If your business relies on sales and you have a dedicated sales team, you don’t want to see them idle. Your advertising campaigns may be setting your switchboard alight, but there are always times in any business when the phone just doesn’t ring, and it’s usual to fill this sales team downtime with cold calling – ie making speculative, unsolicited calls to a company that might be interested in your products or services.
While cold calling has its uses, it’s neither efficient nor popular. No matter how targeted the call list is, there will always be a relatively low success rate. Cold calling can irritate potential prospects who feel their time is being wasted and resent the intrusion, and it is unpopular among sales team members as it carries a high rejection rate and can be a thankless task.
Using lead generation software helps to solve these problems, and can increase the productivity of your sales team when not fielding incoming enquiries.
Lead generation works by tracking visitors to your web site who do not make contact by any of the normal means – contact form, placing an order, and so on. The software then identifies the company these visitors came from, shows which parts of the web site they viewed, and provides other helpful data such as how the visitor found your site.
This information can be a powerful weapon in increasing the success of outgoing calls your team make. The prospects that lead generation identifies are self selecting, in that by visiting your site they have already shown a degree of interest in your company. This in itself means that the leads are far more qualified than with basic cold calling.
Secondly, by having company details to hand such as line of business, number of employees and turnover etc, your sales team will be far better equipped to understand what kind of message the prospect is likely to be receptive to.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, by knowing which areas of the web site the prospect viewed, it is possible to tailor the sales message with great precision, almost to the point of being able to second guess the prospect’s wishes with special offers or customised deals.
Of course, all this depends on the efficiency and sophistication of the lead generation software in question. While the cheaper examples of the genre provide daily or weekly reports of potential leads, full-featured packages such as Lead Forensics offer real time alerts when a suitable prospect hits your site, and can even pass the lead direct to any member of your sales team for immediate action.
While any form of outward marketing is going to be less successful than if the customer contacts you, using lead generation turns cold calling into warm calling, increases the productivity of your sales team, and maximises the return on the investment made in your online presence.