It’s important to learn how to set business development objectives that are both viable and help to drive your business forward.
As we mentioned in our previous video and blog, good quality lead generation takes time. Not every prospect is looking for your particular product or service at the time of your call. Equally, your proposition needs to be attractive to encourage prospective customers to engage. Likewise, the database from which you’re working needs to be accurate or you could waste a huge amount of time, energy and money failing to reach the right people.
If you require significant results over a short space of time, it’s probable that you’ll also need significant activity to achieve those results. Whilst that may not always follow, low levels of marketing are unlikely to drive the performance required.
The key is to set objectives based on your specific business growth and revenue targets. But you should ensure that you give some consideration to what you can handle with your current infrastructure and manpower. The last thing you want is to generate demand that you can’t satisfy that, ultimately, risks damaging your business reputation.
Think about what’s feasible and consistent with your current business status and proposition. That’s not to say you shouldn’t aim high, but you also need to be realistic. For example, if you represent a well-known company with a best-in-breed service that every potential customer needs. And you have the credentials and client base to back this up, you’ll get quicker and probably better results than a start-up company with only a few clients and no testimonials. Set your expectations accordingly and be realistic.
For example, is it realistic and achievable to deliver 30 sales leads per month when you only allocate 3 days pm to whatever sales and marketing activity you’ve chosen to do the job? 30 sales appointments may indeed be possible but it could take 2 or 3 months at that level of support. Or, 30 leads might require two callers calling full-time over a shorter timeframe.
Perhaps, typical customers have incumbent suppliers on two-year contracts. If that’s the case, it will probably be tougher to deliver 30 hot leads that are in the market for your services right now. A good spread of warm and more speculative opportunities will help to build your mid-term sales pipeline. Over time, some sales leads will naturally come to fruition. Certain customers will approach the end of the contract term with your competitors. Assuming you follow up in a timely fashion, that will move you closer to your annual targets.
Speculative appointments can be an important part of the sales process and this sales funnel if the company you’re calling fits your target profile and the potential value of sale is appropriate. Meeting such companies allows you to get a foot in the door to develop the initial relationship, unearth prospect needs and to promote your services even where there isn’t an immediate requirement. If the future opportunity is large enough, you’d be foolish to ignore these kinds of contacts as part of the sales process.
However you approach lead generation, you need to understand what success looks like and plan your lead generation activities accordingly. You need to set realistic objectives and measure your progress towards those targets throughout the year. If you do that, you’re more likely to be pleased than disappointed at the end of your financial year.
GSA helps businesses become more effective in their marketing and business development. We run outbound telemarketing campaigns into the UK, Europe and further afield. Also, with our experience, we provide telemarketing training to help sales teams improve their results. If you’d like to know more, give us a call.