All businesses create a number of touch points for generating potential sales. The problem is that we all have limited time (and budget) so you need to keep track of how effective each one is in order to focus time, effort and budget on the most effective ones.
That is easy for some touch points. For example, running a Google ads, LinkedIn or Facebook campaign will generate reports showing how effective they were. For others, it is more difficult as potential customers can see a number of different touch points before they get in touch so it is much harder to track why your enquiries have increased.
It’s about working smarter rather than harder. Try these simple steps:
Set up a simple Excel spreadsheet to help you track what happens to your enquiries. We have attached a link to a template to get you started.
Keep a note on the spreadsheet of the costs you incur each month for each campaign or touch point. Make sure you include time spent as well as any actual cost incurred (this is known as opportunity cost). For example, if you value your time at £50 an hour, and in a month you pay £100 to go to network meetings which take 10 hours of your time (include travel and one to one meetings that follow plus any time spent on admin), then networking has effectively cost you £600 for that month.
For each enquiry you get, try to ask how they became aware of you. This means you can allocate the enquiry to a particular touch point for the month. It is an art rather than a science and is not always possible, but it is a useful discipline to get into.
Once you have set up your spreadsheet with all the activities you do, start to log all enquiries you receive and what sales you get as a result. If you cannot allocate them to one touch point, just add them to your total. When you log the sales, make sure you include the number and the value.
Do not do anything else for 3 months. This is important as it creates your baseline figures – your typical costs, the number of enquiries and the income generated each month. The spreadsheet will show the average for each over the 3 months and your overall return on investment (ROI). Note: 3 months is a suggested timescale. You may find it needs to be different for your business.
At the start of month 4, either increase the cost (actual or time spent) on one activity or touch point. You want to track what impact each change has so only make one change at a time. The spreadsheet template includes a simple example.
Continue to log costs, enquiries and the number and value of sales for the next 3 months.
The spreadsheet will show you any impact on the volume of enquiries, sales, income and ROI.
At the end of the 3 months, assess if the increased cost/activity has had a positive impact. If it has, keep on doing it (or do more of it!). If not, stop doing it. If you stop or carry on at the same level, start or increase another activity.
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