Use tactics that resonate with RegTech buyers

To get the most return on investment from your marketing budget, it pays to know what works with RegTech buyers as opposed to other B2B buyers. After 17 years in the RegTech industry, we think we can share a few insights.

We’ve found that the human-to-human connection is most effective for selling to RegTech buyers. If a product claims to protect your business from risks like money laundering, financial crime or modern slavery it won’t be bought off the shelf. The stakes are so high that heads of compliance want to feel a high level of personal trust with their suppliers – most sales are closed face to face or over the phone.

Having said that there are lots of different tactics to build the know, like and trust factor and it’s worth considering the potential ROI of all of them when crafting your Go To Market strategy.

A note on measuring ROI and your pipeline

Tracking how your prospects move into and along your pipeline is key to understanding the ROI of your different marketing efforts. Keep tabs on where new prospects come from, what marketing methods resonate most with them, and where the ‘key moments’ in nurturing the prospect into a lead, and ultimately a customer, happen.

  • At any given time, only 3% of your market is actively buying. 56% are not ready, 40% are poised to begin (Source: Vorsight)
  • Lead nurturing emails generate 4-10 times the response rate of standalone email blasts (Source: SilverPop/DemandGen Report)
  • 61% of marketers say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge (Source: HubSpot)
  • 92% of all buyer interactions happen over the phone when it comes to lead generation (Source: Salesforce)
  • 85% of B2B content marketers say lead generation is their most important content marketing goal (Source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales leads at 33% lower cost per lead (Source: Forrester Research)

Tactics that have worked for our RegTech clients over the last 17 years

Product Marketing

Creating product collateral and education opportunities such as product demos helps your prospects understand who you are and how you can help them. Typical product marketing materials include:

  • Product sheets – an overview of the product, detailing what market the product serves, what pain point it alleviates, and what your RegTech achieves for your customers.
  • Tech specs – detailing the features and benefits of your product. This would also include the impact your RegTech has on businesses.
  • Product demos – a live demonstration, in person or online, of your product in action.

Product demos are particularly effective. The complex nature of compliance means buyers prefer to be shown, not told, how a particular RegTech can support their business. That’s why setting up appointments for product demos is often a KPI for sales teams – although it makes sense to ensure the demo is for the right level of buyer before committing time to it.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is favoured by many B2B marketers to generate leads – 85% of B2B marketers say lead generation is their most important content marketing goal.

Given the breadth of stakeholders for compliance products, it may be valuable to invest in a content marketing programme that educates prospects outside the traditional compliance buyer persona, for example a white paper targeted at Board members. Once you’ve created a piece of digital content, it’s straightforward to translate into other languages if your RegTech business operates globally.

Remember that white papers, lead magnets and other content marketing tactics are successful but also now ubiquitous across both B2B and B2C industries. Today 61% of marketers say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge.

To gain maximum return on any content investments you make, you should also invest in a demand generation strategy for that content. Demand generation tactics for content include paid GoogleAds or LinkedIn Ads or using an industry list (as long as its compliant with all the relevant privacy laws).

Events Marketing

Events are another way you can get in front of the right people. You can position your RegTech brand through:

  • Sponsoring key RegTech conferences
  • Running product information sessions, which could include brief product demos
  • Offering to provide RegTech speakers
  • Sending sales representatives to network at conferences.

As explained earlier, most RegTech buyers value having face to face conversations with suppliers because the stakes for their businesses are so high. If you’ve been nurturing specific prospects through your sales cycle and you know they’ll be attending a certain event, set up meetings in advance. No-one likes feeling ‘ambushed’ , but if you’ve already built up a strong relationship it’s a great opportunity to meet in person, and even give a product demo if time allows.

Branding

Heritage corporate or RegTech brands with long histories have a distinct competitive advantage when going to market. Some of the know, like, trust factor that B2B sellers need has already been acquired. Gungho Marketing’s client Dow Jones enjoyed great success with a demand generation campaign, partly due to the strong brand presence they already had in the corporate market. You can read their case study here.

However, challenger brands can even the odds by having a laser focused value proposition that speaks directly to their customers’ pain points.

This is why ensuring you have tightly aligned your RegTech product to the market pays dividends. Listening to the market, or using a current, clean database to do your research helps you create a brand proposition that puts your RegTech front of mind.

