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Sales leads - their surprising potential to boost sales | part 1
By Guest Blogger Marion Carr | Sage
The good news about leads
The formula for finding new customers used to be simple. To boost sales, you made more calls, sent more emails and posted more direct mail. In today’s market conditions, once successful lead generation campaigns are struggling and conversion rates are at an all-time low.
Many sales managers complain about the quality or quantity of leads. This is because lead generation has struggled more than any other aspect of sales and marketing over the past 5 years.
However, great companies are not fatalistic about lead generation and its potential to deliver sales growth. They know something others don’t.
Even a modest improvement in a company’s approach to lead generation can dramatically boost sales. This kind of effort can deliver a payback ahead of most other sales or marketing initiatives.
The fundamental ingredient of success
The list of ways to improve lead generation is almost endless. Examples include: new sources like social media; new techniques for generating demand; and new ways of communicating your message.
No matter what strategies or techniques you employ, there is one fundamental ingredient of success: you must adopt a contact nurturing mind-set and manage your leads like contacts.
The table below outlines why it costs money to generate leads and why nurturing contacts is an investment in tomorrow’s sales.
Why leads are out
- Leads are generated and prequalified
- Leads require a campaign
- Leads are often cold
- Lead generation is often sporadic
- Leads are short-term in focus
- The objective is a meeting/sale
- Leads go stale
- Leads are found in many places
Why contacts are in
- Contacts are nurtured
- Contacts require a conversation
- Contacts are often warm
- The nurturing of contacts is on-going
- Contacts require a long-term view
- The objective is to build a relationship/dialogue
- Contacts can last forever
- Contacts live in a database/CRM tool
Remember leads can and should be a good news story. Don’t worry if there are problems with your organisation’s approach to lead generation – this means there is a greater potential to drive sales.
In part-two of this three-part blog series, we discuss how you can tackle the information deficit behind sales calls and presentations