Let’s Get Practical
In our previous blogs, we covered the importance of developing and testing a lead generation methodology that will deliver reliable results. We also discussed how staying the same may cause more pain than setting a new course.
As far as introductions go, that’s quite a lot to chew on. You may also be asking how that’s going to assist you in identifying, targeting, warming, nurturing, and exploiting the untapped opportunities that exist in the markets you serve.
It all comes down to being practical. We all embrace the common wisdom that selling is a numbers game and that both talent and effort is required to produce sustainable results, but I have previously fallen into the trap of remonstrating, “I don’t care how you get it done as long as you get it done!”
Any sports coach would take serious exception to this laissez-faire approach. They concentrate on correcting the method to ensure that the natural talent is enhanced and polished and to push the effort beyond what should be possible. Ensuring that the result is greater than the sum of the parts is true synergy at work.
The emergence of web-based businesses has resulted in a lot being said around converting to an inbound marketing solution rather than relying on an outbound one. In essence, inbound revolves around attracting buyers through strategically placed messages causing the buyer to respond and react to a call-to-action. In other words, they call us to present our solution to them.
Outbound marketing relies on sales teams qualifying prospects and funnelling their efforts in order to close a deal.
Both approaches require trained and professional sales consultants who are able to correctly interpret and solve their customers’ needs.
While Nirvana may suggest that we’ll receive many more enquiries around our solutions through our inbound marketing efforts than our growth targets demand, reality suggests that most businesses still rely on going out to the buyer, establishing a connection and then encouraging a purchase by solving needs.
There are certain ingredients required in both approaches when it comes to working with leads.
- Correctly identifying the buyer (decision maker) early in the process
- Sifting out those that will not benefit from your solutions
- Making a meaningful connection with the qualified buyer
- Gaining permission to proceed in understanding their unique needs
Should we methodically process the correct number of qualified leads, we’ll grow the sales funnel and produce predictable results. This is where understanding the correct “effort” is essential.
To produce a sales result we must follow a formula.
One example that we like to work with is composed of 4 key metrics.
Definitions are always important when discussing such examples in order to prevent confusion.
Consider the following:
LEAD – A business or person you have qualified by ensuring that they have a need for your product/service.
OPPORTUNITY – A lead who has expressed an interest in you product/service, who you now wish to sell to.
PIPELINE – The sales funnel of opportunities at various stages of the buying cycle.
TIME TO CLOSE – The time taken to close a deal from initial engagement to signed order.
DEAL SIZE – The value of the deal.
CONVERSION RATIO – A sales funnel suggests that you start with a number of LEADS. Only some of these convert to OPPORTUNITIES. Some OPPORTUNITIES, CLOSE. For example:
- Leads Ratio is 10:1(You visit 10 leads before you are asked to submit a proposal)
- Opportunity Ratio is 5:1(You close 1 in 5 of the proposals submitted)
- Result = You’ll need to qualify and establish contact with 50 LEADS to generate 1 SALE
- Deals in Pipeline (x)
- Average deal size (x)
- Conversion Ratio. (/)
- Average Time to Close
These metrics are not always something that you’ll have on hand but they are important measurements of sales success.
If you don’t have these metrics available, put steps in place to ensure that you do.
Visit Matrix Marketing’s YouTube channel to understand the dynamics involved in improving these metrics and how it affects your sales results.
Drive your performance into the black!
Missed Episode 1 or 2?