"How to Get Your Business to Business Lead Sales-Ready"
Your business to business lead needs a little help to become a revenue generating customer. Consider this. Using a phone is the most reliable method for contacting decision-makers. A well-rounded lead generation system will not rely solely on making contact by phone; however, learning to leverage phone calls is a significant component of that plan.
Information is critical to a productive lead generation plan and effective use of the phone can get information fast. Appointments can be schedule for sales presentations; upcoming events can be promoted, competitive intelligence can be gathered, and leads can be categorized into useful groups (ready now, ready soon, ready in the future).
Who should make the calls? Before you say, "the sales professional", think about this. Selling skills and cold calling skills are two entirely different beasts. If you miss that important point your prospecting calls are likely to unintentionally elicit negativity from your prospects.
Prospects who receive cold calls from unskilled callers say, "That guy called expecting me to educate him about my business.", "The saleswoman who called did not understand my role in the company. When I referred her to the person I have handling her area of interest, she thought I was lying.", "These cold callers treat my people poorly."
There are a wide variety of options when determining who should make and maintain contact with the business to business lead. Options include: sales, marketing, outsourcing.
In-house sales and marketing staff is certainly capable of learning the skills and nuances of cold calling. For this kind of program to work well full management support must be behind it, data gleaned from calls must go into the CRM/cold calling data base, and progress must be monitored and adjusted.
Weigh the cost-benefit. If a sales professional generates $1 million in revenues, which averages out to about $500 per hour. Do you want that seller to follow through with a cold calling campaign that would cost around $100 per hour (or less) to outsource?
Which ever route you go, keep your business to business lead teams working closely together. There are many steps involved in converting leads to customers. Monitor the results of your calling campaigns. Keep those results as your baseline. Determine what worked well and where improvement is needed. Compare the next campaign with the first. Use the campaign with the best results as the baseline. Continually, work together for better processes and improved results.