3 Revenue Improvement Actions to Take Now to Save 2015
By Dan McDade
The end of the first half is in sight. It’s not too late to save 2015. Here are three actions you can take:
1. Reduce dependence on email for prospecting and nurturing.
2. Evaluate, validate and calibrate marketing and sales expectations, execution and results.
3. Build a solid foundation for 2016 without negatively impacting 2015.
Reduce dependence on email for prospecting and nurturing:
SiriusDecisions said it best in late 2014, “Demand Creation: Planning Assumptions for 2015”:
At many organizations, lead scoring models are based on assumptions or inadequate sales input; the schematic is overly weighted to arbitrary behavior signals; the design team has failed to simulate output; or the lead scoring team has neglected to establish a baseline or make ongoing adjustments based on feedback and results.
The same Research Brief by SiriusDecisions states that only 40% of sales reps believe lead scoring is effective. Frankly, I am surprised it’s even that high.
Unfortunately, marketing automation software has made it possible to send more poor-quality leads to sales faster than ever. The software also has biases that skew the level of decision maker and average deal size down (by as much as 2/3 in one client example).
The fix? Pick up the telephone. Actually talk to prospects rather than relying only on email. As Linda Richardson says in her new book, Changing the Sales Conversation, “Clients want you to communicate with them, not at them [emphasis added].”
Evaluate, validate and calibrate marketing and sales expectations, execution and results:
Pick up the telephone and have a conversation with 10–20% of the leads that qualified via lead scoring and then also talk to a random sample of 10–20% of “suspects” that did not respond and qualify. You will learn two things: First, the algorithm is broken. It will need tweaking — if not major work. Second, you are missing the larger, more strategic deals because the more senior executives don’t want to be treated like the human equivalent of a pinball, getting your attention only after they have hit the right buttons and scored enough points. Some of these lost-in-the-shuffle suspects will have made significant purchases with the competition.
Build a solid foundation for 2016 without negatively impacting 2015:
On average, for every 100 suspects you will find: 5 that are highly qualified and sales ready; another 5 that will require a little time and a few steps prior to being sales ready; and 25 that are qualified but not sales ready and not short term. The good news is you can find all of this out without costing yourself another dime. While you are finding short-term opportunities you’re also identifying opportunities for next quarter and next year. For every 5 short-term, sales-ready leads you identify, you can expect up to 10 more sales-ready leads to result from nurturing of pipeline and nurture dispositions* (or completed calls). Read more about this in “Mind the Gap.”
Again, SiriusDecisions nails it in their late 2014 Research Brief: “We encourage marketers to act like scientists, employing principles of observation, measurement and experimentation to test and validate their marketing and growth strategies and achieve improved — perhaps even breakthrough — demand generation performance.” Believe it!