April 13th, 2015
4 Measures To Find Out If Your Prospecting is Effective
By Sean Burke
KEN: We have a guest blog this week, during the past year, our research told us that “prospecting” was the #1 issue facing sales leaders. I think you will find this interesting.
Finding prospects and nurturing them into leads is an integral part of any sales cycle. Sometimes traditional marketing efforts are not enough to keep a healthy number of prospects flowing into your pipeline. When email marketing, client referrals, and trade show attendance is not enough, prospecting online provides opportunities to attract new leads to your business.
So, you start using social media and work on creating a following by sharing content. You start creating all sorts of downloadable content – eBooks, white papers, checklists and Infographics. You host and/or participate in webinars and online chats. Sometimes you give away these assets for free, other times, you offer them in exchange for contact information.
You can also use the newly released KiteDesk 2.0 sales productivity tool to quickly identify qualified leads from among millions of potential contacts from cloud-based data providers Fliptop, Netprospex, ZoomInfo and/or Full Contact. Advanced filtering delivers just the leads that sales reps have mutual connections into, which helps turn cold calls into warm introductions. KiteDesk collects and scores connections found in employees’ emails, calendars and social networks as well as CRM so they are easily accessible and searchable by anyone in the company. Get 300 free leads from KiteDesk when you sign up for KiteDesk today.
Once you have these details, prospecting can begin.
There is a lot of time and effort that goes into creating virtual giveaways, and it’s not always easy to determine if your efforts are yielding viable prospects. For the purpose of this discussion, we are going to use hosting a webinar as an example of a prospecting activity, but you can apply the following metrics to any of your prospecting efforts to discover if you will see a return on your investment:
- x Number of Leads Created – This is a simple measurement. For example, if you host a webinar, how many people registered? How many attended? If you are investing in hosting webinars that people aren’t attending, perhaps you need to make adjustments to your webinar planning (i.e. inviting a larger list, posting more ads on social media or co-branding the event with another company). If attendance doesn’t improve, you may reach the conclusion that your audience is not interested in attending webinars. Find out what does interest them, and do it better than your competition.
- Percentage of Leads Converted to a Sale – all the leads in the world do not matter if they do not translate into closed business at some point. Check out Marketing Sherpa’s Ecommerce Research Chart: Industry benchmark conversion rates for 25 retail categories to get a rough idea on the average conversion rate for your industry and determine how your efforts compare. Start by looking at your average sales cycle (say 60 days). After hosting a webinar, track those new leads at 60 days. Take the number of leads that converted to customers divided by the total number of new leads from the event. That’s your percentage. Are you meeting or exceeding your industry’s average? If so, great! If not, webinars may not be the best source of new leads for your business.
- Pipeline Revenue Created – In addition to measuring the number of leads you are creating through your prospecting efforts, it is also important to make sure that these leads eventually turn into new clients/revenue. Measuring the total NEW pipeline revenue will help you determine if you are building enough pipeline to justify the effort you are putting into prospecting. The way we recommend that you do this is as follows:
- Create a campaign in your CRM called = “Prospecting – Webinar Registrants”
- Ensure that all leads generated from webinars are associated with this campaign
- Make sure that your sales team keeps accurate information in your CRM that includes: Opportunities, revenue value of each new Opportunity created, and if and/or when those opportunities become closed sales
- Is Your Cost/Lead Going Up or Down – How much does hosting a webinar cost you? Divide that by the number of leads created, and that gives you your cost/lead. What does that number look like? Is it high? Is it getting higher? Ideally, your cost for acquiring a lead should be a low number to know that you are getting the most value out of your efforts. Here is a link to a report that you can use to determine how you are doing – Lead Generation, Benchmark Report.
Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 17 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.
He was recently ranked for the third year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers for 2014.
Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project.