Monday, March 5, 2007

You've got Sales Leads! Now What?


You have Fresh Sales Leads from a just completed:
  • Mailing
  • Tele-Prospect Filtering Program
  • Business Expo
  • or Networking Event.
Now what?

Follow up – Follow up - Follow up!

Unless there’s a plan for following up on these leads, and the plan is worked, these leads will fall through the cracks.

Time, money and effort spent for sales leads will have been wasted.

There must be a plan in place and it must be followed for results.

If it is a Prospect, the process is:
  • Initial follow up / "What do you want to accomplish?"/ "How can I help you?"
  • Decide on, and schedule next step / Meeting, Next Phone Call, Not a Fit, Etc.
  • Secure a definite Yes or No / Maybe is not acceptable
If the result is a Sale, the follow up is:
  • Post Sale follow up
  • Account Maintenance
  • Sell more products into the account
  • Getting Referrals.
If the process leads to No Sale:
  • Determine if it’s a No Sale this time around or a No Sale forever.
  • If No Sale this time, update to revisit at an appropriate date
Almost mandatory to making your planned process work is CRM, Contact Relationship Management Software.

There are a variety of excellent programs available.

Several, including and SalesLogix are web based.

There are also several that can be loaded on individual computers and servers. The most popular are ACT, GoldMine, and Now Up To Date/Contact 5 (cross platform for MAC & PC).

Locally in St. Louis, there is excellent support and sales for ACT available through Lori Feldman, the Database Diva.

GoldMine is sold and supported by Kevin Varnon at Clienttrax and Kevin Simpson at CT Innovations.

The important point is that these Contact Management Systems give the ability to:
  • Make time and date stamped notes
  • Directly send emails, (some integrate with word processing programs to address letters
  • Schedule alarms for call backs and other follow up activities, and
  • A variety of other sales and customer related activities.
Because most sales are a process, and not an event, these systems are important to moving prospects through the sales funnel.

They're also efficient for giving reminders for 'touches'; letters, phone calls, e-mails, schedule visits, etc, to present clients.

Some of the programs can be automated to do many of the followup activity.

When server or web based, these products can be a tremendous Management Tool.

The sales manager can monitor the activities of their sales force and give help where and when needed.

They help implement Four Important Rules of Management:
  1. Inspect what you expect.
  2. What gets checked gets done.
  3. If you keep score you do better
  4. Most important of all: To delegate and not check is to abdicate!
Many potential sales, and clients, are lost because a sales process and method for tracking it were never used.

This great group of software products can prevent that from happening!