It's easy to assume that more leads is the answer to many of your sales problems, and as a lead generation company, you’d think we’d agree. However, what we’ve found working with many different businesses, in many different industries, is that not enough leads isn’t always the root of the problem.
Instead, it's incredibly common that organizations are not set up to properly qualify, hand-off, follow up with, and convert the leads they are generating, letting those hard-earned marketing efforts go to waste.
To truly determine if your business is A) ready for more leads and B) making the most of the leads you’re currently generating, it's vital to take a look at some important metrics/areas. Here’s the short list:
- SQL (sales qualified lead) to Opportunity conversion rate
- Opportunity to Customer conversion rate
- Average length of your sales cycle
- Which sales stages get stalled, for how long, and why
- How many times, on average, a salesperson makes contact with a TOFU (top-of-the-funnel) or MOFU (middle-of-the-funnel) SQL
- How many times, on average, a salesperson makes contact with a BOFU (bottom-of-the-funnel) SQL
- The performance of the emails and documents that your salespeople are using during all of these touch points
If, for any reason, you don’t have access to these metrics – then this is where you need to start. Whether you have a CRM in place or not – these are some of the most important KPIs you should be able to track in order to truly evaluate the effectiveness of your sales process when it comes to inbound leads (or really any lead/prospect in general). Once you know what these metrics are, then you can start to build a plan to improve upon them... or celebrate if they’re fantastic!
This is where a Sales Playbook can be incredibly valuable in helping you improve your sales process and ensure the steps after a lead is generated are clear, strategic, and being followed consistently by your sales team. Inside a Sales Playbook, one of the key components are the sales plays that guide salespeople through the exact recommended steps they should be taking in different sales scenarios.
When we building a Sales Playbook, you should take into account your unique buyer’s journey, your unique sales process, and sales strategy. With a deep dive into general best practices as well as your company's best practices, and what is most important to your prospects and customers, you (or the agency/firm you work with) should be able to determine the right types of touch points, the frequency of them, and the content and documents needed at different stages. Most organizations need somewhere between 10 and 50 sales plays depending on how in-depth they want to go into the unique situations that salespeople face, as well if you have different industries or personas you want to focus on. Some examples of sales plays include:
- How to follow-up with a TOFU inbound lead generated through your website
- How to approach a cold prospect that fits your ideal business profile
- What steps to take and questions to ask in order to conduct a thorough needs analysis
- What to do/say when you hear certain objections
- How to follow-up with leads that have stopped responding after presenting a proposal
- How to follow-up after the first appointment
- How to up-sell existing clients
- How to ask for a referral
- And many more!
Each sales play should include the recommended steps, timeframe, and any related content or resources to go with those steps (like email templates, call scripts, links to articles, guides, one-sheets, videos, etc.). Making sure your Sales Playbook is thorough and accessible is key to it actually being used by your sales team and making an impact on their sales process.
When building out these different plays and determining what you need for your business, you’ll also have the opportunity to identify other gaps and opportunities for improvement. For example, is your proposal as effective as it could be? Does your team have the right training to properly follow up with different types of leads? Are you using technology to your advantage?
All of these questions and more will help you better understand whether it’s time to focus on generating more leads, or if it's time to improve your sales strategy… or both!
Looking at sales organizations and helping them uncover the answers to these questions is what we do best. We do not have a one-size-fits-all “you need more leads” approach, and we work with our clients to determine what is most important to ensure they’re in a position to reach their revenue goals. If you’d like to talk with me about this discovery process, I’d love to hear from you. Contact me here.