Lead Conversion: Are you converting your sales leads?

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We are all different and, as such, we will all react differently to sales approaches.

This is why many sales professionals strongly disagree with those who believe cold calling is dead. And they have examples to prove it.

The reality, of course, lies somewhere in the middle.

Even in 2011, a speculative approach can work. There are countless examples where a completely 'cold' call has resulted in big business. It'd be wrong to dismiss any practice as 'dead', simply because we're all so different.

So when people write off cold calling completely, they're just as wrong as the sales professionals who deem any marketing 'pointless'.

But we have to be realistic. What is your first reaction when you receive a 'cold' sales call? Is it to end the call as quickly as possible?

At best, you may take a look at the company in question's website – so, at least from that perspective, the call wasn't pointless. But if you knew nothing of this company before the call, you're highly unlikely to buy anything of them on the basis of one phone call.

Some of you may even be annoyed by it, meaning the call has had the opposite effect of its purpose.

Many businesses are countering the changes in the modern-day buyer by favouring a more gentle lead nurturing process. The buying process, for many, has never been slower and, as such, drip feeding information can be a way of gaining returning business. Most people today will only buy from someone who they know and who they trust.

But how do you then determine when a lead is sales ready?

Even to qualified leads, making a sales call too soon can undo all the previous good work and cost you a potential sale, while leaving it too long before making a sales approach could allow a competitor to swoop in.

This is where a scientific approach needs to be implemented, allowing you to 'score' leads based on their activity.  For example, a lead scores +1 one  for a visit to your website, another +2 for a visit to your products and services page and +5 for parting with their information.

Then, when they reach a number that you deem to be 'sales-ready', you or your sales team make the call.

Businesses measure sales statistics and they measure marketing statistics. But how about measuring the two together and helping each other out?

Microsoft CRM is one tool which can help you see who is visiting your website and what it is that they're looking at, enabling you to tailor the information you send them and give them exactly what they want.

Sound interesting? We are hosting an interactive FREE half-day seminar in Stamford on 17th November, which will show delegates how Microsoft CRM can help them Engage, Convert and Expand their clientbase. Click here to find out more.

At Contact Edge CRM, we specialise in Microsoft CRM, which helps businesses find creative ways to engage with customers.  And by accurately tracking how the first engagement was initiated, it is easy to determine which elements of your marketing strategy are working.

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27/01/2012