Having More Leads Almost Never Produces More Revenue
You want more leads. Or do you? Don’t you really want more new customers and more revenue? Of course you do.
If you go from three new leads a month to 300 new leads a month (we’ve done that before) but you can’t turn those 300 leads into new customers, what is the point? Your marketing must have revenue generation goals associated with it, or else you’re on the fast track to failure.
In our experience, most companies are ill equipped to handle the increase in lead flow. Think about your own business. If we doubled the amount of leads you’re currently working with, what would happen? Would your sales team know what to do? Would your current sales process work just as well? Would your prospects get a great experience with your now overworked sales team? Probably not! Leads would go uncovered, calls and clicks would get missed, prospects would be upset and they would not feel safe working with your company. We've seen this too.
We see this over and over again. Making improvements in marketing without making improvements in sales execution is a recipe for failure.
Here’s how to ensure your sales execution is tuned up to match your newfound inbound marketing lead flow.
Look At Your Sales Process
You need a documented buyer-journey-centric sales process that covers every email, every meeting, every content requirement, every scoring system and every outside touch point required to move a prospect from sales-ready lead to new customer.
Your sales team should be able to look at the process flow map and know exactly where they are with every single one of their prospects. They should know what comes next, what email needs to be sent, what meetings are coming up and what prep work is required for those meetings. They need to know when to send videos and advocacy emails. Each and every touch point needs to be strategically designed and documented so every rep is doing the same exact action at the same time for each prospect.
This is going to ensure that every one of your prospects gets a great and remarkable experience with your company. It’s going to ensure that you can make subtle adjustments and run experiments on the sales process, knowing the results are repeatable across your entire team. In the end, this is the way you reduce sales cycle times and increase close rates in a systematic and predictable way.
Identify Content Requirements For Sales
Prospects want content during their visits to your website and prospects want more content during their interactions with salespeople. Knowing what type of content to use, when to send it and how to present it in context to each prospect’s specific challenges and buyer journey is key.
For example, do you have video for people who like to watch, research studies for people who love data and e-books for people who like graphical representations of content? You also need role and industry oriented content, too. The more specific the content and the more contextually relevant, the better the prospect experience and the better the results.
Get Funnel Analytics
How do you know what’s working if you don’t have any data? You might not be closing any new customers, but is the problem at the top, middle or bottom of the sales funnel? You need full-funnel metrics in real time and you need to be comparing the data on a monthly basis.
Identify The Goal-Line Funnel Metrics
As I’ve said many times, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never know when you get there. More leads isn’t a quantitative measure of success. You should know exactly what you need your funnel to look like to drive a revenue run rate that matches your revenue goals and targets. How many visitors do you need? What site-wide conversion rate is required? What about marketing-qualified leads to sales-accepted leads and sales opportunities? You need all that funnel-related conversion rate data to be synced up with your program.
Once you know what your end-state funnel should look like, and you already know what your current state funnel looks like, then you can identify the delta between where you are and where you need to be. This gives you the information you need to create the program recommendations that drive to your end-state funnel.
If you don’t have this, or if your agency is not talking to you about this, you’re on a trip with no map, no GPS and no idea if and when you’ll arrive at your final destination. Not good.
Use The Newfangled Tools
Sales enablement, like marketing, is quickly becoming hyper quantitative and 100% analytical. Embrace all of the new tools available to help you move from art to science. Want to know if your prospects are on your website right now? We can do that. Want to know how many pages and what pages your prospects visited when they came to your website? We can do that. Want to listen to phone calls with your sales reps and prospects? We can do that. Want a custom dashboard that shows you all of your funnel metrics in one place, updates it in real time and provides alerts when certain benchmarks are achieved? We can do that.
How about a virtual meeting room where you can invite prospects, post content, track interactions, enable people to invite their colleagues and use these interactions to predict close rates? Yes, we can do that, too. So many options are available when it comes to technology and software that will help you close deals faster and more frequently, but you have to get started thinking differently today!
Changing sales behaviors and sales processes that have been ingrained into your sales team’s day-to-day activities is heavy lifting. Any change management process has to be thought out, planned and strategically executed by people who excel at sales process improvements, especially one that deals with your pipeline and top-line revenue growth. Sales consulting, sales coaching and sales training is not something you want your marketing team working on. Instead, look for experienced sales consulting professionals with years and years of transformational sales experiences.
Next, consider looking at process before you start looking at software, tools and sexy content upgrades. It’s just like our “strategy before tactics” approach to marketing. You need the same approach with sales improvement, too. What process changes do you need to make first? Once you make those, you can look at software, tools and other widgets to enhance sales effectiveness.
Before you know it, you’ll be closing more new customers, doing it in less time and getting more highly qualified leads because your sales team is now tightly aligned with marketing and your company has a single revenue focus that is performing.
Square 2 Marketing – Revenue Is Earned With Experience, Methodology And Insights!