While industries shift an average of 25% of their marketing budgets to online advertising, your website has become the forefront of your presence in the market and has enabled us to see exactly how many people called, emailed or viewed the directions to your business. All of these factors aren’t worth a dime if the correct tracking and reports haven’t been put in place to evaluate the effectiveness of your customer relations, email responses and overall conversion ratios for different marketing programs. Even more importantly, you have to actually look at the reports and understand ever bit of information to get the full benefit then use it!
The amount of money a business spends in advertising is irrelevant if nobody can say “what is working?”, “how do we know?” and “where can we improve?”.
Lets start with call tracking, which is one of the best tools a businesscan utilize. Every call is tracked by advertising source, and you can listen to your customer responses, complaints and evaluate the performance of your employee’s phone skills. After one day of looking through one of my clients calls, I noticed several things;
- There was no process to ensure that someone always picked up the phone.
- People had stopped looking over the inventory and relied way too much on the company website for the latest product knowledge.
- Overall morale was good when it was good, and very poor when things weren’t going right for everyone, which dramatically effects overall sales success (Nobody wants to buy a product/service from someone if that person isn’t even excited about selling the product/service).
Let’s start with number 1. The business receives over 1,000 calls in a month, actual phone records would be the only way that we could tell how many incoming calls were made to the location, but most importantly they had no system in place to make sure that phone was getting picked up to answer any customer questions or to even book in an appointment. After listening to just a handful of calls for 1 day, there was one call that was never answered and was potentially a buyer for our products that just needed to book an appointment. Nobody answered it. WOW, even worse is that I heard a Manager say “well I’d like us to be so busy that we don’t even have time to look at our call tracking and notice problems like this”——WRONG RESPONSE. Whether or not business is good or bad, if the phone is ringing every call should be picked up as well as handled professionally. It should be a habit, not a mood.
The Equation is simple:
One call=One more potential sale
Simple equation to solve a very basic problem. If you only look at the stuff that matters when sales are down, then you are doing it all wrong. What is important during bad times is important during good times.
Solution -Initiate a process to make sure someone is always ready to answer a phone call, even if 5 come in at once, they all are potential customers. Test employees daily on product knowledge and hold a high standard. Review call quality daily while simultaneously giving positive reinforcement to sales/service goals.
2-People stopped looking over the inventory and relying on the company website to tell the customer more details about the particular products in-stock, WRONG! Anyone can go on the website to see that information, potential customers are calling to get an enthusiastic viewpoint from someone who has seen the actual product at the store and touched it, looked it over, and found the excitement in that that product. These are the “why buys”, and every product has them no matter what it is, otherwise nobody would ever want to buy your product and you might as well close your doors. Every product question has an answer, no question should have a response of “I don’t know.” The solution is to mandate product knowledge test on a regular basis.
3-Overall morale cannot get in the way of any salesperson’s enthusiasm, personal stuff is personal and business is business. One thing that I’ve learned is that the wolf pack leader’s attitude sets the tone for the rest of the wolves. If the Lead of a sales team is enthusiastic, positive and inspiring, then that whole team will be motivated to follow that person on the hunt to success in the marketplace. If the Lead focuses on the negative, and complains to the sales team about their performance and provides no solution as to how they can improve then they will continue fail or never achieve the potential greatness that they could achieve.
Overall the best thing you can do is start implementing the proper tools to make sure that your advertising is tracked and the sales team is all on the same page. Every ad source can be tracked, whether it be online, phone calls or just overall traffic. If advertising is running, make sure that you look at the overall traffic that has been generated during days that the ads are running, sometimes this is the best tool to find out what is working. More specifically if you have a TV campaign that runs 3 days during a week, compare the leads that are logged in your CRM during those days of the week and also look at the days that follow. In the end you will be able to at least have an opinion on the effectiveness of your marketing instead of being asked the question “Did last month’s campaign work?”, “Well I really don’t know”.