Sales is a simple equation

Clients often hope I have the ‘magic bullet’ solution to helping them achieve their revenue and sales goals.  Indeed, generating sales and putting marketing strategies together is often part of the conversation and work we do together.  The reality is there is no magic bullet (otherwise I would be very rich) but having said that some activities are more successful than others.

All businesses need to apply a simple equation: the effort you put in has to be less the results you generate and every sales & marketing activity should be measured against this (to help you determine if you should do more or less of said activity).

Unfortunately, many organisations blindly continue to invest time in activities that are the reverse of this equation and they take a great deal of time and generate little.  Why?  Because that is what they always do.  I recently had a conversation with someone about networking.  This person went to a weekly networking event, taking a chunk of time out of her day, but couldn’t really quantify the outcomes.  Her justification for going was that we always go to this event because our competitors do!

So, the first thing that needs to be done is to work out the goals you are trying to achieve from a sales or marketing activity.  After all, if you can’t or don’t measure it, how do you know if it’s successful?

Here is a story on this point:

A company takes an exhibition stand at a conference.  It costs £25,000.  At the end of the conference:

  • Marketing thinks it was a great success, great branding and they received good compliments
  • Sales got 70 leads so feel pretty good
  • Sales Director is disappointed since 6 weeks later and only 3 serious opportunities can be attributed back to this event
  • Finance thinks £25k is a lot to spend
  • MD asks what was the return on investment?

My question to you: Should they do this again next year?

Without clear goals at the start, it is impossible to know but based on the above Effort in definitely was not less than the results out (and when you factor in the indirect costs of people’s time as well as the direct costs, this was a significant investment).

My message is: set some measurable KPIs before you start the activity and get everyone on the same page so that you can easily measure the outcomes.  It’s a good discipline to get into that will allow you to measure this equation and make a judgement on whether you should do more or do less of this type of activity.

As I said at the start of this blog, this is an area I work with many clients on so if you would like to have a chat, please drop me a line.

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