Important Numbers for Your Important Business
Really, this article could have been titled ‘An Ode to the Test and Measure’, because it is what lead generation sales are built upon: a persistent, straightforward, numbers-focused approach, where opportunity lies in every decision you make. As it’s much more likely to generate you sales than a gut feeling, taking a numbers-led approach has the ability to transform the way you feel about the entire sales process.
Small businesses don’t have the privileges that corporations enjoy; having large budgets and the resources to deliver them, so that customers joining with relatively little effort. Every secured sale in a small business is the culmination of the blood, sweat and tears of one or a few people in a team, in that; there is a lot of time, effort and heartache that goes into each deal. Everything you do, every impression, every improvement, each new decision—seeing the fruits of your labour, at whichever step of the lead generation process, is all the more important for it.
Because you’ve put your heart into the business, it is only right that you get to see the results you deserve. To get the successes you want, you need to prioritise until you can find the most direct path towards improving your sales—one that will deliver again and again.
Like repeating a scientific experiment, learning your numbers gives you a result you can prove time and again to lead to sales. The question is: what is important to you? What are you reporting? Which numbers are you using? Are you using any measurements for those areas you want to focus on most? And most importantly—are these statistics important to you and your business?
If you’re recording your successes—that’s great! Having evidence of the things you’ve done well can provide helpful, and realistic, goals. But those moments of victory only make up a small percentage of your effort—and of the journey your leads are going through. Measuring your progress, and the lead’s behaviours—can help you bring out the best of your skills and work.
Lead Generation Sales Calls: Attempts, Not Just Conversations
So let’s use an example sales job that most service-based small businesses will be familiar with. As a small business, your approach is service-based: you give your time and energy to every customer, because they need you to be engaged with them. That presence often manifests itself as the many sales calls your business makes as the main form of nurturing and selling.
How much time do you spend on sales calls? How many of them are successful, and how many of them get as far as dialling the number from your database? In this paragraph alone, there are three simple categories of data you can collect, and test and measure.
An important aspect of this is to realise what the numbers are showing: namely, if you’re able to control them or not. In the paragraph above, the modifiers you can controls are the time you spend, and the amount of dials you make. What you can’t control is how many go unanswered, for whatever reason you’re not privy to. You can largely control how effective your marketing is, but there will always be no’s and no answers regardless—ultimately, it is the prospect’s decision, and that is out of your hands too.
That’s why we’re highlighting using call attempts instead of conversations. Even if they’re out of your control, they are still part of your process, and you’re still spending time on them. It can be very insightful behaviour, and it all counts towards refining your lead generation process for the better. Of the call attempts that worked and those that didn’t, you can glean information from them about what got those successful calls over the line. Therefore, your lead’s behaviour informs your sales behaviour, and your marketing improves overall.
Strengthening Your Marketing Funnel
Outbound marketing relies heavily on testing and measuring your responses against your leads; behaviours. Their behaviour is an early indicator of what lies ahead; the levels of engagement; and where their interests lie—and where they don’t.
Using metrics for every part of your outbound marketing—social media, email marketing, and SEO, to give some examples—will point you towards the weaker links in your chain. Compared against better examples, you are automatically shown an area in which you can improve. Having tested it success, it should prove to you this was the right decision by giving an increased level of engagement from your leads. The goal, overall, is to tweak across the board, so your outbound marketing gets strengthened—and stays that way. That can’t be done without knowing your numbers! How does this show weakness?
A domino effect occurs in your marketing funnel as a result. If your leads aren’t engaging enough or correctly at the higher levels of your funnel, you’re going to have lower numbers going in to the top of the funnel and they’re not going to be receptive to your nurturing. Similarly, you’ll be less able to differentiate between the leads that need more persuasion and the leads you can sell to. On the flipside, if you’re able to prove that a lead is engaging with your business, you’ll be spending your time much more effectively—and successfully. Your time will translate into better opportunities.
Keeping Your Lead Generation Sales Process Simple
Knowing your numbers means being able to bring them up whenever you need them. If you have so many processes going on, how are you going to keep up?
The goal is to keep your lead management process uncomplicated—so you can focus on the metrics that are relevant to you and your business. That makes it easier to focus in on the tasks that need improvement, and easier overall to organise your lead generation.
Having a really simple system to put all your information in one place will make all your numbers accessible. Spreadsheets help to visualise that process, too, by allowing you to see what you’re working with. Or, you could have a system like popcorn to have your contact’s data and your marketing analytics joined up and immediately retrievable. That way, you can compare your numbers to the effect they have in real life.
Systems like popcorn also help to visualise everything you’re doing. Seeing in front of you those successful calls or nurturing tasks provides a tangible anchor to the numbers you are working by. In popcorn’s sales pipelines, for example, you will be able to drag and drop a larger volume of contacts brought along the process, because of the effort you concentrated on testing and measuring in the right places. At one glance, you can see exactly where everyone is in your pipeline—and that way you focus on the ones that are more likely to say yes, as opposed to just the ones that are next in your call list.
Why Test and Measure For Your Lead Generation Sales?
So we search for numbers to quantify our work; to make testing and measuring possible, and our lead generation sales process accessible. But why are these the goals we have in mind?
As mentioned before, small businesses cannot guarantee customers the way corporations can. Any time spent—any time you can spare—should be bringing in some sort of result. Calculating its worth in sales puts the way you spend your time under the spotlight. Did you know your time can be translated into sales? This can be a huge motivator. If you calculate the profit you gained from a sale and divide it by the time/effort you put in, you can quantify each step in the process. If it takes 20 dials to get you to a sales conversion of £X, each dial is worth 1/20th of that profit. Those attempts, instead of being an inevitable but painful part of the process, are therefore worth something to you and you can even look forward to the ‘no’s’ as they take you closer to the inevitable ‘yes’.
It only gets better—the more you refine your lead generation sales process through testing and measuring, the more engaged those leads will be. You’ll be spending your time on the opportunities that are more likely to be successful. That means that £X will go up for each dial you attempt—and it will make that dialling process a little easier to stomach.
If you can picture your lead management process, you can identify the areas to improve. It provides goals, your paths forward. The clarity of having measurable metrics feeds into motivation, and therefore productivity—a vital resource for any small business.
That is why knowing your numbers is vital for lead generation sales: numbers give you a direction, a jumping point. If it counts for your business, then count it. Your lead generation sales will be healthier for it.