Our mantra at Do You Convert is, “We are in the success business,” which means if you are successful, then we are successful. If we don’t see that success, we move quickly to diagnose the situation and develop a game plan to start moving the stakeholders in the right direction. We recently did an exercise with our online sales coaches that was insightful. We went through all of our clients and gave them a success rating on a scale of 1-3. Now, I wish I could tell you they were all 2-3, but we had a handful that were 1s. Most of these are newer partnerships that still need some time to reach their full potential, but some we have been working with for a year or more.
We didn’t just rate them; we also all talked about why they weren’t seeing success like other partnerships. The overwhelming pattern that emerged from the lower success rates…lack of leadership engagement. That was an aha moment for the team. We can coach, train, provide documentation, and train again, but if leadership isn’t fully committed and on board, the chances of success are much lower.
So what can you do as a leader to increase the likelihood of success with your online program? I’ve got five straightforward things you can do right now to boost those odds.
1. Know your numbers.
AKA Inspect what you expect. AKA The metrics that matter. Your online team should be keeping you plugged into the leads, conversion rates, and sales coming from the program. Compare that to our benchmarks
and make sure you know where you are at. A monthly review of the numbers is the minimum; every other week is better. And make sure you are cross-checking for accuracy.
2. Planned Encounters. You absolutely have to meet with your Online Sales Specialist at least once a month. And not just a drive-by “how’s it going” check-in. You need to set a recurring time, take an hour, have an agenda, and dig deep. Most leaders are uncomfortable with this because of the lack of familiarity with the program. Spend some time preparing (at least 30 minutes) before you sit down. Review the metrics, check in the CRM, listen to recorded calls, talk about the sales team, and ask them what is working and what's not. Amazing things come from these planned encounters.
3. Plug them into Sales Meetings. This is often overlooked but very important. Almost 50% of sales start as an appointment from Online Sales - so you need to make sure they can give a quick update during sales meetings. Let them share success, talk about handoff best practices, and give program updates. The more connected they are with sales, the better success you will have from the appointments they set.
4. Log in to the tech stack. For real, if you want to lead you have to understand their world. That’s the CRM, call tracking, video email, etc. You’ve got to jump in and make sure you like what you see. And if you don’t, provide some coaching around the process. It takes time to become familiar but it’s definitely worth the extra time.
5. Shop your Online Sales Team.
It’s the uncomfortable world of reaching peak performance. What gets measured matters, and if you don't conduct a shop, you're only relying on top-level data. A shop allows you to see the big picture and see what the customer experience actually is with your program. You could do this yourself or have it done professionally
for you. We prefer the latter because it gives you a gorgeous report. Plus, as you do these shops quarterly, they show the progress and where the team is improving.
Leadership engagement is directly correlated to successful programs. The absence of it leaves the success up to chance, and we all know that’s not a great strategy.