If you want to get more sales enquiries, it is a good idea to think strategically and to plan ahead. Within your marketing plan (hands up if you have one!), list all of the ways that you currently promote your business. For example, for an enterprise selling to other businesses: website, SEO, blogging, newsletter, networking, telemarketing, talks, printed matter and referrals.
Consider which of these techniques have worked well for you in the past. If you keep track of where your sales leads come from, study the numbers. In addition, think about the promotional techniques which you are drawn to. For example, if you love to write, then you will be drawn to blogging, newsletters and article placement. At this stage, you may well decide to ditch some promotional techniques which aren’t working for you.
The next step is to add some new techniques to your list. Think in terms of promotional mix categories, i.e. Advertising, Alliance marketing, Direct mail (which is making a comeback), Events, Internet marketing, Media Relations, Printed material and Word of Mouth marketing. Now choose a few techniques (which you will enjoy working with).
The next question is: what is your projected turnover for the next 12 months? The chances are that a reasonable proportion of this business will come your way during the year ahead, if you look after your customers and keep reminding them about your different products / services. If last years’ turnover was £100,000 and you wish to grow by 20% then next years’ target will be £120,000. However, you will lose some customers. Let’s say that there is a 10% shrinkage, to leave you with £90,000. Therefore, to hit the £120K turnover target, you will have to find £30,000 in new business.
If an average client is worth £3,000 a year, then that will be 10 new clients. If your conversion rate is one in three, then you will have to pitch for £90,000 of new business (and win one in three, to give the £30,000 you need to hit your target). In order to attract £90K worth of sales enquiries, we need to divide by £3K in this instance to give 30 potential clients to whom you will pitch in the year ahead, or 2.5 a month.
Finally, think about the number of sales leads which get as far as closing situations. It may be something like 1 in 5. (If you are interested to learn why I have given such a pessimistic number, ask me).
Therefore, in this example, you would have to generate 12.5 sales leads a month or about 3 a week (bearing in mind that you shouldn’t be working 52 weeks a year). So you need a reasonable number of promotional techniques + effort being put into them every month + a monitoring system in order to get where you want to go.