The Importance of Sales Lead Generation

If you have a sales force, generating leads is one of the most important things you’ll ever do. Sales lead generation is not a project. It’s a process. It’s about setting up a system that increases your sales force’s productivity and efficiency by identifying potential buyers and giving your sales people the tools to turn them into customers and close the sale.

Here are Seven Top Tips for implementing a successful sales lead generation program:

Get your sales force to buy in

You may think your lead generation strategy is great, but what you think is less important than what your sales reps think. If you can get sales force buy-in, then you’ll create an atmosphere of accountability and a level of expectation. Your sales people will feel some ownership of the sales lead generation program and will be more likely to do their part to make it succeed. You can’t impose a sales lead generation program on people.

Develop a follow up plan first

Generating leads is a team effort,not just a mail shot or an e-mail campaign. The first thing you need to do is put last things first and be sure you have a complete, well thought-out and timely follow-up process. Meet with the sales people in your organisation and think about what steps need to be taken to move a prospect from being curious to being sold. Who takes the lead? How will data be organised? What literature will be sent? When should sales people make follow-up calls? What additional mailings or e-mails will go out? Create a flowchart to define the process. You should have everything in place on the back end before you receive a single enquiry.

Offer something of value for freeHere’s a quick test.

  • Question : What do salespeople think is the best offer in the world?
    • Answer:- A free “consultation.”
  • Question What do prospects think is the worst offer in the world?
    • Answer:- A free “consultation.”

Sometimes a consultation is an attractive offer if it’s handled correctly. But generally, when you offer a consultation or generically say, “call for more information,” people translate that to mean, “call and get our sales pitch.” And they’re right. So create something with less perceived obligation and more perceived value for your prospect and offer it free: a booklet, gift, survey, sample, catalogue or anything else related to your product or service. Think of it like a door opener, something to discover who is interested and get the conversation started.

Keep things need-to-know

As need-to-know as possible. You might want to get information that includes everything from their name to the type of car they drive, and you can certainly ask for it. But the more information you ask for, the less likely people are to give it. Conversion rates are generally proportional to the amount of information you request, and this is especially true for lead generating conversions. Lead generation is about an exchange of value your lead gets something of value from you in exchange for their information. And what they have to provide should not be any more than they perceive to be necessary. If you want more information, you’ve got to provide more value appropriate to the request. You want the type of car I drive in exchange for your newsletter? Offer me a free Tax Disc holder after I’ve received your newsletter.

Track Track Track

Every response should be logged: source, date, origin, offer, everything. And you should keep running statistics, such as response rate, lead quality, contact history, sales, etc. By tracking leads from first contact to first sale and beyond, you can learn volumes about the behavior of your customers. And this helps increase the efficiency of future efforts.

Focus on Return on Investment

Lead generation is all about ROI. We’re not just talking about cost per response. You need to focus on cost per acquisition or cost per sale. It’s about quality, not quantity.

Review progress regularly.

Once you have a lead generation program up and running smoothly. You have to monitor performance, fix any issues and make improvements when needed. Talk to the sales force and see what comments, problems and suggestions they have. Talk to fulfilment and see how the program could be more efficient.Your Company's ability to implement a successful Sales lead generation can make all the difference to the morale and optimism of your sales force and of course to your profits

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