If your agency has following each of the steps in chapters 1 through 9, you have now cultivated a diverse and integrated marketing campaign that will produce in-profile leads to fill your pipeline and make your agency highly visible on the web. The goals now will be to continue building your marketing momentum, while close business. Balancing these tasks can be challenging and I find that successfully achieving both requires a clear focus on both sales and marketing.
The sole purpose of this eBook was to improve marketing in an effort to fill the sales pipeline. Leveraging the methods discussed will pour prospects into the sales funnel, but they will only be truly valuable if they lead to closed sales. The 5 tenets of my sales strategy are below. Often when I am doing well, I reflect and realize that I have been investing most of my time following these guidelines.
- Stay in Profile – Not all prospects are created equal, and your closing ratios will reflect that. Every agency and producer has a sweet spot: a type, size or area of business in which they excel. Focus on that and invest most of your time on those types of accounts. You will close more business when you work with prospects who you know how to service and sell.
- Make Your Calls – We are all busy. Often too busy. Who has time to make cold calls? I certainly don’t, so I off-load those to my staff. But that does not mean I am skipping my calls. Instead, I make warm calls every day. Let me repeat that: I make warm calls every day. Find time to make outbound warm calls every day – even if it’s only for 20 or 30 minutes. It is a habit that will produce results, guaranteed.
- Work Your Pipeline – I have worked with many salespeople who allow opportunities to slip away. A “hot prospect” cools off and they are then neglected. An in-profile prospect says that next quarter or next year will be better for them to purchase. We never lose sight of the high likelihood accounts at the top of the pipeline, but many of us allow other important prospects to drift when they should remain in your warming pool for a future sale. Always continue to work your pipeline, spending most of your time with those who are close to purchase, and some time with future opportunities as well.
- Measure Twice, Cut Once – As previously stated, we are all very busy. To maximize the effectiveness of your efforts, take a small portion (3-5%) of your time to measure your results. Ratios of calls to appointments, appointments to proposals, appointments to closes and proposals to closes should all be monitored. This will tell you what is working, and what should be discarded. Measure your results so you can properly invest your precious time.
- Have Fun – Sales is supposed to be fun. If you are not having fun, you need to make a change. When your marketing plan is pouring prospects into your pipeline, and your salespeople are off enjoying the thrill of chase, there is no more exciting time in business. Enjoy it.