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July 10, 2006

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» Sales Leads Are Too Valuable For Sales People Alone from B2B Lead Generation Blog
David Meerman Scott's blog post, Sales Leads Are too Valuable for Sales People, is worth a read. He shows the folly of marketers who throw sales leads over the wall and expect sales people to catch them. This is ongoing [Read More]

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Brad Shorr

My background is industrial packaging. Distributor sales reps always considered trade shows a joke because manufacturer leads would show up anywhere from a month to six months (no kidding) after the show. Reps were afraid to call the leads because so much time had elapsed: "Hello, sir. I'm calling with more information on that $100K packaging system you asked about 14 weeks ago..." The problem is, big companies get so tangled up in their policies about territories, sales credit, split commissions, etc., they forget the customer wants it NOW.

chan donahower

Blog (URL entry error) #2 re.: ChanProton@yahoo.com

One way I've found to get Sales Engineers and Marketing to work together (for Cap'tl.-Gd's.Mkt.)is to create specific "intra-communicated" protocols based on follow-up parameters:
1. Size of potential targeted market (product-by-product)per critical time frame
2. Potential for component,(sub)assembliy,parts and ancillary hardware/supplies marketing levels as OPPORTUNITY to educate (and, therefore sell)for future conditions
3. Personal contact that RECOGNIZES supplier needs to meet a specific problem-solving situation that might not address IMMEDIATE sales opportunities, but places your contact to be an effective future problem solver for that specific client
4. Opportunity to update relevant, "improved" product-line characteristics for PREVENTING FUTURE problems that your client will recognize as critical (for saving time/money/costly errors and "leg-ups.")
5. Consistent visibility and "conditioning" for client to think of YOU as The Source for future issues....
All this(intra-Company)communication (in abbreviated form, as appropriate) between Marketing and Sales cannot help but increase understanding, timeliness, empathy and needed coordination that WILL positively affect THE BOTTOM LINE...
Chan Donahower chanproton@yahoo.com

chan donahower

Blog (URL entry error) #2 re.: ChanProton@yahoo.com

One way I've found to get Sales Engineers and Marketing to work together (for Cap'tl.-Gd's.Mkt.)is to create specific "intra-communicated" protocols based on follow-up parameters:
1. Size of potential targeted market (product-by-product)per critical time frame
2. Potential for component,(sub)assembliy,parts and ancillary hardware/supplies marketing levels as OPPORTUNITY to educate (and, therefore sell)for future conditions
3. Personal contact that RECOGNIZES supplier needs to meet a specific problem-solving situation that might not address IMMEDIATE sales opportunities, but places your contact to be an effective future problem solver for that specific client
4. Opportunity to update relevant, "improved" product-line characteristics for PREVENTING FUTURE problems that your client will recognize as critical (for saving time/money/costly errors and "leg-ups.")
5. Consistent visibility and "conditioning" for client to think of YOU as The Source for future issues....
All this(intra-Company)communication (in abbreviated form, as appropriate) between Marketing and Sales cannot help but increase understanding, timeliness, empathy and needed coordination that WILL positively affect THE BOTTOM LINE...
Chan Donahower chanproton@yahoo.com

A Johnson

Great point about what passes for a lead from a tradeshow. In my experience, simply handing a business card to someone in sales doesn't count as a lead...it may give them a number to follow up with, but if the so called lead(s) aren't qualified it's a waste of time, and eventually they'll stop following up. Every name taken at a tradeshow should have a couple of qualifying questions attached to them (these will differ depending on your business). And some names you throw out simply because people are willing to hand off a business card to get a free stress ball.

Terry Davis

Getting the most out of leads at trade shows (or from any other source) first depends on knowing what a lead is.

• A lead is someone who may or may not be in need of what you have to sell, but they don't really know about you and have not made the decision to buy yet. You goal is to convert leads to prospects.

• A prospect is someone who has decided to purchase is interested in what you have to offer and is looking for more information. Your goal is closing prospects.

Closing, obviously, is moving a prospect to customer status.

The last step in the cycle is customer retention and referrals.

So how do you find out if the person is a lead or prospect? Investigate! Ask questions, follow up FOREVER, and do not give up. If someone gives you a card at a trade show, they EXPECT you to follow up. Make it a monthly contact just to touch bases if nothing else.

Even leads that never buy can become great sources of referrals based on a relationship you build over time. Make calls, send postcards, develop a newsletter, or hire a company like Direct Drive Marketing to develop, print, and distribute one for you. You have to sell yourself before you can sell anything else. I am always for sale. :-)

Account Deleted

What has also been a huge help to my colleagues and I are the sales lists
maintained at http://www.usdatacorporation.com/consumer_lists.php. They have the most comprehensive consumer lists
I've ever used.

Bill C.

Great stuff. Some of the other comments are super informative as well, I highly reccomend Cecil's.

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