Last week I attended a business growth event in London along with a number of other entrepreneurs and business owners. The main topic covered at the event was, somewhat unsurprisingly, growth. But, the main question posed was ‘what behaviours do individuals adopt that impede growth?’ This set me thinking. One of the key elements behind significant business growth amongst successful entrepreneurs that was brought to our attention was having purpose. To underpin the goal, you need the processes and systems to support that mission. So, if you want a business turning over £x million, what infrastructure do you need to deliver the sales? What marketing channels and measures do you need to adopt? And, what processes and systems are needed?
Sounds simple and obvious perhaps. Have a goal and work towards it. But, business people are often guilty of being victims of insanity. They may have an objective. But, they do the same (wrong) things over and over and keep failing to hot the target?
One behaviour that we regularly see from our clients that impedes sales results is the inability to follow a valid and full process for sales. That means not least:
- priming the pump with sufficient sales leads.
- qualifying them to ascertain which are warm and which aren’t.
- identifying prospect problems, challenges and opportunities through good questioning.
- listening to the response before coming up with suggestions.
- following up consistently over time.
In another blog and video, I explained that sometimes it feels like customers must be lazy or stupid for not buying your ‘no brainer’ product or service immediately. Life just isn’t like that and perseverance is crucial in the selling process.
I value my time and don’t want to waste valuable resources chasing after no hopers. However, you have to kiss a few frogs. You have to pan for gold. But, so many sales people only want pre-qualified leads that are hot as fire and ready to buy. They only want to do the (relatively) easy bit and don’t want the hard work associated with the chase.
Of course, marketing and sales people can recruit or outsource people to do the grunt work. But, another aspect of success and growth that was explained in the seminar was the critical importance of GRIT in growth. That means perseverance. Not blind faith or chasing lost causes. But, being disciplined and the willingness to do the hard yards to make things happen.
Too frequently, sales people neglect the inputs and only focus on the outputs. They want sales. They want hot leads, naturally. But, do they expect those prospect customers to simply shout ‘hallelujah’ when they walk through the door or following the initial meeting? And, are they willing to really work the leads until there is a definitive outcome? That could take some time. One of our clients told us recently that an appointment we made for the converted to business several months later with a small order. That customer has now become their biggest client 24 months later.
Over the years, many clients that have come back to us for their sales lead generation after a period of time has elapsed since our previous for them. It’s no coincidence, when asked how they got on with the sales pipeline that we built for them (i.e. those leads classified as current and future interest but not the actual leads or appointments delivered to them), that several say ‘well, we didn’t really get a chance to follow those up’. Or they will say ‘we called them a few times but they never came back to us’. That’s just criminal. The fact is that your sales pipeline is gold dust. Not every lead will convert. And, there will still be time wasters. But, assuming that the job has been done properly in the first place to gauge interest and warmth, there is certainly value in consistently following through. And, that doesn’t just mean calls. It means:
- Periodic emails
- Invitations to events.
- Making good notes on your system to facilitate rapport the next time you speak to them.
- Agreeing and scheduling follow updates
- Calling at that correct time.
Ultimately, it’s about doing the job for which you’re paid. What money are you leaving on the table by not following a defined process? Growth doesn’t just come from deploying lots of new-fangled marketing solutions. It isn’t only about lots of new campaigns into new markets with new products or services. It isn’t always even from entirely new prospects. What about cross sell and upsell to current customers? How frequently do you contact your customer database? What’s your process for managing your sales pipeline?
There are certain behaviours that empower your lead generation and that get you closer to achieving your goals? Whatever your marketing approach, you need to include grit and determination In terms of following a defined process and following up. It’ll pay dividends if you do.
If you’d like to know more about how GSA can help with your business growth or inbound enquiry management, contact us now on 0845 658 8192 or use the form on this site.