You’re busy. So busy you don’t have any time at the moment. You don’t have time for your family, time for growing your firm or time for yourself. Your job is never done. There is always more to do. If and when you finish the “work” you then need to think about training your staff, or investing time in marketing.
And let’s not get started on that marketing word. Marketing is never done.
You know you “should” be writing that blog, sending that tweet and updating your LinkedIn profile. Yet, your key to successful marketing in 2018 is not in the few tweets you may or the tweaking of your LinkedIn profile. It is the few blogs you will write in the year.
The key to successful marketing is in knowing and working the numbers. The three biggest problems I see firms have when planning their marketing are:
1) Not knowing how many new clients they need on a monthly basis to make up for the “churn” and grow their client base.
2) Not knowing what their average new client is worth, and therefore can’t predict new revenue.
3) Not knowing how many leads are needed to have a consistent flow of new clients signing up.
Whilst I feel like I am preaching to the choir when I am speaking numbers to accountants, the Simple Revenue Reality Plan below will enable you to set KPIs for your marketing strategy and its effectiveness. How knowing your numbers will benefit your firm:
1. You Are More Likely To Reach Your Goals
Scores of research prove that individuals and businesses that set goals are far more likely to reach them. To achieve these goals you need to be able to measure your progress as you work towards them. You can then tell if you are on track (or not) and adjust your activities if you are not.
2.Pinpoint And Manage Key Issues
There are a handful of activities that affect results. These activities can include:
- Number of outbound sales calls
- Number of proposals sent
- Proposal close rate
- Average price per sale
When profits and sales are low, most firms don’t know what to fix to see improvement. By tracking the numbers, you can know what you need to work on first.
3. Discover Problems Before It’s Too Late
Most businesses have a bad sales month, and then have to peddle fast to fix it. Knowing your numbers and keeping track enables you to fix the problem early on. For example, you may learn that the number of meetings planned for the next month is low, and therefore you know to fix the problem.
4. Knowing What Is A Success And What Is Failing
By understanding and tracking your numbers you can measure whether your firm is performing well. For example, if your team is hitting the number of sales called needed, and booking in a certain number of meetings and these meetings hit the sales quota, you can rest assured that your firm is performing well.
5. Motivate The Team Through Transparency
Tracking and publishing your numbers tells employees what is important. For example, if you track the numbers and these numbers are hit, you can work out what is doing well and do more of it. If you are failing to hit those numbers you can look at what you need to improve. Staff satisfaction is key to a smooth-running ship, and if the staff know you are happy and the numbers stack up, they will be motivated. Conversely, if they know that the firm isn’t hitting the numbers, then they can pinpoint what is not working in your business, and improve. Whilst this may feel like I am teaching you to suck eggs, 99% of firms do not measure their marketing numbers. Which is what I am sharing with you today.
So what are the numbers you need to measure to ensure you’re hitting the revenue targets?
Below you will see a document laying out the a table. Let me first explain how to use the document:
New Revenue Planned For 2018-2019
This is the revenue you wish to bring in through gaining new clients. Whilst you may have many clients on the books bringing in revenue already, the number on the sheet is for new revenue not yet accounted for. The sole reason for this number is to determine how many new clients we need to to hit this new revenue target.
It is not news to you that your services are becoming more and more . For this you are having to offer more than the normal services you have offered for the past 30 years or more. You are having to package up your services to incorporate advisory services/other and turn what you do into a more product based offering. Understanding how much you will charge for this product will enable you to work out how many clients you need to hit your new revenue.
Number Of Clients Needed
This number is worked out by new revenue desired divided by your average product price. For example, If you wanted an extra £100,000 in revenue this year, and the average client pays £5,000, you will need an extra 20 clients this year.
Number of Audition Calls/Meetings
I call your sales meetings “audition meetings” for one reason. You need to audition your potential clients. You can grow your firm in two ways. You can either be all things to all people and have a headache with D Grade clients or You can only work with A Grade clients that pay you well, get great results from your expertise, and ones that you enjoy working with. Hence the word audition. You need to check that they are a good fit for you and vet them before they become clients.
Number of Leads Needed
You will need to qualify what a lead is before you can measure this number effectively. I suggest a is someone who has requested a call/meeting with you, been recommended to you, or come to one of your events/webinars. It could also be someone that has downloaded a your website or an eBook. I would suggest a lead is more than someone who has visited your website or liked an update of yours on LinkedIn.
Number Of Monthly Leads Needed
This is your number of leads needed, divided by 12. This gives you the number of leads you need on a monthly basis to hit your new revenue target.
Let’s turn this into a workable example:
New Revenue Planned = £100,000 Average Client Investment = £5000
Number Of Clients Needed (Revenue divided by average client investment) = 20
Number Of Audition Meetings Needed (number of clients needed x 10) = 200
Number Of Leads Needed (number of audition calls x 10) = 2000 Monthly Number Of Leads (leads divided by 12) = 166
It is clear that you will need 166 leads a month to hit your desired increase in revenue.
(To download a free copy of the Revenue Reality Planner click here)
With this you can start to measure your marketing and sales activity and measure and tweak each stage of the process. With many of the businesses I work with, once the marketing machine is working the numbers tend to look more like 50 leads, 10 meetings, 2 clients.
But this takes time, measuring and tweaking of the marketing and sales activities that you undertake. When you know your desired marketing numbers all that you have left to do is plan how to generate those leads. Will you be doing it through content marketing, event marketing, webinars or telesales?
I suggest it will need to be a mixture of all of these things and more. Now you have your revenue reality plan, you can create your lead generation plan. And as I said at the beginning of the article, you are always busy, so let’s make sure you are not wasting time doing the wrong marketing.
P.S. When you’re ready… here are 3 ways we can help you with marketing and growing your accounting practice:
1. Grab free copy of my book
It’s the roadmap to attracting better prospects, signing higher value clients and scaling your accounting firm. – Click Here
2. Take the test.
It will benchmark your firms ability to effortlessly attract, connect with & convert high value clients using the Pioneering Practice Scorecard. – Click here
3. Join the tribe and connect with firms who are growing too.
It’s our new Facebook community where ambitious founders, owners, and partners learn to attract better prospects, sign higher value clients and scale their accounting firm. – Click here