Monday, June 27, 2011

Steps To Better Leads

I don’t know too many companies that went out for business because they did not have enough sales. And in those sales there are 3 kinds all important but all different.

1) The One Time Sale.
2) The Repeat Customer
3) The New Customer

For today I will focus on finding the New Customer. In the process you will find The one time sale but isn’t what we want the new customer that becomes a repeat customer? Those are the bread and butter of a company. The ones you can “go to the bank” with.

It is an unfortunate fact that sales people now are under “quota” at an alarming rate. From what I’m hearing almost 50% of all sales people will be below expectations. In my humble opinion, as if anyone cares, this is due to first off the economy and second, fewer leads to sell to.

So what are the some solid steps you can be taking to rectify this problem?

1st Define your market. Sit down and identify your 5 most profitable accounts. Figure out what kind of companies they are. Find the largest grouping of those industries and picking the largest industry first, create your basic lead list.

2nd Decide in your own company what is the definition of a lead. Don’t get trapped into your definition being ONLY those with budget, authority, need, and a time frame, broaden your scope. As important as these are as a whole there are glaring areas where need (or any of these singularly) might trump the buying process.

3rd Agree on expectations. Sales and marketing need to agree on what is a qualified lead or not. Your salespeople should know the kind of lead they can work with and convert and then marketing needs to be able to get them that targeted prospect. Measuring results should help you to pin point what you need to be even more successful.

4th Reports and how often. What do you measure? Cost per lead, cost per opportunity, cost per sale? Having good controls is important but don’t make it stifling to the overall process.

5th Fewer but better = better. Time is money so when looking at your lead gen program providing your sales staff with fewer but a more qualified leads list is more cost effective for them and they should love you for it. If you only look at and demand numbers that is what you will get.

6th Long term leads. I don’t care what you sell; some companies that DO buy what you sell are not ready to buy for their reasons. Don’t ignore these people. If you have a list of 2500 prospects and out of those 50 become “quick” sales there might be another 50 long term sales. In working these people you can in essence double your sales 6 months to a year down the road.

7th Hit them with a multi channel attack. This one is my personal favorite. You got to hit them in all kinds of different ways at all kinds of different times because different people respond to different channels of communication. The so called trick is to know what media to use, when to use it and how often. As John Wannamaker once said "I know that half my advertising budget is working, I just don't know which half." You need to be where they are, not where you want to be. I suggest you use a series of multichannel touches over a period of time to educate, stimulate and give the buyer name recognition of your company.

8th Create offers based off of what you already know on needs and benefits. Remember people but for their reasons not yours. Go back and look over your offers. You needs might want to include the fear or pain of not buying or using your service.

9th Set up a realistic action plan with deadlines. Make people accountable for actions and when those actions need to be completed. If there is no end date there is no compelling reason to do the action by the time it needs to be done except for a person’s own reasons. If everyone on the team know where they fit in and how they will be held accountable you start to from a cohesive unit and plan of attract

Larson Notes & Satire: So you take a company like mine. This is what we do for companies. Some like to dump the whole thing in our laps, most like to do some and have us to a piece, either way to do it right we need to be a key player on their team. The more we are integrated into their action plan the more impute we can give them. As most of you know our main focus is on the telemarketing aspects with some entries into social media marketing and direct mail. We don’t have it all down right and after 36 years of sales, marketing and advertising we still don’t have it perfected but if there is any one key to the door of perpetual prospects and customer sales or all kinds it is found in one work, persistence.

Remember our 3 new programs for 2011
1st is our Virtual Sales Manager Program.
2nd our Sales Function Outsourcing Program
3rd our Virtual Business Consulting Program

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.

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