Relying On The Short-Term, Slippery Slope
Let’s say you sell an enterprise product or solution, and your sales cycle is 4-6 months. Maybe longer.
What possible growth-hacking test done next week (or even next month) is going to deliver an immediate sales return? How can you possibly evaluate the effectiveness of a short-term test if it takes far longer to see actual, revenue-producing and beer-buying results?
This slippery slope applies to more than just tactical campaigns. If you’re evaluating immediate value/ROI from a new campaign, you’re looking at leading indicators which in most cases translates to some version of “more.” But “more” might not necessarily be better. Getting more clicks doesn’t naturally translate to better leads.
Generating higher response rates doesn’t mean those responses are from prospects you can sell something to; for one, you need to know considerably more about who those prospects are before getting your hopes up. Are they reachable by phone and email? What do they care about?
Setting these questions aside for later, you’re now positioned at the center of the dangerously slippery slope. And when this stance is applied to strategic and process improvements, your goals tend not to get prioritized in lieu of those tactical campaigns that “look better” and may make you feel better short term.
Building Confidence For A Predictable Future
So here’s what happens…
Organizations continue to prioritize knee-jerk, tactical, random acts of marketing that show a lot of activity and activity-based metrics. And they fail to invest in process improvements, sales development programs and data accuracy methodologies that can create long-term impact and results but are more difficult to justify with short-term results.
About a year ago, for example, we worked with a client to develop a systematic sales development system between the sales and marketing teams. If the client were to evaluate the ROI of that effort after 2-3 months, it could have been seen as a fail. Where are our closed deals? Where’s the pipeline?!
Fortunately, this client was able to balance short-term needs with building for the long-haul. Twelve months later, their revenue was up 97 percent year-over-year. And in Q2 of last year (2017), they did more sales than they did all of last year.
So what’s your priority? A few more leads this month and growth-hacking your way to week-by-week tactical results, or investment in a system of both streamlined practices and high-quality data within your B2B contact database to drive long-term, repeatable, scalable, and predictable growth?
If you answered both, that’s OK too. Just don’t ignore the big picture.