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How To Grow Revenue-You Can’t Sell Without Leads

How to Grow Revenue-You Can’t Sell Without Leads

Businesses are either growing or dying. Like living organisms, businesses need to grow, innovate, rejuvenate and then expand. Although there are times when it makes sense to retreat and pull back, business growth comes from expanding – revenue, profit, services, expertise and brand impact. Either through innovation, or brand repositioning, the business must be differentiated, serve a clearly defined target market, and it must have a coherent growth strategy.

The obvious measure of business health is revenue growth. Is topline revenue growing month over month, quarter over quarter and year over year? When a business consistently grows, even if it takes a few ups and downs to get there, the business gains strength and expands. However, when a business struggles to grow, it begins a slow but sure death spiral, and just like all living organisms, eventually dies.

So…if you want business growth, revenue must grow. Consistently.

Ironically, for business leaders to grow revenue consistently, we don’t need more sales, we need more leads. On the surface that seems obvious, but it’s the fundamental gap in the majority of corporate growth strategies – defining how to consistently generate leads from as many channels as possible.

There are 3 elements to a successful lead generation strategy:

  • More and Better Leads = More Revenue

  • Capture & Cultivate Constantly

  • Track ROI Not Leads

More and Better Leads = More Revenue

The sales team complains about the quality of leads, and the marketing team complains that the sales team isn’t following up on leads. Sound familiar?

The truth is that the sales team needs MORE leads, but they also simultaneously need BETTER leads. Both are critical.

A key component of a successful lead generation program is a well-defined process that targets and nurtures qualified leads. However, the most important metric shouldn’t just be the number of leads generated.

To increase revenue, it’s critical to ensure that the lead generation teams are targeting the kinds of leads that the sales team knows will have a good chance of closing. Sit down with both teams and work together to define an ideal customer profile — What is their job title? How big is their company? What are their key challenges? Then, discuss how you can target innovators and develop those leads collaboratively.

Once the lead generation team or partner knows whom to target, they can focus on bringing in those high-ROI leads and devise a strategy to meet or exceed revenue goals. This will ensure you get BETTER leads.

But it’s also important to get MORE leads, through as many channels as possible. Ask your team what their channels are for lead generation. To increase revenue 5% annually, add one lead generation channel. For 10% increase, add two channels. The more lead generation channels operating in your growth system, the more revenue will increase.

Capture & Cultivate Constantly

It’s easy to talk about the sales funnel, or leads going into a sales funnel, but what happens to those leads that aren’t ready to be sold (Hint: This will be 85-90% of all leads)? Most lead generation programs fail because leads generated rarely have an immediate sales opportunity and no one cultivates them. In essence, there is no methodology to move valuable leads from awareness – to motivated to buy – and then to a closed sale.

A strong lead cultivation process starts with value-added capture tools. What resources can you give to a potential buyer, BEFORE they buy. Can you provide, tools, information, resources as they are navigating the long journey towards making a purchase decision? Using a value-based capture mindset includes thinking about relationship-building activities to support the lead generation program. The vast majority of leads need to be courted before they will commit to participating in a sales process, so just turning them over to sales and expecting revenue to grow WILL NOT WORK.

Capture the leads by providing something of value. Stay in touch with them through DRIP campaigns by providing something else of value. When they are ready-to-buy, they’ll put you at the top of the list.

Track ROI Not Leads

For most companies, sales and marketing expenses represent the largest non-product/service related overhead costs, yet executives rarely understand how to measure the value of these costs, other than by asking “Did revenue increase?”

By the time it’s clear whether or not a marketing/sales expense actually generated revenue, it is unfortunately too late, because the costs are incurred, or what is otherwise known as sunk costs.

The first and most important metric to track is the revenue multiple or revenue-based ROI. Dollars in, or actual revenue generated (from a lead generation, business development or marketing program) should equate to a multiple of the dollars spent.

Our rule of thumb is that a new program should generate greater than 2X (two times) the revenue of the cost of the program and do so fairly quickly. So, if your new lead generation program costs $15,000 in its first 90 days, it should generate $30,000 in quantifiable revenue, period, end of story.

For B2B companies with a longer sales cycle, this metric is more difficult to measure, so it would be wise to use what is known as “Pipeline ROI.”

Over time, the program efficiency increases and should improve its multiple to a greater than 5X revenue increase for every dollar spent on the sales or marketing program. If you’re not seeing similar results, it may be time to rethink what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, or who you’re doing it with.

So, is your business growing or dying? If you want to know how to grow revenue, start by developing a systematic growth strategy that includes a demand generation program. If you’re ready to partner with a company that not only has the “know how” and “want to” to accelerate your brands’ growth, contact us today.

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Promote On Purpose Team

We accelerate the growth of brands that are innovators and change agents.

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