If there is ever a slow month where you might be struggling to hit your numbers or have quality conversations with prospects, getting a warm list consisting of trade show/conference prospects, webinar registrants and inbound prospects can help create some momentum. It is always helpful when engaging prospects in conversations to have prospects that are familiar with your organization. The three above categories mentioned can add value to a campaign, but the leads may not always be hot and there needs to be an optimized telequalification process in place to maximize your ROI and sales opportunity development on these campaigns.
Recently, we began an engagement with a prospect that uses a marketing automation tool that provides lead scoring as one of their features. This feature scores prospects based on actions they have taken; web page visits, searches, and downloads. This seems like it could be great because it provides teleprospecting reps information on what the prospects may be interested in and it enables teleprospectors to be prepared for what type of conversation they will have with the prospect. Caution: this is not always the case. Many times I will be given the company that searched for a solution we offer, but still have to do some digging and figure out the employee who was taking action. Also, a website visit may not be as promising as it looks. It could be a ten second scan of a page, or it could be someone who thoroughly read an article. It’s a good idea to be aware of the literature the prospect was searching through to refresh their memory during a conversation in case they did not spend much time on it. All in all, this scoring system is helpful, but can be misleading in determining whether a lead is hot.
Webinars are a great discussion topic to use while speaking with a prospect. It offers teleprospectors the opportunity to discuss something that is not mandatory, but allows the prospect to get a sense of your product on their terms, especially if they can get the recording after registering. I have been driving traffic to webinars for clients and I look forward to receiving the list of registrants. It is a great way to warm up a call with an introduction that should resonate and usually leads to a quality conversation; whether it is a referral to a person who might appreciate the topic more, a better timeframe to follow up, or a golden opportunity for further discussion. Asking specific questions about webinar topics and slides can help get a better understanding of the prospect’s current needs.
Trade show and conference follow up can lead to fantastic opportunities, but it will take some work as well. I have spoken to many people who have attended trade shows just to “see how the industry is doing” and they are not in the market for a new solution. But, this can open some doors into pains that the prospect might not realize they are experiencing and your product or service can assist. Just because someone attended a trade show does not necessarily mean they are qualified, so it is important to make sure you ask them all of the qualifying questions based on revenue, size, and budget so no one’s time is wasted in further conversations. Following up on someone’s attendance is usually appreciated and a good way to get someone talking about their role in the decision making process.
Inbound leads, webinars, and trade shows/conferences are great ways to add pipeline to your organization’s sales team as long as there is a telequalification process in place to follow up and nuture the leads properly. Providing your sales team with a list and expecting them to navigate through the data properly and with enthusiasm will be difficult to accomplish. Provide your inside sales team or teleprospecting team with the same list and you will uncover more sales ready opportunities, thus increasing the ROI of your campaigns.