In this blog:
Busyness vs. Business - confusing tasks for goals
What are your sales goals?
Do you know your marketing numbers?
What is a Sales Funnel?
What is your sales window?
Busyness vs. Business
If you own a business, manage a business or YOU ARE YOUR business, the NUMBER ONE GOAL you should set is SALES. Too often, entrepreneurs and managers get bogged down in creating tasks - update the website, write a blog, post on social media, create an email newsletter, etc. We think that these tasks lead to sales and therefore we think we've somehow created sales goals. We tell ourselves, if I do these activities, I will make a sale. Wrong. Instead, these tasks end up becoming busy work and before you know it, another week or month has gone by without the sales we needed or wanted.
I'm not saying these tasks won't lead to sales but often we are working on mostly tasks that don't lead to direct sales. If someone told you you had to make a sale or bring in a new client this week or this month, it would often change what kind of tasks you do for that week or month if that was your sole focus.
Here are indications you're confusing your goals and tasks:
1) You're busy on social media and you get a lot of fan engagement but those likes and comments are not translating to sales.
2) You've been busy all month on all kinds of marketing activities - blogging, updating your website, creating your email newsletter but the month goes by without the new clients or sales you need.
3) If you're brick and mortar, you're not seeing your new customers or you're actually seeing a drop in sales but yet you feel you've been busy busy doing "things."
In short, you look back on the past few weeks or month and you know you've been busy but somehow this "busyness" is not translating into "business" sales or new clients.
When I meet with prospective or current clients and they express their worries and we go over their lists, it's what I don't hear that tells me the most.
What are your SALES goals?
What I don't hear are sales goals: Do you have weekly or monthly or annual sales goals? That's it. It starts there.
What is the amount of income you want to make for each of the next 4 months?
How many new clients do you want to bring on this month, next month, for the year?
These goals form part of the foundation of your marketing plan for the year. They help you develop your strategy, your game plan. They help you determine the EFFECTIVENESS of all that busy work.
They help you determine your other marketing metrics (numbers).
What are your marketing numbers?
At it's core, marketing is a numbers game and those numbers form the outline of your Sales Funnel. What if you don't know your own numbers? What is a sales funnel? Let's clarify.
Starting with the numbers
If your sales goal is to obtain X number of clients or customers, you then back track that number through the Sales Funnel.
How many people need to know about you (awareness) and out of those, how many will then move to the next phase of actually considering your product or service?
And, finally, out of those that consider your product or service, how many actually convert to buying your product or service?
This is called a sales funnel analysis and here's how you use it. The image below shows the Sales Funnel Analysis (phase 3) of the marketing plan development we do at Marketing Outpost.
Once you know these numbers, you know then that if you run a digital ad and you see that it's reached 5000 people (Awareness), you know that 1% will click (50) through to your (Consideration) and out of that 1%, maybe 3% will buy (approximately 1.5 customers). These numbers now help you set goals for your Awareness Campaigns (for example, digital ads reach) and can help you determine the effectiveness of those campaigns when you review your analytics. If you're seeing the reach but not the buys, something is not working.
What is your sales window?
Part of this analysis will help you understand your sales time window.
Example: Studies show that when people start searching for a car to buy, they usually do within two weeks. This means if you're a sales person at a car dealership, you know you have a limited window of time to make the sale. If you're running a digital campaign and someone submits a form request about one of your used cars, then you know you need an inducement to get them to your dealership quickly because the sales window clock is ticking and you don't have much time.
Usually, the lower the cost, the shorter the sales window time. Example: that ad you see on tv for $19.99. Most people will make a split second decision to buy or not to buy. That $19.99 is a "throw away" value - people don't mind throwing that away in order to determine if that product really is as good as it is being pitched. However, the higher the value, the longer the sales window time. If your product or service is complicated, then that changes the dynamics of the sales window. People will do research before buying.
By setting sales goals, you will then be able to understand your overall marketing numbers for your sales funnel. You will also understand your sales time window which will help you determine a strategy (aggressive or not, etc.) for your sales activities, the content of your blogs, website and social campaigns, etc. It starts here - with your sales goals.