Product marketing plans must include prospect profiles for businesses and related contacts. In parallel, a typical maturation cycle for leads must also be assembled. With a prospect profile and a typical lead maturity cycle in hand, then a scoring system can be implemented for leads. Through the application of this lead scoring system a useful picture of present, near term future and longer term future sales activity takes shape. This picture will become more valuable over time as more data is incorporated within calculations.
Using a scale of 1-10, where 1 represents the lowest value, a numeric value can be assigned to any and all leads. This numeric value directly correlates to a stage of lead maturity for a specific prospect interaction, as follows:
- Gathering Information from Prospects
- Communicating Information to Prospects
- Formulating an Initial Needs Assessment for an Opportunity
- Collecting a List of all Contacts within a Prospect who must be included in steps 1-3 above
- Establishing the authenticity of decision makers as well as presumed requirements through additional conversations with contacts at the prospect business
- Utilizing internal and external contacts to schedule a meeting with decision maker(s)
- A meeting with contacts who appear to be decision maker(s) to discuss potential requirements for products and/or services
- A meeting with a decision maker who needs to find a solution to a specific requirement for products and/or services manufactured by our company
- Presenting this decision maker with a specific proposal, complete with cost information
- An Engagement Letter is signed, or a purchase order is received for our product or service
Steps 1-6 in this maturity model are the responsibility of lead generation personnel. Step 7 can include lead generation and sales personnel. Steps 8-10 are entirely the province of sales personnel.
Utilizing this lead maturity model it is possible to obtain very efficient results from sales personnel who ought not be involved in steps 1-6. Sales activity should be categorized into each of the 10 steps. Usually, at an early stage of implementing this method, sales activities will overlap lead generation activities. Management can use this information to require changes in sales activity to eliminate duplication of effort. Indeed, for very early stage businesses with lots of leads scored as a 1-6 value, there is little need for sales involvement at all. Rather, we recommend that sales personnel utilize these early stages for product and market training. Better to leave the task of nurturing leads through stage 1-6 to lead generation experts who can be much more effective at this task.
IMB Enterprises, Inc. specializes in identifying sales leads for information technology companies targeting enterprise business and large user groups in the public sector. We nurture leads through stages 1 through 7. We collaborate with sales on stages 7 and 8. We offer monthly and annual services plans that will produce targeted lead levels to be determined by our clients. Please call Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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