A few years ago I started coughing in the mornings when I woke up. I blamed it on allergies and made a stop at the neighborhood drug store to grab a bottle of allergy medicine promising relief if I took a spoonful each day.
Within a few weeks, I was coughing throughout the day. It was more than a clearing my throat cough; it was a gut-hacking cough. Loud and disruptive.
My peers on the marketing and sales teams were complaining. My CMO even asked if there was something more I could do to fix it. So back to the drug store I went filling a basket with cough syrup, cough drops, Vitamin C and lemon zinger tea.
It wasn’t long before I was coughing morning, noon and night. None of the remedies I tried seemed to be having an impact. In fact, the cough was getting worse. I was feeling pressure from the folks in my office to find a solution to a cough that they now said was so distracting it was affecting their performance.
Looking for a Silver Bullet
I needed help, so off to the local walk-in clinic I went. After a quick 15-minute check-up, the doctor said it was probably an infection easily treated with an antibiotic. I left his office with a prescription and a promise I’d be all better in 7 days.
I was quick to come back to the office and share the news that I had the silver bullet – the antibiotic – and would be cough-free in just seven short days.
Seven days later I was still coughing and now wheezing, plus there were additional issues related to the antibiotic. My frustration level increased at seeing the situation worsen instead of improving despite all the time and money I had spent.
There was only one thing left to do – Google it. I hopped online, typed in “symptom checker” and hit enter. Up popped WebMD’s Symptom Checker – a technology breakthrough.
In Search of the Cause
I went to work answering the questions with diligence. The result? A list of 19 possible conditions with the recommendation to see a pulmonary specialist who could do a full assessment of my lungs to diagnose and treat the cause.
Days later I was meeting with the specialist who took my health history, ordered blood work, x-rays, CT scan, oximetry, along with several other tests. I remember asking why he was so thorough and his reply was simple,
If I do not get to the cause of why you are coughing, I will not be able to restore your health and make you better.
The results from all the tests came back quickly, and the diagnosis was adult-onset asthma. He prescribed a daily treatment and within a couple of weeks the coughing was gone and I was back to 100 percent.
Stop Treating the Symptoms
I like to tell this story to B2B marketing and sales leaders I work with to illustrate why treating the symptoms of a poorly performing lead-to-revenue cycle is not going to make it better.
Think about all you’ve done in the past year to improve sales and grow revenue:
- Launched a new website
- Increased spending on lead generation
- Hired a social media marketer
- Invested in content generation
- Purchased technology to score and nurture leads
- Added a BDR team
- Increased the size of the sales team
- Fired a marketing and/or sales leader
Did you improve conversions? Did you hit your sales goals? If you did, have you been able to sustain performance?
Building a lead-to-revenue process that results in real revenue transformation requires more than temporary remedies – just like my cough needed more than cough syrup and lemon zinger tea.
Assess & Find the Cause
You have to be willing to look past the symptoms and assess your buyer’s journey start-to-finish. Don’t forget to include the utilization of your marketing and sales technology, and the defined lead management flow your marketing and sales teams follow.
Once you conduct that assessment, you’ll have the information you need to diagnose and repair where your prospects disengage and disappear. Then you can prioritize what needs to be done and take action to clear that path to conversion and sustainable revenue growth.
If you’re not sure where to start, reach out, and I’ll share insight to the steps I take to help clients get to the cause.