In the first of this three-part series, we examine how high-quality leads can potentially boost your sales.
The good news about leads
The formula for finding new customers used to be simple. To boost sales, you made more calls, sent more emails and posted more direct mail. In today’s market conditions, once successful lead generation campaigns are struggling and conversion rates are at an all-time low. Many sales managers complain about the quality or quantity of leads. This is because lead generation has struggled more than any other aspect of sales and marketing over the past 5 years. However, great companies are not fatalistic about lead generation and its potential to deliver sales growth. They know something others don’t. Even a modest improvement in a company’s approach to lead generation can dramatically boost sales. This kind of effort can deliver a payback ahead of most other sales or marketing initiatives.
The fundamental ingredient of success
The list of ways to improve lead generation is almost endless. Examples include: new sources like social media; new techniques for generating demand; and new ways of communicating your message.No matter what strategies or techniques you employ, there is one fundamental ingredient of success: you must adopt a contact nurturing mind-set and manage your leads like contacts.
A "lead mentality" within a business could cost more money then a better "nurturing contacts" approach to sales:
Just “working leads”
Adopting a “nurture mentality”
Leads are generated and prequalified
Leads require a campaign
Leads are often cold
Lead generation is often sporadic
Leads are short-term in focus
The objective is a meeting or sale
Leads go stale
Leads are found in many places
Contacts are nurtured
Contacts require a conversation
Contacts are often warm
The nurturing of contacts is on-going
Contacts require a long-term view
The objective is to build a relationship
Contacts can last forever
Contacts live in a database/CRM tool
In part two of this three-part blog series, we discuss how you can tackle the information deficit behind sales calls and presentations.
Remember leads can & should be a good news story. If there are problems with your organisation’s approach to lead generation, this means you have a greater potential to drive sales.
About the authors
Ray Collis and John O’Gorman are authors of The B2B Sales Revolution and other books. Collis and O’Gorman are successful sales consultants with The ASG Group, and they are global leaders in sales performance management. For more information on the ASG Group, please visit theasggroup.com.