Are You Falling Into The Numbers Trap?

May 6th '17

I’ve lost track of the amount of marketing and/or sales people who think that just by multiplying numbers you’re guaranteed sales success. This premise generally doesn’t work for various reasons but the main one being, the broader you are the least focused your sales and marketing efforts are likely to be.


Big Databases Used For Mailshots

A large database you’ve acquired from somewhere with a company name and address may sound attractive but if that’s all the information you have (or if you’re lucky maybe the Managing Director’s name) how do you know that:


  1. This business is even interested in your products or services?
  2. The person is the best contact to receive marketing information?
  3. The business is financially viable and worth you talking to in the first instance?


Much better to have a very clear idea of your target audience right down to where they are geographically, turnover size, number of employees, industry/SIC code, credit rating, net worth and most importantly who is the best person to speak to in the organisation. You can buy databases that provide all of this information and more.


If you identified 20 key target businesses that you knew you could definitely sell to it would be a better use of your resources and time to target these 20 effectively and consistently over a broad mailshot to 1,000.


Large Following On Social Media

Using the 20 over 1,000 mentioned above it’s easy to collect followers who quite frankly are a click on a button and then nothing more. Social media should be used with a clear target market you are hoping to engage with and who you specifically need to get your branding in front of.


If you only operate in Kent then only concentrate your efforts on people and businesses in Kent. You will attract people from all over the world but use lists in Twitter to scale your attention down to those people you know you want to be selling to. Identify and connect with relevant people, companies and groups on LinkedIn by your target audience criteria. And if you’re paying for boosted posts or adverts scale it down so you are as niche as you can be against your ideal customers and so saving your advertising budget.


Engagement is by far a better indication of how well your social media marketing is performing for you. You need people to remember you, recognise what you do, pay an interest and then use you because you’ve become a trusted contact for them by the time they are ready to buy.


One Call And Never Contacted Again?

It’s common for sales people to be given a long list of names and telephone numbers of companies to contact. It can be mind numbingly dull to keep working through a spreadsheet or CRM system going back over the same companies. But the cold callers that do very well are the ones who systematically exhaust those lists until they know precisely whether they can get a sale with that company AND the right contact to speak to.


If you’ve identified those companies that would be ideal customers then they are worth working over and over again until you get through. Gatekeepers eventually leave companies, circumstances change and sales people should take it as a personal challenge to unearth that golden nugget in each and every list.


I’ve worked on some very difficult target markets in competitive industries and with persistence and methodical working via planned activities, for call backs and notes, we’ve not only found buyer contacts at many High Street Retailers but negotiated free trials and got sales as a result of it. You can too!


Don’t give up when things get a bit difficult, motivate staff to do a thorough job. Jumping from list to list without working it thoroughly is a scattergun approach which will just leave you with tons of names and numbers and no detail for future marketing or sales teams.


You Get Loads Of People To Your Exhibition Stand

Finally my bug bear for sales and marketing teams and where a huge amount of money has been invested is on a presence at an exhibition; you’ve paid for a good size stand, the stand itself, pre-marketing advertising and PR, travel and staffing for the stand and you’ve collected loads of leads over the course of the event and what happens when the exhibition is over?


A luke warm approach to the leads is made; if they can’t be contacted the first few times they get forgotten and once again they become a useless piece of data that clogs up CRM systems or spreadsheets.


If You Want Bigger To Be Better….

For the big numbers to win over clear, concise targeted campaigns every single number/company/person needs to be properly talked to, marketed to and an explanation and learning process be made to establish why they aren’t interested in what you have to sell.


Because most importantly you need to learn where your selection process isn’t working or whether it’s ineffective sales and marketing that’s leading to a poor conversion on your sales/marketing activities to leads and sales.


Author: Denise Wilton



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