Qualifying, getting and maintaining leads for prospects or potential customers is called leads management. There are companies you can hire to do this for you, but it will cost you money. So, if you choose to go it alone and do it yourself, here are some things to remember.
Generating leads can be done by the usual means of television, radio, print and word of mouth. You can also buy a block of names and addresses complete with phone numbers if you wish, but it will cost money, just as it will cost money to use the conventional methods of advertising.
When someone responds to your advertising you have to have a way of getting their information so you can send them sales literature, so you either give them your website URL or send them a form to fill out. Of course, you could convert them into a sale right then. However, they usually are not that easy and you have to get them to fill out a form, or fill it out yourself, and then store that information for additional handling.
If you have a sales force, then the leads need to be screened for distribution to the person who is in charge of making sales of that product or service. This is called ‘pre-screening’ and can be done by phone personnel. Once the customer interest is established, these employees distribute the leads to the sales department, where it analyzed and put in order of most likely to sell.
As the sales force works the leads they are taking notes and maintaining additional information about the prospect, all of which must be managed and filtered for future use and reference. This is where a very good leads management software package will come in very handy.
Promotional campaigns allow the sales force to have something to offer the potential customer in exchange for the person giving the representative their attention and possibly deciding to try the product on a limited arrangement. This allows both sides of the transaction to benefit and gets the sales person much closer to making a final sale.
With all of this potential sitting there waiting, it is time to apply company policy to the mix and work the leads to convert them into sales, which is the revenue the business needs to remain open. Without good leads management there is little sales activity and the business will end up with no money to continue to operate, and this is not the objective. Sales is what it is all about in staying in business. Find a good leads management software package and put it to good use.
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