Do you feel like your lead generation system isn’t working for you? Do you feel like you are on a wild goose chase? Many startup founders feel this way at some point. Small teams usually take a piecemeal approach to developing their sales process. They rarely have the funds to afford highly qualified sales and marketing hires that would be able to drive a cogent lead generation strategy. The result is a haphazard rigmarole system that doesn't always get you the results you desire. Typical problems include:
- problems with messaging
- delays in acting on leads, and,
- spending too much time on introductory calls.
In this article, I will take you through how to revamp your lead generation system and immediately improve your sales process.
The problem with most lead qualification systems is that they lack one vital component: intelligent automation. Many teams spend hours qualifying each and every lead, manually trying to determine which worth a closer look. This is a time-intensive process which consigns capable talent to repetitive tasks when they could be better deployed in other higher priority tasks.
In extreme cases of a bad lead generation system, the sales team is inundated with a deluge of intro calls from both qualified and unqualified leads, and because the process lacks automation, all leads receive the same attention. The result is that most time is spent focusing on intro calls and little time is left to focus on the activity at the lower end of the sales process. Time, talent and opportunities are wasted.
What to Do
To correct the course, you need to design a step-by-step to rebuild your lead generation system.
The first step is to create a new lead qualification workflow. A marketing automation system should capture leads and immediately assign a score of zero. The workflow should then pose a set of questions to progress the process. Depending on your industry, the questions could differ but the following questions are examples of the type of questions your workflow would pose:
- Which industry does the lead emanate? (Assign a score between 0 and 10 points depending on how much importance you attach to the industry the lead comes from)
- What is the potential revenue? ( Assign a score between 0 and 10 points)
Create questions that help you qualify the lead and set a cutoff score for qualified leads. Your messaging should then automatically encourage qualified leads to call you. In the event they don’t (and the majority rarely do) then your site should redirect them to your blog, put them on an email list and let them know they will hear from you later.
With the workflow in place, design two separate email workflows to deal more efficiently with incoming leads. Qualified leads should essentially receive an email encouraging them to call the sales team or in the alternative, letting them know that the sales team will attempt to get in touch with them. Unqualified leads should receive an email that provides information about your product offering to help them decide if they would like to make a purchase.
This way, you create a better-managed sales funnel and your sales team spends less time making intro calls and more time talking to qualified leads.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
The system described above will free up your sales team so that they can focus more of their time on qualified leads. As you consider whether to rebuild your lead generation system, think carefully about the following issues.
Time is of the Essence
If your sales team is busy manually qualifying leads, you should seriously consider automating your lead generation system. Salespeople are rarely able to effectively follow up on leads. Some market researchers have this figure at around 25% on average. Don’t let leads become stale. Use an automated solution to qualify your leads and score them to align them with your preferred demographic. If there are other marketing activities that eat into your time, consider automating those as well.
Leads are Not Equal
If you find yourself listening to everyone, you will soon find that to be unrealistic and unsustainable. You need to be more discerning about which calls you take and the leads you approach. And, as you grow and hire more, you will realize just how important it is to prioritize your prospects. Avoid reducing the ROI of your time by zeroing in on the type of customer and purchase behaviors you desire. Find ways of classifying your prospects by job titles, income level, industry and other metrics that are relevant to your business then focus on the best prospects. If you find that do well selling to doctors, then set your lead generation system to prioritize leads with the title ‘Doctor'.
...But Don’t Ignore the Rest
While you should spend most of your time focusing on qualified leads, it doesn’t mean you should completely ignore unqualified leads. On the contrary, make it easy for unqualified leads to find their way to your sales team. This could be done using a variety of methods such as putting them on an email list and sending them an email once in while about your product offering. Don’t shut out unqualified leads, keep them regularly informed and you never know what could come out of it. If an unqualified lead receives such an email and wants to hear more, there is no reason why you shouldn’t make that call.
Automating your lead generation system will save you money, boost your revenue and free up your sales team’s time so that they can focus on what matters. But, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Real proof lies in the conversions. Try out the system described it out let me know how it worked out for you in the comment section below. And, don’t forget to check out GetProfiles, our social media list building tool, and get 150 FREE leads every month.