The efficient usage of your time in business is important but so of course are sales leads and closing those leads. A few quick thoughts….
Target Selection – when choosing sales targets, consider incorporating the following into the decision process if you do not already…
- Likelihood of success versus the sales time and costs that will be required
- Do the prospective client’s needs match well with your company’s strengths?
- Is there an “opportunity cost” in pursuing a specific lead (in lieu of others) or have sales leads been limited and does it may make sense to pursue most leads?
- Is it a formal and somewhat competitive process (e.g. a Request For Proposal / “RFP”s) where pricing and margins are likely to be lower? If so, is that still a fit for your current situation (e.g. you need volume to cover overhead)?
Are you jumping into the sales process too quickly? Do you need to review and qualify your leads before pursuing?
Sourcing New Leads – It is important to be both systemic and comprehensive in your efforts to identify new sales opportunities. Depending on your business, this might include (but not of course be limited to) items such as…
- Participation in the client industry conferences and seminars (as well as your own industry conferences); never make them vacations (despite the venue); it should be all work; be certain to schedule meetings and dinners well in advance so as to be productive and find leads
- The review of trade periodicals (online if available) from your own industry or of the industries of your targeted or largest existing clients
- Spending time doing online research
- Searching for and evaluating any RFPs
However, finding off-market leads can also be critical to growth. Also the off-market/“road less travelled” is less competitive and often more profitable. Some thoughts….
- If you’re not serving the municipal / government market….should you be?
- Do your services/products apply to businesses in industries you do not serve today?
- Are you vigilantly looking for opportunities at all times?
- Do you ask contacts with a diverse base of clients for ideas/leads (e.g. your CPAs, your attorneys, your bankers, etc.)?
- Do you solicit ideas from your employees or colleagues?
Bottom line…..spend the time to identify new opportunities and adequately assess the viability of each lead you uncover.
Closing the Leads – If you are more targeted in your marketing, closing may in part be easier and self-fulfilling (i.e. selecting a higher number of targets in less competitive venues and where prospect needs better match your strengths).
In addition to properly incentivizing your sales staff and maintaining a cohesive marketing platform (website, pamphlets, sales books and emails) consistently emphasizing your strengths….you may find that giving more thought to vetting your sales targets will ensure you have the energy and clarity to put your best foot forward on each sale. Best of luck to you!
There is a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) included within the CROSStrax investigative case management platform. Keep track of leads and opportunities in the same place you store your client information. Set follow up tasks and set meetings that are viewable on a convenient calendar. Try CROSStrax for free at www.crosstrax.co