ANSWER 6 KEY QUESTIONS FOR B2B SALES LEAD SUCCESS

You’ve spent a great deal of time, effort and money putting together your business-to-business sales lead generation programs. But how you handle the leads once you get them will make the difference between a happy sales team and new customers, on the one hand, or an unhappy sales team and lost sales on the other.

Here are six key questions you’ll need good answers to in order to have the best chance of being successful with your sales lead programs:

  1. Are you prepared to send requested information immediately?Prospects have their own agendas and timelines, so you need to be efficient, and strike while the opportunity is hot.
  2. Are you prepared to capture all inquiries in a database marketing automation system for ongoing lead nurturing and qualification efforts? Database-driven marketing programs enable you to talk directly to your targeted audience, giving you get a higher return on your investment. They also allow you to follow up and keep in touch with prospects. Image and brand building messages can come along free for the ride.a
  3. Do you have a universal, agreed-to definition of what a qualified sales lead is before sending leads to your salespeople, reps, dealers or distributors?When everyone—marketing and sales—agrees on what constitutes a qualified sales lead, marketing stands a better chance of generating leads that will be valuable to salespeople and getting those leads followed-up and closed as sales.
  4. Do you have a system in place for distributing qualified leads to sales?Leads aren’t any good unless you get them into the right hands quickly.
  5. Do you have a sales lead development program in place to nurture or cultivate your not-yet-qualified leads?Salespeople generally focus on those one-in-four sales leads who are ready to buy soon. However, research shows that three out of every four sales come from the longer-term prospects who are frequently ignored by sales. Consider building marketing programs specifically to nurture these prospects.
  6. Do you have a program in place to measure and track the results of your various sales-lead generation, cultivation and sales follow-up programs?If you can identify your successes in increasing win rates and incremental sales, and cutting marketing costs or increasing marketing ROI, senior management will no longer doubt your marketing’s contribution to the company’s success.

Never lose sight of the importance of your sales lead generation and development processes. Leads are the life blood of your sales team and channel partners, so always remember to keep your lead program as healthy as possible.

Readers, are there additional questions you think marketers should ask themselves when they are designing, implementing or improving their B2B sales lead programs? Please add your comments below.

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