Posted by James Obermayer on Jul 23, 2013 7:28:00 AM
It’s way ‘old-school’ to try and kick-start sales by dramatically jumping up sales lead quantity, and then rely on the sales channel to deal with it. If you don’t implement a nurture program, you’ll waste marketing dollars by giving salespeople more than they can handle, and irritate prospects because follow-up falls. What’s worse, sales will not incrementally increase in proportion to the marketing spend.
Give more sales leads to a salesperson than they can handle and they will do more of what they are inclined to do—follow-up when time allows, which is often too late.
It isn’t their fault. If they usually get 10 inquiries per month and you give them 25, they will just sort them into piles faster with the results being mediocre (aren’t the mediocre always at their best?).
However, jump the number of inquiries and put them into a nurture engine, which only spits out qualified leads, and you have a recipe for short- and long-term success. Instead of getting 25 inquiries and not following up 15 of them, your salespeople will be fed 8-10 qualified leads. Suddenly you will hear back from them that the quality has improved, and sales will improve. The cost is pocket change.
How to qualify them? If you don’t have a marketing automation tool, get one. Make sure it can put inquirers into a nurture cycle. Add a telemarketing element and this alone can improve the first few stages of the pipeline, until the suspect becomes a prospect ready for sales contact.
Marketing automation can be had for as little as $300/month, or $750 to $1,500/month for some of the larger players. Look into Optify (for agencies or small-to-medium companies), HubSpot, Marketo, eTrigue, Pardot, Velocify (formerly Leads360), Fision, NetSuite, Spark, etc. You can see a list here: on the SLMA Software Review.
Just don’t sit there on your sorry butt worrying about sales performance; do something about it! Jump the lead quantity, jump on nurturing, hold salespeople accountable, and enjoy 200-300% increase in sales in 90-180 days.
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