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How to Overcome the 3 Reasons Most Miss Their Sales Goals

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“We’re not generating enough leads.”

“We’re not generating enough quality leads.”

“We’re not converting quality leads into sales/new customers.”

Causes for these three issues vary and, to be honest, aren’t important.  The solutions are important, so let’s focus on them.

Define “Lead”

A common definition is “…anyone that expresses an interest in your offer.”

I recommend “…anyone that expresses an interest in your offer and has the ability and authority to buy.”

Let me give a personal example of why that belief is wrong.  I am a marketer. I need to read a great deal marketing-related content to stay on top of my profession.  I will go to a website, complete a web form and click ‘submit’ to download a white paper on a marketing related topic because that topic is of interest to me and my clients.

I am not a lead for that business. They will consider me one because I expressed an interest in their white paper offer.

For colleges and universities, you have had people provide you with contact information but have no interest in enrolling.  You don’t offer exactly what they want – perhaps you only offer the program of interest in the classroom and they want online.

Or your price is higher than the competition.

You get the point.

So, what’s the solution?

Clearly define a “lead” and then make sure everyone across the institution knows it, understands it, uses it.

At that point, you’re ready to address the 3 reasons.

“We’re not creating enough leads.”

You have the lead generation campaigns in the market – but too few are responding.

How do you overcome this?

Causes can include any or all the following items

  • Wrong goals
  • Wrong target audience
  • Not enough or the wrong resources
  • Bad planning
  • Bad execution

Make sure your goals are relevant and achievable.

Understand who your target audience is, how many of them exist within your target market, and how many are likely to want to buy what you offer in the coming year.  You can’t set reasonable and achievable goals when you have no idea how many people want what you offer – so do the research and let the data drive the projections.

The last three items go together.  What happens is the budget is too small, the people lack the breadth of needed expertise and the technology can’t do what’s needed.  This leads to mistakes in the plan and execution of the plan.

The best way to overcome these issues is to invest in training your staff so their skills continue to develop – so you can help turn those weaknesses into strengths.  Training on budget preparation and strategic planning.  Training on project management.

To help this happen, consider bringing in some expertise that can help the strategic planning process.  An experienced professional can help you and your team be more open and honest, resulting in a more productive planning session and stronger performance moving forward.

“We’re not generating enough quality leads.”

You’re creating interest but just not from those that can to buy your products.

Falling short on projections can happen for several reasons ranging from poor planning to changes in external reasons.

How do you overcome this?

First, you want to do is to make sure it is a quality issue.  Ask sales and marketing to review the criteria for a ‘quality’ lead and make sure they are both focused on the same goal.

Revisit your qualification and prioritization process – and make sure it’s appropriate and being properly implemented.

If you’re producing low or no quality leads, find out where they are coming from and either change the advertisements or drop the tactic.

“We’re not converting quality leads into Sales/New Customers.”

Congratulations – you’re attracting the interest of qualified buyers.  Unfortunately, few are selecting you over the competition.

How do you overcome this?

Ask the leads what they think about your efforts to help them decide.

What did they like about your efforts? Why?

What did they dislike? Why?

What didn’t they experience that they wish they had? Why?

What do they see as your unique benefits for them?

How does that match with their selection criteria?

 

If you have any questions about what you just read, feel free to reach out – phone or email – I am always happy to talk.

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