I recently was invited to attend an event, co-sponsored by our client, Oracle. It was a panel discussion (a live event, which is very rare these days) and the topic was shifts in the Selling/Buying model. With all the webinar “clutter” out there, it was refreshing to have a diverse expert panel discuss current trends in B2B marketing and sales. The speakers were Greg Alexander (author and industry expert on building high performance sales teams), Steven Woods (CTO of Eloqua) and Debbie Qaqish (Pedowitz Group).
Use Lead Scoring to Personalize Interactions
Lesson: Customize your interactions with your prospects as much as possible, based on implicit and explicit information.
Example: Understand where the prospect is in the research and/or buying cycle and respond accordingly. Don’t be late with your responses or jump the gun without doing your homework. Case studies were provided on both of these mistakes and the impact they can make on your success.
How do you prevent making these mistakes? The recommendation from the panel was to create a Lead Scoring and Nurturing process that customizes responses to a prospect based on their phase of the buying cycle. For a good resource on lead scoring, check out this Guide to Developing A Lead Scoring Model.
Use Inquiry Management Best Practices For Follow-up
During the discussion, several studies were referenced that provide data on contact rates for inquiries. The results prove that your ability to contact a prospect (inquiry) improves dramatically if your attempt is made within 5 minutes of the inquiry. Your chances are significantly lower when you wait longer. In fact, after 30 minutes, the likelihood plummets by 100X. The Truth Behind Web Inquiry Management supports these findings.
One of our core competencies at The Lead Dogs is providing Inquiry Management Services for our clients. We ensure prompt follow-up and our contact rates are well above the industry average. In fact, internally, our team has a 87% contact rate for inquiries, albeit, our inquiry rate is not at the level of our enterprise clients. If you don’t have a process and SLA’s defined for immediate follow-up, your competitors will get there first and you know what they say about “first impressions.”