Why The Same Challenges You Face When Trying To Lose Weight Also Prevent You From Getting Leads
If generating leads, finding more sales opportunities and closing more new customers were easy, everyone would be doing it. You wouldn’t need any software tools, agency experts or web content with tip after tip after tip.
It would be like walking or breathing — you just do it. But it’s not. It’s extremely hard to generate leads, sales opportunities and new customers on a consistent month-over-month basis.
Because it’s so hard, we look for analogies or metaphors that help us explain what’s required to do the hard work associated with consistent month-over-month revenue generation. One of the best metaphors is losing weight. Almost everyone wants to be a little thinner, and most of us want to be quite a bit thinner, but losing weight and keeping it off is hard. Almost everyone can relate to how hard it is to lose and keep off weight.
Most people try and fail. Looking at why provides some insights into why lead generation and revenue growth is also so challenging.
Change Your Lifestyle, Change Your Go-To-Market Plan
Almost anyone can go on a diet and lose weight. It’s not hard to eat less, choose healthier foods and work out for a week or two. But then when you go off the diet, you gain the weight back, and in some cases, you gain more than you lost.
What every nutritional expert tells you is to change your lifestyle, so you’re not on a diet but rather creating healthier eating and physical fitness habits. It takes time to break old habits and create new, better habits. The people who use this approach are some of the most successful at losing weight and keeping it off over the long term.
Herein lies the secret for long-term revenue, too. You have to change the way you go to market. You have to change your marketing and your sales approaches, and you have to do it for the long term. It can’t be something you do for a couple of months with the hope that it’s going to work.
You have to go all-in, changing how you think about marketing and sales, just like Hernán Cortés, who in 1519 instructed his men to burn their boats so they could not return home. They were going to have to make it in the new world. That’s how you have to think about this if you want to see success.
Once you make the decision to run sales and marketing differently, you will see results. But it’s highly unlikely that this transformation will be without its challenges. Instead of retreating back to the old tactics, stick with it, double down, lean in and work harder to make the new techniques work for you. With effort, you will push past the challenges, and the results will be exponentially better than before you started. We've seen it over and over again.
Some Tasks Are Going To Be Uncomfortable At The Start
When you start a new diet, you have to eat differently, work out for the first time and cut out some of your favorite foods that are bad for you. This is all uncomfortable; some people even get grumpy when they diet. The longer you work on changing your habits, the easier it gets, but at the beginning it can be hard.
This type of marketing and sales is going to be equally challenging. We’re going to be recommending some tactics you’ve never done before. We’re going to be suggesting you stop doing some tactics that you might have been using for a long time. We’re going to be teaching you some techniques that will require executive buy-in and support. We’re going to be showing you some tactics that might seem, on the surface, to be counterintuitive. But what we’re suggesting is proven to work, even if they feel uncomfortable or strange to you.
Just like any new habits, the longer you do them, the more comfortable you’ll get and the better they’re going to work. If you only get a couple of leads in the first month, that’s not a time to panic or get upset. Instead, recognize that you’re finally getting inbound leads, and look to optimize or double down on the tactics that are producing those leads. Before you know it, five leads will be 10 leads, then 20 leads, then 50 leads and then 500 leads. You have to stick with it.
You’re Going To Want To Quit
Human beings hate change. Harvard Business Review identified 10 reasons people resist change, and it’s because of this reluctance to change that people often quit on their diets and quit on their new marketing and sales initiatives. Let’s be 100% honest: It’s easier to quit than stick with a new diet. It’s easier to do what you’ve always been doing (even if it’s not working) than to do something completely different and do it for an extended period.
There is going to be pressure to quit. Pressure from internal team members. Pressure from people who don’t fully understand why you want to change. Pressure from people who have agendas to protect. Change takes leadership, strength, commitment and patience.
