Why your perceived issues may have deeper roots.
Discover lead generation solutions and start improving.
Many business leaders are surprised to find that their investment in lead generation, hiring salespeople or buying marketing software didn’t fix their lead generation, sales and marketing challenges.
Why is this? It’s because lead generation and sales problems are the most easily visible. So it’s natural to attack them first. When discussing challenges, do you ever say things like:
- “We don’t get enough meetings.”
- “Our closing rate is 90% when we get in front of the right people.”
- “The problem is that the meetings we get are not qualified.”
- “We keep hiring salespeople, but performance is not there. ”
Thinking they’ve got a bead on the target, a company funds a lead generation or sales solution to “solve” the issues.
The result is often many thousands spent on lead generation companies, salespeople or marketing technology — without anything to show for it.
Most of the time, your symptoms aren’t the cause. But they can lead to known pain points. For example, your knee hurts a lot, but it turns out you have a foot problem!
A first step is a deep-dive business diagnostic. (You still need the right messages, people, process and technology for campaign design and execution. We’ll cover that in the future. This part is about examining fundamentals that often get missed.)
We hear this a lot when we want clients to start with this step:
“Why are you talking about a business diagnostic? I want leads and clients, not a management consultant!”
But an end-to-end diagnostic is not a traditional consulting exercise. The approach, when done right, never fails to have a major impact on lead generation and closed business. It also yields new business insight and opportunity that were sitting in plain sight!
If you already have a written plan, that’s great. But be honest: Is it written or do you just “know a lot about your business”?
It may sound like this only applies to larger companies that already invested in serious sales and marketing capabilities. That’s not the case. Someone handles new business. Maybe you?
Now we’re going to show you how we ask the right questions to get next-level answers that create clarity and set the stage for improvement.
START WITH MONEY
Get your key players together and capture honest answers to the following questions:
- What revenue growth or decline do you see over the past three years?
- How have your gross margins changed over the past three years?
- What is your current sales investment?
- What is your cost of sales?
- What is the ROI on that investment?
- How much is an average new client worth on an annual basis?
Once you get this written down, you’re pointing yourself in the right direction — toward new & more profitable clients.
Next, answer these questions to lower your risk of wasted investment in new business and set the stage for improvement:
- How well are sales and marketing aligned with your strategic objectives?
- Are your sales and pricing policies clearly articulated? Enforced? If not, why?
- How do you price a product or service, and what was your rationale for creating those prices?
- How effectively is your sales apparatus managed? Using what metrics?
- How are your incentives for sales and management people aligned with your strategic goals?
- Has your cost of sales fluctuated over the past years? Why?
- How many of your clients are profitable? How many are losing you money?
- What’s your per-client revenue “break-even point” for understanding an account’s contribution to profitability?
- Do your salespeople command knowledge of the industry and major competitors? (Note: If trained properly, everyone in sales should be able to make a cogent presentation to you as if they were a competitor.)
- Has everyone in sales and marketing been properly trained for the role they have currently — especially you or your sales management?
Interpreting your answers:
Exploring the questions above usually reveals a different perspective on what you thought your pain points were.
Every business is different, but we typically find that this process yields insight in the following new business development areas:
- You can clearly see which clients provide the most revenue and profit for your firm.
- You will spot gaps in the resources (people, processes, technology) needed to create an effective, end-to-end lead generation, sales and marketing program.
- You may discover a need to create more “outcome accountability” for sales and marketing efforts. That goes for your team, partners, vendors and yourself.
- You may see that you need a better strategy for pricing your offerings, maximizing closed sales, and driving up client retention and profit.
- You may not have a clear path from high-level strategy to sales campaign design and execution.
This is a basic approach to the business diagnostic. If you’re still scratching your head after doing this exercise, you may want and need a more detailed evaluation and go forward plan. Please click here to schedule a no-obligation action session with our team. We’ll dig in and find some answers together.
The business diagnostic is only the beginning. Don’t stop here. The full approach includes a series of strategy, design and execution steps. Future articles will showcase examples and further instructions to help business leaders win the new revenue battle:
- Foundational Inquiry – Business Diagnostic, Messaging, Sales, Content and Marketing Campaign Strategy
- Lead Generation and Prospecting – Campaign Design and Execution
- Opportunity Creation and Closing
- Sales Technology System Selection, Implementation and Management
Let’s talk about Lead Generation Solutions!
If you want answers now or guidance on how to apply the information you uncovered please click here and we will schedule a time to talk about our no-obligation action workshop.