You've heard the old saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."
The same is true about sales leads. You can lead prospects to your offerings, but you can’t make them ready and willing to buy—especially if you haven’t assessed your prospects’ needs.
Know Your Target Audience
The only way to properly determine the value of your leads is by qualifying them. The only way to know which prospects you ought to be targeting when is through lead scoring.
Whether you use telemarketing, e-marketing, direct mail, or a combination of lead qualification and scoring tools, you need to be able to determine how much prospects need your product or service, how often they need it, and whether the product or service you’re offering is something they’re considering out of idle curiosity or something that they’re actively pursuing because they see a real value in it. You also need to know which prospects are the hottest, thirstiest prospects.
Lead qualification allows you to determine the value of a lead. Lead scoring helps you determine how ready and willing the lead is to buy. You need to perform both in order to target the right leads at the right times.
Why Outsourcing is a No-Brainer
Did you ever see the episode of Seinfeld in which Jerry Seinfeld picks up his home phone and converses with a telemarketer? The scene plays out like this:
Telemarketer: Hi. Would you be interested in switching over to TMI long distance
Jerry: Oh, gee. I-I can’t talk right now. Why don’t you give me your home
number, and I’ll call you later.
Telemarketer: Uh, well I’m sorry. We’re not allowed to do that.
Jerry: Oh, I guess you don’t want people calling you at home.
Jerry: Well, now you know how I feel.
Jerry promptly hangs up.
The scene above is a funny one, but when you’re the salesperson on the line trying to make the sale, being hung up on is far from funny.
Lead qualification and lead scoring put an end to cold calling. Consider outsourcing these sales functions. By enlisting a qualified third party to take care of your lead qualification and scoring needs, you can not only avoid wasting time trying to sell people who don’t want to hear from you and have no interest in what you’re offering, but focus on the leads that are going to yield the highest returns at the fastest rates. Outsourcing lead qualification and lead scoring allows your sales team to focus on sales rather than on trying to determine the value and readiness of leads.
As the world becomes a “smaller” place as a result of the ease with which we are able to connect with one another through technology, it makes less and less sense for companies’ internal sales teams to spin their wheels performing sales functions that outsourced sales teams are trained to do more quickly and cost efficiently. The recent recession has taught us that being specialized and focusing on our core competencies has distinct advantages. In order for companies to remain competitive, their sales teams have to be able to focus on the sale rather than on the time-consuming tasks that may or may not lead to sales.
When it comes to sales outsourcing, sales professionals have a lot of options. They can choose from an endless variety of services and select packages and options according to their immediate and long-term needs. The two sales functions that should be considered less like outsourcing options and more like outsourcing no-brainers are lead qualification and lead scoring. In this day and age, there is virtually no company in existence that would not benefit from outsourcing both.