Archive | Goals & Objectives

Matrix Section – Numbers, Scale, Conversion, Ratios, ROI, Measurement, Tracking, SSI, Assets etc.

Social Selling Goals and Objectives

Wurlwind - Social Selling Goals and ObjectivesAs time and resources are precious it’s understandable that decision-makers are looking at social selling goals for reassurance that sales effectiveness will improve.

Measuring the ROI of LinkedIn use and Social Selling activity can be tricky. However, outlined below are ways to be clear about Goals and Objectives and ways to monitor activity and results.

To use a driving metaphor, knowing the destination and reaching it (sales target) is what really matters. Doing so safely, comfortably, courteously, economically etc. are also important. Being a ‘good driver’ and driving a clean and well-maintained car also count.

There are many ways to measure and track use of LinkedIn and Social Selling activities and link them to Sales. 

Developing a plan that aligns social selling goals with your other sales activities (and then working the plan) is the secret to success.

A great way to track this is to develop a Dashboard or table/chart. Track your progress and results over time so you can see how the momentum is building, and refine your activities as you go.

Quick start tips

To avoid measurement becoming onerous let’s start by tracking the indicators that are readily available:

  • Check and track the number of 1st connections you have in LinkedIn
  • Track your activity level, using the Recent Activity number within LinkedIn
  • Check and track your SSI score (Social Selling Index) on a regular basis

Check your LinkedIn SSI here

  • Track the Enquiries and Referrals you get through LinkedIn on a week by week basis

Pick a time in the week where you can do this regularly, such as Friday evening or first thing on Monday morning.

As your network grows, your activity increases, and the quality of your activity improves as your skills develop. You should also see a payback in terms of Enquiries and Referrals, which you could then track through to eventual sales.

Tips to help you define your LinkedIn, Lead Generation and Social Selling Goals

1. Outcomes – align social selling goals with your sales process and metrics

Identifying and implementing lead generation techniques that are consistent with your marketing and sales model and processes is the start.

  • Sales – is the ultimate goal, but for example, refine the definition to be clear if this is from existing or new customers
  • Enquiries and Leads – be clear how these are defined, and the quality and quantity that are relevant
  • Referrals and Introductions – this is a major potential ROI of LinkedIn, especially if this is a big part of how you generate new business already.

Consider the timescale that you want to focus on. Is it a week, a month, a year? Maybe you need a blast of lead generation to fill your sales funnel or pipeline. Maybe you want to build a steady flow of leads. Consider whe your buyers are most active in their interest? Is it seasonal, based on their financial year etc. or are buyers looking on a continuous basis?
Note: Big numbers generated by some people may sound attractive, but double check whether they are relevant to your business model. If they are not then the techniques used to achieve them may not be appropriate for you and your business.

2. Assets – create resources with measureable value from your activities

This is the side of LinkedIn that is enduring and has the potential to deliver benefits 24/7/365

  • Contacts – the number of connections you and your team have, and company page followers, are easily measurable and therefore trackable. Quality matters too, and LinkedIn provides some stats on both. How many contacts do you want to add over a specific time period?
  • Content – this is pretty important if you’re to be found and to have online sales relationships. Content also increases productivity, if there is an appropriate mix created and published and viewed. How much content do you have the resources to produce. Create the higher value pieces first.
  • Reputation – this is a tough one to measure objectively, but one that is none the less important to have as a goal or objective to inform decisions.

Like physical assets, digital assets will decay unless maintained and used. A large network of contacts and lots of content are of little value in isolation, but are both much more valuable when they are connected, especially in a way that enhances your reputation.

3. Activity – the essential ingredient in order to get a return on investment

Reading articles, attending webinars, going on training courses, etc. are only really valuable when put into practice.

Like the traditional cold calling numbers game (eg. dialling 100 numbers a day), so too there are activity metrics that can be applied in the LinkedIn and Social Selling area. But again these need to be aligned with sales process and objectives. Here are some suggestions:

  • Track your activity to build lists of prospects through LinkedIn
  • Track the increase the quantity and quality of contacts in your network
  • Monitor your activity to stay visible to your network eg. your Recent Activity number
  • Track the Likes, Comments and Shares on your Posts and Company Page Updates
  • Record your progress using the Linkedin Social Selling Index (SSI)

Tracking these numbers takes time, so choose those that are easiest and most relevant to your business model.

The bigger Social Selling picture

The real payback occurs when techniques become more effective and they contribute to the achievement of the bigger Sales measures. The relative contribution against other techniques is important to consider. Developing new strategies and operational methods and skills for the long term is a by-product of short-term effort.

