Here are Three Actions You Can Take to Fix Them

crazy_faceThe company has invested a whole lot of resources to get lots of sales leads.  Because the sales environment has made a major shift, most of those leads will suck time…enthusiasm and optimism from your sales staff.  Instead of feeling like they are on the road to personal and company prosperity – it feels more like they have entered the Big Blue Marble Mud Derby in Yazoo City, Mississippi.  No matter how hard they try, they just can’t get traction with today’s buyers.

It can be very frustrating and costly.

Buyers spend so much time gathering information before they connect with a provider of goods and services, the sales lead often falls into one of two categories.  The buyer feels that their weeks of research on the internet have made them an expert.  Or, they may feel that they need to do more research before they will talk to you.  Don’t laugh.

We outlined a process for changing all that in our eBook, “How to Qualify Sales Leads and Focus on Sales Growth that’s Profitable”.  Let’s quickly cover the three things that will make your sales leads ‘not suck’ in the future.

Disqualify the Time-Wasters Pronto

Because today’s buyers can drain your enthusiasm, you need to get the time-wasters into a sales lead nurturing system as soon as possible.  Anyone who does not qualify according to a pre-determined set of questions gets out of the sales professional’s to-do list ASAP.  Instead, these warm sales leads receive an email campaign that is carefully designed to address their struggles and educate them on the solutions available to ease their pain.

Time is limited.  Even if sales team members are working 60 hours, roughly 40 of those hours are considered business hours.  Time is your most valuable resource.  Don’t waste it.  Time cannot be replaced.

Begin the qualifying process by doing your homework about your ideal client.  Study your CRM (Client Relationship Manager) to develop a description of an ideal customer.  Use this composite persona when you create your lead generation email campaign.  When you are selective about what kind of sales leads you attract, it becomes the first step in qualifying.

But there is more.

Gather Information You Can Use Later

If you use smart marketing automation, even the time wasters are already in your CRM before you pick up the phone.  Don’t waste the call.  Gather any information about the sales lead while you have them talking.  Your qualifying scripts are created to both gather important information and reveal when the sales lead is not qualified for more attention.

Most of the sales leads will be disqualified at the “soft qualifying” stage.  At that point, you only want to know their current status in regard to the product or service you sell, their level of satisfaction with the current status and a few organizational details.  If their answers qualify them for more time, you move into the area where the rubber meets the road with “hard qualifying”.

Rare Qualified Leads Deserve Immediate Personal Attention

Remember how the early gold prospector found riches?  He took a shallow pan, scooped up some dirt from the river bed and swirled the water around until they he detected a gleaming nugget of gold.  Treat precious qualified leads as the finest gold.  A lot of resource has been used to find them.  You want to make sure they are given every opportunity to become golden.

The hard qualifying stage happens at a scheduled appointment.  The cold call is not a time or place for asking hard questions.  Instead, set an appointment for a phone or face-to-face meeting.  That way the sales lead has you on their calendar and will pay more attention to what you have to share.

When you meet, continue to watch for reasons to disqualify the sales lead.  Determine if they have the need, authority, ability and intent to purchase a product or service at least similar to what you are showing them.  If any of the answers in all four categories are not strong or at least moderate – they are disqualified.  The sales lead goes into a lead nurturing email campaign.  Your sales person moves on to spend time looking for the next bright gold nugget.