If leads * sales = profits (assuming of course you are selling with an appropriate margin) then how well-defined is your sales process?
If you look at all the possible sources of leads to your business there will be only two types. They are either proactive leads such as direct mail, telemarketing, radio, TV, newspapers, vehicle signs, neon displays and PR for example. Or we have reactive leads such as word of mouth and to a certain extent, referrals.
So lets look at the process for handling leads in your business, if for example we delve into telemarketing. What are the logical steps to generating great leads and then converting them into sales?
Step 1 – is defining the target market. Who are you calling, and how do you get the data to make those calls? The clearer you are on who you are calling the better the conversion from cold prospect to warm lead will be, or the less hangups you will get. Spend time on this as you do not want to fire a shot-gun, you want a laser guided missile here. It saves you time and money by buying targeted lists. Speak with a list broker and check the quality of their lists.
Step 2 – is developing a powerful script to get through to the decision maker. I’ve figured out how not to do this by making literally thousands of calls to gate keepers, PA’s and receptionists that are paid to keep unprofessional sales people out! You have less that 5 seconds to make the first impression, so make sure your opening statement is a strong one. If I ever hear someone say, “Hi this is [name] from [company] how are you today?”, I will hang up almost straight away! You must have a commitment objective for this call either to set an appointment, arrange for a demo, have the prospect come in or whatever it is, be clear on what you are trying to achieve.
Step 3 – From this point forward each sales process will differ….
Some will send out info, some will be further qualified by a Manager, some will be transferred to a Sales Representative, while others will be booked in for a meeting.
It’s this sales process where the money is made. The more fine tuned this is, the more likely it is that a sale will be made. To show you how important this is, I was with a Broking Firm in Sydney recently. We had a quick look under the hood of their sales system and found out that each of their 20+ sales people followed a slightly different sales process – this is MADNESS! They had tailored it to suit themselves rather than following the system. Imagine if the McDonald’s team decided to do things their way and not follow the system when making a Big Mac…
So for great results, build a sales system that works, fine tune it and make sure it delivers.
— Si Harris