The Only Strategy You Need to Ensure Your Business Has a Strong Foundation

Leads. Leads. Leads. If there's one thing pretty much any business needs more of, it's leads. And that's usually where marketers get involved, to polish the brand image and bring in a flood of new business.

Yes, leads are important. SO important. But. Your business might have a more pressing problem than leads.

Have you ever taken a hard look at your website and the customer journey that happens after you get a lead?

The one thing I see over and over again when working with business owners is that many have a pretty shaky foundation. A house of cards, really. And while I've been hired to "handle the marketing and get more business" a lot of the work I end up doing is identifying, trouble shooting, and fixing the problems that exist after the lead or client is acquired.

Many, many times the businesses I work with have hundreds of leads that aren't being properly managed. Or when I ask about their follow-up strategy after they get one of these elusive leads, the answers include a lot of phrases like "Well, we try to do this" or "Sometimes, we do this" or (my favorite) "Uhhhh....."

Think of it this way. When you try to light a fire, you don't just throw a match at the fireplace and hope for the best. No, you take the time to properly stack the wood, add the kindling, and fill a bucket of water in case things get too hot too quick. And you do all these things before you ever light that match.

You might be thinking, that's great, but I have a business to run and I need to close some sales like yesterday. If this describes you and you don't have the luxury of time, that's fine: you're just going to need to work twice as hard to quickly identify and fix the existing problems in your business.

Luckily, it's pretty simple to figure out where things are going wrong and create a list of items that need addressing. All you have to do is take a look at your business through your customer's eyes.

Go to your website and fill out the contact form or whatever you use as your opt-in. What happens next? How do you follow up with that lead? What happens if you don't get them on the phone? What happens if you do get them on the phone, but they're not ready to buy? If you sell a product, what happens after you make the sale? If you sell a service, what is the client experience like from on-boarding to delivery? And once that lead has moved all the way through to the end of your sales funnel, what happens then?

Take the time to map out the customer journey from cold lead to warm prospect and finally to sale and close. Make sure you follow every possible scenario from start to finish. Use a whiteboard if you're a visual person to map this out. Doing the work of going through your sales funnel will help you identify what needs to be built and fixed.

If you work with a team, it's crucial you do this exercise with them. Depending on where you are in the business, you might want to do the above as pre-work before you meet. If your team looks to you to lead and give them direction, you need to be able to articulate the customer journey and explain what holes needs to be patched. If you rely on your team to shine and be the superstars they are, have them do this exercise out loud and with a whiteboard to ensure they all are on the same page about what needs to be done and who will be handling what aspects of the customer journey. 

Once you're certain that your house is in order, then you can start mapping out the additional sales funnels that will bring new leads into your ecosystem. Then, light a match.

If you're having trouble with this or just need a fresh pair of eyes on your business, contact me and I'd be happy to help you out.