Entries Tagged as 'B2B sales leads'

Business-to-business leads

Only one in four of the prospects that eventually buy have short-term needs, according to research done by my clients and other marketing communications organizations serving the business-to-business marketplace.

I’ll bet that most of your salespeople, reps, resellers or distributors are only following up with the leads they believe represent short-term sales opportunities. Why? Because most salespeople need to focus on shorter-term sales opportunities to meet their monthly and quarterly quotas and earn commissions.

If this is also the case with your company’s salespeople, you may be missing three out of four sales!

To avoid missing the three out of four sales represented by the longer-term sales opportunities, try changing the measurement and compensation system to reward salespeople for following up and nurturing longer-term prospects, too. Turn those unsold business-to-business sales leads into sales.

And use some of your budget to fund programs designed to keep in touch with longer-term prospects until they are ready for sales attention.

 

Better ways to qualify leads at the trade show

You’re on the trade show floor, ready to make the most of the time and effort it took to get there. People drift in and out of your booth throughout the day and you’ve got to quickly judge who’s a hot lead and who’s not.

The trick is to start a conversation that will help you determine if a visitor is a qualified sales lead. The best way to do that is by asking questions.

Typical closed-ended questions such as “May I help you?” get you useless answers like “No thank. Just looking.”

So start off with an open-ended question like “Out of all the places you could be today, why did you choose to come to this show?” or “With all the exhibits you could visit this afternoon, what brought you to ours?”

Then keep the conversation going by turning your typically closed-ended questions about budget, authority, need and timing into open-ended questions. For example, ask “How does this kind of purchase get funded at your company?” and “Who all is involved in the decision process, and what are their roles?” and “What problems are you trying to solve?” and “When do you think you’ll be making the decision to go ahead?”

And one last tip…

If you have determined that a visitor to your trade show exhibit isn’t qualified, but he continues to monopolize your time, end the conversation quickly but politely. How? By handing her a brochure while saying something like, “Here’s some additional information about our product that you can review back at the office.” Next say “Thanks for stopping by.” and shake her hand. Then turn and walk away.

 

B2B lead generation terminology: Getting on the same page

A lead is a lead. Or is it?

I always recommend to my sales lead consulting clients that they create a glossary of terms related to their B2B lead generation programs. Why? To reduce misunderstandings.

Here’s a first draft of a glossary I gave one of my clients to help them get started writing theirs. Perhaps it can be a starting place for yours too.

Contact:

A person at company or contact name on a database

Customer:

A company, division, department or facility that has purchased from our company.

Database:

A listing of contacts at specific companies and facilities which is available for ongoing use. Also often called the Sales & Marketing Database or Customer & Prospect Database.

Decision Maker:

A contact who makes or approves the final decision to buy.

Influencer:

A contact who recommends or influences the buying decision. Also called Recommender.

Inquirer:

A contact who has responded to our company’s marketing (Website, direct marketing, exhibits, advertising, etc.). Also called Responder or Prospect.

Inquiry:

A response to our company’s marketing (website, direct marketing, exhibits, advertising, etc.). Also called Response.

Lead:

A broad term used to describe everything from lists to inquiries to tradeshow leads to sales ready opportunities. To avoid confusion, this term shouldn’t be used.

List:

A list of contacts at specific companies and facilities, as in a rented list. Also called “Database” if available for ongoing use.

Marketing Qualified Lead:

An inquirer, responder or prospect at a particular company and facility who has been “qualified” as meeting the minimum definition of what represents a sales-ready opportunity.

Prospect:

A contact who has responded to our company’s marketing (website, direct marketing, exhibits, advertising, etc.) or has been contacted and determined to have some potentional, but has not yet been qualified as being sales-ready. Also called Inquirer or Responder.

Recommender:

A contact who recommends or influences the buying decision. Also called Influencer.

Responder:

A contact who has responded to our company’s marketing (website, direct marketing, exhibits, advertising, etc.). Also called Inquirer or prospect.

Response:

A response to our company’s marketing (website, direct marketing, exhibits, advertising, etc.). Also called Inquiry.

Sales Accepted Lead:

A Marketing Qualified Lead that has been accepted by sales.

Specifier:

The contact who specifies our company’s products or services.

Suspect:

A contact who appears to be similar to our company’s Prospects, Marketing Qualified Leads, Sales Accepted Leads and Customers, but who has not specifically expressed interest or determined to be a Prospect.

Do you have terms and definitions to add to a BtoB sales lead glossary?

 

B2B Lead Generation Checklist: 22 success tips

What I like best about being a B2B lead generation consultant is I get to work with some of the best people at the best companies in the business. I get to see first-hand what works best (and what doesn’t) when it comes to generating, nurturing and identifying the qualified, sales-ready leads that salespeople, reps, resellers and distributors need.

Speaking of what works best, here are 22 tips for getting better results from your B2B lead generation programs:

  1. Aim where your prospects are
  2. Be there when they are thinking about the problem (right media, right frequency)
  3. Make it easy to find (in the search engine results, on your website, in their email inbox, etc.)
  4. Focus on generating response
  5. Get right to the point
  6. Be relevant (to their job, industry, application, problem, pain, etc.)
  7. Communicate with words and pictures (or word pictures)
  8. Choose your words carefully (use powerful words and avoid clichés)
  9. Talk second-person (lead with you and your instead of we and our)
  10. Invoke a positive emotional response (pride, happiness, etc.)
  11. Talk about pain-relief or solving problems
  12. Show them the before and after
  13. Make it easy to skim (subheads, bullets, bold fonts, links, captions, etc.)
  14. Back up your claim (prove it)
  15. Use testimonials (real people at real companies)
  16. Offer ways to learn more
  17. Make multiple offers (calls-to-action)
  18. Make offers that appeal at different stages of their buying cycle
  19. Merchandise your offers (borders, color, bold, buttons, links, etc.)
  20. Ask for the order (tell them what to do next)
  21. Give a compelling reason to respond right now
  22. Make it easy to respond (by phone, e-mail, website, coupon, reply card, etc.)

What are some of the secrets to your B2B lead generation success?

Hopefully you’ll share some of them with us.

 
Need help with B2B lead generation, marketing and sales?
For more information, please call Mac McIntosh at +1-401-294-7730, send him email at or visit www.sales-lead-experts.com