Saturday, January 7, 2012

How Much Is A Bad Face-To-Face Sales Call Strategy Costing You?

Do your marketing strategies include lead generation, sales methodology, and utilizing virtual selling technologies?  I was recently on a sales call with a software organization that had four sales resources onsite for the meeting and two called in virtually.  This was the first sales call with this customer regarding a new product line (they already had a relationship).  All four sales resources traveled in from all over the United States for a face-to-face sales call.  This isn't an unusual occurrence.

Let's take a look at the impact of using this antiquated selling approach:

 Face to Face Sales Call Customer Acquisition Cost

How can you combat this high Customer Acquisition Cost?

Marketing Involvement

Define a target audience and have marketing drive demand through inbound and outbound activities.  Marketing will help guide buyers through the buyers journey before sales is engaged.   Direct sales resource time will be focused on a higher quantity of qualified leads.

  • Impact - more leads, higher quality leads, reduction in customer acquisition cost

Sales Methodology

Provides guidance regarding who should attend interactions at each step in the process and if the call is best executed virtually or face-to-face. The methodology will also ensure each sales interaction is well organized and specific call objectives are identified.

  • Impact – Improved sales cycle velocity, higher closing ratios, and larger deals

Virtual Selling

While face-to-face sales calls aren't completely obsolete, you don't necessarily need the entire engagement team onsite.  Having 4 resources in a room for a 90 minute meeting is typically not the most effective way to engage a customer.

  • Impact – reduction in customer acquisition cost, more activity

Let's look at the impact

Scenario Two:

 Face to Face Sales Call CPA

It is almost $27K less to run the second sales campaign.  Multiply this number times the total number of sales campaigns your sales team works over a 12 month period.  The cost impact is staggering. 

Call to Action:

  1. Utilize marketing to engage buyers early in the buying process to ensure direct sales resources are focused on qualified leads
  2. Use a defined sales methodology to improve the effectiveness of interactions
  3. Leverage technology to perform interactions virtually whenever possible as part of your Go to Market Strategy
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