Just like when you diet, people will try to sabotage you to make themselves feel better. People will try to get you off your diet because they want to eat poorly or don’t want to work out. Internal fortitude is all you have to push past these distractions and stick to your guns. That’s how you lose weight. You cannot be deterred from your goals. You’ll need the same strength to build a revenue generation machine.
There Will Be Days When You Think It’s Not Working
You’ll need a long-term perspective if you want this to work, just like you need a long-term perspective on losing weight. No one loses 10 pounds in the first day, and almost no one gets 10 leads in the first few minutes of a new marketing campaign.
In fact, doctors don’t recommend fast weight loss programs, because they are unhealthy and not sustainable. Similarly, most of the fast-start marketing programs that do generate leads quickly are hard to sustain and often produce low-quality leads.
As you start changing your sales and marketing approach, you’ll have good days and bad days, just like dieting. Some days you’ll do well, while other days you might cheat. Don’t be discouraged. Having a bad day is no reason to give up your entire weight loss effort. Having a bad month for lead gen and revenue growth is no reason to quit. Instead, double down and work harder to identify what might be wrong and how to fix it.
Revenue is earned! It’s going to take hard work. The failures you experience will help you drive improvements, just like dieting.
You Can’t Cheat
Want to lose weight? You can’t cheat. Every time you cheat, you must work harder to make up for that cheating. Improving marketing and sales is similar. If we suggest your budget be dedicated to lead gen activities and you insist on working on a logo redesign, it’s like you’re eating cheesecake and expecting to lose weight.
If we move efforts from lead gen to branding, there are going to be consequences in terms of actual results. You’ll see fewer leads, and then we’ll have to work harder to cover the lower levels of performance, just like you would have to work out harder and eat fewer calories to cover your cheesecake indulgence.
The more you cheat, the more your results suffer. The more you deviate from the agreed-on lead gen, sales opportunity and new customer closing tactics, the less revenue we’ll be able to help you create. We can help keep you focused, we can motivate you to stay on task and we can remind you of the impact on results, but ultimately it does come down to you and your choices. Just like when you diet, doctors and nutritionists can guide you, but you decide what to eat and how to work out.
Improve Your Chances Of Being Successful
You have many ways to improve your ability to lose weight. You can get an app on your phone to track your calories. You can hire a trainer to help you work out at the gym.
You can have food delivered to your home that is healthy and natural. You can have meals prepared for you. If you do these, you’ll see better results. If you do just one, your chances of seeing results are going to be lower. The same holds true with marketing and sales improvements.
You can use technology to help you gain insights into what marketing tactics are working better. You can use sales technology to help your salespeople consistently track and monitor your opportunities. You can hire people who have experience improving sales and marketing at companies like yours. You can apply new tactics to provide your prospects with a buyer journey that stands out when compared to your competition. The more you do, the better your results.
If you try to do this on your own, and you’ve never done any of this before, your chances of success are going to be lower. Just like dieting, you’re going to be less effective on your own compared to having a team of people working with you.
It All Comes Down To Priorities
How important is losing weight? Does your life depend on it? If it does, I imagine you’re going to be highly motivated. But if it’s just to look a little better in your clothes, then it’s likely that you won’t be 100% committed, and the results will show.
How important is improving your revenue generation? Does the company’s health and long-term viability depend on it? If it does, then you have to invest both time and money to make the changes necessary in both sales and marketing to create the revenue generation machine you need.
If your business is fine and it would be nice to have a few more leads, I’m going to say that you probably won’t stick with anything new long enough to see it change, and the work required to change your habits is going to be too hard to stick with for long enough to create new habits. You’ll stop and go back to what you’ve always done, and that’s fine. What we’re talking about here is not for everyone. It’s not for every CEO, VP of marketing or VP of sales.
You have to want to lose weight for our approach to work. But when you do, it works really well. In fact, it works so well it becomes a sustainable competitive advantage that positions your company for new levels of growth and new milestones. It also allows you to focus on other areas of the company that might also need your attention, like finance or customer service.
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