I previously discussed the importance of involving the sales team as you embark on a telemarketing lead generation initiative, in Important Questions to Ask Your Sales Team for Teleprospecting Success. It equally important for marketing (and the teleprospecting team) to understand the sales follow-up process for your lead generation initiative. Making sure that everyone is on the same page will not only help move more leads onto pipeline, it will also ensure a better experience for both the sales team and your prospects. Here are two keys to success.
Set expectations based on the typical sales cycle and follow-up process
What does the typical sales cycle look like for the product or solution being offered? What are the initial steps in the cycle? How will Sales follow-up on leads? Will it be via phone or email? If an appointment is being set, how much time should the prospect set aside for the meeting? What information will be discussed and/or prepared?
By understanding the initial steps in the sales cycle, the teleprospecting agents can set appropriate expectations with the prospect. By doing so, the sales reps will have more success when engaging with the prospect, and the prospects will appreciate having a clear understanding as to what to expect.
Determine ownership for nurturing of longer term leads
In many cases, lead criteria include prospects that are not making an immediate purchase, but rather are planning a purchase in the future (perhaps 12 months from now). These longer-term prospects may not be looking for an in-depth discussion regarding their future initiative right away. It imperative to understand when and how Sales will initially follow up with prospects that do not want to be fully engaged right away. Will the sales team nurture these leads? Or should the teleprospecting team hold onto long-term leads in order to nurture them until they are sales-ready? Having clear ownership on these long-term leads will ensure that opportunities are not missed or lost to your competitors.
It goes without saying that you should not wait until leads have been generated before taking a look at this overall process. Ensuring transparency between sales and marketing with respect to sales engagement will provide your sales team and prospects a better overall experience. In turn, this will improve positive lead closure and give you a better ROI for your marketing dollars.