Why You Must ALWAYS be Tracking Results
Without a target you can't hit a bull's-eye, correct? Worse than that, without a target, you don't even know what you're shooting at. You might as well close your eyes and pull the trigger.
Pretty dangerous thought, huh?
Well, it's no different if you are making assumptions about your marketing activities. Hopefully, you had specific goals before you got started, instead of just a hope and a prayer. You didn't? Woops! Well, there's still hope that you can stay on top! Since this article isn't about goals, I'm assuming you have already set them. If you haven't, DO IT NOW! Then, you need to start writing down some records about your marketing activities such as how much money you're spending, how many leads you're getting, how many calls you're making, and what exactly is taking place on each of your prospect calls.
If you're relying on someone else to make those calls for you, I strongly suggest you have them keep these records for you. If you don't, you will have NO CLUE where to fine tune the prospecting & sales process, what to tweak, etc. OK, so I'm getting into another topic for another day. Let's get back to records, and tracking your results...
You can have the best, most qualified prospects calling you, but never close any of them if your sales approach is lacking (or if you haven't identified your prospect's personal needs). Likewise, you can have the best sales approach, but never close a single prospect if your marketing program is lacking. So if you're not getting any results from your marketing, prospecting, & sales activities, you need to determine where the flaws are.
In order to do that, you must keep records on
a) Each prospect, and
b) Tally the categorical responses
Keeping records can tell you exactly what to do more of, and what to do less of. Here is what you need on each of your prospects, when keeping records;
1) Lead name & email
2) First telephone attempt (provide date and time + time zone)
3) Contacted by phone (yes/no)
a. If yes, provide date
b. If no, how many times called or disposition (ie callback, wrong#, etc)
c. If no, how many times emailed or disposition (bad email)
4) Gave presentation (yes/no)
a. If yes, provide disposition (sale, in progress, callback, not interested, etc)
b. If no, provide explanation
Part of the requirements of a skilled sales person is to keep these kinds of records on each of his contacts. If you aren't keeping these records on each of your prospects, you are not taking your job seriously, nor being accountable to the hard earned dollars you spend on leads. Here are the overall records that you should tally after each and every campaign you run.
1) Total Leads/callbacks received
2) Total contacted (talked to when called or emailed)
3) Total presentations made (whole presentations)
4) Total sales
5) Total in progress (needs followup, interested)
6) Total Call Backs / Not Home
7) Total Busy signals / Voice Mail
8) Total Wrong/disconnected phone number
9) Total Not Interested
If you are not recording this information, or if you have sales people working for you who are not recording this information, you cannot identify WHAT you (or they) are doing right, or WHAT you (or they) are doing wrong. Even if you're having wild success, you need to know HOW and WHY, so you can duplicate it for even more success.
Results from a successful marketing campaign are not always quantified by sales alone. Conversely, sales (or the lack thereof) does not always indicate the success or failure of a marketing campaign.
In other words, you could have a successful marketing campaign, and a very poor sales approach or presentation causing you to not make any sales. Qualified prospects could be turned off by the way the salesperson approached them. Did the sales person jump right into "selling" the product? Or did he spend the necessary time learning who the prospect was, what their background was, their family, their work, THEIR NEEDS, specifically relating to their inquiry?
Most sales people fail to understand that prospects don't care how much you know about your product, until they know how much you care about them. 90% of your presentation will be heard if you spend 90% of your time talking about THEM, and THEIR NEEDS. At the same time, 90% of all sales are lost because sales people don't get this one very simple concept.
Please keep in mind that there is a difference between CARING and MANIPULATION. If you attempt to apply the above concept for the purpose of manipulating your prospects, it backfire on you. If all you really care about is enriching your pocket book, it will be obvious.
Now, on the other hand, you can care all you want, and still be talking to unqualified prospects from your marketing campaign. What is a qualified prospect?
There are different levels of qualification. The more you qualify a prospect, the more it will cost you for your marketing campaign. Generally, for anything less than $5 per inquiry, a company can only provide you with the contact information of a prospect who has indicated an interest, desire, and some motivation to want to make more money than they are currently making.
