The quality of leads generated through a business’ promotional efforts (including sales leads delivered from staff efforts) is very important to the actual results of sales efforts. Save a lot of time and a lot of money: make certain that the leads you receive are the leads that you can close and want to close for your business. This point may seem obvious, but it is surprising how often CEOs of emerging businesses (and especially for emerging businesses with complex products targeted at enterprise business customers) miss this point, or try to broadly hit the point with imprecise promotional marketing techniques. Finally, craft your marketing and sales compensation programs to fairly reward each piece of the respective functions to ensure that personnel are sufficiently motivated to deliver. Eschew the typical approach that rewards sales with great commissions, but lead generation marketing staff are left to approach their role as something transitional, a stepping stone to sales, rather than a career that can, itself, be quite rewarding. The planning time spent building promotional activities within marketing that will precisely attract the interest of the right prospects for sales will pay off handsomely.
Of course, in order to craft an effective lead generation program with a technique like teleprospecting, your marketing function must have completely understood and even digested the product the business is selling, like food, to the point that your product is running, like blood, through everyone’s veins. Nothing short of this completely correct understanding of the product will do. As I have written earlier in this blog, a big part of gaining this understanding is knowing how your customers are using your product; therefore, if your business is just starting, without customers, marketing’s job is that much harder, but nonetheless still absolutely essential.
If the promotional efforts include telemarketing (or teleprospecting), then marketing must subsequently publish a complete list of the qualifications of the targeted prospect business, all the way from revenue size, to geographical location, to type of business, and inclusive of all financial realities, external factors and more. Further, the staff role within the prospect business must be defined and contact lists must be developed. Underlining all of this qualification, like the foundation of a house, is marketing’s identification of the stage within the chronology of product implementation (otherwise known as product maturity) that is required for the right prospects to fit into your sales plan. As the CEO, you must have the option of selecting where, in the implementation process for the solution (or piece of the solution) that your product delivers, you establish contact with the right prospects for sales. This point of contact may be where the prospect “needs” something like your product, or earlier in the maturity cycle, where the prospect is contemplating the solution, or perhaps later, where the prospect has tried the solution and is now rethinking his or her decision and looking to renovate. There are advantages to choosing any one of these three points of entry.
With a thorough product plan and prospect qualification lead generation staff can then play their very valuable role delivering rich and promising prospects to sales who are then left to their best activities, selling to customers.
© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2011 All Rights Reserved