Entries from November 2018

Marketing-for-Leads Guide: Step 2 – How much new business do you need?

Step 2: Determine the percentage of your company’s revenue that needs to come from new business.

If your corporate goal is a twenty percent increase in sales, how much new business do you need to secure to meet that goal?

Say your annual sales revenue currently totals $10 million. At first, it may appear that you only need an additional $2 million in sales to meet your new goal for next year. However, if you also need to replace twenty percent of your sales revenue every year because of non-recurring sales, you will need to find an additional $2 million in sales during the next year just to stay even. So you will actually need an additional $4 million in new sales revenue to meet your goal.

The new-business-needed calculation

The following calculation will help you to determine the amount of sales revenue from new business your company will need to generate from marketing leads to meet its revenue goals.

  • Your company’s current annual sales revenue $ _______.
  • The percentage of business you typically lose during the course of the year
    x ________%.
  • The sales revenue from new business your company must generate during the next year just to stay even = $ ________.
  • Additional sales revenue from new business needed to meet your new target sales revenue goal + $ ________.
  • Total new business revenue needed to meet your target sales revenue goal
    = $ ________.

Download the complete Marketing-For-Leads Guide here


Marketing-for-Leads Guide: Step 1 – Set Goals


The primary objective of a successful B2B marketing program is to bring in new business. Marketing programs include many elements, ranging from brand building to market research. But no single part of a business-to-business marketing program is more important than generating qualified sales leads. “Marketing for leads” drives sales. Done correctly, it will increase the bottom line and help your company achieve its growth goals. Marketing programs that are bottom-line oriented focus on generating, nurturing and qualifying sales leads.

In this series of blog posts, you will learn, step by step, how to create a successful business-to-business marketing-for-leads program. For an outline of all the steps please see my article “Steps to Implementing a Marketing Plan That Drives New Business.”

Step 1: Set goals at three levels

To succeed, your marketing-for-leads plan must reflect sales goals. Therefore, your first step is to gather information needed to determine your company’s goals for sales revenue in the coming year.

Sales revenue goals need to be stated at three levels

  • Minimum goal What sales revenue do you need to stay in business without layoffs? How much revenue is required to meet payroll and cover other costs of doing business? What will it take to keep your company’s doors open?
  • Target goal Where would senior management like your company’s sales revenue to be? If you are at a current run rate of $4 million, and they say they want to grow 25 percent, your new sales revenue goal is $5 million.
  • Stretch goal If your management wants to get really aggressive, what revenue goals would they like to achieve? Perhaps they would like to double—or even triple—your company’s business in the coming year.

There is a straightforward way to determine your company’s sales revenue goals. Interview the senior executives at your company, either serially or in a joint meeting. The executives to interview include the business and financial decision-makers (e.g., chief executive officer, chief operating officer, president, owner, partner, chief financial officer, controller, head of accounting) and the internal customers of your marketing programs (e.g., vice president of sales, director of channel sales, sales manager).

Remember, you are looking to determine your minimum, target and stretch goals. If the executives describe the goal in terms of company growth rather than in dollars, convert it into a dollar figure. If the executives say they want the company to be the “biggest” in the industry, look at the sales revenue of all your competitors and set your sales revenue goal above that of the industry leader.

It is not uncommon for executives to have different answers about goals. If the various executives you interview state different opinions about corporate goals, you will need to negotiate a consensus. This may be as easy as pointing out the discrepancy to them.

Download the complete Marketing-For-Leads Guide here


Sales leads play a big role in B2B marketing and sales alignment

A comment from someone who attended one of my workshops got me thinking about the role of sales leads in marketing and sales alignment from a business-to-business perspective.

Three critical factors came to mind:

  1. The definition of a qualified lead. This requires agreement between the marketing team and the sales team on the criteria that will be used to determine that a sales lead is qualified or “sales-ready.”
  2. The number of sales leads needed is determined by the company’s sales revenue goals. Here’s the question: If X percent of leads qualify, and Y percent of those qualified leads close at an average sale value of $Z, how many leads need to be generated?  My Sales Lead Calculator™ will help you determine your numbers.
  3. Lead generation activities must be planned with the length of the sales/buying cycle in mind. If your average sales/buying cycle time is six months from lead to purchase, you can’t generate a new lead today and expect it will affect this month’s sales.

Share your thoughts about the role of sales leads in the alignment of B2B marketing and sales with a comment below.


Pros and cons of in-person events for B2B marketing

In today’s hyper-connected world, there are good reasons for in-person marketing events such as “lunch-and-learn” seminars. The traditional style of building a relationship with a potential client required you to get in your car, get on a plane, or pick up the phone–and that’s what you need to do for an effective group discussion or simply to connect more directly with prospects.

If you’re choosing between remote or in-person, factor in the time needed to present the information, the needs of the customers or prospects you’re targeting, and the physical locations of attendees.

Live events can include:

  • Executive briefings
  • Breakfast meetings
  • Lunch-and-learns
  • Seminars

Pros of in-person events

  • You can hold your audience’s attention longer. Remote events should last no more than an hour, but with a live seminar or briefing you can provide more in-depth information. Users or technical decision makers who want to dive deep into the details of your solution may want that extra time. Live events are also effective for prospective buyers who are further along in their purchase cycle–they’re more willing to commit the time to attend.
  • You can show attendees more. Have an on-site tour, show how your product is made, or let attendees see how services are provided. If your facilities are impressive, prospects absorb the atmosphere of your company’s success. Alternatively, you can invite prospects to events at your customer’s site to see your products or services in action.
  • Your audience can meet you and your team, and vice versa. A live event gives prospects a chance to meet and make a personal connection with you, and to vet you and your staff.
  • Attendees can interact with your happy customers. You can invite satisfied customers to your live event and have them mingle with hot prospects. These customers often act as your ambassadors and help sell the prospect on the benefits of selecting your products or services.
  • You can gauge audience reaction. Are attendees staring into space? If so, you’re either moving too slowly or too fast. Switch your gears and now you’re connecting with them. At one seminar I gave recently, I saw two attendees whispering and nodding to one another when I made a key point. When I caught their eye, they told me that they understood the value of the recommendation but didn’t know how to “get there from here.” Their immediate feedback let me outline specific strategies and tactics, and it created the opportunity to talk later about how my services could help.
  • Your venue can be a draw. If you’re holding an event at an attractive facility–at a casino or on a yacht, for example–attendance may be higher simply because the venue itself is a lure.

Cons of in-person events

  • Live events can be more costly. Expenses for travel, meeting rooms, audiovisual equipment, attendee meals and refreshments, and parking can add up quickly. You’ll also need personnel to staff registration tables, meet and greet guests, and oversee event logistics.
  • They require a larger time commitment. Unless the event is being held at your site or your customer’s, you’ll both spend additional time traveling to and from the venue.

What factors do you consider? Please post a comment with any other pros and cons that have helped you decide to either hold a live event or “go virtual,” and I’ll let you know if I’ve got ideas on the topic.

Need help with B2B lead generation, marketing and sales?
For more information, please call Mac McIntosh at +1-401-294-7730, send him email at or visit www.sales-lead-experts.com