Podcast Episode

Show Notes: 

Welcome to The Sales Show! 

I'm Maree Kirkpatrick, your sales and business strategist. I'm a mum, a wife, and a multi-business owner myself. With over 15 years experience in sales and business, I have worked with startups all the way through to multimillion dollar. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I love helping service-based businesses make an income as well as an impact. Let's jump into talking about all things sales and business. 

In this podcast, we explore the ongoing debate between sales and leads, and which one your business should prioritise. We'll dive into the differences between the two, and discuss strategies for maximising the potential of each.

Let's examine the pros and cons of both approaches, and provide insights to help you determine which one is best suited for your business goals. Whether you're a startup or an established company, this podcast will provide valuable insights on how to optimize your sales and lead generation efforts.

I am absolutely looking forward to sharing more about sales and business throughout this podcast journey and on the sales show. And if you've got any questions or you'd love to reach out, please contact me, [email protected]. Otherwise, you can head over to www.mareekirkpatrick.com for some free resources or get in touch.



Hello and welcome to the sales Show. I'm Maree Kirkpatrick, your sales and business strategist. I'm a mum, a wife, and a multi-business owner myself. With over 15 years experience in sales and business, I have worked with startups all the way through to multimillion dollar. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I love helping service-based businesses make an income as well as an impact. Let's jump into talking about all things sales and business. Today we are talking about the age old question when it comes to business : Should I be focusing on Leads Or sales in my business?

I always find this conversation interesting because so many businesses I talk to are so focused on leads, marketing, and lead generation activity, which is great. However, you also need to be able to focus on sales as well. As a business owner, it's really important to understand the difference between leads and sales.

Leads are potential customers or clients who have expressed an interest in your product or service. They may have inquired through your website, attended a webinar, interacted with you on social media, or messaged you.

There are many ways leads can come into your business, such as inquiries, website visits, attending webinars, or interacting on social media. On the other hand, sales occur when someone purchases or becomes a client. I may be different from other business owners because many people believe it's a numbers game, where you need more leads and exposure. While I agree to a certain extent, I truly believe that focusing on sales first is crucial. By "focusing on sales," I don't necessarily mean just focusing on the dollar figures and values.

What I mean is focusing on how we get people from becoming our leads all the way through to becoming a paid client. If you've heard some of our previous podcasts, you know that this often comes down to a sales process and strategy. If you don't have a sales process in your business, I highly recommend you create one. You want to make sure that your sales process is optimised, high-converting, repeatable, and scalable.

If you don't have a sales process within your business, I honestly don't believe your first port of call should be focusing on leads, because if I gave you a hundred leads into your business tomorrow, how many are you actually converting? That is a genuine question when it comes to business. People will say, "oh, I'm going to go and do some more lead generation on Facebook ads, Google ads, networking, webinar, social media." Fantastic. What do you do when people come and say, "yes, cool. I'm interested in what you do," or "What do you do after the webinar? Once you've run it? How do you follow people up? How do you interact with them? Or do they just come into your webinar, have a great hour, 45 minutes, two hours, whatever it is for you, and learn some things and then great. "Cool. Let me know if you need anything," and then that's it. That is a way to generate more leads. However, it's not a way to generate more sales. The way to generate more sales is about taking leads through that sales process and down your customer journey path within your business. So should you be focusing on leads or sales?

The simple answer, I believe, is you need to be focusing on both. However, I would be focusing on sales first. Don't turn on your lead generation or your marketing tap until you have that sales process. You also want to make sure that you have a steady flow of leads once your sales process is up and running as well.

So, I understand both sides of it. But if you just focus on the leads, then you'll end up with a huge database because you're focusing on getting more people onto your database. However, that doesn't always result in sales. It's just a fact. I have grown my business without having a huge database because for me, it wasn't about how many leads I had, it was more about sales, retention of clients, retention of customers, and my conversion rates.

I wouldn't need a hundred leads coming into my business if I couldn't service them. You only need a hundred leads into your business or a certain amount or thousands of leads, whatever that number is for you because I know that the people who listen to these podcasts have different-sized businesses. Some people aren't business owners, so it's not necessarily about how many leads you have coming in.

It's about how many you are converting. Some companies I know, if I gave them a hundred leads and they had a really great, beautiful sales process in their business, they would struggle to service that amount of clients. A lot of the clients I work with have conversion rates that sit at 80% to 90%.

Now, if I give you a hundred leads and your conversion rate is 80 to 90%, that means you will need to onboard and service 80 to 90 new clients, whether it's delivering products, services, or packages in your specific business. This can be a challenging task for many businesses.

If you're looking to grow your business, it's important to strike a good balance between sales process and lead generation. How do you strike that balance? You need to have a solid sales strategy and business strategy in place, as well as the ability to effectively deliver your product or service to new clients.

