Only a few months left to meet 2017 targets

Ask any executive or marketing professional what salespeople need to sell in tough economic times, and they will say one thing: more leads. Moreover, with April holidays having thrown a spanner in the works, and winter looming in SA, businesses really only have seven months left to meet sales targets for 2017.

However, too many marketing and lead generation programmes focus too much on quantity, and not enough on quality, says Louise Robinson, MD of CG Consulting. “It’s a sad fact that around only 5% to 15% of leads turn out to be legitimate sales opportunities, which is why marketers need to help sales reach their targets by concentrating on legitimate, high-quality leads that will translate into sales.”

Generating this type of lead is definitely one of the top challenges for marketers, she says. The majority of marketers understand that the more validation and verification of each lead or database is done, the better the quality of the lead will be. So, what is the most effective way for marketers to ensure the accuracy of their leads before handing them over to the sales team?

“This is where outsourcing your lead generation can be massively successful, even more so than in-house lead generations, for various reasons,” Robinson says. “Outsourcing is generally more cost-saving for organisations as it helps them avoid paying for expensive advertising campaigns and costly employee training. Moreover, there is no infrastructure setup needed, so they avoid all those associated costs.”

Over and above saving money, Robinson says it also saves time. “Your staff don’t have to waste time on making unnecessary calls. Lead generation companies do all the hard work of phoning or contacting multiple individuals, to ensure only the ones who are genuinely interested in your product or service will be qualified as leads.”

“Remember that a professional lead generation company has the necessary skills within the organisation to be able to do the most effective job. In your business, you may have people who don’t have the faintest idea who to cold call successfully, or who make a mess of communications because they are simply not trained in the most effective approaches. A lead generation company will ensure their staff can do the job, and are properly trained in sales skills, as they do this work on a daily basis.”

She says using a lead generation specialist will also help your sales team speak to the individuals who are the decision makers when it comes to purchasing. “Lead generation staff will endure lengthy and onerous processes to make sure your service or product gets seen by the most important people – or the correct people – in an organisation. Their approach uses multiple channels, such as networking, communications both telephonic and online, building lists from various sources and suchlike.”

Finally, because lead generation is their core business, these companies have the time to do thorough research on the various entities they will be getting in touch with, and will also be able to properly profile the prospective clients. “They will conduct follow-ups, and get feedback, both positive and negative from all potential leads,” Robinson concludes.