A popular misconception about Lemmings is that every once and a while, they all suddenly run off a cliff and commit suicide. Unfortunately, its not a misconception when talking about sales & marketing processes in a professional services environment.
As I’ve mentioned before, in any organisation, there is generally only 6 core Tactical Sales & Marketing activities. ie.
- Generate Leads
- Qualify Prospects
- Close Customers
- Account Management
Knowing this makes life fairly easy as you can then measure not only the effectiveness of each activity in your pipeline, but how the activities are connected.
I say this because the most common problems I see in organisations is the disconnect between the separate activities. I.e. one process doesn’t automatically handover to the next. eg.
- Leads being generated, then not being qualified.
- Prospects being identified, but not being sold to.
- Sales been closed, but services not being delivered.
I was once involved in a campaign where we delivered qualified prospects to a car yard. People that were in the market for a new car and wished to test drive the model. The initial campaign failed as the sales team was hesitant to call the prospects “as they may have changed their mind, and that would be depressing”. Note the campaign was saved by changing our process to finish with a booked test drive, rather than just contact details of a hot prospect.
Recently I ran a new client engagement campaign for a professional services organisations. After running a series of events in an agenda, I found that the main sales person, who was also the CEO, was simply too busy to do anything with the new relationships we had developed.
Sadly, I can’t see this issue changing as the sales and marketing function of most professional services organisations never gets the focus it deserves, and as people are turned over, the lessons will be there to be learnt again and again. Like Lemmings, almost.