Generating leads is a delicate exercise. When you do it right, you increase revenue for your company while empowering other organizations to address critical business issues.
But when you do it wrong, you risk alienating potential prospects, missing out on fantastic opportunities, or sending salespeople on a wild goose chase for leads that weren’t actually qualified – and nobody needs that!
To ensure those things don’t happen, you need to devise a lead generation system that attracts leads, qualifies them appropriately, and delivers legitimate opportunities to your sales team. While no two organizations will do things exactly the same way, any system you create must include the following components:
1. A precise level of qualification
What information does your sales team need to determine whether to pursue an opportunity? At a minimum, your sales lead qualification strategy must account for the following qualifying metrics:
- A strong, compelling need: Determine right away whether the lead has a critical business issue that your solution can solve. These are the only leads that can benefit from working with you. A strong, compelling need simply must exist.
- A realistic budget: Is the budget for your solution available? If you don’t know, you usually need to ask. There’s no use having a salesperson work with a lead that is unable to make an investment in your offering.
- Decision-making authority: Are you communicating with someone who can make a buying decision? If you’re not, sales probably shouldn’t be involved until you know that a decision maker is interested in working with you.
2. Clear delivery of your value proposition
When it comes to generating leads, the question of what you do does plays second fiddle to how you can help the lead address a critical business issue. That’s what demonstrating value is all about – not just talking yourself up, but showing leads that you can help them achieve an objective.
Be sure your message connects your solution to the lead’s specific problems. Listen to what leads have to say, and frame your value proposition in a way that speaks to their unique concerns.
3. Collateral and resources
How do you deliver ongoing value at various stages of the buying process? Your lead generation system should make use of marketing collateral like white papers, case studies, and other literature that:
- Demonstrates industry thought leadership and expertise
- Creates a compelling case for investing in your product or service
- Explains why you do what you do
Depending on the nature of your offering, it might also be appropriate to provide a product demonstration or offer a free trial. What’s important is that you maintain a collection of resources that speak to the critical business issues confronting the leads your organization is pursuing.