The most important and most frequently overlooked metric, as it pertains to business-to-business marketing, is consideration rate.
Simply stated, consideration rate is the percentage of desirable sales opportunities that, at minimum, consider you. For instance, if in your market there will be 1,000 decisions made next quarter and you are providing quotes to 100 potential sales, then your consideration rate is 10%.
Companies overlook this consideration rate metric frequently and, as a result of overlooking it, under perform against their optimum opportunities.
By optimizing their consideration rate, companies will optimize their new order revenue. I know this almost sounds like a “duh!” but, seriously, the more often you compete the more often you’ll close business. That’s consideration rate.
There are many ways to improve your consideration rate. Following is a short list of strategies that are working in the 21st century. I emphasize working in the 21st century because the strategies that worked in the 20th century are no longer nearly as effective as they used to be. For instance, there’s no shortage of information available that tells us that cold-calling via the telephone is not as productive as it once was.
As a matter of fact, some studies show that approximately 95% of cold phone calls go into a voicemail box, never to be heard from again.
But, there are some solutions and some workarounds.
- Webinars: Webinars are still very effective, if your content is educational. Do not confuse a webinar with an unsolicited sales demonstration. One quick way to turn off your audience is to invite them to a webinar, promise some educational and valuable information, and deliver a sales pitch. You may as well engage in a campaign where you tell your prospects that they should never consider you.
- Tradeshows: Tradeshows seem to be making a little bit of a comeback. They are not now where they were in terms of popularity nor effectiveness back in the 1980s, but I do see more activity and, more importantly, I see more traffic at my clients’ booths in various industry-related tradeshows.
- Networking: Salespeople who are not networking consistently are salespeople who are doomed to picking the low-hanging fruit. While that may sustain a lifestyle that is desirable for the salesperson, it rarely sustains revenue or profit targets that have been established by management. Make sure that you and/or your sales team are networking regularly. There is a growing number of sponsored networking events cropping up in virtually every major metropolitan market.
The secret sauce to networking is to make sure that follow-up is done immediately.
You’ll also find it very useful to practice your elevator speech; and make sure that your elevator speech (no longer than 15 seconds) emphasizes the results that you deliver to your clients. Don’t fall into the trap that occurs at many networking events, wherein you are hoping that someone in the room will sell one of their prospects or one of their acquaintances on your product.
- Cold email: Cold-email prospecting is the most effective current strategy to reach a large number of people. As I mentioned in a previous blog article, the key to cold-emailing is to avoid – and I do mean avoid like the devil – attempting to sell your product or service in an email. Keep the email short and succinct.
Make sure that you are asking for direction to the appropriate person within an account, as opposed to asking the contact to purchase or make a purchasing decision regarding your product.
If you’d like to know more about cold-emailing as a strategy, click this link and send me an email with the subject line “Cold-Emailing” in it, and I will get back to you and show you how cold-emailing can help you grow your business.