When it comes to Internet marketing, there is a lot of trust imparted to a campaign that enables the prospect to fill out an inquiry, indicating his interest, desire, and motivation. Depending on when you pick up the phone and contact this prospect, his interest, desire, and conviction may have waned between the time he submitted his inquiry, and when you eventually called him.
Regardless, a prospect's interest, desire, and motivation to earn more money than they are currently making should be the very first topic of discussion in your approach on the phone. If you plunge right into your company name, your product, your website, or anything else about YOU and YOUR interests, you have immediately alienated your prospect. All bets are off at this point, and you have lost a great deal of trust in your prospect that may or may not be won back.
Here is a word of advice! DON'T ASSUME ANYTHING, except the obvious!
What do I mean by "obvious"? It's OK to assume that your prospect has an interest and desire to make more money, and is motivated to do something about it at the beginning of the call. Why? Because that is the very nature of the campaign, and unless the prospect is lying, or the company you purchased the leads from is not telling you the truth, that is what you bargained for from your marketing company.
The very first words out of your mouth should be something like, "Hello, may I speak with (prospect's name)?" When you get confirmation, you need to lay down the foundation of the call, and why you are calling.
"I'm calling in response to your recent request for more information on how to make money in a home-based business..." And then immediately ask, "Do you have just two minutes?"
If the prospect says "Yes" (or something similar) they are indicating the fact that they are a qualified prospect. Do they have enough money to purchase your product? Maybe, maybe not! Do they think your product will fulfill their needs? Maybe, maybe not! Are they ready to take action NOW, even if the answers to the two previous questions are yes? Maybe, maybe not! The answers to all three of these questions are in large part due to how effective YOU are in doing three things yourself,
1) Showing the prospect how much you care about THEM
2) Asking your prospect questions which reveal their NEEDS, and
3) Customizing the benefits of your products/services around your prospect's needs
Although I've veered a little off the topic, it is imperative that you understand what a qualified prospect is, if you are going to identify WHY and WHERE your marketing, prospecting, and sales activities are successful or unsuccessful. If your prospects are qualified and you're not making sales, you need to start looking at your sales approach, product, pricing, or the market's readiness for such a product.
If you are keeping the above records on each of your prospects, then you have everything you need to be able to "track your results". You have the formula for identifying whether or not your marketing campaign is flawed, or your sales approach is flawed.If you are NOT keeping the above records on each of your prospects, you have no way to determine WHY you are making sales or why you are NOT making sales. To even attempt to come to any conclusions without having these records is like trying to take a trip to an unknown destination without a map.
Unless all your leads (prospects) are unable to be contacted because of wrong or disconnected phone numbers, or you are unable to contact 50% or more of them after several attempts during different hours throughout the day and evening, and if most of your leads (prospects) are qualified (using the definition above), then your sales approach or presentation is suspect.There is one other possibility if most of your leads meet the definition of "qualified" above. You have not created enough value for your prospect to associate with your product or service. The higher the cost of your product or service, the greater value you will need to convey to your prospect. If your prospect equate a lesser value to your product than what you are asking, his response will be either "Not Interested," or "I can't afford it."
Although sales and marketing are closely associated, there is a distinct difference between them. Because most people associate one with the other, they usually always mistake poor sales as a direct result of poor marketing. Although this is sometimes true, it is usually only seldom true.If you are working with a credible marketing company who has proven the ability to produce qualified prospects (as defined above), then marketing can only be a marginal cause of poor sales. Could the marketing company qualify the prospects harder? Could they ask prospects harder questions to determine specific qualifications (such as age, income, readiness, etc)? Certainly! Are you willing to pay the higher price for them to do so?
If your prospects are qualified, and your results are not what you expect, then your attention should be directed at the sales approach, product pricing, and the value proposition of the offer. The bottom line is this! If you are keeping accurate records, you will have the data available to determine where the cause of success or failure lies. Without accurate records, you have only hearsay, conjecture, opinions, or assumptions of what MIGHT be the cause. Making assumptions has been the cause of many failures in business. Don't make it yours!
Follow these steps, and you will have a sure-fire method of setting up a target where you can see it, instead of shooting in the dark! By doing these things, you will be able to determine with pinpoint accuracy why you're missing the target, or why you're hitting the bull's-eye!