In the old days, companies hired sales people and sent them cold calling. This is fine when sales people are inexpensive, but every cold call probably costs $5.00 and every time they dial the phone and $50 to $75[i] for each person they reach. And, while calling prospects is an essential activity, it’s an illusion to think calls are ‘free’. The question is, who to call, and getting a focus on calls that are more likely to turn into revenue. Besides, the talent of closing business is where you want these guys to focus their time.
Here’s a question: How much of your sales pipeline is contributed by marketing today?
For smaller manufacturers, the answer is, marketing may not have any measurable impact on sales pipeline. However, at top performing companies where marketing contributes more than half of the sales pipeline, 58%[ii] use a specific set of technologies (illustrated to the right) that enable the marketing to have an impact. Marketing delivering zero pipeline is like trying to grow the company with one arm and one leg tied behind your back. It’s no wonder you’re not growing at the rate you want. Marketing should be half.
This capability of marketing to generate leads and opportunities is built on certain technology. But, technology alone does not do anything for a company; technology needs to be combined with people (skill and expertise) to make it work, and processes that make using the technology valuable for the company. That’s ultimately the magic of new business generation. Understanding where to focus to get the biggest bang for each marketing buck spent. For example, 67%[iii] of B2B marketers say they see at least 10% increase in sales opportunities through lead nurturing alone, while 15% of companies see a 30% gain or more. Huge right? Getting this in place means putting in the right technology, having the skills to set it up, and making sure your sales guys are getting good results; people, process and technology. Marketing automation broadly generally creates a 451%[iv] increase in leads – but you have to get this integrated into the organization so leads are not wasted.
Be frugal! Yes, you can get a 15% improvement in a year, but you can’t try to do everything. Getting the gains also means staying focused and using the resources you have for what they are best at doing.
[i] Here’s the math: Pay an intermediate sales person $80,000. They can call a maximum number of 80 ‘dial spins’ in a day. 230 working days a year (with vacation days and Christmas), and each spin costs $4.35… assuming they are really pounding on the phones. Give that a 10% success rate of actually talking with someone and you are at $43 per person they actually talk with.
[ii] Forrester Research, “Gauging your Progress and Success” (2013)
[iii] DemandGen “2014 Lead Nurturing Report” (2014)
[iv] Ascent2, “SharpSpring, Marketing Automation Study” (2016)
To learn more about getting more sales, download MoreSALES’ Frugal Tactics for Building Your Sales Engine white paper.