Have you ever hired lead generation companies because you want more leads? How did it go? Did you get “more leads”?
I think we have all had the experience of that “Lead Generation” email in our inbox. I get about 3 per day. They tout their amazing ability to get you appointments for your business. Find out why they usually don’t deliver the results you expect….Have you ever hired lead generation companies because you want more leads? How did it go? Did you get “more leads”?
I think we have all had the experience of that “Lead Generation” email in our inbox. I get about 3 per day. They tout their amazing ability to get you appointments for your business. They claim to have a fabulous team of inside sales people that specialize in understanding your solution and getting you in front of qualified decision makers. It happened to me. I was enticed by the seemingly low cost and the “Pay per appointment” proposition. All in all, it looked good. “I only pay when you deliver”, I thought, but it never really panned out the way it was pitched.
Appointments Don’t Equal Revenue
In our years of experience, we have seen many companies do this believing that this was the secret sauce to getting more leads and revenue. Our clients believed that this low-cost method would work. Here’s what we found.
JUST BECAUSE YOU GET AN APPOINTMENT, DOESN’T MEAN YOUR GOING TO MAKE A SALE. Our clients didn’t realize that generating sales requires more than just getting to “talk” to a prospect, you have to know what you are doing. If you have not prepared your company for sales, then you shouldn’t hire lead generation companies. You will be wasting your money.
Sales is a Profession of Probabilities
We have found that most CEO’s in medium business are challenged when it comes to investing in sales. They perceive sales to be a high-risk investment. Why? Sales is a profession of probabilities. Probabilities by their nature are not absolute. When you compare this to an engineering mindset, (which is where most entrepreneurs come from) this is almost 180 degrees opposite. In engineering, you can measure your output based on your input – absolute outcomes. In Sales, we can only give you probable outcomes because we don’t control the variables. The variables are people, and people make decisions based on their perceived urgency. The result – no absolutes, just probabilities. This makes it difficult for CEO’s , Owners, Founders, to handle the monetary risk they must take, and as a result, they look for low cost approaches to driving revenue for their business. Thus, they hire lead generation companies because they are perceived as a cheap alternative to the sales investment.
What sales investment should you make?
Define your Purpose
The investment in sales is about increasing the probability of revenue. To do this, you must evaluate many parts of your company, not just the sales lead generation. Evaluate your entire client facing process. Explore every element from the first point of contact with a prospect, to the customer service organization taking care of your clients. It’s all linked.
An effective sales investment starts with understanding your company’s purpose. Why do you exist? What value do you really provide to new prospects? This is the foundation of your business. Understanding this value will allow you to create a unified approach to driving revenue. In the book, “Start with Why”, by Simon Sinek, he discusses how great companies tap into their purpose, and do not deviate from it. They understand why their customers buy from them. This principle is crucial to a successful sales culture. It becomes the foundation of everything you do.
Align your client facing process
Once the foundation is built and understood by all in your organization, you are now ready to begin aligning all of your client-facing groups to that foundation. Evaluate your product message. Is it aligned with your purpose. Next, align your pricing. Finally, you must ensure that the entire process from your first point of contact with the prospect, to the time when they give you an order it easy and efficient. Everyone should know what to do next.
Build your Sales Conversation
Now its time to tie everything into a bow. Build your sales conversation. In other words, what conversation needs to take place with the prospect, that leads them to the conclusion they need your product. We have a saying, “Sales is a series of successful conversations”. If you are going to hire a company to get you appointments, then please consider these points.
- Define your purpose
- Align your Process
- Build your sales conversation
If you’ve done this correctly, you will know what to do with the “appointment” and you will increase your PROBABILITY of success. Maybe then, you will be happy with your investment.
‘Til Next Time