Doing all the heavy lifting by ourselves is tough. When our reputation develops and word of mouth and referrals carries our message far further than we can that the real benefits show up.

Which is why there should be a balance of short, medium and long term goals and objectives for Social Selling.

Download our Pocket Guide to Lead Generation using LinkedIn and Social Selling

If you haven’t already done so, get a copy of our guide, which covers more LinkedIn Tips and introduces the Social Selling Matrix.

Customer Appreciation pays dividends

Wurlwind Social Selling - Customer Appreciation

Quick Tips:

1. There are many ways to show appreciation in public to customers through LinkedIn. Liking, commenting and sharing their content is one way, giving them endorsements and testimonials is another.  and other Social Media. Introducing them to other people pro-actively is a third.

2. Connecting with your Customer and /or Clients on LinkedIn should be a high priority.  Make it a priority to connect with all your current and historical customers, as well as colleagues and ex-colleagues, business partners and others you know offline.

Explanation:

1. Customers are a source of renewals and repeat business, case studies and reference calls, referrals and introductions. Showing appreciation, directly to them, and visibly to others, is a fantastic way to staying front-of-mind. Find reasons to thank your customers in many ways so they really know that you appreciate their business, and them as individuals. Visible appreciation through LinkedIn and other Social Media has huge power, as it shows that you are generous, and people are more likely to offer help, or respond positively if you ask.

2. LinkedIn is quite good at prompting and suggesting ‘People you might know’. Being pro-active, by going through your previous address books, your phone, email list, CRM, will build a powerful foundation network from which to grow. If you work in a sales team and with company colleagues you get extra leverage by connecting with them and then their contacts are 2nd level contacts for you. You should only need to do this catch-up once in your career, so why not do it now, rather than later.

Recommended Action:

Schedule time to go through your historical contacts and invite them to Connect on LinkedIn.

Additional Customer Appreciation Resources

To be added

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Defining Campaign Goals plus Tracking for better lead generation

Chequered Flags are the Goal of the Racing Driver“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” Fitzhugh Dodson

As you prepare for the next leg of your business journey why not invite Wurlwind to help you identify your destination, chart your course and plan the skills and provisions with you.

Defining campaign goals

Everyone knows they need goals. Defining appropriate ones in the rapidly changing business environment is becoming tricky. Are you finding it’s increasingly difficult to define and agree goals in the marketing and sales areas?

Most business owners and managers are clear on operational goal definitions; for sales, revenue, cost and profitability, as these measures haven’t changed significantly. Spreadsheets like EXCEL make it easy to run the numbers, either as a start-up or as an iteration of the previous year for an established business. It’s all too easy to be a spreadsheet millionaire.

Customer acquisition activities and costs are much more complex. The changing marketing and sales dynamics, such as the shift from outbound towards inbound marketing, and increasing centralised lead nurture activities on behalf of several sales representatives mean that tried and tested metrics are less reliable predictors now. And the likelihood is that new metrics will be more changeable than the old ones.

Let us help you understand what is appropriate and effective for your business.

Campaign tracking measures

Assessing one-off campaign effectiveness, such as comparing different direct mail campaigns or email broadcast results, is one level of tracking. Moving towards a more continuous campaign program involving multi-touch, multi-channel contact makes meaningful tracking much more complex.

There is a rapidly increasing range of tools available to collect, analyse and present information to assist in marketing and sales decision-making. Website tracking using Google Analytics is one example, and Social Media Monitoring tools are another.

There are many pitfalls, especially when you can end up setting tracking measures that only cover part of the process, and may distort behaviour and resource allocation. Website visitors and SEO for example are all very well, but without the means to capture and convert those people into leads much effort can be wasted.

Invite Wurlwind to help you define the end-to-end journey of leads through to customers and identify appropriate tracking to help you keep your finger on the pulse of your sales pipeline, and how effective your sales funnel really is.

Campaign skills and resources

The explosion of options for lead generation that flow from website developments and the rapid growth of social media creates a need for several new skills that didn’t exist just a few short years ago. The introduction of inside sales teams to support field sales activities is another shift taking place in many companies, to improve response times, increase productivity and reduce costs.

Outsourcing some or all of your lead generation activities is now a very real option. The breadth of skills and methodologies needed to set-up, execute and fine-tune ever more complex and personalised campaigns and meet the response time expectations of prospects, and to either create competitive advantage, or keep in-touch with best of breed competitors in your sector is becoming a significant task for business owners and sales and marketing managers.

