1. Jump to page-navigation
  2. Jump to content

Archive for October, 2010

Making it Easier for Your Referrers

Friday, October 29th, 2010

An article called 5 Ways to Avoid Referral Mishaps appears on Larry Bodine’s Law Marketing Blog.

Law Firms have their own set of challenges in making and tracking referrals, but many industries would list referrals among key source of new business and struggle to keep track of them with ineffective tools. Among the challenges addressed in the article are making sure you recover referral fees and keeping tabs on the how the referral is progressing through the litigation.

So why not use lead management software to track referrals? After all, what is a referral other than a lead. A referral is on one hand, just another type of lead. But on the other hand referrals can be among the hottest possible leads. They are qualified, ready to buy, and they’re being handed off to you with a recommendation.

Everyone knows that referrals have incredible value. Getting more referrals is great for any business. Increasing the number of referrals you get is achieved by cultivating relationships with parties who are in a position to make them. Building relationships takes time, and corners can’t really be cut with that process. Though there are other ways to optimize the referral process.

If building relationships that yield referrals was easy, we’d all be swimming in them, but the fact that it takes time and effort only speaks to the ultimate quality of the leads that come in through these channels.

Building relationships takes time but there are some tools that can make it a little easier. Some lead management software providers have a referral portal that makes it easy to for referrers to track the referrals they have made as they move through the sales cycle. Think about it from the referrers’ point of view; would you make more referrals if every time you did you could log in and watch its progress?  Of course you would. And people referring to you will be more likely to increase the frequency of referrals if they had more visibility.

Using lead management software with a referral portal are making it easier for people to refer them business. And they are getting more referrals because of it. Click here to see how the Leads360 referral portal works.

Know Now

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Would your business be better off if you always had answers to these questions:

What are your sales agents doing with the leads you provide them?

How quickly do they call the leads?

How many times do they call leads?

Are they sending emails?

How many emails and how often?

Which of my lead sources are underperforming?

Are the right leads getting to the right agents?

Companies using Lead Management Software have answers to these questions at their fingertips.

Getting Out of the Rut and Into the Game

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Seth Godin writes in his blog: “Most of the time, particularly [sic] in b2b and luxury sales, the competition is nothing . . . While you think your competition is that woman across town, it’s probably apathy, sitting still, ignoring the problem… nothing.” It’s easy not to change. Taking action to secure profitability in the future is often times a daunting task to consider. However, smart companies know that it’s important not to sit on the sidelines, scratching their heads about why they aren’t converting more leads, when they can take action to energize their sales process and find ways to be more efficient. Leads360 can be an invaluable tool to any sales manager looking to shake the cobwebs off of his sales staff and find ways to increase ROI by working harder and working smarter.

When it comes to sales, there might be a lot of inertia. Often times, things have been done the same way for a long time and people are hesitant to change anything. Other sales teams may be experiencing the opposite problem. New internet leads are very expensive, very valuable, and are quickly changing the business landscape in ways that sales staffs don’t understand. While many people would find it easy to succumb to the instinct to retract and fall back on tried and true methods, Leads360 can show sales teams that there’s a new way, brilliant in its simplicity and efficient in its execution.

Leads360 can show any sales team how sales automation and metrics driven lead scoring and routing will change their process forever, and help them find value where they previously didn’t know it existed. Traditional sales processes are very simple, often purchasing leads from different sources and then simply distributing them to the sales staff in a simple, unintelligent fashion. While it might seem like the simplest, best approach, Leads360 can show a company where the old ways are rife with inefficiencies. Leads360 has developed their sales process based on millions of leads and inquiries and discovered exactly what traditional business models were missing.

The drivers of lead conversion are varied, but many of them are ignored or neglected by classic sales methods. For instance, few things are more effective in eventually converting a lead than calling within the first five minutes. While traditional methods can send a lead to a sales person who can’t make a call for ten or twenty minutes, missing that all important window, Leads360 can ensure that leads are routed to the sales people ready to work them, not just the next person in line. This is also true of Lead Prioritization. Leads360′s new Lead Prioritization Engine automatically determines which leads are closest to converting at that minute and reorganizes the lead queue to reflect this, ensuring that your sales staff is making their initial and follow up calls only at those times when the leads are most likely to convert. This saves your sales staff from hours of wasted time feeling around in the dark. These are only a few of the many features of Leads360 that will help your sales staff discover just how much value there is in a consistent, automated approach that is driven by data carefully collected and recorded from each lead.

On the whole, the metrics driven, automated approach offered by Leads360 is undeniably a significant upgrade over business as usual.  Company’s employing Leads360 will see their productivity and ROI shoot up while leaving behind their competitors that have decided to stick to business as usual.

Seeing results at both ends of the spectrum

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The article on this sales blog describes some mistakes made by sales agents who called the author over a one week period. While the tone of the article is pretty confrontational, there are some interesting points. And it’s a good idea to evaluate any behavior that is considered poor salesmanship. Good because it enables us to guard against it. Lead Management Software at its best bolsters the most effective sales agents and helps them to excel. But it also provides tools that help prevent the least effective sales agents from dragging.

