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Friday
May252012

Why expecting a better outcome when doing the same things?

Why would small and medium-size businesses expect a different outcome if they always do the same thing? Meaning nothing or the wrong thing for their leads management!

The Top challenges for small and medium-size B2B businesses are very well known: Erratic cash flow, difficulties in acquiring new leads and signing new clients...while their clients are consolidating their support into a smaller number of providers and reducing their budget at the same time.

As an example, in the "2012 State of the Online Marketing Services Industry" by HubSpot, the top challenge for marketing agencies is to better manage their cash flow, by having a more constant and controllable flow of business.

Before being able to control the business flow, one needs to have a flow…To gain this flow, businesses need first to generate leads.

Now, according to the same survey from HubSpot, the second most important challenge for marketing agencies is..."Not enough leads"!

So you are a small or medium-size business and you know that generating leads is the right answer to your biggest cash flow challenge…but your 2nd biggest challenge is generating leads!

And as if it were not enough, generating leads is the easiest part.

According to the National Sales Association, where sales occur in the sales cycle, it is as follows:

2% of sales are made on the 1st contact

3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact

5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact

10% of sales are made on the 4th contact

80% of sales are made on the 5th-12th contact

How many times did you ever reach the 3rd contact stage or the 5th contact stage for your leads or even worst the 1st contact stage? Do you have the time? Do you have the infrastructure? Do you have the talent?

So let me reset it…As a small or medium-size business, your core issue is generating and managing cash flow…To do so, you need sales leads but generating leads is your core sales challenge and even if you had leads, they might not pay off without following through.

As for many (if not all) insurmountable challenges, one needs to get back to basics.

To generate sales from leads, businesses need to generate the leads but even more importantly manage those leads.

Better business results imply a performing and systematic leads management process in place, that you can turn off and on as needed, to manage your projects flow...A big client left or is not yet there?...Open the leads generation and management faucet...Too many projects?...Reduce its flow.

What does an efficient leads management look like?

  • A set of appropriate leads sources and a formal qualification process 
  • A systematic and targeted follow ups mechanism
  • A clear set of milestones for leads management activities between the different parties involved
  • A dedicated attention and systematic results tracking
  • A unique combination of adaptability and automation

Too complicated…I have a solution for you…Keep It Simple and Stupid first and…Just outsource!

You know you need to generate leads…You know you need to manage those leads effectively to extract the proper value from those…You know you do not have the time and expertise to develop and manage the process…So outsource!

This is the conclusion that many small and medium-size businesses that I worked with for managing their Leads Management process, came to. Yes it costs but in the end, the return is there.

Depending upon the surveys and the analysis, Leads Management Processes are credited with increasing leads conversion by up to 150% and the value per acquired customer by up to 70% (*).

So it is time to get serious with leads management!

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