Those of us in the lead generation business know all too well that lead “leakage” can quickly turn into lead “floodage” when the leads we work so hard to generate are not properly worked by sales. I’ve seen it so many times…clients whose job performance is measured by metrics over which they only have partial control. Lead generating marketers RELY on sales to work the leads they provide; their very job nearly depends on it. That’s why it’s absolutely critical that sales is aware and educated about the lead generating activities taking place on marketing’s side of the business. Getting their buy-in is one of the keys to reducing and even avoiding lead leakage. Here are a few tips to help ensure your leads don’t end up circling the drain:
- Notify of Plans Early and Ask for Input. Inform Sales of your plans prior to launching activities. This can be via written communication (email) or a brief meeting/conference call. Sales people are notorious for being super-busy and/or distracted (I can say this because I am a salesperson), so keep your communication as concise as possible. They need to know what you’re doing & how it will impact them. But don’t just make this a one-way communication, instead ask your sales team for their input on the messaging and target market, and encourage questions. This helps to get them on board with your plans.
- Announce the Launch. Once your leads start flowing, let your sales team know that they’re coming.. Send them an example of a lead so they’ll know exactly what they will be receiving.
- Play a Call or Three. Don’t wait until you see a report that tells you your leads aren’t converting to get involved. Get in front of the curve by having members of the sales team listen to an actual lead conversation early on. Having them hear the kinds of conversations that are taking place by your teleprospecters (especially if they’re TeleNet agents) will gain your leads the credibility they deserve. I can’t tell you how impactful I’ve seen this be. Too often it happens halfway through a campaign, though…after many good leads have long since gone by the wayside.
- Implement a Mechanism for Feedback. The exchange of feedback between sales and the lead generators is extremely valuable to both parties. The marketers WANT to provide leads that sales people WANT to work. Having the means to understand what their preferences are is invaluable to the process. Open dialogue between the two inevitably puts them on the same team, working toward the same goal – which ultimately results in success for your campaign.
Let’s face it, telequalified leads aren’t cheap, and that’s because they’re valuable. No marketer can afford to let their leads go unattended. I’ve seen the steps above in action, and they work. Your leads will contribute to pipeline & revenue, and your campaign will make a tangible, measurable contribution to the business.