Trusted with critical international logistics solutions for a substantial proportion of the world’s top organisations, Spring Global Mail is a true industry leader. With its HQ in Den Haag, the company has a global sales team consisting of experts in their fields who are responsible for managing critical client relationships.
Back in 2010, initial analysis using the Sales Excellence Diagnostic© showed that there was no clear visibility into the generation of leads and their conversion to new customers. It was difficult to know which sources of leads were most effective, and therefore how to optimise the sales system.
This core process of finding new potential opportunities and converting them into new customers is so critical to an organisation’s success that we call it the “revenue engine”.
The challenge here was to work out the quality of “fuel” being fed into that engine, and its efficiency in converting the fuel.
One of the common pitfalls in lead conversion analysis is that it is divorced from the sales force, and therefore either (a) misses useful knowledge and input from them or (b) risks being rejected as a kind of “big brother” type project.
To avoid these risks, our start point was the data from the company’s CRM, but this was used to conduct interviews with the sales team, so that richer insights into the outcome of each actual lead could be gathered. While more time intensive, it enabled an analysis to be prepared that captured the realities of the sales team’s experience in managing the lead flow. And, it enabled questions to be asked into the wider sales system, such as targets, incentives, which invariably influence the outcome of the revenue engine.
By combining the hard data with the output of the semi-structured interviews, we were able to get a clear insight into the quantitative aspects of lead generation, as well as the underlying behavioural economics at play.
The results were compiled visually to show how the revenue engine operated at that time:
The results clearly showed at the time, that the conversion rate was too low (3.4%). The sales team were very active following up the leads, however, because there was no insight into outcome effectiveness, there was a classic activity trap in place. This was exacerbated by the incentive scheme, which encouraged new business, at the expense of current customers.
We also analysed the effectiveness of each source of leads, and this further revealed that some sources were much better than others.
The CEO in place then instigated the sales improvement programme as outlined in our first client case.
One of the key elements was for each country in the group to carry out this type of analysis on an ongoing basis, so they could optimise their own revenue engines.
These are covered in more detail in the first Spring Global Mail case history.
The programme returned over 4 times the initial investment within the first 6 months, and resulted in significant changes in which sources of leads were used in the future.
“I particularly liked the scope of the programme and continuous attention to detail. I’ve used the toolkit frequently – at least twice a week. It was also wonderful to meet with my counterparts.”
“It was very interactive, and the mix of theory and practical examples was a very way good to learn”
“Perhaps most importantly our sales process and pipeline is more transparent. I am vesting a great deal of time into improving the link between activity management and our opportunities.”
The programme returned over 4 times the initial investment within the first 6 months
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