I love working for Fusion Marketing Partners as a consultant. Their combined expertise in marketing is amazing. I especially enjoy when they run research about their clients because I can use a lot of the insights they gain in growing my own business.
Their recent survey, “State of the Industry Report 2017: Trends in B2B Marketing and Lead to Revenue” is a good example. I’d like to grab a few tips from it to share with you so that we all can gain the benefits inherent in its results.
I have done pretty well by working approximately five leads a week for about an hour a lead. I realize that’s small potatoes to many of you—but you can always extrapolate out to what your size B2B company needs to do.
What works for me? B2B social selling activities such as sending LinkedIn InMails; seeing who is looking at my LinkedIn profile and reaching out; reading Tweets from companies who have “liked” my posts and contacting them with my resume/portfolio; reaching out to people in my network who I have worked for or who have worked for me; sending portfolios (digital) to agencies who are a good fit or to friends-of-friends in my discipline. You can see that my sales lead management process is mostly digital; mostly based on platforms; and targeted to people with the budget to hire people like me.
According to FMP’s market research, we are all looking at our sales process and sales organization to ensure we are targeting the right people. We’re trying to measure and adapt as we figure out the cost-to-acquire a customer via sales activities. For me this December, it meant research: I dialed back into my invoices for last year and identified:
1) where I got the contact (generation)
2) how many hours I spent on the relationship (nurturing) and;
3) how much that activity yielded (minus what it cost me to hire applicable specialists to complete all or parts of a project)
Since I didn’t have sales or marketing automation abilities in 2016, I needed to reconstruct my sales lead habits from scratch. This year, I actually bought a very simple sales-lead-tracking app for my iPhone so I don’t have to go through this painful process again and so that my sales generation can be organized appropriately across my email and social accounts. Should I stay at only five hours a week to reach my revenue goal this year? It looks like I hit my growth targets for last year and exceeded my revenue goals. So, I think I can stay there (five hours) if I also hire a new business person part-time.
According to the FMP survey, it looks like many of us are also planning to spend more money automating the L2R process as I have. We’re also examining our L2R according to the payoff of each phase (generation; nurturing; closing a sale). I will let you know how it goes.
As I mentioned, I am examining the payoff others in my field can expect by contracting with a new business officer for a reasonable hourly rate plus a percentage of the profits of the business they reel in. The fact is, I am also at capacity for a lot of these activities—but I’m not investing what I need to (20% of revenue) in marketing and sales in that 20-hour month.
Acquire or Die
The FMP survey said that most of us think that our cost-to-acquire customers is staying the same. Mine has stayed pretty stable over the past 2-3 years as digital disruption creates new “flywheel” opportunities—my online presence raising brand awareness to underscore my value to potential clients.
One post creates an avalanche of opportunities (in cumulative effect only) depending on who is online at the moment it goes live. The problem with that, as we all know, my friends, is WHICH POST? WHICH PLATFORM? Now that I have this app, I can connect my social insights as well as my email/phone networking activities very easily. I can figure out where I need to be to make the most impact for my brand.
The reason I didn’t let you know which apps I reviewed and/or tried; I don’t know if they’re going to work yet. What I do know is that if you take FMP’s survey out and apply it to your business you will gain insights and direction for your 2017 L2R management. I know I did. And I know 2017 will be a banner year because of it.