Use these seven tips to make better use of your salespeople’s time and boost their morale. Empower them to do more of what they love—sell—and achieve the results you’re striving for—sales!
1. Create a lead generation process
According to Marketing Sherpa’s 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report, an astounding 75 percent of marketers don’t have a lead generation process that documents how to attract, nurture, and qualify leads. Give your company the edge by creating one.
2. Attract and find leads
When there is no prescribed lead generation process, generating leads often falls on the shoulders of field salespeople. Do you really want highly valuable, skilled closers and negotiators tackling the time-consuming task of hunting for leads?
A variety of marketing techniques can generate leads more efficiently. These range from attracting leads with content marketing to having inside salespeople or outsourced telemarketers phone your target customers and dig up the key contacts.
3. Qualify the leads
There’s more to qualifying a lead than noting some contact information and determining that the lead has some interest because they downloaded your latest white paper. Even if you’ve given the lead a high score in your marketing automation system because they’ve interacted with your company online multiple times, they may not be qualified.
You need to create a lead-qualification process that sizes up whether a lead can afford your product, has a need for it, has the authority to buy, and is interested in buying within a reasonable time period. And, assess whether the solution solves the need.
Before you send leads out to your sales force, you should talk with your salespeople and agree on the criteria of a qualified lead. Then pick up the phone, talk to your leads, and make sure every one of them is sales-ready before you pass it along.
4. Educate leads
Part of the qualification process is categorizing some of the leads as “not-ready-yet.” In fact, 50 percent of leads might fall into this bucket.
You can’t expect a salesperson to warm up leads and get them ready for a sales call. It’s not in their nature. So if you pass them off too early, they’ll go to waste.
However, a teleservices Business Development Specialist is more adept at calling the leads as needed, helping them to solve their problems, keeping your company top of mind, and adding that all important human touch to your nurturing process. They can take care of much of the pre-sales activity, discovering prospect needs and prep them with educational content. In the process, they move leads efficiently into the sales-ready bucket. Also, they gain intelligence to pass onto the field sales rep that helps them perfect their sales presentation.
5. Set appointments
Why waste your salespeople’s time dialing the phone and setting up appointments when an inside salesperson, can qualify the lead and set the date?
6. Win/Loss analysis
Part of the continuous improvement in any business process is investigating past performances and assessing what went wrong and what went right. That’s win/loss analysis.
Call your new customers, and the ones that got away, and find out what triggered them to buy from you; opt for a competitor, or decide not to do anything. When you understand this, you can refine your marketing message, sales presentation, and overall process to increase your sales conversion rate.
7. Pre- and post-event marketing
Many marketing leaders are consumed by all the preparations for conferences and tradeshows. In the rush to get everything done by the deadline, often not enough time or resources are devoted to recruiting attendees or setting up sales appointments at the event.
Send out invitations. Call hot prospects. Do whatever you can to keep your salespeople focused at the event, sitting face-to-face with the decision-makers they need to influence.
And don’t let the leads you generate fall through the cracks. Pick up the phone and follow up on them before your competition. After all, research shows that 35-50 percent of sales go to the vendor that responds first.