I had an incredibly interesting conversation this week with a long-standing London based client.
Aside from seeing a stunning lead rate coming in via their SoPro channel, now firmly bolted into the marketing mix, it was obvious the business was closing a marked uplift in non-SoPro deals…
Given that we had drawn marketing budget away from other channels it was a little unexpected, it was certainly not driven by increased spend elsewhere so I took the time to dig a little deeper.
From our esteemed client’s perspective, it was a no brainer.
I’ll paraphrase to say the ensuing conversation went something like this…
Me: “Yeah but Tony, that makes no sense at all…”
Tony: “it makes perfect sense… nowadays we just drop the inbound leads into the same sales process as the SoPro leads… they convert about the same”
So I’m all like… “yeah but that’s just your normal sales process… right?”
And this guys like… “Yeah but not really… the old sales process wasn’t really for lead-after-lead type sales, it was more of an ad-hoc thing, different every time, we used pick things up but there wasn’t much of a process and the close rate wasn’t great… it’s pretty tight right now with the SoPro stuff coming in so we just follow the same approach with all our inbound leads”
Boom. Steam-train to the face.
The value of the SoPro channel had extended WAY beyond the face value of our prospecting service.
In dealing with the SoPro deal flow, our client had been forced to totally re-calibrate their approach to sales, they rapidly implemented a vastly improved, more efficient, more streamlined, more reportable and more accountable sales process, able to accept, service and convert leads to pitches, proposals and signed contracts in a way that they had never done before. That was the value we had introduced to their business. SoPro had been the catalyst in their transition to a new, totally re-vitalised, modern, effective and competitive approach to business development. And they were winning clients.
So I guess the true value of establishing/connecting a reliable lead flow into a biz-dev pipeline… and I mean a real one, one that reliably drops in 20-40 new opportunities each month… is far greater than the value of the day to day leads.
Think about it… when was the last time you did a full overhaul of your sales process?
In many cases the act of recalibrating established people and processes, to accommodate, service and close leads on a disciplined, regimented and reliable basis is an act worth many times more than a few new clients.
Plugging a SoPro prospecting channel into your biz-dev pipeline has become a statement of intent. It screams this business is no longer peddling a sporadic approach to sales.