I’m a huge fan of the movie ‘Moneyball’. The film (for the 3 of you who’ve yet to see it) is the story of the unlikely success of the Oakland A’s after adopting an economics-based theory of recruiting in response to budgetary challenges.

Not your usual ‘sports’ movie, because it stays with you on Monday morning when you’re back in the office.

A client of ours in central Canada asked us to advise on accelerating growth in a stagnant market.

With a well-used and current CRM program in place, a database of 12,500 prospects, and two well-trained and professional sales reps (who were constantly swamped), they seemed to be in pretty good shape. I was shown the pipeline report, as well as sales forecasts (buffered by historical patterns), yet they were still coming-up short.

Newsletters are sent roughly once a month to their database (I’m on the list), and they’re convinced that appropriate follow-up calls are set for each and every name.

Yet, they’re concerned about not making it. A sense of desperation was beginning to set in, as a plan was being hatched to hit the street with a good old-fashioned sales blitz: knocking on doors, and basically shaking trees to see what kind of business might drop out of them.

We talked about the 12,500 names on the database, and how we might go-about monetizing them in a more profitable way than just a periodic general-interest newsletter and a quarterly-or-less telephone call.

Some call it ‘lead nurturing’, but it’s really all about monetizing those leads.

Think about it: the company invested time and expense in acquiring the leads – they really ought to pursue a disciplined process whereby a return on that investment is realized with the same vigour and intelligence that is applied against all of their other assets.

While the firm’s CRM system (a leading package) is a fabulous sales tool that is excellent for guiding the sales process, documenting customer correspondence, and managing the pipeline, it misses the target as a marketing tool – which was the heart of the challenge. The revenue-shortfall was a ‘marketing’ challenge that spun out of control to affect sales.

Other fundamental ‘givens’ (that really are in play for most businesses):

1. Sales people are usually operating at or near peak capacity.

2. Sales people are (by design) motivated to focus on the best prospects: closing the highest priority accounts.

3. Keeping the pipeline full with high quality, qualified leads is a challenge (which often leads to ‘blitz-type’ – just-get-anything-in-there thinking).

4. All leads just aren’t equal.

We ran their database through our scoring system, and segmented the leads based on a variety of company-specific criteria…not the least of which was ‘ability to produce within 3 months’.

The segmentation was so convincing that it resulted in an abandonment of the blitz exercise, and focused Sales on developing only the top-priority prospects (a series of customized, well-designed offers were prepared to support this exercise).

The scoring didn’t stop there though.

As we executed the micro-target communication campaigns, we scored the behaviour of the prospects to the highly customized (and increasingly frequent) messages. For example, downloaded information scored higher than just a click-through, and certainly more than no response at all.

This constantly adjusting information acted to create what we call the ‘Moneyball Effect’: assembling the best ready-for-sales prospects for the least amount of money.

Net:

If your business depends on high volumes of high dollar transactions, our lead monetization process, including its micro targeting and brand journalism support will increase the efficiency of your sales team, and accelerate your results.