In other words, Lead Management Software is a solution that saves sales agents from their own worst tendencies. In the article referred to above, the author describes how he received 17 calls from a single sales person both at home and at his office. 17. Recent Research has shown that six calls is the optimal amount for trying to contact a lead. Beyond six attempts, the returns diminish to a point where they no longer justify attempting to contact the lead.

Another point made is that making sales is all about building trust. Lead Management Software equips users with a suite of tools that make lead follow up easy. Achieve consistent, varied communication that lets buyers know you are serious and can be counted on. Reporting features allow managers to make sure that leads are being contacted quickly and followed up on correctly. If you’re a sales manager and you’re looking for a tool that helps your best get better and the rest get with the program, Lead Management Software may be just the thing.

Leveraging Employee Data

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

This article from the Harvard Business Review; “Competing on Talent Analytics” by Tom Davenport, author of Competing on Analytics, explores the importance of using analytics in HR and talent management. The article mostly describes acquiring actionable insights from employee data in areas other than sales, i.e. service. It delves into maximizing employee productivity, engagement, and retention by analyzing data. It’s a timely message. As more and more tools come available for employers to capture and analyze business intelligence of all kinds, it’s important to measure the ups and downs of employee performance in an effort to get the best results out of your employees, both for the benefit of the company and the benefit of the employee.

Actionable insights are harder to come by when assessing something as potentially nebulous as employee engagement. Even so, according to the article, Best Buy has been able to identify that a 0.1% increase in employee engagement has a value of more than $100,000.

Measuring employee effectiveness by measuring their engagement is one thing, but for employees whose core responsibility is to sell, there is much more data available to assess employee effectiveness; beginning with quotas. As long as people have been selling there have been quotas. Quotas are the godfather of sales metrics, but using the right tools, it is possible to make much more comprehensive assessments of how your sales agents are progressing with their leads before it boils down to that final number of closed deals and revenue brought in.

Lead Management Software collects a lot of data about sales agent activities. It’s easy to find out with a click or two how many calls has an agent made today? How many calls does he average per lead? How quickly does is he attempting to make contact with new leads that are assigned to him? For sales managers and business owners it’s never been easier to access information about how your top producers are achieving their results and where your less effective agents may be falling short. If you aren’t using Lead Management software that tracks performance metrics and user data, you’re operating in comparative darkness

Now is the Time Plug the Holes in your Sales Process

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

The long cold winter of recession is ending. The economy is growing again and it is time for spring cleaning. Business owners and managers need to plug any holes in their sales processes. If they don’t, missed opportunities and lost revenue are about to climb. As business picks up, there will be a great opportunity to make more sales and capture a greater market share. Conversely, any company with a clumsy and inefficient sales process has an opportunity to lose more.

The opportunity costs of an inefficient sales process in a slow market are relatively smaller. But as the economy heats up, these opportunity costs will amount to more and more lost revenue. A recent Business Week article, which features Leads360 research, indicates that, while economic indicators are still somewhat mixed, it’s time to start gearing up for more business.

Maybe you are a company that struggled through the downturn. You made whatever sacrifices you had to make in order to survive. While others didn’t fare as well, you kept your footing and are now entering the other side of the recession. Or maybe you are starting a new company, hiring sales people and preparing to capitalize on the coming growth.

Whatever your situation, it’s important to make sure you are using the right tools to help you capture as much new business as possible. What kind of tool do you need? There is no better tool for getting more customers and growing your business than Lead Management Software. LMS helps you contact leads more quickly, and nurture those who aren’t ready to buy right away. It gives you real time data on which sales agents and lead sources are performing and which aren’t. CRM great for managing existing customer relationships, but it is not suited to converting leads into customers.

Lead Management Software is a solution that is built specifically to turn prospects into customers. Things are looking up. Get the right tools to make sure you are profiting from the improving economy and expanding markets.

Choosing the Right CRM Sometimes Means Choosing LMS

Monday, October 4th, 2010

This article, “Adding Education into the CRM Equation,” explores the importance of doing research before deciding on a CRM vendor. It’s important to be aware of your level of CRM education. If you don’t know enough, it’s important to face facts about what you know and what you don’t; important to educate yourself before getting into negotiations. In today’s business landscape using technology is essential to survival. When businesses that are not used to relying on technology begin to come to grips with its necessity, they often draw the conclusion that CRM is the solution for them.

When evaluating CRM solutions for the first time, some buyers end up buying the promise of all it can do. But the promise of CRM and the reality of its adoption can be worlds apart. This is why it’s critical to make use of the plentiful resources on the internet which can help buyers make an informed decision.

But imagine the strategic shopper whose business acumen equips him to approach buying a CRM by asking all the right questions. Instead of hearing what a given CRM solution can do, he has a clear picture of how his sales process works and searches for a solution to fit. A solution that fits the way his company does things and allows him to improve it.

For such a buyer, making an informed decision about CRM solutions can lead to an unexpected solution altogether. For a business that is looking to increase revenue and grow their business by contacting, qualifying, and closing more leads, Lead Management is usually a better fit than CRM. Lead Management Software is built to achieve these goals each in turn, allowing sales agents to contact leads more quickly, and stay in contact with them until they close.

To learn more about how LMS and CRM complement each other watch this Leads360 webinar called Where Good CRMs Go Bad.