The biggest and most expensive mistake I see consultancy firms do is focusing on solving the wrong problem.
One classic example of how it translates into practice is giving disproportionate attention to generating a high number of leads. Here's what many consulting firms are still doing:
- Create an ebook and place it on your website or a dedicated landing page;
- Invest in paid advertising to bring traffic to it;
- Collect thousands of emails, and add those people to a sales drip campaign.
Yes, you have those people's consent to message them. But from a practical perspective, I'd argue this tactic is much closer to mass outbound campaigns than it looks - both focus on capturing the biggest number of leads as possible.
The act of downloading an ebook is in no way an indication that someone wants (or is a good fit) to hire your company. What you're really doing is overloading your calendar with very low-quality appointments or sales activities. This is cost-inefficient and difficult to deal with even if you have an internal sales team.
Consultants who've had some marketing experience are the ones that usually fall for this trap, since this is how many large companies work. Marketers set goals to generate as many leads as possible and pass them to sales. Salespeople complain because those leads are not in a position to buy.
That's why if you want to grow your top line, you can't take the number of leads as your main KPI. I already wrote about what my favorite sales metric is. Qualified opportunities are the best leading indicator to measure the effectiveness of your marketing engine and estimate pipeline and revenue.
If you could generate the same number of qualified opportunities with 10 times fewer leads, why wouldn't you do it? An effective marketing engine will produce better results with fewer resources. It will not only give you a better ROI but also impact your time use and brand.
Stop with the ebooks and spam campaigns. Narrow your outreach. Build a brand that attracts your ideal clients, and strictly qualify them.
Your business and calendar will be forever thankful.