Companies are currently planning their 2017 initiatives. Corporate typically sets the revenue goal (okay, they may ask for input, but …) A portion of the objective comes from an expectation of recurring revenue / customer retention. An element is expected growth from existing customers. Maybe there will be a branch opening or an acquisition. Perhaps you\’re funding for new salespeople; an eCommerce platform; an incentive program to capture discretionary business or other tactical initiatives. Another element to consider is reaching out to target profiles (for product or longer-term accounts) to generate and close leads. After all, would you / your sales manager be interested in new customers?
And after all, isn\’t that what sales and marketing is all about? Generating new opportunities while also servicing existing accounts. if salespeople are not selling, are they salespeople are are they account managers?
Gary Davis from NitroMojo recently shared these thoughts regarding lead generation. While administering the process is only an element of lead generation, it references back to an old saying … \”you need to inspect what you expect\” (otherwise you don\’t know what you got.) From Gary:
Lead generation is important, however, many companies avoid this initiative. Why?
Maybe you are a company who is reluctant to spend (more) money on creating sales opportunities (also referred to as “lead generation” and it infers new accounts and product-specific sales) because you’re:
- not convinced that there will be adequate follow by your sales team, or
- you have no way to measure results to show that the marketing spend to gather interest by customers is truly generating sales.
Don’t feel alone … these are common roadblocks to driving revenue in the B2B world.
The hard fact is your competitors may be devising plans to steal your customers and cripple your bottom line. Business is more war than ever before … especially with declining margins and stagnant markets. Either that disturbs you / your management team, leaves you feeling hopeless or motivates you to take their business. Your customers now have more buying options than ever before. All claim product availability and low price. The basics of customer service are assumed. The path to protecting your customers and growing sales needs to place generating sales leads and new opportunities near the top of the list, whether you are a manufacturer or distributor, or you place revenue at risk.
When generating a continual stream of sales leads to drive revenue is recognized as equally important as the quality of your products/service, the importance of retooling the culture and process in how you treat sales leads becomes easier to digest. Yep, change can be hard – but rewarding.
Accountability is king!
No doubt there are a hodge-podge of players who need to touch sales leads. Do you wonder what’s really going on with the sales leads you generate from trade shows, ads, web content and direct/e- marketing?
Consider conducting a 3-month experiment within your organization. It may be a little tedious but could be eye-opening.
Commit to a program where you track every sales lead from the moment of birth to outcome by contacting the sales lead (the suspect / prospect) directly. Ask the ‘customer’ if they received sales follow up, if they made a purchase and if they ultimately purchased your products.
You’ll learn so much from this! – and when your customers tell you their experiences it makes it so much easier to drive top down change and improvement.
Garry Davis is VP and Founder of NitroMojo – a technology designed for manufacturers who sell through multiple sales rep/agent models and distribution channels. NitroMojo is on the Salesforce AppExchange.
Achieving revenue objectives requires a multi-pronged approach. It requires sales and marketing working to common ends and taking the initiative. Growth companies take business from those who are more \”content\”. An integrated sales and marketing approach is needed. Don\’t try to drive revenue in a vacuum, consider all of the tools at your disposal and remember, you are not doing business with every credit-worthy account in your marketplace. Leads can lead you to the path to continued, aggressive, growth.