A pipeline to achieve your sales goals this year

All organisations start a new year with high hopes and lofty aspirations for their sales and marketing goals. In tough economic times, whether or not the past year has been a good or a bad one, starting the year with the aim of achieving sales goals is a positive beginning.

However, this is easier said than done, and businesses hoping to stay the course and grow their sales from the whole year through – including those months affected by public and summer holidays – need to get on board the lead generation wagon. Louise Robinson, MD of CG Consulting, says this is where a lead generation specialist comes in. “A specialist partner will review and update all your contacts. After all, it is no good having a massive database of contacts if the vast majority of the names are not solid leads.”

She says qualifying your leads is all about accumulating the insights needed to make a good judgment call. “Is this lead potentially interested in my product or service? What is the best way to close the deal? Is this contact a good fit for your product? Is the sales opportunity a viable one?”

A lead generation expert will help to qualify your leads, get smarter and better profiles, identify potential customers’ needs, as well as sniff out what the competition is up to.

“Outsourcing the task of lead generation simplifies the entire process, and will ensure a solid pipeline of leads that deliver results. After all, these organisations focus solely on lead generation as their core business. They know what they are doing,” says Robinson. “They can help provide a number of different services, including appointment setting, supplying databases, and even cleaning up your databases.”

According to her, specialists will use a plethora of methods to obtain information on possible clients. “This will include examining their needs, likes and behaviours. Moreover, all the leads will be qualified, ensuring no time is wasted on customers who have no idea what they want, or who don’t need or can’t afford what you are offering in the first place.”

She says it takes six months to a year for a single member of a company’s internal lead generation team to be properly qualified and start producing the goods. “This is a ballpark figure, because various industry factors and company protocols weigh in too. If you are hoping for your employees to have their finger on the pulse of your specific industry, and your unique sales methods, this can take far longer. However, a lead-generation partner can be reasonably expected to produce results within a couple of months at the most, or be fired.”

“Ultimately, companies who choose a lead generation specialist have nothing to lose, and can only benefit from the relationship. After all, they generate more solid leads than internal teams do, they lower cost and can only improve business development. Outsourcing this process can ensure a solid and steady flow of leads throughout the year, one that doesn’t halt when public holidays or short months happen,” Robinson concludes.