Fuelling your sales process

Sales teams need new leads.  A lead is a new opportunity to engage in a sales discussion with a new or existing contact.

Sales is an engine that takes leads (raw commodity) and turns them into orders for the business to fulfil.  Depending on the business, sales may need 3, 5, 10, 20 or 100 leads to “make” an order.

But who in the business is responsible for providing the sales team with these new leads?

In a traditional company model, the marketing department is running campaigns that will raise awareness of company / product / service and cause potential customers to get in touch.  A percentage of these inbound enquiries will turn into leads which then feed sales.  If sales need more leads, marketing undertake more activities.

But what if marketing does not exist, or is not producing the leads that sales require?  Another model is required…

What are the options?

1) Sales can generate their own leads. This requires (often expensive) sales resource to “hit the phones” in the hope of uncovering leads from yellow pages, old customers, competitors, industry publications, etc, etc…
2) Pay a telemarketing firm to call on your behalf
3) Use social media to generate leads (good luck :))

And that’s about it…

But here is a different approach.  Decide who your whole market is (eg Facilities Managers in companies of more than 100 staff, Sales Directors in Southern England, etc.) and acquire their contact details.  If you already know how to build a list of clean, opted in contacts, we suggest you start here now. But if you don’t, talk to us and we’ll show you.

This should give you tens of thousands of contacts who fit your customer profile but who have probably never heard about you.  But this contact list is too big to telephone everyone economically…

So send a series of emails to this contact list, sharing knowledge, market insights and resources with them.  The aim is to build your credibility in their eyes over a period of months.  Then they will get in touch with you and buy – right?  Wrong!  These contacts, if they are interested, will click through on the links you include in the email but won’t get in touch with you.

So then you call up the ones that have clicked on links as they are leads?  No!  What these contacts have done is to make an “Expression of Interest”.  They may be nosey but with no need, bored, vaguely interested or interested right now.  All these contacts require a qualifying call to discuss the issue raised in the email they clicked on.  This is not a sales call – view it as a customer service call.

Then (finally!) contacts that in this call express interest and qualify (they have a need, a budget and authority) are the leads that get fed to the sales team and get turned into orders.

The remainder of the contacts are recycled by next months email and can be re-qualified time and again until they are ready to be fed to the sales team.

Now that is a repeatable process to feed the sales team with leads!

To see more on this new sales process follow this link . And if you are looking for advice on retaining or regularly communicating with your contacts, take a look here .