To ensure that you are bringing in quality leads, it's important to focus on marketing and lead generation activities that target your ideal audience. We don't just want 100 people, we want high-quality, high-converting leads who are at the right stage and ready to work with us.

I once spoke with a client who said they needed more leads. When I asked how many, they couldn't give a specific number. So, we looked at their conversion rate, which they believed was already quite good. However, tracking and measuring their data revealed otherwise. For example, if they received a hundred leads per month and only converted 12% to 20% sales, their conversion rate was only 20%, leaving room for improvement.

If your conversion rate is high, say at 80% to 90%, you may only need a few leads, perhaps as little as 10, to generate a significant amount of sales. I've worked with clients to reverse engineer this process. We start by identifying their desired sales target and conversion rate, and then we calculate how many leads they need to achieve that goal.

For example, if they need $10,000 in sales and their product costs $1,000, they need 10 clients. Working back from their conversion rate, we can determine how many leads they need to generate. This provides a clear picture for lead generation and marketing activities.

However, it's important to remember that lead generation is an ongoing process. It's not just about converting leads into sales, but also about servicing those clients and maintaining customer relationships. Once you've completed a sale and onboarded new clients, you need to continue focusing on lead generation and marketing to ensure a steady flow of new leads.

It's important to have your lead generation and servicing activities working together seamlessly. You don't want to finish servicing one client and then have a down month because you don't have any new leads coming in. Ideally, you want a steady flow of leads, so that when you finish servicing one client, there's already another client ready to come in.

Some businesses experience fluctuations in their sales depending on their lead generation and marketing activities. For example, they may have an amazing month where they convert a lot of leads and hit their targets, but then the following month is slow because they are focused on servicing their existing clients.

To avoid this, it's important to have your sales process optimised and everyone clear on how to convert leads. This will ensure that when a lead comes in, you know exactly how to convert them and keep the sales process moving forward smoothly.

How do we have those conversations? How do we onboard them? How do we follow them up if we need to? All of that works as a beautiful, well-oiled machine, and the lead generation and marketing tap is turned on so that there are constant leads coming in, high quality, and ready for when we are able to service them and things like that as well.

So, if we want to look at what we should be focusing on, lead generation or sales, both are essential for the success of your business. By focusing on both, you can build that customer base, generate revenue, and ultimately grow your business. However, don't just focus on leads if you don't have enough.

There are plenty of ways to make sales within your business without doing a whole lot more lead generation and marketing activity. Look at your client retention. Look at increasing your average order value. Look at upselling and cross-selling. Look at creating raving fans who are going to refer people onto you.

Things like that. So, don't just always focus on lead generation. Focus on the people who are already in your business. Some businesses I've gone to will say to me, "Maree, I need help with lead generation and marketing. We just don't have enough sales coming in." I'll arrive and say, "Hello, great. Let's dig deeper into your business. Show me what's going on. Show me where you feel like the challenges are." And they'll say, "well, we just need more leads because we need more sales." But when I look at their database, Some have like 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 people on their database in their CRM that have inquired, but they haven't converted.

So what we've done is just gone, "Okay, cool. I need to keep digging for more leads. I need to keep digging and doing more marketing and running on this rat race, rather than looking after the people that have already inquired with your business, look after the people that are already on your database.

Find ways to do lost lead strategies for people that have inquired with you and maybe you haven't spoken to, touch base with in a little while. And when I say a little while, that can be three months all the way up to three years, just depending on your business and what you've been doing and what that looks like.

But it's not always about focusing on generating more leads, because a lot of the time you already have thousands of people on your database who have inquired with you but haven't converted. There is a potential for more sales within your business without focusing on getting more leads and marketing activity.

So in conclusion, you need both. It just depends on where exactly your businesses are at. If you are a startup or new to business, or maybe you've been in business for a while, but you don't have your systems and processes set, start there. It's so important to start there, and you will find so much gold in setting those processes and systems up before you turn on your lead generation and marketing.

If you find that your sales processes are set up, they are optimised, you are checking the data and the stats, all the fun, juicy numbers that some people love and some people hate, but keeping your finger on the pulse of where your business is at and what are your conversion rates. 

If you are keeping track of all of that and the answer is that your numbers are good, you just need to turn on that lead generation and marketing tap. Great! Focus on getting more leads, focus on getting more inquiries into the business, but it's not as simple as just focusing on leads. That is all for me today.

Have an amazing day! Go out, grow your business, make an impact, and make more income while you do it. Thank you so much for listening to this episode.

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Sales Show. Please share it on social media with your friends and make sure to tag me at Maree Kirkpatrick so I can personally say thank you.

If you would like to show me some love, leave me a review. I'd love to hear from you. Email me at [email protected] and if you would like to work with me further or see any of the free resources mentioned on today's show, they can be found at mareekirkpatrick.com.

I truly hope this podcast provides useful information and so much value to you so that you can build a business with impact and income.