Our July 15th blog “The Sales Funnel – Sales tips for non-salesperson entrepreneurs”) described the general process that all sales interactions follow. Marketing generates a number of leads for the top of the funnel, then at each step in the sale process the number of leads lessen as some leads become opportunities, and some then become paying customers.
Every effort you make in your businesses, related to marketing, sales or any other aspect of operations, must be made with purpose. The only way to make good decisions about spending your marketing time and money is to verify that your efforts are producing the specific quantity and quality of results you require.
Start with expectations
What specific kind of buyer do you want your marketing message and tactic to attract? What value of sales, quantity of new leads, and quality of new relationships will make that effort and money spent worthwhile? Knowing what you want to achieve is the only way to know if you achieved it.
Track the lead through the funnel
When you land a great contract in your consulting business, or a brand new customer buys a product at your retail store, you should do your best to look backwards through the process from that point of achievement. Work to understand the process your new customer used to discover and ultimately buy from you. Ideally you could know exactly what marketing campaign allowed them to enter your sales funnel. What did you do right in the process?
If a tradeshow you attended returned no leads, or returned some leads that after your sales effort turned out to be unqualified buyers, we can decide that that marketing tactic was not effective at putting revenue in the bank. Did we do it wrong? If we do it again, would we change the message, or pre-qualify our leads in a different way? Was the tradeshow itself wrong – should we reassign those resourses to a different show or entirely new tactic for next time?
If the banner ad on your industry association website returned a desirable number of clicks, which developed into an acceptable number of opportunities, leading to real sales with real revenue, you’ve had measurable marketing success!
Plan. Do. Evaluate… then plan again.
Albert Einstein famously defined insanity as “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Whenever an entrepreneur is doing research, the goal is to come to one specific decision between continuing, changing or stopping activities.
Use the results of your research to repeat and enhance the previous activities that achieved the desirable result, and equally to stop doing the things that just aren’t effective.
Looking for marketing ideas? Consider our upcoming seminar: Marketing – Research and Cost Effective Ideas