No matter how successful you are at sales (or perhaps, it could even be because of it), you shouldn’t take leads for granted.
Now, many might react and say how can one take sales leads for granted and yet reach the point that they consider themselves experienced sellers?
It all boils down to understanding the process of qualifying those leads.
When you just started out, how did you generate leads so that you can be sure they result in paying customers? You’d do everything right? Look through the following checklist to be sure:
- You try to be a little passive instead of pushy.
- You make sure all contact details are accurate.
- You have transcripts to prove a prospect is interested.
- Your definition of ‘interested’ goes beyond just simple questions such as ballpark price.
Granted, these are just the basic things you can do to make sure a lead is in fact a lead. However, in those good old days, you really had to micro-manage the process to ensure maximum results.
Still time goes by, you had to advance and innovate. Things like automation became the next initiative and you no longer had to micro-manage so much.
It’s at this point however that you risk taking your leads for granted instead of qualifying them. No way does this mean you were wrong to improve the process with automation. (It really does enhance it.) What it simply means is that you might rely too much on what the process creates that you become a little inundated with your standards.
That’s why it’s best to (occasionally at least) make a return trip to the basics. How did you qualify leads then and how do you do it now? What details do you still consider important. Were some tasks really menial or did they actually impact quality because you paid attention to their detail? Answering these questions might take a while but you can address them by exercising following habits:
- Make value proposition and delivery your main objective – You main goal is to see if the product/service is really the answer your prospect has been looking for. For example, will the data in your sales presentation really answer whatever remaining questions that prospects haven’t asked? If your automation process is just all about impressing with stats and not so much with any real facts, then it might be time to review.
- Set aside needless silos and industry barriers – Communication is both the main tool of marketing and the anti-thesis barriers set up by different industry languages and cultures. In short, you need to know whether differences between your prospect organization and your own are really worth raising. If the only purpose they serve is as an obstacle to understanding/communicating value then setting aside is the only thing you must focus on.
- Try to set new standards of quality – How do you know if lead quality is really satisfactory or you’re just dealing with what pops out of your current qualification process? What if there is a better way? Or worse, what if your competitor found out about it before you did? Know the difference between complacency and contentment. Keep yourself posted on any new trends and the feedback of your customers. The game could always change when you least expect it.
Qualifying your leads can get easy as you get more clients and you grow more confidence in your process. Still, there can come a time when you have a chance to do even better or at least keep yourself from falling behind. Don’t get inundated by the leads you get every day and always double check if they’re really qualified.