Auto racing is a great analogy for a sales team. Many companies try to make repairs (or changes) to the sales team while they are performing daily calls. It’s akin to tuning a race car while it’s speeding down the track at 225 MPH. Needless to say, in order to tune the car, it has to go into the pit. Unfortunately with sales teams, coming to a full stop is hardly an option.
However, when some companies come to a full stop (pit time!), they miss fine tuning the lead nurturing process. This issue is amplified at small and mid-size organizations as they don't have enough data in lead management systems to identify and address the proper issues. A good CRM system with carefully captured conversations data adds the right tools to find and fix problems.
Every company is chasing conversations with both prospects and customers and everyone has been jumping on the CAG (Customer Advisory Group - or some variant) bandwagon lately. Simply connecting with customers on a periodic basis is a great way to put some data in the lead nurturing process, but market needs are constantly changing. The reasons why customers purchased products in the past may not be the same reasons that prompt them to purchase today, or down the road.
How do you adjust lead nurturing to correct this situation? The best way to solve these issues is to have more prospect conversations or engagements. In addition, many organizations struggle as they simply don't know where they fall flat in the lead nurturing process, and find it difficult to address questions such as:
- Are we getting initial discovery calls from our dialer software?<
- Is our CRM system capturing discovery calls and tracking them to demo opportunities?
- Are the lead nurturing efforts converting the demos into trials?
- Are the trials converting to sales?
Often there is a bottleneck in one of the areas above. Identifying the bottleneck depends on having enough data to properly correlate the information. For example, if the data sample is too small, many organizations find themselves changing sales lead generation tactics weekly, which can be a costly mistake. Often times this direction change is a result of topics that sales reps gather from weekly sales meetings. When it comes to data, companies need to:
- Not forget about obtaining input from the entire sales team. Inside sales members are conducting more customer conversations on a daily basis than field reps. They have their finger on the pulse of the marketplace -- nurture, solicit and collect their opinions.
- Use CRM systems to their full advantage. Popular CRM Solutions allow you to make changes to track conversations and measure the number of conversations your team is having, and the topical variants or trends discussed. Sales teams need to be sure they are capturing this important information and managers need to be tracking it. Good sales acceleration/sales productivity software helps achieve more conversations, and easily enables data capture.
In conclusion, to get more data points for proper lead nurturing, a company needs to fill the top of the sales pipeline with data from as many conversations as possible. The net goal of the lead nurturing process is to create conversations or "meaningful interactions”-- where the rubber meets the road. Meaningful interactions may be defined differently, but the outcome is connecting with a prospect that is willing to hear the value proposition and respond to a call to action. Sales outbound dialing or dialer systems like Click Dialer, Personal Dialer, and Team Dialer, are a proven method to achieve more conversations, gather more data, and reliably fill a sales pipeline with qualified leads from meaningful interactions.
By Chris Haigh | Senior Account Executive