A number of great companies never take off because people simply never hear about them.
If you want customers, they first need to discover you. Marketing is simply leveraging channels to gain visibility for your product or service.
For every multitude of people that hear about your company, only a small percentage will take the next step to check you out and an even smaller percentage will actually buy. It’s a numbers game. You need to reach many in order to capture a few. As a small business owner, you need to fight for attention and gain mind share.
Find a way to get noticed. Build and track each step and measure your success. Focus on optimization and referrals from those who choose to buy.
Remember that the best resource you have for getting new clients are your existing ones.
Sales success is something that all businesses need to master. It’s really a numbers game. Do you know how to play to win? Do you know your business sales metrics needed to achieve true sales success?
I often meet with people who want assistance and coaching in marketing and sales. Often, these skilled business owners have little or no sales training or coaching. Many will increase their marketing in an effort to increase their leads. It seems logical that more leads will mean more sales, but is it really the answer?
I recently had a client who was one of the best sales people I know. I was surprised when he said he needed assistance with his sales and marketing. Over the last year, he had increased his territory, so he had more leads than ever, but he had just come off of one of his lowest revenue years in history.
In the course of the conversation, we talked about what had changed, he shared with me that he used to set a sales “quota” and now was no longer doing that. He also had two new markets with many new leads, but they took more time to close and they generated less revenue with the products they bought. So, he was working harder, chasing down lower quality leads that took more time and generated less revenue, and he no longer had a goal to work towards.
We spent the next six months setting sales goals, documenting his sales process, identifying where the high quality leads came from, developing a standard sales process that included scripts and consistent contact with potential customers. He is now on track to have one of his best years ever.
Quantity does not always equal quality when it comes to lead generation and closing the sale. Let’s talk about the numbers and how they translate into real sales.
- Leads: Your marketing efforts generate leads. Leads are not all created equal, some leads turn into opportunities and some leads lead nowhere. Your sales process should have a system in place that allows you to track leads, what marketing effort generated the leads, and what the success rate was off the lead. You want to know the marketing method that generates the highest number of prospects that leads to the most actual sales.
- Prospects: Prospects are the result of your leads. Prospects are those potential customers who turn into a conversation about your service. The more leads you convert into prospects, the less number of leads you will need to generate. You need to track the number of leads that you successfully convert into prospects and eventually convert into customers.
- Number of touches: How many times do you need to “touch” your client to convert them to a customer? A touch is any communication you have with your prospect. You can have a phone conversation, reach out on social media, do a presentation or send a text or e-mail. You should have a schedule and a script for each type of communication. It is important that you are consistent with your scheduled communications and your message to each and every potential customer.
- Length of the sales cycle: How long does it take you to close the deal? Timing is an important element of your sales cycle. You need to try to convert the prospect to a customer in the shortest amount of time. The longer they take to make a decision, the greater the chance is you will not close the deal.
- Conversion Ratio and other metrics: How many leads are converted to prospects? How many prospects are converted to actual sales? How many “touches” did it take to generate the sales conversion? How long was the prospect in your pipeline before they made a decision to buy or not buy your service? Tracking the metrics and understanding what is successful in the sales process is important in setting and achieving your sales goals.
Once you have a sales process and tracking system in place, you will be able to set realistic sales goals based on actual metrics. You will be able to measure the metrics and improve your sales process by identifying which leads generated the highest quality prospects and who buys your product in the least amount of time with the fewest touches by your sales force.
You will win the sales game when your goals include generating high quality leads that convert to sales with the fewest conversations or touches in the least amount of time. It’s a numbers game; make sure you know how to win it.
What is your marketing plan?
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