Over the past 14 years I have worked with about a hundred different manufacturing companies on their sales and marketing. Over these years, sales and marketing has changed dramatically and it is still changing at a magnificent pace. Keeping on top of it all is our job at SyncShow.
More so than ever, sales and marketing teams are working hand-in-hand, leading to a more transparent view of each other's world. Last month, we were analyzing the sales data from one of our customers and found a very interesting trend. Every new sale that this customer converted from a digital marketing lead was smaller than sales converted from traditionally generated leads.
This got me thinking. What could cause such an occurrence? My mind immediately jumped to the leads themselves. Were digital leads of the same quality? Were digital leads coming from the wrong buyer? Were digital leads coming from smaller companies? To my astonishment the digital leads were actually very similar to traditionally generated leads. Both lead sources generated opportunities at similar sized companies and similar markets. To ensure I was not missing something we asked our client’s sales manager to proof my work. Indeed, the digital leads were sales-qualified-leads. So why then were the average order values of these sales so much lower?
When a qualified digital lead comes into the pipeline we often see a great deal of information about these leads. We often get the buyer's name, company, buying interests, activity, etc. All pure gold for a salesperson. This information is typically drawn out of the buyer by the salesperson during a traditional sales process. Its also during this traditional sales process that the salesperson gains a rapport with the buyer, learning more about the buyer's needs.
What our research concluded is that, due to the gold mine of information delivered to the salesperson from a digital lead, the salesperson jumps right to closing the sale. By jumping straight to the closing process, opportunities are missed and the salesperson did not learn more about the full needs of the customer. The lure of getting a quick sale from a highly qualified lead actually resulted in smaller sales.
We are all learning a great deal about the ever-changing environment of sales and marketing. I hope this story helps you to solve just one piece of a complex puzzle.