When I was doing my presentation to the Exabytes audience a few days ago, I shared about the various industries I worked with. The industries ranged from niche columbariums to fitness gyms to dating agencies to kitchen cabinets.
So what I have is basically a very broad knowledge of how various industries work, their business models and an understanding of what makes the customer buy.
I am blessed that I started my business background in pure selling environment where I did cold calls daily – trying to sell Anthony Robbins personal development programs on the phone. That provided a solid understanding of what makes a customer open up their wallet and hand their money over.
What Is Sales?
Sales is a function of the sales team. They can be an order-taker or they can be a reassuring voice that soothes the customer’s various objections. The sales team take action when the marketing department has done their job.
The sales team adds direct revenue to a company’s bottomline.
What Is Lead Generation?
This is essentially what I do. While I do not generate sales directly, I will make sure your sales team get busy – handling calls, answering objections and taking orders. What I do is essentially as a function of the marketing department – being able to map out the customer journey and bring them on a path towards the company.
What Is Marketing?
Marketing is the broad umbrella term that basically covers all aspects from – raising awareness of your brand, generating creatives for your advertising campaign, creating content, and of course – lead generation.
Getting enquiries and leads – these are the result of your marketing efforts. Marketing is a cost – but if done correctly, it can be profitable.
Putting $1 in marketing to get back $3 in revenue – that is a solid marketing system at work.
Getting Sales In 2018 and Beyond
Unless you run an ecommerce store selling B2C products, it is highly unlikely for you to get sales directly. (What I mean by sales is a transaction that results in money being handed over or credited to a bank account.)
If you are B2B company or a service provider, you will get enquiries and leads from:
- phone calls
- WhatsApp messages
- Facebook PMs
- form submissions
- LinkedIn messages
- Various other channels
The Huge Challenge of Conversion
If you known me for awhile, you would know that I claim to have generated over 50,000 leads across 12 industries. Personally, I think it is a conservative estimate. 😉
But the fact is that during the lead generation process – through working with so many companies & individuals – there will always be this favourite phrase from certain quarters:
Your leads are lousy.
In the early days of my business, those were good lessons to me.
But eventually I realised this was also a favourite excuse for companies with poor performing sales teams. (Thankfully, this rarely happens nowadays – by being selective on who I work with.)
The truth is this – great salespeople are hard to find. Like finding a pearl in an oyster – they are simply rare. They are aggressively retained by their companies with perks and generous commissions. Some even move on to setup their companies.
I understand this is a challenge for most SMEs – attracting great people to join them.
Great salespeople? We are lucky if we get people interested to do sales!
90% of my clients are SMEs, so I understand this issue well.
Refining The Lead Generation Process
Remember what I said at the beginning – how the “lousy leads retort” were a good lesson for me?
So what I did next was to improve my lead generation process – to ensure only good and highly qualified leads come into the system.
This isn’t easy at all – because basically I have to step into a potential buyers’ shoes.
I have to develop an empathy for what makes them tick, what keeps them awake at night, what are their goals and dreams, and discover their motivations.
I cover this process in depth during my personalized consultation session – but basically I will find your ideal customer for you.
Now, in the ideal world – the ideal customer is someone who will throw their money at you without asking questions. Ideally, they should exist in large numbers as well.
But in the real world, your ideal customer is a actual human being who has his or her own issues, quirks and personality. They also probably exist in far smaller numbers than you would expect.
So during my personalized consultation session, we will explore where the bigger pool of customers are.
They exist and a larger volume of sales is possible.
However you have to understand they are simply:
- in the earlier part of the sales cycle and are probably not ready to buy
- the problem they are facing is not painful enough to seek solution
- aware the problem exists and yet are not aware of your solution.
These are complicated questions to explore and answers do not come by easily.
But with a clear understanding of the solution you provide and the problems faced by your target audience – it becomes possible to get leads that converts to sales easily.