Often when I ask these kind of questions, people use the world’s biggest cop out and say, ‘How long is a piece of string…?’ Well, I now have a brilliant answer for this, it goes like this: A piece of string is twice as long as half its length….
Now that old chestnut is out of the way, let’s get back to my original question above. Actually, when you look at what constitutes new business sales, there are only two components:
- Lead generation: The effort that goes into generating new sales opportunities
- Conversion: The effort that goes into converting these opportunities into actual sales
To avoid over simplifying the important process of new business sales, it might be helpful to break these up further to understand what does each process involves:
- Lead generation would broadly involve the following:
- Creating a strategy based on your target markets
- Reviewing your touch points such as your website and sales collateral
- Gathering data based on specific demographics
- Running monthly activities to create and identify interest
- Conversion would broadly involve the following:
- Making an initial contact to understand their requirement
- Providing them with specific information
- Following up and building a relationship
I hope this has helped you make up your mind on your choice. If you want my opinion, focus on conversion and outsource your lead generation. In my experience, if you invest money or time into lead generation, eventually, you will get more leads. However, your conversion rate will drop the more leads you get. This is because your conversion rate is a percentage based on the number of new leads; if that number increases but your conversion stays the same, it will be a smaller percentage overall. This is why, it’s very important to work on your conversion so you don’t waste money on getting more leads that are not becoming sales.
One of the biggest elements to review is your follow up process. I am sure you may have heard that 80% of sales are made between the 5th and 12th contact yet 90% of sales people make 3 contacts or less. It is simple, if you want to improve your conversion rate, follow up more.
If like me you understand that improving this may take more resources than you care to assign to it, have a read here to see how we can support your team through strategic lead nurturing.