Measuring Effectiveness of Business Development Activities
As business leaders, we are probably in the mode of trying to determine how we will get and close the next sale. It might look like setting up a web page, purchasing an SEO and maintenance package, tweeting, blogging, posting to LinkedIn, joining other social networks and purchasing advertising. Then sitting back and wondering what is working and what is a waste of time and money.
Even if you are getting results, how do you know what is working and what is not? Because business development – including sales & marketing – are such complex beasts, sometimes it is quite difficult to determine the best approach. This is why marketing, branding and sales training firms can charge a premium for what they do.
The best way to determine what is working and what is not is by tracking and testing it. This should take you no more than a couple of hours per week to do. You will find that whether you or your firm are managing your own marketing activities, or you are paying another firm to do so, this will be an excellent investment in your time.
The way we do it is to develop a marketing plan with specific tactics that we plan to implement over the course of the year on the first column. Tactics I track are broken down by the type of activity, so it might look like this:
- Sales Activities
- Number of new leads (number of people who may have little knowledge of my company)
- Number of calls (requests for meetings)
- Number of meetings
- Number of follow-up meetings
- Number of New Clients
- Online Marketing
- Number of website hits (helps measure SEO, ads…)
- Number of Ad impressions
- Average time on site
- Average bounce rate
- Average number of pages on site
- Number of goals hit (goals set up in Google or Bing Analytics)
- Offline Marketing
- Number of network events attended
- Number of new contacts
- Number of prospects (people interested in having the initial meeting)
Now, interspersed in this list might be more specific activities that fall under each category, particularly if there is a specific campaign that I am running. What I want to know, in each category, is why each item looks the way it does. Take into consideration external factors such as holidays, the economy, competitors, etc. before making blanket statements about what has to change. You are looking for patterns, not necessarily immediate changes. Flukes will happen.
If looking at the bottom line numbers under each category, I find that there are consistently no conversions (people going from casual observation to interaction), then I need to tweak something in the appropriate category. That might mean that I need to change my sales approach, tweak or dump a campaign or change my website. While I might like a particular activity, it is all part of marketing, and the market will be the ones I am trying to reach.
Keep in mind that not every activity you will embark on will produce actionable activities, such as in an awareness campaign. Sometimes we look for immediate results. In marketing, immediate results aren’t always going to happen. However, over time, a pattern will emerge.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Atlanta, Georgia based Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We help business leaders DESIGN| CREATE | BUILD extraordinary businesses. We support our clients with financial management, product and service production and delivery, outsourced services management, sales & marketing and business growth. We provide them with a number of flexible solutions to help them reach their goals.
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