Here are some quick questions about your marketing. You should be able to answer these without thinking — if you need to research or simply don’t now the answers, then you need to take a close hard look at your marketing and business models.
What is our cost per sale (or for larger deals), what is the cost of pursuit?
In the perfect world, you will be able to track back to source — such as cost per lead — to figure this out. Things are more complicated when you have multiple variables, such as leads feeding into your sales team, who then execute the sale. And, of course, there is the different cost between retaining existing and attracting new clients. Still, you should be able to know how much it costs you in labour and hard costs to prepare a response to an RFP and have a good working ratio for other key elements.
What is my business’s unique selling proposition (niche)?
We can’t be everything to everybody. We also need something to differentiate ourselves, that everyone in the organization and our current and potential clients can share and understand.
Where are we in the marketing/business/world ecosystem? How is it changing?
There is a danger when we think all is well, but the world is changing rapidly around us. Think of the technology companies that rose to greatness and then crashed within years. Then think of the old leaders (Kodak, Encyclopedia Britannica, Yellow Pages) that seemed to have steady, reliable and solid businesses, that fell apart within a few years as technology overtook their business models.
We can’t control all of the business variables around us. But we can know where we stand, and where things are starting to change. Then we can adapt, change, survive, and maybe even thrive as we catch the next wave. Go for it.