My friend Ardath Albee regularly offers sharp perspectives on the effective use of content in sales and marketing via her Marketing Interactions blog. She recently asked a brilliant question: ‘what does a click really mean?’ She and I recently had great fun debating the issue.
From a distance, it seems we’ve come to equate buyer’s clicks with everything from a higher lead score to valuable messaging to brilliant marketing to a host of other ‘task celebrations’. In my view, we’ve become excessively focused on establishing the value of small parts of a large puzzle and keep missing what matters most – how do these small victories add up (if at all) to victories of process? Victories of sales effort? Victories of perfected sales practices that are the core of the larger puzzle of B2B sales productivity?
It’s with perfected sales practices that there’s a real chance to improve the revenues earned from sales efforts. Look at the costs of customer acquisition from any number of firms. Ask yourself: what % of their costs occur after a lead is handed to a sales person? For one marketing automation vendor, it’s 90%. How sales people spend their time is the key to improving the revenues impacts of sales efforts.
So, while a click’s important, what’s much more important is how the simple act of a click lets sales people go on to really click with buyers. The ultimate proof of this? When we call back a buyer who’s clicked, do they take the call? Do they show their appreciation by saying: “gee, I’m glad you called”? Better yet, do they say: “gee, I knew it would be you; you’re always there for me when I need you“?
So, what then does a click really mean? In my view, it means we’ve earned a chance to re-connect with an interested buyer. Now that the ball’s back on the tee (Yippee!), do we swing the club? Do we hit the ball straight, or shank the shot? In other words, a click means we’ve got another chance to click with a buyer. There’s no guarantee we’ll do so. But, with feedback on whether or not we are doing so, and what subsequently happens, there is no down side. We’ll either continue to click with our buyers or have proof that we’ve stopped doing so. We’re either earning from perfected practices or learning to perfect practices.
Do this often enough and you’ll see buyer clicks in an entirely different light. Improved sales performance will become an entirely achievable goal. At that point, you’ll really be clicking. You’ll not only know it, you’ll know why.
As the choreographer Twyla Tharpe notes: practice doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect. Perfecting B2B sales practices requires we resuscitate the connection between clicks and conversations. It’s time for some mouse-to-mouth resuscitation in B2B sales. It’s time to see how well, and how fast, we’re clicking with buyers. In the end, it’s the only kind of clicking that matters.