Strong Sales Pipeline
..how do I find more customers? The question we get asked more than any other.
“our telemarketing is pretty good – we work through the Yellow pages 9 hours each day. The problem I have is the telesales team keep leaving and I don’t understand why?”
Our number 1 question we get asked is, “how do I get more leads?”. In a world so chock full of media, which option do I take? I have an SEO specialist, an SEM specialist, I spend thousands on Google Adwords, we have a telesales team, sales reps and…I’m not sure which is working. It’s a complex problem, but there are some quick solutions.
A large part of the problem starts at the door of the marketing department. A very good friend of mine trains sales reps, and he is very good at it (he keeps a box of tissues with him while he goes around in the car with them, just in case he has to tell them the bad news!). He goes out in the car, runs workshops and trains some of the biggest businesses in the country. We discuss our businesses frequently with each other, and his problem is overwhelmingly apathy. But there is a reason for the apathy behind the sales persons demise, and that is they don’t really know what they’re selling. The marketing problem has never really been fixed. “Just go out and there and find some customers” in the complex markets of today, doesn’t work anymore. In fact, it stopped working decades ago.
The best businesses we know, have their lead generation in place. It’s a marketing engine, because it is something you can turn up or down depending on the environment (and yes we know businesses who have too many leads to cope with). It generates enquiry for the business, and it is always a mix of media. Social, mailing, advertising, web, a successful campaign has every part working harmoniously to generate sufficient leads.
The problem we see in most businesses is simply that the process starts with the media, not with the customer. We follow what every other business is doing, and Facebook seems to be the ‘thing’ they’re all doing, so we need to be ‘doing it’ as well. In most instances, it is a waste of money, and a recipe for failure. A small business we know, spends $100,000 a year on Adwords, which has been hugely successful for them. Just recently they took their eye off the ball, and failed to see a trend where Adwords stopped working for 3 months. After $30,000 or so, the owner stepped in, fired the SEO company, halted the spend and re analysed what had happened. When he worked it out, he hired another company, and they have been so successful, his spend is increasing.
Lead generation, keeping the pipeline full is much more complex today. It requires careful attention.
Keeping a healthy sales pipeline is critical to sales, growth and business success.
Everyone understands sales don’t they; the ‘commissioned’ salesman with the gift of the gab to sell you something you don’t ever need. ‘Sales’ are a crucial part of business, and they don’t usually just happen. Once the marketing works, what happens then? Is there any accountability in your sales, or just empowerment? Empowerment needs to be earned through the difficult discipline of keeping your teams accountable and achieving targets.
The Marketing Director Centre offers some unique training in sales – we actually engage in on the job coaching and training. Our Marketing Directors will work out an assessment programme for your sales team, and manage each of them with on the job coaching. We spend time with them, and go on their sales visits with them. We talk about reverse engineering the sales cost, number of calls per day, horizon sales, crucial conversations and much more. All of which has just one end result, to build up sales, and customers, for your business.
The benefits of a part time Marketing Director to a small business owner wanting a full sales pipeline
We have specialists that span all areas of marketing; from SEO to high quality sales trainers. The best solution we offer though, is a considered one. What do you want to achieve, how much do you have to spend are all important upfront questions. Who are your customers is up there as well. It pays to work carefully through the process and get it right, because it can end up generating nothing but a lot of cost.
For some companies, the training at the sales end is critical. According to US statistics, some 88% of sales people have never had any training, even the good ones. Few sales people understand what their role is. We offer an in car, on the job training with sales people, as well as workshops for sales groups. The results of this are usually immediate, with a noticeable improvement in sales performance straight away. The Marketing Director will work closely with a sales team, and work through an assessment sheet that deals with the core issues of sales performance in a live basis.
For other companies, the benefits need to occur sooner; lead generation is a pivotal skill for all Marketing Directors, and it starts at the marketing end, before a sales force ever begins to sell. We have no vested interest in any particular supplier, and will analyse your current scenario with an impartial eye. Where is the money being spent, where are the results coming from (or otherwise) and where should it all be going.
Time to tune up your marketing engine, and get that sales pipeline filled on a regular basis.