How We Handle Marketing and Sales at Mobindustry – Part 1
What are the most cost-effective ways to generate leads through marketing and make them loyal clients through sales? Learn from our experience at Mobindustry
Why I decided to write this article
The more I travel and connect with business partners all over the world, the more I understand that everyone has the same issues in this global IT market game.
Sales and marketing are tricky to figure out on your own — years ago, I did it from scratch, trying to pave my way without any guidance, and spent lots of time and money experimenting and failing in order to get where I am now. If only I got my hands on a guide like this 3 or 4 years ago, this would save me all this pain.
Business development is just as important as the product or service you provide, so in this guide, I’ll talk about how to set it up in a series of articles. This one will be dedicated to sales.
How the sales process works
Sales aren’t magic or some sacred knowledge that only the chosen ones possess. It’s a process, just like software development or quality assurance — it has to be predictable and measurable.
General process: team, sales plan, budget
When I started my business, I took complete responsibility for the sales process on my own, but as my company grew, it became harder to handle all the business processes in the company. At this point, I realized that it was time for a change.
There are two components to sales success: an expert who takes ownership of the whole sales process, and a budget that covers operational costs, experiments and sales activities
Sales can be pretty hard to delegate, but it’s absolutely essential. Until a company has a sales professional who handles and facilitates the process, you won’t get any substantial, systematic lead influx.
There are two main components to sales success:
- A sales professional who is 100% dedicated and responsible for the whole process
- A sales budget that covers both operational costs and experiments for determining the best scalable sales strategy
Now let’s talk about how the sales process is built.
A sales funnel
A sales funnel is a universally accepted sales routine that has certain stages. At each stage, the potential clients are scored, assessed, and lead to the final goal — signing a contract.
The whole journey between the start and the end of a funnel can be divided into lots of stages such as:
- Product demonstration
- Requirement extraction
- Defining budget
- Commercial offer preparation
A sales funnel works like a sift: for every 100 prospects, only 1-3% reach the final stage of signing a contract. So, the initial goal is to fill this sift with potential clients.
This is a separate process that needs attention from the salespeople.
Once we fill the funnel, the next stage begins: we need to lead our potential clients through it. I’ll talk about each part of the funnel in the following articles.
To systematically approach sales, we use Customer Relationship Management software or CRM. It stores information about each and every customer we ever worked with, from our communication, contacts, and source, to of course their current status in our sales funnel.
We use PipeDrive — a SaaS solution where we have several sales funnels for each source of sales we manage.
Roles and responsibilities of a sales team
Here are the members of our business development team and their main activities and goals:
- Lead generation and marketing teams fill the funnel with as many leads as possible
- Sales representatives qualify leads and get SQL from these leads
- The sales and delivery department prepare a proposal and a contract for the client
The main goal of our sales team is to qualify leads, present our company and have the potential clients fill in the questionnaire that allows us to understand how qualified our lead is.
Here are the categories we use for our potential clients:
- Prospect — contact of a person who can potentially be interested in our service or product. The main goal is to determine their needs
- Lead — a person or a company that has expressed interest in our services or products
- SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) — a lead that went through a qualification process and our sales know that our services and price points align with the expectations and needs of the potential client
- MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) — a marketing conversion that came to us from a website and is waiting for our sales to contact them.
The reason for such differentiation is that our sales are quite costly — to make one contract our tech team needs to estimate the projects. One estimate can take from 10 to 100 hours of work for our engineers depending on the size of a project. To make 6-7 estimates, we need around 50 SQLs that we get from processing at least 300 leads.
Without assessing the incoming leads, you risk to spend valuable time on people that aren’t relevant to your business, and lose the ones that could become your best clients
Before we defined the term SQL in our company, we approached everyone equally, even those who had no intention to sign a contract. Our engineers didn’t have the capacity to create enough proposals, and we lost clients who were really important to our company.
Now we not only assess all the incoming leads but also measure them. One of our key metrics includes SQL per month or per quarter and we compare them with a number of SQLs for the same period last year.
Why is qualification so important? Let me tell you a story.
Once we started working with a client without prior qualification. We spent around 80 hours developing the proposal, and then it appeared that the client’s budget was 10 times lower than our proposal.
If we started with a qualification process and clarified the client’s budget expectations, this client would be able to find a studio with a ready solution for his budget. We, on the other hand, would focus more on clients who were more aligned with our services and cost.
Where do the leads come from?
There are several sources our team uses to find leads and fill the sales funnel.
- Marketing activity — we attract traffic to our website through articles, tech reviews, news digests, and other content. Our engineers also take part in public discussions on tech websites
- Tender platforms like Upwork, where we search for relevant requests for software development
- Referrals — new leads come from our clients who recommended us to their partners, acquaintances, and colleagues
- Roadshows — I do a lot of traveling to large European or US cities and participate in conferences where I network and present my company
- Cold outreach — lead generators gather contacts of potential clients and contact them through LinkedIn and email campaigns
Until we had a dedicated sales team, and metrics (KPIs), we didn’t have sales in our company — everything was unpredictable and chaotic. We could suddenly get a client that we didn’t have enough engineers for or the opposite, a client left, and we had engineers on a bench.
So, here are the key factors for the success of your sales and marketing:
- Have a person responsible for the sales process and dedicated solely to controlling, measuring, and optimizing the sales funnel
- Categorize and qualify each and every lead
- Measure every aspect of your sales funnel for further optimization
- Have each team member responsible for their part of the sales process
- Set up a system instead of working with each client individually
In the next part, we’ll explore the process of bringing leads into your sales funnel. For now, read other articles on our blog.