The beginning ingredient for most companies’ sales success is the lead. Leads signal potential sales and future customers. They are a good thing. However, not every lead should be treated equally. If you haven’t established guidelines or objectives for your leads, you could get inundated with unqualified or non-targeted leads. This results in not only a waste of time, but a loss in morale within your company as well. Rejection hurts, and it may not always be obvious that the source of it is in the actual quality of the lead itself.
You’ll often find that in sales teams, leads can be referred to as cold, warm or hot. This typically refers to how likely a lead will turn into a sale. A cold lead would obviously be the least likely. Imagine if you could work on having less cold leads and more warm and hot ones. With a little foresight and planning at the lead generation step, you could improve the overall quality of all leads coming in.
Here are a few ways to do just that…
Understand what makes a good lead.
Who is the ideal prospect? It has to be more than just “they are ready to buy right now.” What makes them ready to buy? Why are they more likely to use your services over other potential leads? What makes them the easiest to convert? Digging deeper into your potential customer’s mindset will help you find the triggers for great lead generation.
Determine your overall lead goal.
For some companies, actually making a sale isn’t the end goal. Maybe they just want to capture information for a future event or sale. Maybe they just want greater insight into their audience demographic, or they just want to expand their reach. Knowing what a “happy” end result of each lead is will help you work your way backwards to making sure the people you are targeting will result in a great “hot” lead.
Know your red flags.
Sometimes in order to determine what you want, you have to look at what you don’t want. This will help you set up conditions or questions to eliminate bad prospects. For instance, if you are a graphic artist, you probably don’t want to target companies that have an in-house art department. Knowing this, you would set up some type of parameter that would help you eliminate leads from companies with an in-house art department. Take some time and examine what types of leads aren’t worth the time and effort.
Tailor your efforts for the results you want.
It makes sense that if you want to find leads for people looking to get their haircut you might set up a lead generation system (such as a contest for a free haircut) at a nail salon. The customers in the nail salon would be in the fashion/beauty mindset and more likely to be a targeted prospect. However, if you set up the same type of lead generation system at a chiropractor, you might get some leads, but they may not as equally suited. If you know what makes a great lead, you can start tailoring your lead generation efforts to find more of those types of leads.