Sales Lead Generation Kicks off Direct Marketing
Qualified Sales Leads Are Generated in several different Ways
Even B2C offers can often benefit from effective lead generation. Car salespersons have to identify prospects that are likely to buy cars in the near future. There are several ways car sales leads can be generated. A quirky option is to go around parking lots and put the seller’s business card on the windshields of older cars.
Qualify the Sales Leads
Those who sell through cold calls will know the importance of qualifying sales leads. They know how sales productivity increases many times if they work solely on qualified prospects. An approach gaining attention is to separate sales lead generation from actual selling.
The logic for the separation is that highly skilled and expensive salespersons do not like cold calling. Less expensive staff can do the initial prospecting through telephone or personal cold calls, using a script that identifies real prospects. The identified prospects are then passed on to the salespersons for closing.
A dedicated team of prospectors can generate a steady stream of leads. The salespersons then focus on closing sales using the data already collected about each prospect.
Lead Generation Approach
Sales lead management can be systematized by attending to key elements:
- Profile your ideal prospect. This would be an organization or person that has a definite need for your product or service. List the criteria that qualify the organization or person as a real prospect. Such a profile helps in creating an effective script to qualify prospects.
- Create or locate a list of prospects meeting the criteria. This would be starting task for prospectors. The list can be created by the prospectors themselves using customer profile, or be obtained from the Web, directories, brokers and other sources.
- Develop effective ways for reaching decision-makers. In B2B scenarios, decision-makers might not be the ostensible title holders. In B2C environments, you might have to find ways to reach prospects in ‘No Cold Call’ zones and ‘Don’t Call’ phone registrants.
Reaching Prospective Customers
- Using an insider is a good way to reach decision makers in organizations. A knowledgeable and helpful insider can get the prospector past the gatekeepers to the real decision makers.
- Working with existing salespersons who already sell to the prospect group is another option. For example, computer software sellers can work with hardware salespersons.
- Direct mailing with a targeted list is another effective option. Print mail with well-designed sales materials is still a more effective option than emailing. Targeted lists can be bought from list brokers or created using phone or business directories.
- Seminars and trade shows are venues where you can meet prospects. Seminars in particular offer the possibility to provide expert solutions to specific problems and impress participants. Seminars can be in-person, webinars or teleconferences.
- Email marketing campaigns still work if you use permission lists and keep out of spam filters. Email newsletters to opt-in subscribers, or ads in such newsletters, is another way to use email.
- Websites with good sales copy is yet another option provided the website is promoted effectively using search engine optimization or paid alternatives such as PPC campaigns.
Ensuring a steady flow of qualified sales leads, and using skilled salespersons to close sales to these prospects, are the keys to continuing sales volumes. Provided the product or service is something that consumers want, lead generation and effective selling can guarantee high sales.