The 3 Biggest Mistakes Lead Generation Companies Make
Virtually every sales enterprise depends on a constant and continuous flow of new leads. It is vital to the success of the organization – suspects must become prospects in order to become customers. While lead generation is a necessity and can determine the success of the business, it is a very time consuming and laborious process.
The Goal – Free Salespeople to Sell
Salespeople are generally hired for their particular sales skills and specialize in person-to-person presentations, negotiation and closing the sale. However, many are compelled to spend a majority of their time trying to generate new leads.
Lead generation on the other hand involves a very different skill set, particularly telemarketing and cold calling over the phone. It is generally a high-pressure game of numbers and can be very repetitive, with its specialized types of scripts and coaching. Lead generation is also an arena in which sales acceleration technology tools can make the process much more efficient, automating such things as automated dialing systems, local presence caller ID, personalized voice mail messages, and call logging and tracking.
A sales enterprise may determine that the time of the salespeople should be centered on their primary role and what they do best in order to increase revenue and increase return on investment – that is to sell rather than look for leads. This may be a primary goal in utilizing a lead generation service.
Lead Generating Services
Lead generation companies offer various types of services to assist a sales organization in developing prospects. These range from services that primarily just provide contact lists from databases all the way to actual telemarketing and even appointment setting. The database information is often more a list of “suspects” and may consist of physical addresses for a direct mailing campaign, email addresses or phone numbers of companies in a certain industry sector or be as refined as the specific name, title, email address or direct telephone number of an individual management decision maker. The information may be of little value if it is low quality or outdated. A key distinction among lead generation services is the different points at which leads are handed off to sales. If a sales organization’s goal in engaging a lead generation company to free its salespeople to concentrate on selling and closing, there are three related areas that can make a major impact.
Mistake #1: Not Defining the Target Audience Specifically Enough
A lead generation service must know the industry and line of business of the sales organization. In the final analysis, a prospect only improves a company’s revenue upon converting to a customer – the closing of the sale. A lead that has no use for a company’s products or services is of little value. For effective lead generation, it is important to specifically define the target audience and ideal customer.
Mistake #2: Not Appropriately Knowing and Representing the Business
If the lead generation service engages in telemarketing, the caller is acting as a representative of the company, and may well create the first impression of the company and its products or services to the potential customer. The caller must be professional and present themselves in a manner consistent with the company’s culture, and knowledgeable in introducing the company and its products. A prospect with a negative impression from the call is unlikely to go any further; and if transferred to sales, a conversion is much more difficult and unlikely.
Mistake #3: Not Qualifying the Lead
Once a lead is handed off to sales, the quality of the lead is a major factor in determining the actions of a salesperson. The more the lead generation service focuses on just numbers, such as with a database list, the more time sales has to spend to actually qualify the lead. A prospect must have the intent and ability to purchase. If the service is calling in such a way as to qualify the prospect by identifying a need and convincing the prospect of the value of going forward, this sets the best stage for the sales presentation.
Outsourcing lead generation to a professional service can create significant efficiencies as a result of both the particular expertise and skills of the team, as well as use of technology platforms and tools. Generating qualified leads is an ongoing necessity to any sales enterprise’s on-going success.
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