Mark Gibson wrote an excellent article about a company who was on the fast track towards inbound marketing success. Then, hope died. See the graph below. If they had kept on their path, Mark predicts they would have gained 12,000 visitors.
Can you guys guess why it happened? Hint: It's a sales and an account management problem.
Go read the explanation
at Mark's blog.
When I talk to businesses who are using inbound lead generation, but who aren't seeing the sales that they want, I usually start with questions that identify what they're doing wrong (or not doing) at the top of their sales funnel. If the top of the sales funnel isn't predictably full, sales usually falter at the bottom. Maybe not right away. But, someday, they'll dip if they don't have the ability to predictably find qualified sales opportunties amongst the leads they've attracted.
I've only ever spoken to one person who was doing everything right. So, don't feel bad if you fail the test.
Here's the list of questions I usually ask:
- Do you call leads as soon as they complete a form on your website?
- Do you call leads as soon as they revisit your website again, ideally while they're still on your website?
- How often do you sit down and prospect? Do you have time blocked off every day? Do you do it every day consistently? How much time? How many leads do you call per day? Why that number?
- What is the cadence you use to attempt to connect with them? Do you call them once and then wait awhile to call them again?
- Do you try to connect live first by calling them? Do you also follow up with an email? Does your voicemail and email say the same thing? Do you leave them both at the same time?
- Do you connect with them on social media? If you connect on social media, do you just connect or do you respond to something they've posted in order to start a conversation?
- Do you have a series of voice-mail and email messages that you leave in succession that reference your earlier attempts and their lack of response?
- How many attempts do you make in order to try to connect with a lead, before you give up? Do you actually give up or do you try calling them again after a period of time?
- Do you use the information they've shared on your landing pages and the information your marketing software collected in order to personalize your message? Is the message about their interests with an offer to provide further assistance OR is it about you and what you want to talk about?
- Do you work the company or just the lead? If you get a lead, do you determine other contacts at that company that might take your call, who might influence that company buying from you or might have information on how the company operates? Do you ever just call the decision maker even if they aren't your lead?
- When you get a lead, do you determine if you have any common connections on Linkedin, so that you might be able to get an introduction from someone they trust confirming your expertise?
Without the dialog, you may not know the right answer to the questions. If you're unclear whether you're doing something wrong or not doing something you should, ask a question in the comments.
Usually, companies aren't doing the first few things right. If you got to question 11 and think you are doing everything you should be doing, please inquire here: I have openings.
Sales experts: What questions am I missing?