February was an eye-opener!
Early in the month, I talked with a marketing agency that generated 85 (IMO) pretty qualified leads for his client. The client is complaining that they've had the leads for 4-6 weeks and haven't generated any sales from the leads. The client hasn't called any of them. They want the agency to show them how to nurture the leads with email, etc. to get the leads to call the client. I told the agency guy to get his client to call the leads and gave him a script. He said that wasn't his job! So, what is his job? To generate worthless leads? Why are they worthless? Do they not fit the ideal customer profile? Did the agency make his client understand that he would still have to 'sell' the prospect? So, is this a case of marketing delivering crappy leads or is this a case of salespeople not being properly trained, motivated, etc.?
Lesson: Does your expert know your whole process?
I recently read a blog article on the consultative sales process. The author suggested that salespeople should call inbound generated leads and start with, "Hi (insert first name), I was notified that you came to our website and recently downloaded (insert title of e-book, white paper, etc.). Do you remember doing that? Great! What were you looking for help with?" It's not a terrible approach, but it's vanilla. So, I commented, suggesting that most forms ask a question that can be used to personalize the way you start the conversation. Something like, "Hi (insert first name), I was notified that you came to our website and recently downloaded (insert title of e-book, white paper, etc.). You mentioned that your salespeople weren't converting leads to sales. How long has that been going on?" If the forms don't ask a question, ask the reason for the download, but make it a multiple choice question. Something like, "I've been noticing that the people downloading the e-book have mostly been interested in increasing the number of leads or they have enough leads and they're looking to increase the number that get converted. Where's your focus?" See the difference? It's less sale-sy. It makes it easier to get to meat. The author deleted the comment. I was surprised, but after a couple of days, I looked at his profile on LinkedIn and tweeted "Should this person be writing about sales process?" His profile showed no sales jobs.
Lesson: Does your expert know what they're talking about?
About a week ago, I had an marketing agency owner tell me that someone was interested in getting help with PPC. The agency owner asked me if I could help them sell a PPC retainer. I asked, "Why do people want to do PPC? What issues are they trying to address? What results are they hoping for?" He replied, "I don't know. I've never done PPC before!" What makes him think that he's qualified? Why would he even want the job? Because he needs the money!
Lesson: Is your expert more after their money or your results?
As you may know, I've been around Hubspot for a while. I like Hubspot and I've made some money helping Hubspot customers sell better, but I think the time has come to acknowledge that Hubspot is much more effective as a sales tool. As a matter of fact, I'd suggest that social media in general is much more productive 'sales-wise' when salespeople learn to use it properly. So, maybe you don't want to fire marketing, but maybe we need to help your salespeople be a little more self-reliant. Call Me Maybe? or have me call you.Rick Roberge