Theoretically building a lead bank is step 10 of the Sales Circuit – the final step.
But as I’ll always tell you, there isn’t really an end or a beginning.
All of the steps form part of a perpetual journey and if you remember the four stages of my lifecycle from our previous blog, you probably noticed that gathering leads was a key part of step one, right at the beginning.
I’ve stated before that nothing really starts until you get that first click. But, in reality, you need leads to persuade someone to click – it all starts somewhere.
That might be through referrals, where someone has had a great experience and recommended you to someone else. And that’s a great source of repeat custom, and exactly why your best customers are the ones you already have.
But that relationship only develops as you make them feel welcome, nurturing them and making them a sales offer.
In truth, the sales cycle can start anywhere. Its success depends wholly on whether you keep the various processes turning and feeding into each other – and, if they’re not, then it’ll depend if you make the necessary changes to ensure that they do.
This is where the real magic starts.
I’m not talking David Blaine, Dynamo, or Penn and Teller, by the way.
Once the machine is ticking over nicely and producing positive and rewarding results, you can move onto the next stage – fine-tuning and amplifying.
We’ve addressed this concept throughout the Sales Circuit, but what I want to focus on in this blog is filling the bucket – and how we do that.
Turning on the tap
See what I’ve done there? Filling the bucket, turning on the tap? Anyway, you get the metaphor.
Step five of the Sales Circuit talks about leaks (bear with me, I’m rolling with this metaphor) and regularly checking to make sure the system is capturing and actioning data properly.
As long as there’s a routine in place that handles this, then your main job is simply to keep increasing the number of leads.
Think about it - if you’d invented a machine that could turn a £5 note into a £20 note, what would you be doing all day?
Hint, it’s not to find as many five-pound notes as you can – as simple as that may seem…
Nope, what I’d be doing is hiring someone to borrow £5 notes on the premise that the lender will be paid £6 in return, and then paying the collector £2 per collection.
I’d then pay someone £1 per go to fill the machine and hire a third employee the same amount to collect the £20 notes and deliver them to my ‘next project’ account.
I know that seems like a slightly convoluted example, but there is a point to it.
Once you’ve got your fully automated, remotely managed Sales Circuit up and running, your job is to find a way to fill it with as many leads as possible.
Admittedly, you do need to keep an eye on things. One of those is capacity because leaks and other problems can occur for multiple reasons.
It could be software glitches, gremlins, human error, or unidentifiable causes – which is why you need to test and check everything regularly.
It might even be because something has changed, or your marketing isn’t effective anymore, or even that a need in the market has shifted.
There are so many outside influences that’ll stop a previously well-oiled machine from delivering the results it should.
And as a business looks to grow, the biggest thing you’ll need to watch is overloading capacity.
If you’ve not paid enough attention to cashflow or if demand is slowing down delivery and service quality so much that customers are being neglected or let down, then you’ve got a problem,
The thing to remember is that any system is only as strong as its weakest link.
A simple checklist might be enough to manage the consistency and robustness of your Sales Circuit, but it has to be used regularly.
And one good strategy to use is….
This is the concept of trying different marketing approaches on the same body of leads to see which is more effective in converting sales.
Let’s say that you’ve got a database of 1000 potential leads, and you’ve created a brand-new piece of marketing that you’re going to send them.
The marketing department is naturally excited and has no doubt that their work is brilliant, innovative, and inspired.
But, of course they love it – they created it. I’d be concerned if they didn’t!
Only the lead base can tell you if what’s been put together will work. That’s an important lesson to remember.
So, you’ve got two choices:
- Send out the 5000 letters and hope the work is as good as your marketing team thinks it is
- OR you can test it first…
The way that you test it is by selected two groups of 50 leads each and calling them Set A and Set B.
Ask the marketing team to make a few amendments to the marketing piece, or even produce a second idea altogether.
With the two test cases, you send out one version to Set A and one version to Set B, each with a different ‘claim’ code so that you can track and measure the results as they roll in.
From thereon in it’s simple – you see which version performs better and proceed with that one.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t keep testing ad infinitum or you’ll risk never sending anything until it reaches perfection.
Because in the end, good enough is good enough!
Amplification and automation
Creating a never-ending bank of leads might seem great, but you might not know where to start. Well, here are a few tips on how you can do just that and keep feeding into your well-oiled sales machine.
- Profiling – I’ve alluded to avatars on more than one occasion, and importantly I’ve also mentioned finding your ideal customer. When you begin your journey to identify your best customers and the ones that’ll benefit the most, there is A LOT of guesswork involved. As you build your client base, the picture becomes clearer, and you know who is a good customer and who might be a bit of a burden. Then you’ll eventually have enough data to actually profile who your best customers are. Take a look at your top 20% of clients and amalgamate all of their characteristics, and you should have a pretty good profile already.
- Social content – We live in an online world. And that means advertising, communication, and feedback are all highly social and shareable. Quite simply, if you put yourself out there more, then more people will find you. Of course, it has to be of good quality AND relevant. Remember, everything you put on social media reflects your brand, so it needs to be strategically planned with a central message. The key here is quality first, volume second.
- Referrals and testimonials – The best source of new leads come from the people that already love what you do. Yep, that’s your current customers! Nothing is stronger for winning new business than referrals.
- Networking – Depending on what sort of field you’re in, there are SO MANY opportunities to grow just by networking. Getting out there and meeting people should always be on your mind. In most areas in the UK there are strong business networking communities, from the Federation of Small Businesses to local Chambers of Commerce, and independent networking groups, there are plenty out there. It might not work for everyone, but it’s always worth a try.
The end goal is to create a strategic and process-driven Sales Circuit that functions well, generates sales, is easily maintained, and can be automated.
Then you can step back and ask yourself the golden, entrepreneurial question:
What should you do next?
Interested in hearing more about the Sales Circuit?
Book a call with one of our team to hear about how we can support your business through The Sales Circuit.