Generating sales leads for your business is very important. It’s an activity that any business owner should spend quite a bit of their time on. Now, there are sales leads and there are qualified sales leads, the latter being the real gold you want to pan for.
Many businesses do not ensure they qualify their sales leads before spending precious time on further follow up. Without being too flippant, it is fairly easy to generate sales leads, however, it is much more difficult to get qualified leads that have a high potential for conversion to sales.
Conversion is where the rubber hits the road in the conversion of leads to sales – this is where business revenue is created. You, of course, will be measuring your conversion ratio as a part of your sales process metrics. If you are not then you do not have much hope of improving your conversion rate.
In any sales organization (and this means your business) the conversion ratios of leads to sales is a very important number that its tracked and monitored daily. You can improve your conversion ratio very quickly by making sure you have in place a qualification process for all your sales leads.
Not only does a qualification product process improve your sales conversions ratios, it also makes you more productive. You’ll spend less time chasing leads that have no way of converting to sales if you filter those specific ones out of the equation.
A simple qualification process would consist of checking the following 4 criteria:
Think of the first letter of each step and it spells out the acronym M.A.I.N.
If you generate 100 leads and follow up diligently you may find you are spending say 4 hours contact time with each lead before conversion to sale. Your conversion ratio may be a low 10% (10 sales out of 100 leads) and it takes 400 hours of time to generate those 10 sales.
By applying a qualification process (MAIN) prior to further contact and follow up you would find the hot leads (those who are ready to buy right now) more quickly. You would filter the other 90 potentials very rapidly and spend maybe only 30 minutes per prospect doing this.
Once established as low potential sales prospects these 90% of leads are set up for nurturing on, perhaps, an automatic email follow program. You have saved yourself many hours of sending out brochures, making phone calls,presentation and perhaps travel by segregating low potential sales leads from the hot leads.
Your conversion ratios will improve as you will be pitching your presentation or proposal to highly qualified leads.