Outward Bound – Improving Sales and Marketing with Simple Decisions

Outward Bound knows they provides a life changing experience to individuals and business clients. However like any business, knowing where to allocate resources on sales and marketing is a difficult problem. Let’s look back, and see how Outward Bound tackled this challenge.

In early 2015 Outward Bound decided they needed to increase their web enquiries, surely in the digital age this was the way to increase course bookings? The Outward Bound sales and marketing team worked hard to drum up enquiries, one of the marketing managers even had a KPI based exclusively on web enquiries. They succeeded, well, at least they increased the number of enquiries!

Through our work with Outward Bound, we concretely demonstrated that this large increase in enquiries was not translating to an increase in course bookings. Our dashboards made it clear that many of these web leads were poorly qualified, highly unlikely to ever go on a course. Today, their sales and marketing team spends more time focusing on qualified leads. This has translated to a direct increase in bookings and minimized countless hours wasted on fruitless leads.

However, we work with Outward Bound on a continuous improvement basis. The sales and marketing team then wondered if the way they reach out to leads influences the conversion rate. Should they stick to email or send their promotional information by post? We took a detailed look at their conversion rate, and produced insights above and beyond the original question.

Firstly we demonstrated that the conversion rate is heavily biased by scholarship applicants. Given that a scholarship applicant essentially gets a free course, they are a very hot lead. Being able to toggle the inclusion of these leads, the team was able to get a more realistic picture of their true conversion rate.

Removing this bias, we were able to tackle the original question and show the team that their postal packs had an abysmal conversion rate, half that of email. Therefore, we saved Outward Bound over $10,000 on postal packs and helped increased revenue by showing them that email simply worked better. None of these changes were hard to make, Outward Bound just had to see the data to drive the decision.

Whatever ancient system you data lies in, our team will be able to utilize it provide you real time information. Our relentless but insightful regular questioning, will help you see the information you need, to target the right customers and eliminate wasted marketing efforts.