You can lead a horse to water, but can you make him convert without a sales process?
Top of funnel. Bottom of funnel. Scoring. Nurturing. Conversion. These are all terms you’ve probably heard once or a thousand times when it comes to lead generation. And while lead gen is every sales and marketing department’s lifeblood, we often find that organizations focus so intently on driving leads that they neglect the processes needed to handle them properly.
There’s no doubting that marketing and sales technologies have made prospect outreach easier than ever before. Think about the power behind automated emails and social connections, lead scoring, and sales and market intelligence.
Technology trends tell us that it takes almost 20 dials to actually connect with a buyer. That means you’re working hard for the leads you get. But, what good is putting in that work to drive a pipeline of contacts if you lack a foundational sales process?
The first step in establishing an optimized sales process is putting in the underpinning by defining some key variables. You’ll need to understand precisely what a lead is for your organization. Also, what job titles and industries are of interest? What budget will your targets have? What’s the need, timeframe and opportunity size? What data do you need to capture, how will you cleanse the data (Data Hygiene)? What data do you pass from one technology to the other? What type of service level agreement will you put in place between marketing and sales related to how leads are passed from marketing to sales and what are the next steps and timing to complete those tasks? How will you report on your lead generation activities?
As you establish your sales process—or fine-tune your existing method—don’t be afraid to analyze what’s working (and not working) currently. HubSpot suggests you review the last few deals you closed and identify the significant steps in the process, as well as the number and types of touchpoints with the customer, and how long the process took.
Now that you have your definitions and a general idea for how your process could work, sketch out a potential process map. That map should include very detailed explanations for what triggered a customer’s move to the next stage in the process. And maybe most importantly, you must be flexible in your approach and willing to adapt if you find holes along the way.
One way that you’ll be able to recognize areas ripe for improvement or adjustment is through the measurement and reporting of key performance indicators. These could include everything from total deals closed to the average time customers are spending in each stage of your sales process. Our goal is to shorten the sales cycle by focusing on funnel velocity.
Once that side of the house is in order, there’s a good chance you see higher levels of conversion on the leads you do generate. And if you’re one of the 40% of salespeople who say prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process, Sales Lead Automation can help.
Guided by our automated lead gen services, extensive database, and activity-based marketing capabilities, we can help you find more quality leads so your sales staff can focus on what they do best: developing bonds with customers and making sales.
By tracking the content being consumed by companies we can identify companies trending for topics related to your products and services.
Through marketing automation, we’re even able to connect you with a prospect who interacts with a particular post on social media. And if your business is one that relies on both online and offline tactics, we’ve got you covered with personalized direct mail campaigns that reach highly targeted audiences.
If you’re interested in learning how we can help you with your prospecting and developing a lead generation process, don’t hesitate to reach out.