As you sort out your leads, trying to determine quality from the quantity, you have probably thought to yourself, there has to be a better way. How can you swing that pendulum to better qualify leads that will streamline your sales team up to spend more time on revenue-generating activities?
1-Align with your marketing team
Marketers and Salespeople have entirely different skills sets. Despite their skill differences, they should be working together and in sync. The marketing team’s primary purpose is to generate qualified (sales-ready) leads. The sales team then takes those leads and closes the deal. Alignment is critical between these two teams, and they should be engaged in each other’s strategies.
The sales team should be in constant communication, defining what their qualified lead looks like, along with the typical buyer profile. This description should be precise and exact, leaving little to question. With that essential information, the marketing team can target their campaigns to attract those leads. If the leads aren’t capturing the right information, provide feedback for correction.
Aligned buyer profiles and targets focus the marketing team on creating campaigns to attract this kind of prospect. Tightly-focused campaigns may result in fewer leads overall, but if the quality of qualified leads is greater, that higher quality equates to business growth. Quality rather than quantity can make an impressive difference to your bottom line.
2-Don’t forget about your existing data
This segment is a tribute to the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database. If managed appropriately, it is a clear look at the past and a possible vision of the foreseeable future.
If you haven’t analyzed your existing CRM database, it’s time to start sorting and categorizing the contacts you already have. You may have some real treasures in there, just ripe for the picking when it comes to qualified contacts. Maybe last year wasn’t a great time, but this year they had tremendous growth.
Never underestimate the wealth of historical information you have to improve your lead scoring. This data can help you to best understand your prospects by the cause and effects of yesterday. For instance, how likely is a prospect to convert based on an area of interest? How about behavior or action? Does the budget or annual revenue matter? You have a potential record of what has worked splendidly in the past and what fell short. Mine this data!
3-Be smart about your budget
Rather than wasting money spraying marketing in every direction, focus carefully on the target markets and prospects and leverage what you learned in the past. Every campaigned should be carefully monitored by sales as well as marketing, and discoveries shared between the two teams.
Consider how you spend money on your internal resources, like systems and staffing. Do you have your top closers doing cold-calling and losing time to meet with qualified prospects? Are there any parts of your process that could be automated to free your sales team strategically? Call Motivated Sellers as an outsource solution to those cold-calling tasks that could be a strategic move to get your top sales professionals back in the field at cost savings compared to managing a call center in-house.
4-Know your customer journey inside and out
Similar to a sales funnel, but different, the customer journey starts with awareness of your company. This awareness is most likely through the effort of your marketing company. The next step is engagement and finally, purchase. Mapping out this customer journey and understanding how your customers continue through the sales process helps you and your marketing team know what kind of information to provide to build a solid business case or how to deal with objections at the right time.
From sales to marketing materials or even your website improvements, awareness of the customer journey helps you realize and identify improvements to support that journey. If you see a common drop from your sales funnel at the same place, perhaps some new information may be provided or an action taken to keep them along the path.
If you see several going through the journey and dropping at the end, perhaps they weren’t well-qualified leads from the beginning. You may need another criterion in your qualification definition.
The goal is to improve speed and the velocity of qualified prospects moving along that journey from awareness to purchase. This improvement enables more sales in the same timeframe and it all starts with understanding the customer journey.
5. Leverage successful customers
You can’t have a better cheerleader for new prospects than a successful customer. Never forget them when it comes to generating new qualified leads and reinforcing your ongoing relationship.
Connect with your most successful customers with added purpose. Interview them personally and learn specifically the successes they’ve achieved with your product or service. You can use this information to develop case studies based on those results (have the marketing team give you a hand). These case studies may be featured as examples in future marketing materials and shared as a resource with the rest of the sales and marketing teams.
Keep your case studies in a database to retrieve when needed. You can also use them as a perfect example with a qualified prospect of a similar profile to show relevant success potential with your product or service. Reading about the success of other customers will enable your candidate to visualize their own challenges and foresee a viable solution for them.
Be sure you’ve recorded the details of each successful conversion in your CRM and shared anything distinctive with your marketing team.
Stop wasting time
Lead generation, in general, isn’t nearly as tricky as QUALIFIED lead generation. In assuring success, it’s critical that large and small business alike make the most of every minute and every dollar to ensure success. Fostering collaborative and aligned relationships between teams as well as your customer base provide excellent leverage of your data and technology. The improvement of your lead quality helps to grow your sales. As a sales professional aligned with marketing, there is plenty of ways that both teams can work in parallel to achieve similar goals and share findings.
Synchronization has its advantages.