What If You Had More Leads Than You Could Handle?

One of the top items on every ISV’s wish list in these tricky economic times is how to generate more sales leads.

While everyone seems to want more leads, do you know what you’d do if you were deluged with sales leads?

A number of our clients at MSDynamicsWorld.com have been generating impressive numbers of sales leads—via our recent Decisions Fall 2010 virtual conference, our ongoing Lead-Generation programs, and our webcast promotional programs. Indeed, one client recently had a webcast (which we promoted) oversubscribed—it had more than the 300 sign-ups than the webcast server could handle.

While you’d think there’s no such thing as too many sales leads, there is a problem if you don’t have a system in place to handle sales leads. What do I mean by a system? Three things.

First, it means you have a method for rating your leads. You need to be able to classify leads in terms of how close they are to making a buy decision. You might classify them in any of several categories—for example, very warm (say, within two months of making a purchase); well into decision making but still likely six months from a purchase; and in the information-gathering phase, and thus likely well over six months off. There are, of course, all kinds of variations on the theme I’ve just sketched out, but you get the idea.

Second, it means you have a sales and marketing system in place to handle the leads according to the classification system. For example, the warmest leads go to certain sales people, while the information gatherers go into your marketing system’s direct marketing program, to receive regular email updates and invites to be visited by a sales person.

Finally, it means that, regardless of the classification and sales systems you have in place, that you are able to move quickly. You need to be able to quickly follow up with individuals who visited your booth at a virtual trade show to get a quick sense of where they are in the process. If they are close to making a purchase decision, they may well want a demo presentation immediately. Letting such sales prospects languish for lack of followup can be very costly.

In sum, it’s about being prepared, ready to spring into action. Don’t make the mistake of generating lots of leads, and then waste some or all because you don’t have the right systems in place.

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