To plan specific campaign resource requirements, or to understand and plan how to respond to the fundamental changes taking place in marketing and sales, arrange an initial discussion with Wurlwind today.

Email me, Mark Stonham, and I’ll be in touch very soon.

Goals and KPIs so you can measure, monitor and control

Goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are a wonderful thing. They can provide direction and clarity, unity and focus. However, defining and agreeing on them may not be straight forward.Goals force choices. They may be incompatible or you may not have the resources to pursue all the goals you want to. Choosing to do one or some things may mean choosing not to do other things.Tracking and monitoring progress towards your goals helps you make better decisions, particularly about the allocation of resources.Marketing and Sales are pretty fundamental areas to the success of your business. Yet setting goals is becoming increasingly difficult, due to rapidly changing market conditions and approaches to marketing and sales.The good news is that technology for marketing and sales, and all the applications now available, makes collecting and analysing numbers much easier, online at least.The caution is that you need to take care over what you measure, as there are several pitfalls that could cost you time and lead to decisions being taken on inappropriate data.Here are some strategies, approaches and tips to help you improve your sales numbers, and the process to collect them.

The benefits of Goals and KPIs to tracking to manage your Sales Funnel

In a business to business sales environment with complex sales campaigns over extended time periods, or with incremental sales building up into higher value clients, monitoring progress at the various stages enables better decisions to be taken.

  • Goals – the overall goal of the business, division, campaign or process enables Better allocation of resources, of time and money. To answer questions like ‘Which market sector, product, channel, campaign and so on where most successful, and therefore which should we spend more time and money on in future. Also, which was least successful, and should we look to stop, or not repeat.
  • Control and confidence. As competition increases, as sales cycle time in some cases reduces, as margins get thinner, it helps to be reassured that you’re on track and the business, which relies on Marketing and Sales, has a firm and predictable foundation.
  • Reduced risk and uncertainty. Moving to a place where you can manage by exception would be ideal for many business owners. Reducing the number of hidden surprises within the business by being able to have pre-emptive conversations with colleagues and the team to fix out-of line situations helps with overall business operations.

Three types of Goals and KPIs

Setting a framework for what you measure will form the baseline for the data and your ability to make decisions on it.

  1. Numbers ‘at a point in time’ – these are useful for accountants and bankers, for example – when they draw up a balance sheet and record assets and liabilities. If you are monitoring your net worth year on year, or are aiming at an exit strategy from the business these are very useful numbers.
  2. Numbers ‘over a period of time’ – these are more useful to business operations such as marketing and sales. The value of sales, the number of leads, number of proposals written during the period are examples. The period might be a year, a quarter, a month, a week, a day, and hour or ever a minute, for something like a call-centre or a website.
  3. Numbers ‘for a specific activity’ – this is a combination of the two above. A specific marketing campaign, the cost of sale for a specific bid, are examples where an activity has taken some time to complete and what is being added up are the resources that went into the activity, set against the outcomes achieved.

Four major uses of numbers for the Sales Funnel

For monitoring and tracking marketing and sales activities and results the following uses are fairly common practice:

  1. For planning and subsequent review – to take a phrase used in schools – ‘Plan, Do, Review’- where you identify the outcomes you want, then you work towards them, and then at some point you look at the results and look back and see what went well, and what could be improved. This can apply to pretty much every marketing and sales activity, from the headlines to the minute activities.
  2. To look at trends over time – looking back over a time-based series can quickly reveal whether something is increasing or decreasing. There may be influencing factors to take into account, such as if your business is seasonal, but then find the right time period to be and looking back at a measure Trends
  3. To look at comparisons between activities – so an example might be comparing lead generation methods, between online and offline, between website, phone and direct postal campaigns.
  4. To look at a sequence of activities – where one activity hands on to the next, the conversion rate is an indication of quality, not just quantity. Did inquiries from one campaign convert to sales better than leads from another campaign, is an example.

Pitfalls with measuring, monitoring and tracking

There are many factors that can reduce the validity of data and information to marketing and sales decision-making. Here are some to watch out for:

  • Accuracy – sometimes it’s not possible to be precise – for example several activities may have contributed to an inquiry, but you may not know precisely which.
  • Completeness – sometimes data is not recorded, such as when a call comes into reception that becomes an inquiry, but through the sequence the precise source is not recorded.
  • Timeliness – data that takes too long to analyse may no longer be relevant – where there is a long sales cycle running into several months the validity of the lead generation activities of over a year ago may no longer be relevant
  • Granularity – where a large number of small, repetitive activities or outcomes are being recorded then analysis and fine tuning is more feasible, such as on a website. Where a small number of discrete activities are performed, such as selling large and complex projects, there are many influences that reduce the validity of measurement of the minutae.
  • Cost – this can be significant, especially when it’s a manual process. Sales people especially are being paid to sell and not to record data to feed into what may be seen as a black-hole.
  • Value – this depends on the quality of decisions taken and implemented as a result of all the data capture and analysis.

