Most small growing businesses know they need to continue to make strategic investments to sustain their growth. The challenge is knowing where to invest. If the obstacles to growth that you’ve identified are branding and visibility, hiring additional recruiters will not solve these problems.
1. One-to-Many Brand Extension
One of the biggest challenges that small businesses face is increasing their visibility. This is especially true when they are competing against much larger companies who have bigger marketing budgets and more salespeople.
Hiring additional salespeople will offer only a limited increase in brand extension and visibility because each salesperson can only engage in one-to-one communication with the market. It doesn’t matter how many phone calls they make, meetings they hold or emails they send. They can only engage one prospect at a time. However, inbound marketing will facilitate one-to-many communication. Inbound marketing increases your volume and reach. Consequently, your audience will grow exponentially.
2. Optimize Proven Resources
Instead of hiring more salespeople, you can make your existing team more productive. For example, if you have 5 salespeople and they each average 10 sales appointments per week and 20% of them result in closed deals, then your team is conducting 50 appointments and closing 10 deals per week. If you add one more salesperson to the team and they perform at the team average, your team will then produce 60 appointments and close 12 deals per week. That’s great, right?
But what if instead of hiring another salesperson, you invest in an inbound marketing strategy that generates more qualified leads, improves close rates, and accelerates deals through the funnel...? So, you keep your existing 5 salespeople, but instead of averaging 10 sales appointments per week, they now can average 12 appointments because the inbound marketing program is generating qualified leads. And because these leads are qualified (prospects who fit your target persona parameters and have raised their hands to demonstrate interest), the close rate jumps from 20% to 30%. Now instead of closing 12 deals per week, that same team is closing 18. Inbound marketing allows you to invest in your proven performers and make your best salespeople even better.
3. Eliminate the Recycling Bottom Performers
The above math related to adding and hiring new salespeople only works if you identify high performing, new salespeople that can hit the ground running. It’s probably not realistic to assume, though, that your new sales team members will come in and start performing at the team average right away. It’s more likely that they will probably perform below team averages. In fact, what we often see is that every sales team has 10 - 20% low performers. Eventually, these low performers leave the company (either voluntarily or involuntarily) and they are replaced. However, more often than not, they are replaced by other low performers. Most sales organizations seem to be continuously recycling the bottom of their sales teams.
Recruiting, hiring, training, and managing new people can be an expensive and frustrating experience; especially if you are never able to “move the needle” on overall team performance metrics. It may make more sense to end the merry-go-round and invest your time and resources into your existing team. Inbound marketing can be a great way to drive the performance gains you’re seeking and meet those aggressive growth objectives.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on the LeadG2 blog