Demand Generation

Demand generation encompasses:

  • Calling people directly on the telephone: 92% of buying decisions are made over the phone, or over a virtual meeting even today according to research from HubSpot).
  • Email: 79% of B2B decision-makers list email as the most effective channel for lead generation targeting – unsurprising considering that lead nurturing emails generate 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts.
  • Direct mail: less popular these days but still a legitimate tactic.
  • Advertising: above and below the line.
  • Social media: 63% of marketers say their top channel for generating leads is social media platforms.
  • Events

Ultimately the channels you decide to use aren’t what’s important –  the results and ROI are. However it’s best and often easiest to split activities by channel to avoid confusion and doing things twice.

Internal versus external demand generation

Ultimately the channels you decide to use aren’t what’s important –  the results and ROI are. However it’s best and often easiest to split activities by channel to avoid confusion and doing things twice.

If your company does demand generation internally, it’s worth having clear lines of responsibility. Is it in sales or marketing’s remit? Do sales do calls and emails, while marketing does the rest – or is it some other mix?  Or does marketing look after lead nurturing up until a certain point (when the lead becomes ‘marketing qualified’), no matter the channel – until they pass the prospective customer over to sales?

If you’re doing your outreach in-house, make sure the data you use is cleansed, relevant, compliant and current. We would strongly recommend against buying lists – they may not be up to date, and it’s a waste of budget if half the contacts have moved jobs. Have your data team thoroughly research who’s who in your target market – LinkedIn is an obvious source of job title data.

If you outsource your demand generation then set clear, bespoke KPIs with your agency. Demand generation agencies specialise in getting results for sales teams –  make sure they’re the results that matter for your sales team.

Some key ways demand generation agencies can help:

  • Nurturing leads to gain awareness and interest in your product: companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales leads at 33% lower cost per lead.
  • Setting appointments – be clear on what level of buyer persona it makes sense to have sales appointments with.
  • Arranging meetings at industry conferences – conferences are a wonderful opportunity to meet prospective customers in real life; your sales team will get more out of their meetings if your company and products are already known to your prospects.

Breaking into ‘Most wanted’ lists – many sales teams have target lists (accounts that you just cannot break into – perhaps they already use a competitor but you know your product will serve them better). Share these lists with the lead generation company you’re using and agree a KPI around them.

A note on lead quality

Whether you do demand generation internally or externally, it’s important to agree what a quality, qualified lead looks like.

If lead generation is done internally, agree on what a marketing qualified lead (MQL) looks like, then agree at what point MQLs become sales qualified leads and are passed to the sales team for nurturing. This ensures you’re focusing efforts on leads that are most likely to convert.

If demand generation is outsourced, make sure your agency understands what criteria a lead must fulfil before setting an appointment- ensure you’re both crystal clear on what a qualified appointment looks like. If you’re working with a generalist demand generation agency rather than a specialist RegTech agency, make sure they understand who RegTech decision makers usually are and what job titles they typically have.

By shifting the emphasis onto lead quality instead of lead quantity, you’re likely to increase your conversion rates and may even shorten your sales cycle. For example, Gungho Marketing’s average return on investment is 43% – a figure derived from the fact we focus on high quality lead generation, rather than volume.

Conclusion: a checklist for success

Ultimately there are many routes to market but not all will be as profitable or as effective. As a quick recap, your Go-To-Market strategy should include:

  • A crystal clear understanding of your product and who it serves
  • A strong product-market fit
  • A deep understanding of the pain points of your audience (and their influencers)
  • Mapping your customer journey to your sales cycle – remember to include real data from real journeys to discover ‘moments that matter’ in the buying cycle
  • Tactics that resonate with RegTech buyers and their stakeholders. Human-to-human connection is highly valued by this audience.

How do we know all of this?

Since 2007, Gungho Marketing has served the global RegTech industry by generating demand for their products. In that time we’ve:

  • built a proprietary database of 550,000 RegTech buyers in 50 jurisdictions, adding 12,000 new contacts per month;
  • created more than $1BN in pipeline for our clients;
  • Set an average of 14,000 sales appointments per year
  • Supported campaigns in 11 languages;
  • helped X number of clients break into new markets;
  • acted as consultants and extensions of clients’ sales teams
  • delivered an average ROI per campaign of 43%.

If your sales team would benefit from our expertise, get in touch.

Serving the RegTech industry is all we do.