I was discussing our Ultimate IT Marketing service with someone recently at a trade show when I asked the basic thought provoking question, “What Is a qualified Lead?
I often ask this question to discover whether a computer consultant knows that opportunity always comes dressed in work clothes or not!
In other words, does a qualified sales lead mean that an opportunity is just going to fall into your lap or is it just the beginning of a lot of hard work?
I Will Know, When I See It
This was once said by a supreme court justice over the issue of defining pornography, eluding to the fact that it was difficult to draw a clear definition.
However, this is the same attitude that a lot of computer business providers have when they develop rules to govern lead generation. Many will admit they just make a snap judgement based solely on their ‘gut’ feeling and many times this ‘feeling’ is directly linked to whether they have clear shot at a sale.
Essentially this view point reveals the belief that most of the work involved in selling, when you have a ‘qualified lead’, is just showing up for the appointment.
The truth is that it should be very easy to know when you have a qualified sales lead as long as you recognize that a good sales meeting is just the first step in a thousand mile journey.
There are really just a few clear points to keep in mind when you’re trying to evaluate if your appointment was a qualified sales lead or not such as:
- Was the meeting set with someone that is involved in the decision making process?
- Does the company basically have enough servers and computers?
- Did the prospect allow the meeting to take place.
If these three basic points apply to your sales meeting then you know it is a qualified lead.
If all the sales meetings that have taken place during your marketing campaign fall into this category but you still haven’t closed a managed services sale yet don’t panic.
It important to know that the sales cycle time table has just started ticking right after you have finished meeting all your prospec’st on the first appointments.
Normally you might close a sale from a typical telemarketing camping within one year, three months, or 2 weeks… However, you must fiercely follow up on all these leads in the following ways:
- Thank you card
- Network assessment
- Education Meeting on Data Backup
- Meeting at Your Office
- Lunch and Learn event at a hotel
If you stay in contact with all your prospects then you can remain confident that eventually your will gain new customers. Just make sure you avoid calling on your leads too often and the best way to do that is to start a new marketing campaign as soon as possible.
John Black is the Marketing Director at MSP Telemarketing and has over 12 years experience marketing for IT services providers to help them get more IT sales.