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.


Marketing for leads – are you asking the right questions?

A number of recent surveys all point toward the same conclusion: the majority of senior marketers believe that the primary objectives of marketing are to drive B2B sales leads, influence sales, increase customer retention and boost revenue.

The key is tracking and measuring results. I developed a set of questions to ask to get the answers you need. Find the complete list at:
B2B sales leads: Marketing for leads – are you asking the right questions?


Calculate marketing ROI with the Sales Lead Calculator

I developed this interactive spreadsheet for use with clients. It’s provided good insight into how what are realistic numbers of marketing touches, inquiries and qualified sales leads you’ll need to reach the company’s sales goals. I hope you find it useful and please let me know if you have comments and suggestions.

Calculate marketing ROI with the Sales Lead Calculator spreadsheet


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.

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