29Apr 2011Posted by Joshua Barnes
1 Step Closes for Inbound Leads
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If you’re in marketing, and you’re participating in a demand generation campaign, or your customer is, you’re likely trying to convert those clicks, downloads and visits to revenue. Some people get the joy of not having to worry about drive revenue, but for those of us that need to drive revenue, it’s important to learn early how to make the most of each of the leads that are coming in.
Trying to close inbound leads in 1 step is a tall order, if we think in traditional terms and ideas. But it’s not that tall of an order if you think in the same way that sales people would. The step is; qualification. It’s a very simple thing to do, but even simpler to overlook, especially when all the activity generated by the prospect seems to portend so much interest. Having spent 6 years in hunter sales, I know how easy it is to assume that someone asking for a price, or a contract or a meeting can look like buying signals, but the reality all to often is that these prospects are just kicking tires. So what then are we to do? We can’t very well ignore those buying signals…
The process we need to work all prospects through is a marketing qualification process and the point that I’m going to continue to drive is that marketing is not selling and telling is not selling. If you want to attract a loyal base of customers, empower them to buy the right thing at the right time, and from you, when appropriate. That’s called qualifying and each stage is just a greater and more detailed stage of qualification. Your goal, believe it or not, should be to find a reason for them not to buy, this is how you’ll know if they really need to and will want to buy.
It follows very closely, that if you’re the one helping the clients learn how to buy the best product, and if you have the product their interested in, you’re the natural choice. This is the process I used very successfully in sales for 6 years. The challenge that marketers will have is that they don’t generally have face to face access to their leads. However, this is the very reason why qualification is all the more important.
So, my mantra is, qualified leads sell and unqualified leads don’t; so don’t sell, qualify.Joshua Barnes
Information technologist, blogger, social media commando, and guitar un-virtuoso.