The 21 Marketing and Sales Challenges of ICT Businesses
Challenge #5 – There is no Sales Process
Welcome to video# 5 in our series of 21 Marketing and Sales Challenges of ICT businesses and what to do about them.
Many ICT businesses struggle to find enough new business, especially when they finish one or two big projects and wonder where the next batch of work is going to come from. So they put up with the Revenue Roller Coaster ride down the hill and patiently wait for the next referral. Then the referral arrives, the work and billing starts again and the Revenue Roller Coaster climbs back up the hill and all seems well because revenue is rising. This doesn’t fix the problem long term, so businesses end up riding their Revenue Roller Coaster up and down for the entire life of the Business.
Sound familiar? Take a couple of minutes to watch the video below and read the article on how having and using a sales process to design your lead generation strategy can provide an effective long term solution to help you get off the Revenue Roller Coaster ride.
All I need is referrals – right?
The usual approach for many business is to rely exclusively on referrals. However growing your firm is much easier if you are not just relying on referrals as your source of new clients for a few reasons:
- relying on referrals coming in often makes it very difficult to scale your business at the rate you want to;
- you can’t always control the quality of the referral as you feel it may offend the referrer’s so you feel you’re duty-bound to take on that referral; and
- your network of referrers has a limited capacity to grow and scale referrals.
- all this leads to a “slow-drip” of new opportunities.
The answer starts with creating a sales process
The first steps to building long term new business “flow” is to ensure you map out a sales process. A typical sales process might look the one below:
IDEA – What companies or market or area you want to target
LEAD – The contact name and the company
CONTACTED – When you contact that lead to see what issues they have and what services they currently use
QUALIFIED – Are they a good fit for you?
NEEDS ASSESSMENT – Review of their needs with an overall recommendation
PROPOSAL/QUOTE – Costing and timetable based on the feedback from the needs assessment
NEGOTIATION -Following through on the quote. Negotiating scope, time and cost.
YES – They have accepted the quote
NO – They have selected another supplier or option or are not moving ahead
FUTURE – They are not ready to move ahead yet – but maybe in the near future
DELIVER WORK – The job is one that you are now implementing
NURTURE – keep in contact with Future’s/No’s so you stay “top of mind”
Knowing the Numbers
With a defined sales process, you can work backwards from your desired number of “Yes” responses to your Quotes/Proposals to work out how many leads you need to achieve this. For example, to get two “Yes” responses you may need “30 “leads” at the beginning of your sales process. Make sure you watch the video for more about how to exactly do this.
Filling the funnel
Now you know exactly how many leads you need, 30 leads per month, you can calculate and track how you will get more new leads. For example:
- Client Referrals x 2 leads
- LinkedIn x2 leads
- Past prospects x 5 leads
- Supplier Referrals x 4 leads
- Networking x 2 leads
- SEO/Website Enquiries x 10 leads
- Staff Referrals x 1 leads
- Other IT Companies x 2 leads
- Google or Facebook Ads x 6 leads
- Total = 34 leads
Remember it can take months to build your pipeline of new business so set aside time even when you are busy or outsource lead generation and marketing to keep the lead generation flowing.
Need some guidance?
If you need more help with this challenge take a few minutes to read our article on sales process. If you would like to discuss any lead generation or marketing ideas for your business just call us on (02) 9125 0520 or visit our website and request a call-back – we’d love to hear from you.