If you spend money on marketing but have no system for tracking leads, you are losing money.

The following article was written for and published in Colorado Builder Magazine on October 19, 2019.

“One of your most valuable tools as a better people leader is your scorekeeping system. Correctly designed scorecards build common sense, explain why, provide motivation, and make very clear the ‘what’ of what’s expected in your team. Most importantly, scorecards give your team a way to succeed—a way to win,” Charles Coonradt says in his book, “The Better People Leader.”

A large part of the reason businesses are successful is because they have systems in place. These systems have measurable outcomes and create accountability among its people. George Odiorne said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” These systems are, in fact, the scorecard of the company.

Lead management includes both sales and marketing

Often, sales and marketing are on opposite sides of the building, so to speak. Marketing decides what kind of advertising to do, and Sales receives whatever leads come as a result. Then, as you may have experienced, Marketing is wondering why the salespeople are not selling the leads, and your Sales team is saying the leads are unqualified. Your Sales and Marketing teams need to be talking to each other, and those conversations should be driven by data.

For example, if you have at least one salesperson who is selling certain types of leads and the others are not, you can investigate why. Obviously, the leads are somewhat viable because someone is closing them. What is that person doing to close the sale? Is it something that can be taught to or learned by others? By looking at this kind of data, you can see how you can either adjust the way you assign leads or adjust your marketing.

[Related: 1 easy and overlooked way to increase sales]

For example, in a business I worked with, we started assigning leads from each advertising venue to salespeople who had a proven history of selling those types of leads. In less than eight months, sales from the radio station increased by more than $1 million, and closing ratios increased. Sales reps were happy because they were given leads they could sell. The company was happy because that lead source started performing better. Everybody won.

The sales cycle

Often in remodeling, the sales from one month get carried into production for another month. If there is a lag in the sales cycle, there will be a lag in production and, subsequently, billings and receivables. When sales and marketing departments are working together, they can find ways to market to faster-selling, faster-fulfilling services for that time period.

[Related: New remodelersMeet the homebuyers driving remodeling growth]

By managing your leads, sales and marketing “by the numbers,” your marketing expense percentages will be reduced. That will result in freeing up money to put toward other important things such as recruiting or education.

Susan Raisanen is president of Profit Finder Pro, a CRM software provider serving small businesses. She can be reached at susan@profitfinderpro.com or 800-972-6952.

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