What Goals and KPIs are important to set and monitor?

Measuring, monitoring and tracking the right things can contribute to a significant improvement in business performance, and marketing and sales is no exception.

As the title suggests, choose the KEY indicators, the top-level numbers that you can track on a periodic basis, probably monthly, and which you will act upon to bring them back on track if they waver.

Each business owner, director and manager will come to a view on what is right for their needs.

However, if you’d like a ‘starter for 10’ we’ve prepared a checklist of KPIs that you might find useful.

Enter your details below and you can find the link on the ‘Thank-you’ page.

NB. Going deeper into this topic of Business Intelligence is a specific area, with strategies, approaches, tools and techniques. If you want additional information in this area we can sign-post you.

How Wurlwind can help you define and monitor goals

Here are just some of the ways Wurlwind can add value and help you get on track

  • Review and help you to define top-line goals for your business or for specific campaigns
  • Help to create a hierarchy of goals that will help you structure activities and resources
  • Identify the major stages of marketing and sales, and identify appropriate measures and goals
  • Find the key goals for lead generation in order to combine to create and deliver your sales target
  • Put in place appropriate online tracking, for your website, social media and advertising to track ‘eyeballs’
  • Identify ways to improve conversions to turn visitors into inquiries and into leads.

B2B Business Development – effective ways to grow your business

Business Development is a bit of a catch-all phrase. However it does embrace what every entrepreneur, founder, owner manager, director and people in marketing and sales will (or should) be doing, one way or another; to develop business.

Four business development strategies

Starting from the basics, business development or business growth, can be achieved in essentially four ways:

  1. More customers – finding new customers and making an initial sale to them, either through your direct sales activities or through channel partners, affiliates and other options
  2. More sales to existing customers – through client or account growth, retention, repeat sales, up-selling, cross-selling, increasing customer lifetime value and similar strategies
  3. Bigger sales – increasing the average order size by increasing the value on offer and hence the price people are prepared to pay
  4. Buy another business – to achieve a step-change in growth

Each of these approaches relies on effective marketing and sales strategies, operations, tactics and activities.

It’s a complex matrix to manage, especially with so much change taking place in the market-place.

Business development is a great example of the twin approaches needed for success:

  • Working IN your business
  • Working ON your business

Working ‘in your business’

Day-to-day, if you’re in business development like us, then you’ll be talking to clients and prospects, arranging meetings, sending emails, writing proposals, presenting solutions, negotiating deals and all the many tasks involved in B2B sales campaigns. And working on these can be addictive; the thrill of the chase, and the desire to make another few phone calls, to ‘build relationships’ and so on.

Occasionally you might just think ‘Is there a better way?’ and occasionally perhaps ‘There must be a better way!’. And since you’re reading this then maybe now is one of those moments.

The B2B sales marketplace is changing. For one thing, the internet has allowed buyers to find out so much more about options and solutions, and for vendors to put information out into the various places where they hope their potential customers will find it, read it and act upon it. It can be tough to stay ahead.

That’s when it pays to spend some time working ‘On your business’.

Time to work ‘on your business’

You might be asking questions like:

  • What can we do to get more of the right people to find out how we can help them?
  • How can our lead generation be improved, so we have more inquiries coming through to us?
  • How can we generate more and better quality opportunities for the sales team to work on?
  • Are there ways to improve our close rate, reduce the sales cycle time and save sales time?
  • What can we do to deliver value to existing and new customers quicker and get referrals?

How will you know when it’s time to investigate changes, and then take action and make changes?

Will it be …
… when you’ve lost another big deal that will really hurt your business?
… when you’ve got time on your hands because business is a bit ‘slack’?
… when you lose a good salesman to a competitor who can generate good leads?

When is the right time for business development?

When times are good, or OK, it’s tempting to say ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. But that’s just the time to be investigating where improvements can be made, to leverage what is working well and raise up the areas that are under-performing.

If you feel it’s time to evaluate changes then get in-touch with us at Wurlwind.

We can discuss ways to help you identify where change might be beneficial. We can suggest ideas and innovations that apply in the B2B marketing and sales world. We offer practical, incremental solutions.

If you want to develop your business then email me, Mark Stonham at mark@wurlwind.co.uk