There is an old saying of “the blind leading the blind”…We didn’t know where it came from so of course we looked it up on where else but google and this is what Wikipedia came up with. It’s actually a biblical quote “If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
Recently we underwent an exercise around ROI calculations with a CEO of a startup around in-housing still his demand generation through a few inside sales reps or outsourcing that function. ROI seems to be a leading discussion point these days for many business leaders who are looking to gain more revenue and increase profit on all fronts while managing expenses even closer. Interestingly enough and this does appear to be quite common, his perspective was driven from a human capital focus built around comparing his teams demand generation and pipeline creation over the last four months and arriving at a cost of lead that calculated into new business. So a simple formula, I get this many leads I pay these guys this much and this many led to new revenue. He then shared this information with us.
We looked at major gaps in process, approach, conversation rates, time spent emailing vs dialing, etc. Then we presented our numbers back to him based upon what he shared and it showed a potential deficit in leads to closed deals of almost 50% based upon our historic metrics of conversations to meetings to closed business. His analysis in response once again came back and had our model costing more than his team was internally even though ours didn’t. So how did we translate this analysis?
We took a step back and really looked at everything from a different perspective because we were both blindly approaching this based on two different goals and seeming to fall right back into the pit. His goal was to justify keeping his team and also was including the cost of his direct team’s monthly costs in his model. Our goal was to showcase best practice and experienced driven metrics and also did not include his cost of his direct team because we felt that you can throw everything in at that point to justify the model to not be effective (i.e. rent for his building, his pay, his website costs, etc. meaning where does it end to determine the cost of sales relevant to ONLY lead generation) which as you can tell we are not aligned in the least bit. The main conclusion we came to was that when decision makers can cast doubt by blindly viewing things the way they want to view a predetermined outcome, then it’s almost impossible if not impossible to move them away from the way they view it as opposed to concentrating on facts.
At the end of the day, we actually see this a lot and we believe there are plenty of blind marketers leading their teams based upon what one could consider as blind decisions and often everyone falls into the pit because they have already arrived at the conclusion they wanted to arrive at, rather than looking at other options, tactics, facts, approaches, techniques, etc. So get your data points, metrics, facts and do more research and really try to make an educated decision that comes from many different perspectives versus blindly coming up with the outcome that you already know you think you know!