This seems to be my common theme… I’m on a train. This time I am in Holland and have taken a week off in the middle of my trip to do a five day bike tour in five different countries. We have cycled through Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, and Germany on this whistle-stop tour. It’s the first time I have ever done a road trip like this and it was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. See the pictures below for my little jaunt through Europe:

Back to business

Week six, as with last week, has really beaten me up. It’s starting to get closer and closer to end game and I would have liked to have recorded a different set of figures. It’s not that the figures are bad, but more that certain things I thought would go well have not, and others that I had not planned on going so well are proving far better than I anticipated. More about this later…

How was last week from a numbers point of view?

Booked meetings –16 meetings booked in total, 7 first meetings booked, 2 second meetings booked, 5 partnership meetings, 3 networking events

Results from this – 5 firsts going to second meetings, 2 second going to third meeting, 2 partnerships with potential, 3 networking events sat, 23 names brought in

All in all a good week. If I achieved these numbers week on week for 46 weeks a year, I would have a superb pipeline and the flow of new clients would be healthy. This is an important point to bear in mind. I have 10 weeks to drive this through and normally I would have a year.

Things to note

  1. Three of the meetings this week were from referrals. These were my best meetings by far.
  2. Of the five partnership meetings, all were completed, but two stand out and have the potential to move forward.
  3. For the five firsts going to seconds, one is a large client and the others are small start-ups. This is my thing that’s very much frustrating me, and I need to address it urgently.

Without the synopsis of my data so far I would be feeling a little blind and wondering ‘what’s working and what’s not?’ I would not have clarity on where I am and would be in an unknown position. There is so much going on that I would have lost track a long time ago. Note. The metrics should not lie unless they are incorrectly pulled together or inputted.

My worries were – before I looked at the metrics

  • Is it all working?
  • Should I be making slight adjustments?

So what do the numbers say post metrics?

Lets look at four core areas:

  • The volume of appointments is high
  • The pipeline is great
  • The target market needs tweaking though
  • Partnerships are going very well

Clearly this is positive and a normal situation for a business and a pipeline. I am not going to go too deeply into the volume of meetings and pipeline but focus more on the target market. 

The target market – for me is the key issue. It’s something that all my clients struggle with and I am no different to any of them. Over the years I have dealt with enterprise, mid-level and start-ups and often they don’t know their target market as clearly as they should, sometimes they have it completely wrong. This is a common issue and it seems I am in the same boat. Personally, I would prefer to not be saying this but it is what it is and sharing what’s good and bad is what this blog is about.

To break this down a little, the largest volume of meetings that I have had over the 6 weeks are from early-stage start-ups [they had a product and live clients] and they really do not seem to be focussed on driving sales, which causes a big obvious issue for me. Reflecting on why this is, comes back to where my initial names had come from, and when I am contacting them in terms of their growth cycle.

Where meetings have worked best is mature start-ups, investors, and people with a vested interest in sales being driven into their companies or investments. I have been surprised at many of the start-ups I talk to and how relaxed they are when it comes to their sales model. I cannot make out if this is cultural, where they are, funding is keeping the pressure off, or the way I am delivering my information and communicating with them is not as good as it could be, or all of the above. Will leave this assessment until the 10-week point and then recap where I am.

So, moving forward, my plan is to drive my referral model around the start-ups, where the start-up has a clear sales model or are trying to build one, a clear go to market product, and the capacity to think about scaling their sales. It may seem an obvious and a simple adjustment yet without clear metrics and multiple data points, I would not have been able to say 100 per cent what was wrong. This allows me now to make a swift change on the tack. Will update you on how this works out.

On a side note. I have just had a wonderful break in Europe and am now looking forward to getting back to Edinburgh ready for the penultimate weeks, next week and this week. The pressure is on.

Below are some pictures of my trip. 5 countries in 5 days, riding approximately 120km per day.

The group that started at Maastricht

My great friend Andrew Hinchliffe

Well deserved beer after 2 hours at 40kmph

And a Baguette to go with them

In France

In belgium

One of many war memorials in Europe. This was Belgium.

Our final lunch on way to Maastricht at end of five days

Monshou, Germany. Last day.