Most manufacturers have applied Lean tools in their production processes, and possibly even their office, in an effort to understand where waste is in the system and remove it. The results are dramatic in terms of improving flow and reducing costs. However, very few companies have applied Lean tools to their Marketing & Sales Processes. The results can be just as dramatic in terms of increasing profitable sales.
The Marketing Hour Glass
The so-called Marketing Hour Glass represents a way to map your marketing and sales processes in a very understandable way to the people you depend on to market and sell your company’s products and services.
Following is a typical model of a Marketing Hour Glass:
- Suspects: How many Suspects your need to engage with (Know)?
- Prospects: How many and what percent are converted to legitimate prospects (Like)?
- Qualified Prospects: How many and what percent are qualified (Trust)?
- Opportunities: How many and what percent convert to opportunities (Try)?
- Quotes: How many and what percent do your quote (Propose)?
- Bookings: How many of your quotes do your close (Buy)?
- Repeat Sales: How many and what percent do your sell to again?
- Referral Leads: How many of your customers give you referrals?
The Hour Glass will look something like this once you have add the appropriate historical data for your business:
- Suspects: 2,500, 10% Conversion
- Prospects: 250, 20% Conversion
- Qualified Prospects: 50, 20% Conversion
- Opportunities: 10, 80% Conversion
- Quotes: 8, 50% Conversion
- Bookings: 4
- Repeat Sales: 2, 50% Conversion
- Referral Leads: 2, 50% Conversion
Improving Your Processes
The first question to ask is whether you really understand how your company is performing in terms of numbers and conversion rates. The map of your processes needs to be as accurate as possible so that your can find the sticking points, or in Lean terms the Constraints. You may not know the details of how you are performing at each stage but the ability to begin mapping your processes will allow you to find the constraints and continuously improve your processes.
One of the biggest constraints I see with clients is their ability to convert leads or Suspects to Prospects. Companies spend lots of money developing lead generation tactics only to fail because of their inability to devote enough time and effort to effectively convert the leads to qualified prospects. So, take a hard look at the top of the Hour Glass and understand what is getting in the way and how to improve that part of your process.
Charlie Alter owns Bentbrook Advisors LLC based in Sylvania, Ohio. He specializes in Growth Strategy, Innovation and Coaching and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org visit http://bentbrookadvisors.com/ for more information on his business advisory practice.