How to Improve and Manage Small Business Sales Leads

In a recent b2b report, Dave Scott made an excellent observation regarding one of the biggest marketing mistakes that most companies make.


Why All Customers Aren’t Created Equal

Once you’ve embarked on a lead gen activity and acquired a new potential lead, start qualifying. Not all leads are created equally and not everyone that enters your door is profitable. This is why it’s important to plan ahead and determine what constitutes a lead and rank the best ones accordingly. The level of detail you receive about a new lead is due, in large part, to the registration depth of questions and the offer.

For example, If you have two or more target customers, you most likely won’t interact with them in the same way. A target of women 25-54, while broad, can be split into two targets –- 25-34 and 35-54. These two groups will be receptive to different messaging, imagery etc. Most importantly, one target could in fact be more profitable therefore, a higher priority than the next.


When Nurturing and Coddling Leads Works

Once you’ve qualified your lead, it’s time to start building a relationship. This can include email campaigns for those that have opted in to receive communications from your company. A series email campaign can include a weekly or bi-weekly offer to educate, motivate and get the prospect further down the sales pipeline. Whatever nurturing steps you decide to take, be methodical and strategic. No one likes to receive unsolicited information unless it’s highly targeted.


Manage the Process and Close the Sale

Congratulations! Now that you’ve launched a new TAP, acquired prospects, qualified the lead and begun nurturing the relationship it is time to pass your lead to your sales team – or if it’s just you, put on your sales hat. Use a good customer relationship management (CRM) application to track communication, revenue potential and ultimately close the deal. Keep in mind, the purchase cycle will vary depending on the type of business you’re in. Start to take note of how long it takes a prospect to buy from you or what considerations they make before purchasing. This type of qualitative feedback will help you improve your lead gen efforts.

Remember, marketing efforts should drive awareness and identify prospects while sales activities should close the loop and convert a prospect into a customer. Your marketing activities will work best when you qualify the right type of prospects and make it easier for sales folks to seal the deal.


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