Maximizing Value From Your Prospecting Efforts
Success for every sales person has always been a numbers game. The more quality prospects that enter your pipeline the more successful you are going to be. In many organizations filling that pipeline is the responsibility of the salesperson. It is nice when the marketing department continually feeds a supply of quality leads to the sales team, but top producers know they play a major roll in the process. In some high commission roles such as in real estate sales, the responsibility of investing in various lead generation sources is even shared by the agent since he or she is often viewed as an individual that is building their own business.
When it comes to lead generation one part of the equation is taking consistent action, BUT EQUALLY IMPORTANT is clearly understanding how many opportunities each of your prospecting sources is yielding. It is also essential to understand what the cost per lead actually is. BY RECOGNIZING each of these points weaknesses in your sales and marketing process can be eliminated and HUGE opportunities for IMPROVEMENT are revealed.Figuring the cost of each lead?
To Figure the cost of each lead you need to divide the cost invested in each lead source by the number of leads received from each source. For example if a representative invested $1000 in online advertising but only received 5 leads then the cost per lead is $200 each. $1000 divided by 5 = $200
There are so many prospecting options for salespeople:
- Online ads such as Google Adwords, BING and Facebook
- Networking Functions
- Open Houses
- Direct Mail
- Print Ads
Every single advertising sales rep promotes the "massive" volume of "qualified" people that will see your message. The person investing in the marketing believes they are taking solid, effective and meaningful actions toward achieving their sales goals. Sadly the rep often finds they are still off target on hitting their sales goals, money is spent that was really beyond the budget, and sales are not coming in.
Direct mail people often promote how thousands of people in the perfect geographic and demographic area are seeing your message, so of course you feel this is a great value. The online reps show you how many thousands of people see your ad or clicked on your link. Real estate reps spend countless hours and money running open houses, print ad reps tout their high circulation numbers, and so on and so fourth. If each is such a great value, then why do firms struggle for leads?
SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE ACTION TO TAKE:
- 1. List all your lead sources
- 2. List how many LEADS came from each of your lead sources
- 3. Calculate the cost of the lead
- 4. Evaluate if that is an acceptable cost for the lead based on your industry and profit margins
- 5. What needs to be done to lower that cost (i.e. better offer in ad or mailer, better online landing page, more effective telemarketing script, etc.)
Calculating the effectiveness of each lead source:
Now that you know the cost of each lead and have a clear understanding of how cost effective your sales lead pipeline's flow is, we need to dig even deeper and look at the quality, too. For example, during one of our sales workshops, we were working with a team at a local real estate agency and each of the agents was very proud of their actions. They discussed their mailings, how many open houses they attended, and their online traffic stats. One by one each agent was challenged.
The first rep proudly pointed out that they received 8 calls from their mailing and had "nice" conversations with each of the callers, many of which "seemed" qualified, but when we pressed on how many appointments were set up to actually meet the prospect at their home to present an opportunity to list the property, the number quickly fell to zero.
When asked about their online advertising vague stats were quoted about the overall campaign. When pushed they were able to see that although over 10,000 people saw the ad only 1% clicked through to the website (a common percentage) which was only 100 people coming to the site. When asked how many of those people called they were unsure.
When asked about the open houses once again they were justifying the lack of tangible results saying open houses are great, but you also need to be lucky and have the right person walk in and you just never know when that is going to happen. Once again the agents were working hard, justifying their actions, but in the end frustrated by their bottom line results.
With another client in the pharmaceuticals industry it was essential that the reps made 50 calls a day to a various prospects (both old and new). This was a proven approach that was documented by their top performers. However, when newer reps were asked how they were doing with their calls most said they were making "a lot or a tremendous amount of calls" but didn't know the exact number. When the calls were officially tallied most barely even called 20 people and once again these reps also justified their lack of action on completing the 50 call goal sighting proposals, email and meetings as a reason. They were allowing the day's tasks to expand into tension relieving activities rather than GOAL ACHIEVING activities. Once the lower call volume was recognized and quantified call volume increased and with that increase meetings with prospects immediately increased too.
Quantifying the call volume and what resulted from the calls also had a dramatic effect on the majority of the team's presentation skills as well. The reps recognized that increasing call volume greatly boosted the number of opportunities AND they also started to question how to make each presentation stronger so they would yield better results from the time they invested on the phone. Good telemarketing works great but unfortunately weak telemarketing presentations don't. If your telemarketing is not working it is usually a function of the list, the volume of calls or the presentation.
Once they began improving their skills of: by passing the gatekeeper, grabbing the prospect's attention quickly, learning how to get the prospect talking and a number of other sales skills the results improved exponentially.
When the sales team gains an understanding their numbers as well as where they are strong and where they can improve the end result is improved sales performance.
So to calculate source effectiveness:
- 1. List specifically how many leads came in
- 2. List what resulted from each lead (i.e. Sale, appointment, proposal, no sales, add me to list, etc)
- 3. Are you getting quality leads or does something need to be improved
- 4. What needs to be improved or "where is the breakdown" in sales process
Why are each of these steps essential?
By becoming crystal clear on what was working and not working the agents made significant shifts in both their lead generation and sales process. They were able to duplicate and leverage the sources that produced leads and by being honest with themselves about their sales process were able to quickly and effectively plug the holes in the presentation.
For example, when it came to online advertising the landing pages were redeveloped to capture the visitors name and contact information so the agents could follow up instead of waiting for the web surfer to call them. The direct mail efficiency skyrocketed by adjusting the benefits to appeal to both potential buyers and sellers. However, the biggest leap occurred when the presentation was adjusted to learning to ask powerful questions that engaged the caller and were all carefully orchestrated to lead the caller to take the essential next step of meeting. This led to getting more listings from sellers and being able to better match buyers with homes (sometime the one advertised and sometimes one that was not advertised).
Recognizing that each of the marketing areas they worked so hard was not producing the desired results led to dissecting the presentation and seeing that they were letting opportunities slip right past. The shift in presentation also impacted open house effectiveness and suddenly open houses became an opportunity to gently, but thoroughly qualify the visitor. Opportunity to discuss investment properties appeared from people who already owned and were "very happy" and just stopping by out of curiosity. Possibly the biggest breakthrough came from the number of referrals that were generated during slow open houses where the time to casually build rapport was suddenly recognized.
Accountability, Combined with Pushing Comfort Zones Creates Growth
Take a detailed look at your current process, be brutally honest with your actions and the results they yield and you will quickly see opportunity that will allow you to step up to the next level. Remember all professional athletes, performers and top achievers are continually reviewing the "game films" to see where they can gain the edge and continually improve.
Why You Should Let Us Train Your TeamInteractive and Specific Exercises
Role playing exercises reinforce the material and shape each sales training technique to fit your representatives individual selling styleUnique Follow-up Program Holds Your Team Accountable
Your benefits don't end when the training is over. We follow up all our programs to see how the strategies you learned have helped your business get more sales.
Our 1, 2, and 3 Day Seminars
- Friendly rapport building techniques
- 11 ways to gain your prospect's attention
- Goal setting and visualization exercises
- Increase the number of cold calls
- Make sales reps better listeners
- Techniques to handle any objection