Maximize Your Sales Lead Database Closing Rate

Target Customers

The connection between the quality of your sales lead database, sales pipeline management, and closing rate is huge.

It makes sense that your sales funnel is only as good as the sales lead lists you dump into it. If the data gathered by marketing is not "sales ready", then you're wasting the time of your sales people.

How many more deals would your sales team close if they could focus only on high quality leads?

The other half of the problem is sales pipeline management. Improving this process can't overcome unqualified leads, but it will certainly help weed them out faster. Having a firm process in place that takes and follows prospects through the funnel, measuring sales metrics along the way, will improve lead performance.

Stop Trying to Close Sales Based on Dirty Data

Most of us were taught that the funnel process is owed by sales and the job of marketing is to support sales with leads, promotion, and presentation material. This kind of thinking has traditionally caused a lot of finger pointing between marketing and sales.

The result is that selling time is wasted with dirty data that is unqualified, and many times inaccurate and incomplete. Unless sales and marketing are on the same page, this is what happens.

Think of sales pipeline management as a process that begins before marketing comes up with a sales lead database and continues all the way to revenue. Start with identifying your ideal customer profile and what they and the sales team need to move them effectively through stages of the your sales funnel to closing. The only way to achieve this is to have sales and marketing in sync, working closely together.

Get everyone to agree to who the targets are, what they want, and what the sales force needs to be successful. Then you can develop a solid framework for the exact activities needed to gather great leads. And the quality of your sales lead database will go up significantly.

Four Tips That Will Help You Close More Lead

The traditional sales funnel concept is a brute force model. As leads work their way down the funnel there are less and less of them. I've seen too many companies pursue weak lead generating activities. They fall into the trap of chasing quantity instead of quality. It's like saying, any lead will do and then throwing it over the wall to the sales team to see what sticks.

If you don't correctly define your company's ideal customer traits upfront, then the activities used to gather the leads will be useless.

The bottom line is this: you need to figure out where and how to get sales ready leads. Then manage the process consistently and measure sales metrics along the way to improve it. You'll end up with a smaller disqualifying rate and your conversion rate will be massive!

Use these tips to help you maximize your sales lead database conversion:

  • A sales ready lead is qualified based on two nuts and bolts requirements: they fit the definition of ideal customer profile and the prospect's budget, authority, need, and timeline referred to as BANT. This will keep you from wasting your selling time with dirty data that is inaccurate, incomplete, duplicated, and unqualified;
  • Develop questions based on the above with agreement from the people in your company charged with sales and marketing;
  • Think about actions and opportunities you can leverage such as seminars, trade shows, multichannel emarketing, strategic relationships, partner programs, and white papers. Don't paint with a broad-brush or be generic. Target your audience and different market segments with specific case studies, emails, and situational tear sheets tailored to helping them solve their problems;
  • Have a process and stick to it. Use a format that speeds up database distribution to sales and stress the need to follow up quickly. If you use automated lead management software, have full agreement by everyone on the message and elements of the campaign. Report, analyze, and improve the process. Demand accountability at every level.

Build and document a lead management process and you'll end up with a quality sales lead database that will convert to revenue.

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