There are good reasons NOT to give all your raw digital inbound leads to your Sales teams or Channel Partners.
Okay, so you’ve spent your marketing budget in digital demand generation and every time you identify someone who’s shown interest in your company products, you pass it quickly onto the sales team and tell them to get to it.
Right? No, absolutely wrong. In fact, large percentages of marketing budgets are burned by not closely examining inbound leads. With this approach you will be wasting time, effort and also failing to fully exploit all the opportunities to make profitable sales.
So, what’s the answer, what’s the way you can ensure that every lead is properly recognised for its value and potential to the company? It’s simple, make use of to fully qualify these leads and consider the following:
a) If you have an active inbound lead generation-based marketing program, only a small proportion of the individual contacts will be sufficiently qualified to go straight to sales as a lead.
b) Not all sources are equal. Clearly, an inbound telephone call enquiring about a product or service is probably a more powerful indicator of interest than a click-through on a web site. Furthermore, some prospects are more potentially valuable than others.
c) Not all prospects are equal. An incoming prospect which is already on your ‘hit list’ is probably more valuable than one you know nothing about, and should be treated as such.
Structure and Conquer
If you organise your sales along traditional lines of each rep given xxx number of leads and then told to convert the ones that show some promise, and whilst you’re converting those, make sure you keep checking out the leads that are coming in, then, frankly, you will soon be lost.
Yes, you will convert some good business and yes, your sales team will make a respectable job of it, but think for a minute. How inefficient is that process just described? How much better if the sales team were organised into those who were good at the hunt (prospecting), those who were good at nurturing (developing the lead) and those good at closing (it’s an art, we can’t all do it).
This is where telemarketing comes in. Leads come in from your various marketing channels (SEO, webinars, email marketing) and are thus unqualified. This ‘raw intelligence’ should not be directly sent to the sales team. It should be qualified and vetted, and packaged for further consumption.
An effective telemarketing team operates as the front line troops. They take the raw intelligence (generated leads) and quickly determine the validity of each lead. Each raw lead comes from a good telemarketing team with a qualification of levels of potential, from low-value, to act-upon-immediately.
This crucial information is then fed into your Sales teams who are then able to prioritise and tackle the most valuable first, thus dramatically improving the chances of a successful sale.
But, importantly, your sales teams are given the best possible chance to get their teeth into leads that have a reasonable chance of success. And if the start of the process is strong and effective, then that feeds down the whole chain.