CI businesses often struggle to keep their pipelines full of predictable business opportunities. Too many successes tend to come from one-off “whale” projects or a small collection of high-dollar transactions. The slightest headwind would put most of our businesses into a tailspin. In an effort to recession-proof and toughen our company against economic uncertainty, we’ve decided to make 2020 the year where we finish building our lead generation flywheel, an engine that will produce 30+ consults for our team on a weekly basis. Here’s what we’ve done to create the process and how we’ll care, water, and feed it throughout the year.
Our sales manager erected a huge whiteboard in our main training area for everyone in the company to see. It shows our performance week by week. Each salesperson is responsible for updating their own numbers before each Monday sales meeting. In the spirit of trying not to track too much at one time, each team member is responsible for four key metrics:
- Networking: Everyone has a weekly personal networking goal. This could be a coffee, BNI meeting, or trade-related happy hour. The point here is to make sure everyone is aligned around the importance of doing the little things each day that lead to big results over time. While no single networking opportunity is going to make anyone’s year, the rhythm of attending events every week pays off over time.
- Prospecting List Touches: We appointed a “list master” responsible for keeping our outbound phone call funnel full of fresh opportunities. Possible list candidates could be anything from systems older than five years to security customers in need of a cellular radio upgrade. Any excuse to talk to a customer about upgrading their home is fair game for list criteria.
- Contractor Touches: Builders and remodelers are great referral sources for any CI business, and ours is no exception. Each one of our salespeople is responsible for one contractor touch per week. A “touch” is a phone call or face-to-face meeting. We stress the importance of trading something of value for any time we’re requesting. If we’re calling on a builder, it’s a great opportunity to share emerging trends aimed at helping them stand out in the crowded single-family home construction market.
- Qualified Consults: Our team goal is 30 meetings weekly. Ideally these meetings come from the lead behaviors listed on our public scorecard. The idea here is that by focusing on consults vs. closed sales on a weekly basis, we’re orienting around leading vs. lagging behaviors. There’s nothing more frustrating than wallowing in the results of a bad sales week. To that end, anyone who comes to our Monday sales meeting without their qualified consults lined up is required to participate in “supervised study hall” afterwards where they call lists generated by the “list master” in order to secure their remaining meetings. Anyone who’s ahead of their revenue goal for the year is exempted from this requirement. We’re not trying to punish anyone, but we’re also emphatically reinforcing the importance of a weekly cadence of accountability.
Weekly Sales Meetings
Our sales team meets weekly for an hour to talk about how we did the prior week and how things are looking for the week ahead. It’s also a great time to focus on training, roleplaying customer scenarios, and talk about anything we’re seeing in the market that might impact our results (good or bad).
We all get together on a conference call on Wednesdays and Fridays for no more than 10 minutes. Our call moderator goes around the horn and calls on each team member to report out on how they’re doing towards their weekly goal. Huddle calls are a great way to tweak things in the middle of the week to help ward off poor results.
Design & Engineering
Our system designer is responsible for generating 12 proposals and $100k in written business weekly. If he’s running low on pipeline, it’s his responsibility to let the sales team know during the huddle call where he sits and what he needs from them to make his number.
It’s all well and good to cold call and try and generate more referrals, but the first thing anyone’s going to do after they hear about you for the first time is check you out online. To that end we’re making sure to publish blog content, update social media, and manage our online reputation fanatically by soliciting customer reviews every chance we get.
By focusing our efforts around weekly sprints, it’s much easier to eat the sales elephant one bite at a time. Lead behaviors give salespeople a sense of control vs. the despair of measuring lagging results. Will you make 2020 the year your lead generation flywheel started spinning?
Related: Care, Water, and Feed Your Company