May 062013

As June 30 looms, securing revenues will force organsiations to behave in two very different ways. Those that are on budget and have every faith they’ll meet the June 30 target. Then there will be those who are behind and continue to scramble to secure business.

Organisations, which fall into the later will regurgitate a series of short term tactics with the hope they now amazingly work to secure the sale. The problem here is that they didn’t work for the past 10 months, so why expect anything different now?

The most common tactic applied now will be to offer a discount to “sign the contract before June 30” and secure the business for this years budget.

Organisations may need to do that to keep the doors open, but what happens come July 1… what will the organisation do differently to perform better, and ultimately improve revenue next year?

Maybe the best option is to invest those short-term tactics into resetting next year’s revenue budgets. Not every business may be able to afford this, but the focus is to find a “solution” and hit July 1 with a bang!

Some reasons to consider this;

• Hammering out some marketing “incentives to buy”, just reinforces your seller priority not your buyer need
• Dropping the price to close the sale (often known as the Drop-Close), only sets the expectation that you’re desperate and the customer is likely to expect that service and “value” going forward
• Not everyone deserves either or both of the above. If you do need to deploy the above, ensure you are micro targeted with your audience, offer and perceived value

As you keep one eye on the present, the other must be looking towards the next 1 – 3 years. In 12 months you don’t want to be forced into these same survival tactics do you? In fact, something to consider is what did your organization do during the same period over the past two years?

Traditional solutions would focus on improving the following;

1. Create more leads
2. Improve sales people selling skills
3. Increase the customer product mix

These are but a few questions that DO NOT help an organisaton define its revenue performance maturity.

New age solutions would focus on pinpointing the root cause to poor revenue performance by improving insights into;

i. How many leads are needed
ii. What are the end-to-end conversion rates
iii. What does the entire buyer journey look like
iv. Where is revenue being lost

All of the above and more must be modelled of your ideal buyer profile. One thing is for sure, if your organisation is one of those who are behind and continue to scramble to secure business for June 30, then your overall business success is at risk.

Managing that risk could be viewed with efforts remaining high, as too the desire to improve yet it is most likely to be managed as separate business units. Unfortunately effort, desire and working in silo’s hinders progress.

For those wanting to learn more about improving revenue performance, we have hand picked the following insights for consideration;

Secrets to converting Sales Opportunities
Secrets to generating Quality leads
Secrets to managing the Buyer Cycle
3 Secrets to improve Revenue Performance
Secrets to building a Revenue Engine®

Mar 012013

Lead-to-Revenue Management (L2RM) is another way to define the need to calibrate marketing’s spend to the result of revenue generation.

Apart from buying and implementing some technology, what else do you need and what is the “real” priority, in terms of cost and effort?

L2RM is described as a strategic marketing initiative that will first disrupt, and then transform, your marketing organization. Often driven by referencing Marketing Automation, the concept is solid, however is another example of the singular approach to improving revenue.

Aligning to the buyer cycle will need technology and process, but the other CORE influencers are often overlooked, mostly due to ignorance than anything else. There is much more to improving revenue performance than adopting the latest technology tool.

Learn more about what you need to build by reading “Secrets to building a Revenue Engine®”

Dec 012012

Marketing continues to be at the centre of attention when it comes to spend.  Whilst it makes perfect sense to maintain this focus in a continually tough economy, the adjustment of meaningful metrics must remain with marketing and therefore the business.

By definition Marketing is all about creating inbound interest in your product or service.  That includes a range of markets, including new, repeat, upsell and reclaim. Many will argue it is more than that… but in the spirit of helping business generate more revenue, even as a non-for-profit, creating inbound interest is a key pillar to the business plan. The marketers role and value are a given.

However, in recent times marketers have not really helped themselves by applying marketing magic to the business leaders.  Business leaders continue to be bamboozled by the art of marketing and the ability to measure performance.

To help leaders we suggest three core metrics are best used to justify and hold accountable the role of marketing and the overall spend to create inbound interest.

Rightfully, the breadth of marketing skill is more than what we are about to share, but that in truth is most of the problem.  Businesses can cut through this breadth of complexity and make it simple.

Three things to measure marketing performance;

  1. The count of accepted leads:  This should be done on a weekly basis at least.  The count of leads needs to be mapped against a defined and agree target. That target, in reality is what the business plan should be based on. If not, there is every chance your “Revenue Engine®” is flawed from the start. Read more about a “Revenue Engine®” here.
  2. The velocity of leads: the time it takes to attract, capture, educate and qualify a lead.  The velocity of leads is often overlooked as a metric and with modern technology is no longer unreachable.
  3. The cost of leads:  the elephant in the room is defining and agreeing on the cost of lead.  In our experience, marketing undervalue their efforts… meaning that marketing ignore the residual value on historical marketing efforts. Granted getting an accurate cost of lead will take time but with collective value attributed to the cost of lead, the ability to quantify marketing ROI becomes a reality.

These core metrics are in fact the basis of any business plan. It rightfully prompts the questions;

  • How many leads do we need?
  • How fast can we attract them?
  • How much will we spend on acquiring them?

If a business is unable to answer those questions, then what does that say about the business plan?

It could be worse… businesses could continue asking marketing to set the metrics and accept their old school reports.

Either way you now know there is another way to look at measuring marketing performance.