All of these clients are now seeing great ROI from their lead generation but we can’t take all the credit. These clients understood from the beginning that a long-term approach was the key to success. In turn, this gave us the time and space to generate results that turned into consistent sales revenue. After seeing results, they were ‘bought in’ and convinced that long-term consistency could help them reach their sales goals.
But there are a few keys to success in running lead generation.
First, there is no silver bullet to making quick sales.
Those who take a short-term view of lead generation, who expect to see sales boom within the first three months, will usually fail to see good results because they don’t commit to the activity for long enough to allow prospects to work through their normal sales cycle. These clients believe that we can put them in front of prospects who will buy instantly. They are forgetting that a “normal” sales cycle is not calculated from what happened with their hottest prospects: those that buy on the first call or very soon after but is based on how all leads from all channels behave.
A normal sales cycle is measured in months (and in some rare cases, years), so the impact of what we do for our clients does not become apparent until we have been working with them for 6-12 months. So, it’s not until around the end of year 1, that clients are starting to a see strong, consistent ROI developing. Clients with a long-term focus realise this and work with us throughout this period
Second, it’s important to have realistic expectations
And that applies not just to the activity and leads we can produce but for what happens to the leads we generate once the client’s sales team meet with them. No salesperson converts 100% of their leads, so understanding what is the likely conversion from lead to proposal and from proposal to sale, how soon after the first meeting the sale will typically close and what is the typical value to the client’s selected target market is vital. We make sure that we cover this with new clients so that we can work with them to build a realistic picture of what success looks like.
We do this before we begin, by putting together a detailed Cashflow Forecast that presents these figures so that we can forecast performance and results out over the first 2 years – not just the first three months. We show the client the long-term view and make sure we’re all aligned to the same goal for the campaign.
And finally, assess results over time
It is important to remember that sales metrics only work with volume. For example, if your sales conversion rate is usually 20% and you hire a new salesperson, it’s unlikely that they will make 2 sales from their first 10 meetings. They will probably have to meet with 50 or more prospects before their numbers show they are hitting the 20% conversion rate. A long-term commitment to a lead generation campaign allows these numbers to develop accurately and the sales results will speak for themselves.
We’re strong advocates of taking a long-term view and that’s simply because we’ve seen that a consistent approach really works, time and time again, for our clients. If you’d like to have a chat about how a considered, long-term approach could work for your business please get in touch by calling 1300 396 888 or drop us an email to email@example.com.
The Ultimate Guide to B2B Sales Prospecting takes you through the step-by-step process of lead generation and sales prospecting.