Last week I was reminded of a simple and basic rule of selling: follow-up on your leads! It sounds simple, but all too often Marketing generates leads with email campaigns, events, tradeshows, advertising, etc., and Sales doesn’t follow-up. They often make excuses:
- I don’t have time.
- The leads aren’t qualified.
- The leads are already a contact with whom I have a relationship.
- And the list goes on …
I’ve been on both sides of this equation. I’ve led marketing teams that were charged with creating leads. We did our best to capture information on prospects, so that we could pass them along to the sales team. Often these leads were expensive to obtain – especially if they came from tradeshows. We wanted Sales to follow-up and often gave them deadlines to do so. Not contacting these new prospects was like throwing money to the wind. Admittedly, if Marketing didn’t capture complete information, we didn’t always know if our leads were good. We also didn’t have the tools to measure the ROI of our marketing spend, so we likely kept chasing leads from ineffective sources. (No wonder Sales got frustrated …)
I’ve also been on sales teams – both as a sales leader and as an individual contributor. Sales team members often bemoan the fact that Marketing doesn’t send them enough leads, OR the leads they send are simply not qualified, so sales team members feel they are a waste of time. Sales wants to have LOTS of leads with high confidence that the leads they receive are good and qualified.
Now that I’m in the CRM business, I see lots of clients with BULGING lead lists. Clearly time and money were spent to identify and capture the leads. Many times, these leads are aging and likely obsolete. We can run the email lists through our TopLine validation tool and find how many email addresses still work.
As much as I don’t like to do a lot of phone work with cold prospects , I am not one to waste money.
Last week I was following up on a recent TopLine-sponsored event. I was calling prospects who attended our free training session and asking what they thought. Did it provide benefit, and could they use some extra help? When I didn’t reach someone on the phone, I left a voice mail then followed up with an email. I was seemingly batting a big fat ZERO until my fourth call when I reached the President of the company rather than the prospect I planned to contact. I learned that she had a big opportunity and needed an immediate budgetary estimate for a potentially large CRM investment! What would have happened if I didn’t pick up the phone that day? Would she have proactively called me, or would I have missed out on a large opportunity?
If you don’t like the sound of money getting flushed, then you need to make sure you are capturing, tracking and follow-up on your leads. If you’re not, you may be challenged with a poor process, an ineffective sales platform, or a team culture that needs to be addressed. You also may need some help with marketing automation to further qualify your leads, so your sales team wants to make those follow-up calls. We can help you with any of these challenges and would love the opportunity. Give us a call (1-800-880-1960) or shoot us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to manage and build your prospect goldmine before it slips away.