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Having a good lead generation system in your sales organization today is critical. Prospects can be found in a multitude of ways, however how your organization chooses to plan with those leads is another. Your pipeline and targets require that you keep a close eye on how those leads are managed. Below are some helpful suggestions to improve the quality and quantity of leads:

1. Ensure that all your staff understand what a good lead is. Studies indicate that 90 per cent of leads sent to salespeople are never followed up on. This often occurs because the lead is sent to the wrong person or the prospect is not ready to meet with a salesperson yet. The company should have a well defined definition of what a good lead is before the leads are sent to the sales area of an organization.

2. Use a CRM tool. This will help an organizations salespeoples' conversations, and will help with better follow up.

3. Find out the source. Where did the organization calling/contacting you hear about your services or product offerings? In order to know what is working from a marketing perspective, you have to know where the business is being driven from.

4. Share any leads within 48 hours. By doing this, you are showing you care and setting yourself apart from your competitors. It will also increase your closing ratios.

5. Take care of your leads. They may not be ready to buy now but at some point they will be and you want them to think of you when they reach that stage. Prospects need multiple contacts with an organization before they are confident and willing to consider buying from them.

6. Learn from the process. Save interesting information about customers and prospects. Put the names of your competitors that might win deals from you, why they won, will the account serve as a referral or not, what products do they own etc. This information can prove very valuable for future interactions with other clients and prospects.

7. Motivate your sales staff. Ask great questions and really find out how you can solve the client's needs. Whomever in your organization is generating leads should gather as much information as possible both before and after the interaction. Ensure that they are talking with the decision maker in each organization.

8. Treat your prospects like clients. By gathering as much information as possible, virtually anyone in the organization should be able to handle a call. Treating them like a client before they are one, will leave your prospects wanting to proceed further with you in the sales process.

9. Gauge your results. First ask yourself, "What am I going to measure and why?" This will enable you to gather the correct information. Getting the correct information will help to determine where time and money are best spent for your biggest return on investment.

10). Hold regular company meetings with anyone who impacts the sales process. You should review quality of leads, deals won and lost, and utilizing your CRM system, so you can continue to be successful in sales.

Finally, ensure that you have the right prospects in your database. Many organizations feel they are knowledgeable on who their customers are, however they are surprised when they take a closer look at their customer base. Ensure that all staff have a good understanding of what your ideal customer looks like, including their attributes, needs, etc. These attributes can include geography, size of organization, products, territory, credit,contract types etc. Once you've defined this, you can use this as a guide to find new prospects.

About the Author:

Tim Hagen is President of Sales Progress LLC, a sales consulting and performance management firm.

 



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