Is it possible you should be spending less on lead generation and more on actively managing the leads you do get?
There are two major stages in the prospect-to-customer lifecycle: lead generation and lead management. Most organizations spend significant time and money on the first stage, but don’t devote near enough to the lead management process, which is often overshadowed by the perceived need to generate sheer volumes of leads.
The basic philosophy that supports this notion is that “this is what we have sales people for” and that “the sales team will follow the money…”, the premise being that salespeople should be intrinsically motivated to aggressively follow-up all leads.
This thinking is a myth and is costing you money. The fact is that, everybody is trying to do more with less, and even sales forces and channel partners are stretched too thin. This leaves “sales people” following up on orders, handling customer service issues, overseeing installation and training, and performing a host of other non-sales related activities.
Combine this with the fact that many sales leads that you think are “qualified” are in fact not even close to “sales ready”, and you have the perfect storm for your sales team to systemically ignore even your best sales prospects. Intentional? No. Malicious? No. Costly? YES!
Don’t begrudge the overpaid, underworked sales person… that is also usually a myth. Rather, take steps to get the most out of them and the most out of your leads. In my experience, a well-defined process for the qualification, fulfillment and management of each step in lead follow-up will shorten sales cycles, provide higher close ratios, and actively engage your sales and channel partners. It will also help build an information-rich marketing database and greater marketing ROI.
For one client who spent 20% less on generating leads and re-focused those dollars on lead management and follow-up, the sales generated from the smaller lead flow more than doubled over the sales from their previous year’s larger but unmanaged lead flow.
Spend less on leads and more on getting the most from your leads. I guarantee that the payoff will be immediate and significant.