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Wednesday, 13 November 2013 14:12

What Dating Can Teach You About Sales Lead Qualification

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Sales lead qualification in the B2B world is like dating—you learn more about each other over time, deepening your relationship and, when all goes well, you progress seamlessly from introduction to marriage or first-time lead to closed sale.

To be successful, you need to know when to commit more resources to the relationship and when to pull back and provide more space.

The Introduction

If Sally is introduced to Mark at a party, she might be happy to engage in a little small talk, but a marriage proposal would send her running.  Or vice versa.  Too much too soon can kill a relationship….in both business and love.

And just as Mark has a good idea of the type of woman he wants to meet, business-to-business marketers should be able to define their ideal prospect based on industry, company size, location and more.  Once you know who you want to attract, it’s time to become visible. 

While Mark makes sure he’s hanging out in target-rich environments—attending all the right parties and posting his profile on the best dating sites, your company should be creating visibility through your website, e-books, white papers, blogging, social media, advertising and more.  This enables prospects to find you and check out your company.

If the prospect likes what they see and shows interest, it’s time for your first date.

The First Date or Business Interaction

First impressions are hard to change. You want to make a good one because you may not get a second chance.  When Mark and Sally go out to lunch for the first time, they keep the conversation light, share some information about themselves, and make sure they engage in a two-way conversation.   However Sally feels about Mark, she doesn’t come on too strong for fear of scaring him away. 

In the same way, don’t push too hard and fast with a new lead. Provide helpful, relevant information through an email or direct mail piece, but don’t ask for a sale.

Regular Dating or Lead Nurturing

Let’s assume you successfully navigate the first date or business interaction.  Now you can move into more regular dating or lead nurturing.  You don’t want to counteract the good impression you’ve created by calling too often or asking for a commitment too soon.  You simply want to share additional information at the right time, gradually getting to know each other.

Proposal

Now it’s time to evaluate.  Has your dating history been good?  Are you right for each other? 

In business to business marketing, that means looking at your prospect’s demographics and the actions the prospect has taken in the course of your relationship to determine if they’re now a sales-ready lead.  For instance, have they clicked on a pay-per-click ad, opened your emails and watched a demo? 

What you want a prospect to do depends on your company’s lead nurturing cycle. Analyze the data and develop a lead scoring system.  Perhaps, if a lead takes 7 out of 10 positive actions, you can feel sure they’re warmed up and ready. Now it’s time to discover exactly what the customer is looking for.

By adding the human touch to your marketing, you build the relationship. This is important because business-to-business buyers are people too!   Pick up the phone and have a conversation to find out what he needs, provide relevant information and determine if there’s a match.  If so, you might want to send a proposal

The Marriage

While making the sale is up to the sales team, by implementing a sound lead nurturing process you’ve paved the way to an increased success rate. We believe that if you build the relationship with care, and take a systematic approach to sales lead qualification, you increase the chances of a “yes” answer to your proposal by 75-80%, leading to a happy marriage

For a free consultation on how to use business-to-business telemarketing to boost your sales, call us now at +1 718-709-0800 (Americas) /+39 06-978446-20 (EMEA). 

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