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Sales Process: Lead Generation

May 17, 2010

In order to get ISO 9000 approval, every process in the organization has to be very accurately described and documented. Yet when it comes to accurately describing the sales process, there seems to be a roadblock. Yet, sales is what drives every business. Handling leads is the first part of the Sales Process in which all of us can do better. Here are some tips.

1. Develop a Concrete Definition of a Lead

Before we call them leads, we should call them suspects. Define what a quality concrete lead is. Just think of all the wasted hours the sales force can spend on companies or people that will not generate business. Sales and marketing should jointly develop the right questions for every new lead to help qualify them into a prospect.

2. Itemize Where Most of Your Leads Are Coming From

Referral marketing, Direct Marketing, Cold Calling, E-mail marketing, Blogging, telemarketing, advertising, and Social Media are all legitimate forms of lead generation. It is important to identify and quantify where the majority of your leads are coming from. Come up with at least 5 strategies actions and deadlines to improve each lead generator. Do not rely on just one lead generator or on your past successes.

3. Install an Effective CRM Tool and Use It

ACT, Salesforce, Goldmine are great tools to use for the salesperson, and even better for management. The failure is in not using the data to improve and implement better lead generation. Establish numbers like number of leads, Lead conversion/salesperson, and benchmark your successes and failures.

4. Respond to Leads Within 24 Hours or Sooner

This is a rule that your company must live by. If you are not showing interest within that time, another company will.

5. Conduct Lead Generation Meetings

Have your sales and customer service department meet on a weekly basis just to discuss what leads there are and how you can make them into true prospects. Refine the questions. OPENLY discuss failures, but do not punish them. We learn more from failures then successes.

6. Keep Communications With All Past Leads

People are taking much longer to make a decision. Your qualified leads are a potential goldmine. Because they did not buy today, does not mean they will not buy tomorrow. Develop programs to keep in contact like e-newsletters, monthly calls, sending out white-papers and educational information.

If you are interested in having some further discussion or want to have a free analysis of your sales process, please do not hesitate to contact me.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ray Burns permalink
    January 22, 2011 11:11 am

    Regarding selling in Mexico, while at Spice Tec we were able to develope personal relationships that led to a great deal of profitable business. You must have a product to present that is needed by the potential customer and work to develope the relationship with the corresponding business,

    • January 23, 2011 8:32 am

      Good to hear from you Ray. Can you say what were the biggest obstacles in selling to Mexico? How long did it take you to build the relationships necessary to sell product?

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