The elements–water, fire, earth and air–are reflected everywhere, for example in landscaping, architecture, martial arts and in many different philosophies. In my new blog series, we’re looking at how they are reflected in sales. Let’s continue with more about water.
As discussed in the last blog in this series, it all begins with water. That spring comes out of the ground, and eventually becomes a brook or stream, then a river, then a lake and eventually an ocean. We can liken this scenario to sales–that spring consists of the first leads we get.
Of course we need to nurture that spring and take good care of it, so that our source of leads continues. Sometimes a source is very strong, but then completely shuts down. Properly cared for, that spring will continue consistently so that the company continues to grow.
Remember that taking care of it means keeping track of leads even when they don’t close. You never know when a lead will come back to life–someone realizes a year later that they made the wrong decision in buying your competitor’s product or service. So keep total track of your leads.
A very important part of caring for your lead sources–your spring–is planning its channel as it grows. The channel, in our case, is the sales process. What is the sales process to guide that brook, then creek, then river? You have to create that process, which is in fact your sales infrastructure. If you don’t have that infrastructure, then you can be caught off guard and have your business totally upended. The last thing you need is to have a source become overly strong, a river that overflows its banks–and the levee breaks.
I speak very much from personal experience about this. Several years ago, before we had a marketing structure fully up for Pipeliner CRM, I created a marketing campaign with Adobe. At the time Pipeliner was built exclusively on the Adobe AIR platform (no longer true) so this made sense. All they did was put a Pipeliner CRM banner ad up on their web site. I thought that at most I’d receive a couple hundred extra downloads.
It’s important to note that at the time, a customer could download and install Pipeliner without filling out any kind of form. They didn’t have to register the product. We had no way of knowing who was downloading, and had no method of reaching out to them and keeping track of them.
I was in for quite a shock. Within the first few hours of this campaign there were several thousand downloads, and I thought they must be fake. But it kept on, and on, and on…and in that first day we had 67,000 downloads!
This did not stop. We ended up with roughly that amount per day for the duration of the campaign. By the end of the second day we had over 130,000, and on the third day well over 200,000.
As this was happening it hit me: Crap! We have no idea who any of these people are! By the end of the campaign we had over 2.5 million downloads, and had lost each and every one of those identities.
So take a lesson from my incredibly expensive mistake: plan out your channel–your sales process–well before your creek turns into a raging river.
What kinds of problems have you encountered with channeling your leads? What successes have you had? Leave a comment and let me know!
Pipeliner CRM empowers sales teams to follow a precise sales process. Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.