There’s a persistent but deeply flawed myth among B2B businesses:
“To grow sales, you need to generate more leads.”
Leads are hailed as the magic solution that solves all revenue problems. The myth is peddled by LinkedIn experts and lead gen specialists who promise instant results and 10x growth.
On the surface, more leads makes a lot of sense. If you give your sales team more at-bats, they’re going to close more business. Right?
In fact, without the right process in place, having more leads can do more harm than good.
Here’s the truth: Lead generation isn’t the answer to growing sales. The real answer is a holistic system that aligns your strategy, technology, and people.
There are three mistakes we see B2B businesses make over and over again:
- Deploying short term tactics (e.g. more leads) instead of long-term strategy
- Underinvesting and under-utilizing sales and marketing technology
- Underinvesting in their people, leading to poor-fitting, poorly-trained, and unmotivated teams.
When “more leads” is your only sales strategy, it’s like running on an endless hamster wheel — it’s sporadic and unsustainable. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
With the right system in place, sales growth can be sustainable, predictable, and profitable. You can breathe easy knowing your process is working for you, not against you. Your team will deliver each and every month, without a mad scramble at the end of the quarter.
We work with B2B businesses to build inbound marketing strategies that grow sales, not just leads. To achieve consistent and profitable sales growth, it all starts with the Sales Growth Framework:
Introducing the Sales Growth Framework
The Sales Growth Framework (SGF for short) is a holistic sales system that will guide your team to better sales growth. The framework will help you achieve three things:
- Identify your target audience and the best strategy for reaching them
- Fully utilize sales and marketing technology
- Build a successful, motivated sales team
The SGF split into three stages: strategy, technology, and people. You will only achieve sustainable and profitable sales growth when all three stages are working properly. If one leg of the stool is missing or deficient, your sales growth will sputter.
The Framework is also broken down into 9 steps. Each one is a crucial piece of your sales system:
- Audience. Demographics and job description aren’t enough. You need to understand your audience’s aspirations, professional challenges, personal challenges, and what both success AND failure look like in their eyes.
- Messaging. Traditional inbound marketing says to create an email and send it to your entire database. We believe that highly-specific and relevant messages are the most effective.
- Process. Audience personas and messaging are useless without a sales outreach strategy. Develop a process to engage with prospects, create opportunities, and manage conversations successfully through the sales funnel.
- CRM. The CRM is where your strategy is systemized and operationalized. It also keeps your team on-track and accountable.
- Marketing. Marketing automation is the basic technology behind lead generation. However, this step includes all marketing, including content marketing, paid ads, and social media.
- Reporting. What gets measured, gets managed. What are the success metrics that drive YOUR business — allowing you to adjust and increase performance?
- Hiring. Do you have a quantitative process to assess job candidates? If not, you might as well flip a coin. Hiring the right people is harder than ever, and you need a data-driven system to do it well.
- Onboarding. Ensure the success of your new hires with a comprehensive onboarding plan. An onboarding plan is a clear timeline that informs the new hire of what they need to know and by when, and allows hiring managers to assess their progress.
- Coaching. Everyone needs a coach – especially top performers. Provide ongoing training to keep your team motivated and successful.
The Sales Growth Framework isn’t a one-size-fits-all sales plan ― it’s a blueprint to help you build the foundation of your sales growth system.
How to Implement the Sales Growth Framework
Now that you know the individual parts of the Sales Growth Framework, where should you start? It’s natural to want to focus on the areas that are most interesting or familiar to you, but that will lead you to the same slow and sporadic sales you had before.
In order to successfully implement the Sales Growth Framework, you need to take a holistic approach — working on each step until they are all sufficient. Here’s how:
- Do a Sales Health Check. Evaluate your organization through the lens of the Sales Growth Framework. Grade yourself on each step to identify areas of strength and weakness. Take the Sales Growth Health Check for Free
- Run strategy workshops. No matter how strong you believe your strategy stage to be, it’s crucial to review audience, messaging, and process with your team. Use workshops to expand and adapt your strategy to today’s realities.
- Choose the right technology. When choosing a CRM, marketing automation platform, and reporting tool, the most important factor is integration. Ideally, all three of these tools should live in the same dashboard. Choose a brand like Hubspot, Marketo, or Salesforce that provides a centralized location for all customer data and activity.
- Train your team. With your new strategy and tech stack built out, it’s time to bring your team up to speed. Hold at least two training sessions to ensure everyone can attend. Remember: Don’t just show them how — tell them why the new system is built the way it is.
- Ongoing training and optimization. Building your sales growth foundations is just the start. In the beginning, review your new strategy at least weekly to answer questions, refine, and learn from your teams’ experiences. You should also re-host strategy workshops every 12-18 months to adapt to your changing marketing.
Start growing faster and better
There’s no magic solution when it comes to sales growth, but there is a system — the Sales Growth Framework.
Too many great businesses falter because they believe the myth that more leads will result in more sales. They fill the tops of their funnels, driving their teams to start more conversations, open more opportunities, and close more business. But without the right system in place, this “strategy” is unprofitable and unsustainable.
The Sales Growth Framework will help you grow sales sustainably and profitably. It’s not a magic solution, but a blueprint to help you build the optimal sales growth system for your business.
Looking for a guide on your journey through the Sales Growth Framework? Get started with our mini-lead gen package.
For custom consulting and sales growth services, schedule a short call.