Conventional wisdom says that to grow a business means spending more on marketing (to generate more leads) and hiring more sales people (to close more deals). But what if we can increase revenues without hiring more people? What if we can help your current sales team sell more by off-loading their ‘non-selling’ tasks?
In this difficult economy, smart businesses are investing in tools and programs to do just this. The goal is to automate non-selling tasks such as prospecting for new leads, initial follow-up, lead qualification, and the nurturing of leads who just aren’t ready to buy when we happen to call them. Your sales team can then spend more time closing deals from a pipeline of ‘sales qualified’ leads and become much more productive at revenue generation.
A past study found that only 13% of the leads generated by a typical marketing campaign are actually ready to buy. It also went on to find that 45% of them eventually buy (from someone) within 12 months. This certainly seems to confirm real-world observations that only 1 out of 10 leads we call are actually potential customers. It also says that if we continue to follow-up and nurture these ‘leads’ that we could get up to four times as many ‘prospects’ with real sales opportunities – without spending any more on marketing or hiring more sales staff.
The goal of a good Lead Management Program is to properly design and automate this process. A specialized CRM tool with advanced marketing and sales automation features is generally used to send out a sequence of emails (and/or direct mail) and to monitor lead activity – so your sales team knows who to call back first and spend time with.
This is not a ‘batch-and-blast’ newsletter but instead a nurturing ‘campaign‘ that builds a relationship of trust with your leads by providing relevant information in a non-selling manner. Done right it can provide a much higher ROI (return-on-investment) from your marketing-generated leads and (with the right tool) be very cost-effective for today’s SMBs (small to medium-sized businesses).
So how much can you really grow using a Lead Management program to improve the efficiency of your sales team? Well, it depends how much time they’re currently spending on ‘non-selling’ activities. Studies show this can be up to 50% in some organizations.
For those who like to ‘run the numbers’, download this Lead Calculator Worksheet (MS Excel). Enter some basic business parameters and it calculates the number of leads you’ll need!
– Steve (www.SPMsolutions.NET)