Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Are your lead generation activities filling your sales pipeline?

There are typically two situations which we regularly see when we talk to professional services firms about lead generation. In the first scenario, it may be a firm that appears to be quite proactive in generating leads. They have a mix of regular marketing activities including email marketing, telemarketing etc that they implement, yet they are simply not generating the level of business leads they need. In the second scenario it may be a firm that has previously been quite successful and has now embarked on ad-hoc marketing activities to generate leads. But the overall feeling within the firm is that it's a case of 'spray and pray'.

In our experience, the firms that are highly targeted in Lead Generation and make it a habit, are the businesses that are currently experiencing the most success - domestically and internationally.

So here is our top five tips for those of you that would like to build some momentum into a more targeted lead generation programme to increase your success:

  1. Quantify your need for leads: Map out your sales funnel on a blank sheet of paper. At the end of the funnel write the value of business you need to win to meet your business objectives. Now move up the funnel and considering your bid win rate write down the value of business you need to be bid for, to reach your target revenues. Consider your average contract value and identify how many bids you will need to deliver. Now think about your experience of meetings with prospects. How many prospect meetings tend to produce opportunities to bid - one in three, one in four - you decide what looks reasonable. Write this number down on your funnel. Now you have identified the number of good quality leads you need to generate.
  2. Assess your current activity: What are you currently doing to generate the required volume of leads on a weekly/monthly basis? How many clients and prospects are you communicating with in any given week/month? What are the gaps in leads generated and activities undertaken?
  3. Analyse your approach: This is where you need to be totally objective in your analysis. Put yourself in your clients' or prospect's shoes and consider who you are trying to engage, how you are trying to engage them and what you are engaging them with. At Shaping Business we have developed a model for this analysis. One of the greatest learnings from clients applying this model is that not everyone on their prospect list should be treated the same. The type of relationship you have with the prospect and their position in the buying cycle should determine how you approach these prospects and what you approach them with. Your aim from this exercise is to refine your prospect lists, your prioritised lead generation activities, your chosen channels to market and your key content enablers.
  4. Build a 'SMART' Lead Generation Plan: Concentrate on pulling everything together into a three month timeline that will show how you can be delivering lead generation activities on a regular basis (weekly/monthly) to meet your lead generation targets. You must make sure this is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timed or it will not get implemented. If you identify constraints such as resourcing or budgets that will impact on your ability to deliver the plan, discuss them internally to make decisions. Combine different streams of activities looking at nurturing/developing relationships to pick up the lower hanging fruit and prospecting/building relationships to access wider market opportunities. They key aspect of your plan is that it should be built from your prospects perspective not from an activity, content or business perspective.
  5. Commit to maintaining momentum in lead generation: Be determined in your implementation of the plan because your business needs a regular flow of good quality leads. It is all too easy for the day-to-day operational issues to get in the way of your lead generation activity. Don't defer lead generation, instead make sure it gets allocated the time it needs each week and look to shift other tasks which are lower priority. Regularly review your delivery of the plan to refine and improve your approach based on what is working better for your business.

In a services business one of the most precious commodities is resource. So if you are genuinely struggling to get some momentum into your lead generation activities then you should consider outsourcing some elements of your lead generation programme. Shaping Business can help you to build a healthy sales pipeline. You can hear directly from clients that we have helped to implement successful lead generation programmes in the video below.



If you would like to discuss your lead generation programme further, or would value some additional support to increase the success of your lead generation activities, then please contact us directly.

46 comments:

HOW -2 DO said...

Thanks

Rashida Panxpan said...

Glad to find such helpful tips for the aid to get success while doing business! These top tips are highly effective to build momentum into more targeted lead generation program to increase sales and other performance. One helpful analytics software that I've come across is PanXpan which has a sales pipeline module that helps with managing this type of data

David A. Hutchinson said...

Lovely post

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