Do you have enough money? Money from sponsorship, or any other business, comes from clients and partners. I don’t care whether you are a sponsor or a property, having customers/clients (or whatever you want to call them) that provide you the funds to operate, is necessary. Without them, you will soon be history!
The next question is: Do you have enough leads? Leads are essential to revenue success. You will probably lose 10-15% of your sponsors each year. Mandates, budgets, and people change, and as a result, their investments change. It is important that you always have prospects in the funnel. It is critical.
Recently, I was working with a client on developing their funnel of leads. I thought I would share some of the approaches and processes we discussed to fine tune their needs. Here is what we called the “Four Fundamentals of Funnel Development for Effective Lead Generation.”
1. It is critical to track your leads—where are they in the sales cycle. There are several software packages that can help you do this (Salesforce, Landslide, etc.). Some of our clients just use the old reliable Excel spreadsheet. The key is to continually track your leads so you know when to drop or keep them.
2. Know your lead generation sales cycle. What are the steps in the process? Do you have a product that closes quickly, or is it relationship development which is longer with more steps? For most in the sponsorship industry, it is several steps such as identification of suspects, then prospects, then qualified leads in development, negotiation, and closed/renewed.
3. Define each step. The responsibilities that define a lead are different in the discovery funnel versus a development funnel. For our clients, we design these funnels with definitions and usually some timelines. It needs to be clear when a company is a prospect and when it is a lead. What is the difference in your funnel set up?
4. Know your limitations. No one can manage a relationship generation funnel of 100 leads. I don’t care how good you are—a list of 100 leads is unmanageable. For many of our clients with a full-time dedicated sponsorship person, the limit may be 30 or 40. For a client whose sponsorship person also has other responsibilities, it may be only 10! Then you need to determine, of those 10 or 40, how many are in each funnel. This allows you and your superior to track and follow effectively, and allows you to understand when a lead or prospect needs to be dumped!
For effective lead generation, you must ensure that you follow the four fundamentals. Please share your thoughts on lead generation planning and development.
© 2018. All rights reserved.