By Dave Goates, Director of Human Capital, Launch Leads
When Launch Leads started, we had perhaps the longest URL in the history of the Internet: www.Launchsalesandmarketing.com. WAY too long. . .What’s the difference between marketing and sales? Which is more important? What are the hidden costs?Remember: “Nothing happens until something sells.”I am not going to settle that argument with this post, but here are some thoughts about the hidden costs of marketing and sales. Costs escalate if you don’t manage lists. How do you prioritize?
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” (Stephen R. Covey). The one with the most sales leads isn’t the winner. All the marketing activities you do to increase sales leads are good and desirable, but how are you deciding what constitutes the ones worth following up? What are your criteria for success? How do you decide if you’re winning?
Marketing is designed to increase visibility for your product or service. It’s putting yourselves out there to make yourselves a possibility in someone’s mind.
If you know someone in your pile of leads has expressed interest, they are your highest priority, and you call them immediately. Don’t EVER forget that following up on what’s in your pipeline today will ALWAYS bear more fruit than new marketing initiatives.
Move your sales leads further along in your system every day. Make a presentation, make contact by phone or in person, or close a sale every day.
Don’t get stuck in your system. Technology can be great, but it can bog you down if you aren’t careful. Activity is no substitute for results. You need a steady flow of new leads, but you must be touching a manageable number of leads as you go to move them along. A closing is great, but you have to multi-task in your database to make certain you have a steady flow of closings in various stages to create consistent cash flow for your business.
Take stock of where you are binding up in the process. Sort your leads by probability of a likely closing, and label them hot, warm or cold. Work them in that order. Call to make something happen TODAY. Contact is the keyword. Think cost vs. profit. Letting leads sit idle is costing your company money every day because they are perishable.
If you need more leads at the front end, sort the networking possibilities based on who is most likely to feed you new opportunities. If you’re not part of a big company with separate departments and you’re doing both activities remember this: There IS a difference between marketing and sales. Examine what you’ve been doing to get to where you are.
Now, one final point. Throw away cold leads. There’s a reason it’s cold, so pronounce it dead and move on. There’s a real cost associated with keeping it in the system. It’s probably no better than a long URL nobody can remember.