Suspects, Prospects, Appointments, Continuing Activity, Close & Order - a marketing and sales process - Marketing my Service - Marketing Ideas for Service Businesses

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Suspects, Prospects, Appointments, Continuing Activity, Close & Order - a marketing and sales process

3. Marketing System > Marketing Keys


Stands for:

S - SUSPECTS: People you target for your marketing message, based on who you suspect may become your clients. You select your suspects by demographics, types of media they read, population, location, age and whatever other characteristics you feel applicable to your business service.

P - PROSPECTS: People who respond to your marketing messages and sales adverts. These are people who have shown some interest in your product or service by making an enquiry.

A - APPOINTMENTS: Prospects who, having contacted you, go to the next stage and meet you - or agree for you to meet up with them.

C - CONTINUING ACTIVITY: The continuing sales and follow up activity, process of quoting and negotiating, that takes place between you and the prospect prior to them agreeing to buy from you.

C - CLOSE: This is where a Prospect becomes a Client and agrees to buy from you. They sign a contract, pay a deposit, and you regard the 'sale' as complete.

O - ORDER: In reality the sale is not complete until the Order is completed. This is the moment when the contract for goods or services is paid for in full, and the product consumed, the service used, or the goods collected.

CPC - Cost Per Client

CPC stands for the Cost Per Client. This is calculated simply by taking a source of enquiry, and establishing the cost of that source of enquiry over a year. You divide the costs by the total number of sales made over the same period, to get your CPC.

So if I spend £1,000 on Yellow Pages and get 10 sales, my CPC is £100 per sale.

I am currently trying a Facebook Pay Per Click campaign which is costing £20 a day. Over a month this will be £660. I know I need at least one sale a month, on a £6666 (net of VAT) value wedding deal, to justify the facebook campaign. However with Google Analytics being unable to differentiate between Facebook referrals (free) and Facebook Advert responses (paid for, per click), I had to direct the Facebook advert responses to a mirror image of my website hosted elsewhere. This enabled me to differentiate the Facebook Ads from the Facebook referrals.

As I will probably end up spending quite large amounts on pay per click campaigns, I need a very clear idea of the return on investment. You cannot always rely on customers to know their own source of enquiry - they often don't know and respond vagely with 'a friend', or 'word of mouth', or 'the internet' which is no use to me whatsoever! So you may need multiple copies of your website on different hosting platforms for your more expensive campaigns.

As for total CPC, this is simply your entire marketing budget plus any commissions you pay, divided by the total number of sales (Closes) in the same period. The resulting figure should not be much more than 10% of your net of VAT turnover.

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Conversion to Order

Now we come to why SPACCO is so important. It is a vital system for measuring your sales and marketing performance.

Once you have a number of prospects enquiring, you can count up how many buy from you. This is your 'Conversion to Order'.

If you can introduce changes to your marketing that increase the Conversion to Order, then you have a Marketing Key - a game changer. It is very difficult to find this key!

Conversion by Source

Conversion to Order can be measured by 'Source' of enquiry. So if you have 100 Prospects enquiring from a Directory website (A), and 100 further prospects from Directory website (B), you can measure the difference in Conversion to Order between the two sites.

You can count up the number of sales from each Directory site, each newspaper advert, each marketing campaign, and divide each individual source's number of sales into the cost of each advert or campaign. This gives you the CPC by Source - Client Purchase Cost by Source of Enquiry. It presupposes you are diligent about logging Prospects on a database, and in extracting from them where they heard about you.

Some advertising initiatives may create no clients, so you don't repeat them. As for the rest, you work out the CPC and decide if the advert is worth renewing.

Conversion by Sales Person

You can also measure Conversion to Order by Sales Person, by region or by branch - assuming you split your prospects across different sales people, branches or offices.  I found one sales person achieved 3% closure rate on weddings sales, while another achieved 8%.

Once these differences are identified, you can make improvements to the poor performing areas by identifying what the better performers are doing differently.

Conversion by Month / Season

You can also measure Conversion to Order by Season, where you may find different months of the year have higher or lower conversion to sale ratios. This may occur in a seasonal business such as the hotel trade.

In our own case, in winter months, we tend to convert more enquiries to sale than we do in the summer. This is because in the summer, our staff are busy with the day to day servicing of the weddings business, so less time is spent on sales and marketing. The fact I understand why this slowdown in sales happens does not mean I will accept it.

Once you notice a problem, you can correct it. Without a system of measurement, you are unable to spot these problems and so you will be bound to repeat them.

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