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Is your marketing plan based on a sales lead forecast?

“Sales leads create sales in direct proportion to follow-up.”

James Obermayer - Sales Lead Management Association

Starting January 3rd, if you have a calendar business year, you should have a new marketing plan with SWOT, Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics. The plan must be based on a sales forecast by product. It should state how many inquiries by product will be essential to make forecast and the sales quotas.

IStock_000018337527XSmallEach tactic should clearly state how many raw inquiries and qualified leads you will create to make forecast (if the tactic is lead gen based).

Budgets should reflect two approaches:

1. A branding budget (no forecast of sales leads).

2. A lead generation budget with a forecast for the number of inquires (by tactic) and the raw cost of an inquiry, qualified lead and closed lead.

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The forecast should include a calendar with the number of inquiries you expect to generate by month with an increasing number of inquiries preceding the expected increases in sales by at least three months (the inquiry count should be an upward slope preceding the expected upward slope in sales).


Eight Steps for successful creation of a marketing plan from the Sales Lead Management Association:

1. Forecast Sales by product, by month and quarter.

2. Forecast inquiries or qualified leads to achieve quota (quota is often different than a sales forecast).

3. Create a professional marketing plan: SWOT, Goals, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics (detailed lead generation forecast).

3. Measure each lead generation tactic for quantity and cost: raw inquiries, qualified leads, closed leads (sales) and sales lead follow-up.

4. Repeat what works!

5. Scrap what doesn’t result in sales unless there is a good branding strategy for the decision.

6. Review the plan monthly.

7. Have the courage to change, delete and add tactics.

8. Plan your work and work your plan. Monthly plan reviews are mandatory.

Remember Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke said "No plan survives contact with the enemy.” Your plan won't either in its entirety, but without a plan you have not given your business any forethought; you are just responding emotionally to everyday demands with no thought of the future.

And lastly, remember, "A high percentage of sales leads followed-up by you will buy from you, what isn’t followed-up buys from your competitor."


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