The farmer trudged across the farm yard late one night and entered the barn. Light from the moon gave him enough visibility through the door and the cracks in the wooden walls as he crossed the open space to a wooden post mid-way into the barn where a lantern hung. Striking a match the farmer lit the lantern and as the amber light filled the barn the farmer looked around and saw that he was surrounded by snakes. Poisonous snakes. Rattlers. He was encircled, they were everywhere. On the ground, on hay bails, at his feet. How he crossed the open space without stepping on one was a miracle.
As the shock wore off, the farmer knew he had one way out. He reached for the shovel leaning next to the post and he killed the closest snake. He then killed the next closest rattler, one after another he worked carefully as he eased his way to the barn door and safety. He was calm, he was methodical, and he had a plan, because you didn’t survive on the prairies without a plan when you were in danger.
Killing the Closest Snake
This story has many meanings. For those in sales lead management, it means tackling the biggest barrier that is stopping you from getting the best return on investment from the leads you generate. For some it may mean getting their first CRM system, creating a sales process, grading leads, getting a marketing automation system, getting 100% follow-up by the sales channel, or proving the ROI.
The challenge we all have is to overcome the barriers that are stopping our company from getting its rightful ROI from lead generating dollars. With companies spending 2%-20% of their annual revenue on marketing it is dangerous and a threat to marketing management if they cannot prove the return on investment for the budget.
What is the biggest barrier you think companies face in proving the ROI from sales leads? How should this “snake” be disposed of?