There is the perception in the lead generation process today that more is better. Sometimes, though, more leads just means more work to pick through to find the nuggets that are those most likely to convert to sales. If your marketing programs are generating a large quantity of leads, you need to have good processes in place to qualify them so that sales teams spend their time with only the best fits.
Stopping by a trade show booth, watching a webinar or downloading a white paper may mean that a prospect is qualified – but it also may mean that they just wanted to grab a yo-yo for their kid or that the content had some value to them that was not related to how well your solution fit their needs. Tools are needed to efficiently sort out those leads from those who might benefit from further contact. Calling each lead to qualify them can be incredibly time consuming, and may still not get you to the level of qualification that you should be reaching. So how should you be sifting through the large quantity of leads to focus attention on the most qualified – the nuggets?
Follow these steps:
1. Leverage the intelligence part of your sales intelligence platform to append the lead form information with details that can help you qualify the prospect. These could include the contact’s title, responsibilities and place within the organizational chart. This mapping will provide you with direct contact information for the individual and their team members so you can reach out to the prospects in the team whose responsibilities best match the solution you have to offer.
2. Use the sales intelligence platform’s org charts to understand where the prospect sits within the team and also identify where responsibilities lie. Or you might identify through this step that you already have been communicating with people within the prospect’s team – so this new contact could be a step deeper into the engagement, depending on where they sit in the organization.
3. Examine trigger events profiled in your sales intelligence platform for each organization. These events, such as executive moves or ongoing initiatives, can show you opportunities and provide insight into solutions that the organization may be seeking. These will go a long way to help you qualify the nuggets by verifying or confirming that they are, in fact, looking for solutions.
Once you’ve identified a qualified prospect:
Follow-up, and take the extra step to copy a colleague who has similar responsibilities to double the likelihood of response. Communications of this type should indicate your association to the prospect such as, “I spoke with Jane at ITEXPO last week, and I understand that you are working together to evaluate security solutions.” Using this insight, gathered from your show connection combined with the intelligence from your database will put you in front of the right contacts at the right time with the right solution.
Use intelligence to speed your follow-up. Many prospects go cold in the process of being qualified. Many never get followed up at all. When a prospect has attended an event you’ve put on, or met you at a trade show, use that momentum. Append the data using intelligent tools, and strike while the prospect is still hot. If you qualify prospects efficiently, you will be scheduling your first meeting before other vendors even know they are evaluating solutions.
Set up Triggers within your sales intelligence platform so that you will know right away if researchers have discovered any new project or initiatives or executive moves. You can use those to give you first-mover advantage and as opportunities to nurture the leads and continue conversations.
By qualifying your leads and sifting through the masses to get to the gold, you’re putting yourself in the best possible position to have a positive interaction with your prospects, shorten your sales cycle, and ultimately close more deals.
You may also be interested in:
- Powering up your email programs after attending this webinar on Power Prospecting
- Completing the Data Health Check on P. 20 of our ebook on the High Cost of Bad Data
- Getting real intelligence on some of your own top prospects