Hello, and welcome back to another post in our “Building a Sales Pipeline” series! Today we are going to be talking about some examples of the success factors we touched on in the last video, along with some of our clients’ success stories when it comes to creating their sales pipelines.
Sales Pipeline Budgets
When it comes to budget, we find that to gain traction, about $20,000-$35,000 per month is required. This budget will cover Marketing FTE’s, Paid Media, Earned Media, etc. This budget will be invested across various marketing channels and on the manpower required to execute initiatives - such as content development and events coordination.
Ideally, your monthly budget in this area is closer to the $30,000-$35,000 range, as we find our clients who have a budget within that range have a higher chance of success in gaining traction.
Many review sites have some variation of cost-per-lead/cost-per-click programs that cost a few hundred bucks per lead. While it may seem appealing to just throw in a few hundred dollars into these sites, we find that by the time these leads convert, it is really worth it to spend anywhere from $5,000-$8,000 a month to get a meaningful number of more legitimate leads.
Interactions between the sales and marketing teams are a crucial step to creating a successful Sales Pipeline. Our clients that excel at this tend to hold regularly scheduled “Smarketing” meetings (Sales+Marketing=Smarketing), where they can openly discuss what is and is not working. This allows the sales team to find out what the marketing team is working on and what is coming up. This also allows the marketing team to gauge how sales feels about the leads that are being generated.
These meetings allow the teams to communicate and make changes if certain channels are not producing solid leads, as well as determine what channels are generating the most effective leads so more budget can be allocated to those channels. This communication also provides an opportunity to create more data by marking unsuccessful channels in the CRM to be optimized against.
Along these same lines, we find that it is beneficial to have an inside sales team or a BDR person who is calling through the leads within a half-hour of them coming in to convert them. It is instrumental to have an inside sales team (or person) who is feeding qualified leads to the outside sales team.
Multiple Marketing Channels
In our last video, How to Create a Sales Pipeline, Quickly, we spoke about the pancake stack metaphor, with each channel (search, paid promotion, review sites, trade publications, etc.) being a different pancake in the stack. We find that when we get our clients going with multiple channels, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts, and a type of synergy is created.
It is important to note that each of these channels is always changing, each producing leads at different rates in different time periods, even if you don’t change anything. This ebb and flow type of effect is normal and is a part of the process of sustaining a successful Sales Pipeline.
One of our strong points as a company is bringing metrics directly to our clients. We make sure that they are looking at their metrics with us every month, which allows us to see what is and isn’t doing well. This allows them to re-allocate their budget to focus on the most effective channels for their marketing strategy.
With the technology available today, marketing is now much more than just making t-shirts and posters. It can be measured. And we can see leading and lagging indicators, which allows for adjustments to be made according to where we are in the sales cycle. We can see how much we are attracting, how much we are converting, and eventually, we can start to optimize our programs based on what we are actually closing.
Another important measurement to be collected is sales activity. Your sales manager should be tracking how many phone calls, emails, and meetings are taking place, along with other sales-related metrics. This is a key factor for some of our more successful clients.
Importance of Management Involvement
When upper management is actively involved in the Marketing/Sales process, everybody wins. In fact, one of our most successful clients’ CEO is very much involved in the operations of his company, while also allowing his employees to take care of their work in which they specialize in. He keeps track of the various campaigns his company is running and comes up with ideas to pitch toward his employees. Because of the involvement of this CEO, his company was able to have a successful Sales Pipeline up and running within 7 months of starting.
We hope this was helpful to you! Stay tuned for the next video in this series, where we will be talking about some not-so-successful examples, and how we can remove the barriers that are preventing success!