Monthly Archives: January 2018

If you were going to prioritise one element of your new business sales, what would it be?

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.

Why you should not ‘go gentle into that good night’?

Just before Christmas, we went on a family weekend to Kidwelly in South Wales. One of our day trips was to Laugharne which, you might know, is where Dylan Thomas lived for many years.  When visiting his house, I came across a quote which I found so compelling, I hung it in my office and made it my new year’s resolution. The quote is: ‘Do not go gentle into that good night, rage, rage against the dying of the light’.

For many reasons, I had a very challenging year in 2017. You might think it’s odd but I am looking forward to another challenging year in 2018. I believe that we do our main development and growth in the face of challenge. This is why I have found this quote so compelling.

So, how does it connect to my work and what I do for my customers? Having run my business for three years now, I am getting better at establishing who I like to work with. I think this is a really key stage in my journey as a business owner which has had a big effect on business retention and stability. For me, the key is in my clients’ confidence in their own product and belief in their own success. If you believe in your product, you know people will be interested in it and so you are prepared to go on a journey when establishing new markets. If you don’t believe in your product, you need constant reassuring and therefore find rejection very hard.  This is a problem if you are developing new business as rejection is part and parcel of it.

One thing about choosing your customers is that you need to ensure you have enough options. I specifically refer to the SME owner’s tendency to only go out hunting when the drought has reached the door. So many of us would rather deal with customers who beat us down on price and give us no commitment, rather than go and get some new ones.  If you want my top recommendation for 2018, build a lead generation system and ensure that you are constantly looking for new clients and developing more products and markets. Put a stop to the feast and famine approach this year and have a great 2018.

If you are not sure where to start, here are a few things we can do to help.