I plead guilty to enjoying a cold beer or two, and I’ve watched with amazement as the decade-long bull market in the craft beer industry shows no signs of abating.
10 Simple Things You Can Do To Protect Your Investment In Generating Leads <br clear="none" /> Jamie Klein (Edited by Stacy Straczynski)<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> In their "Marketing Outlook 2009" report, the CMO Council indicates that improving customer insight and retention (32.5 percent), and increasing marketing accountability and measurement (26.0 percent) are key objectives companies looking to expand their market share in 2009.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> However, surveys consistently tell us that 70 percent or more of the leads you give salespeople are not followed up on effectively. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> • A new study just released by The Luxury Institute echoes these findings from the perspective of the high net worth consumer, stating that approximately 73 percent of the time, luxury consumers felt that salespeople did not do an effective job of following up on products and services marketed to them.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> • CMO Council's new report, "Calibrate How You Operate," reveals that 41 percent of the 400-plus marketers audited point to data silos and limited cross-functional feedback loops as major internal challenges subverting the marketing operational process and limiting the opportunity to effectively measure the quality of customer follow-up.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Can any business really afford this waste in any economy? Here are 10 things you can start doing right now to make sure those lead investments turn into a definite ROI.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>Sales and Marketing Follow-up Strategies </b><br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>1. Follow-up is THE crucial component. </b>Survey after survey supports this statement. Put a weekly inspection process in play by your leadership for your sales team today.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>2. Time is of the essence when performing follow-up.</b> Leads have a limited shelf life and the leads you are working on never stay in neutral—they are either moving closer to or further away from a sale. Leadership must show sales teams that timely follow-up on their leads is important to your organization.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>3. Keep your sales lead process simple in the lead follow-upstage. </b>Leads can only be in one of the following three categories: "purchased," "not interested" or "in-progress."<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>4. Make sure you have follow-up policies for "not interested" and "purchased."</b> Ensure your leadership focus on leads in progress. In progress lead are where you will find the majority of your lead marketing investment—and your biggest potential return on that investment.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>5. You need a software program</b> to help sales and leadership keep track of each of these three leads categories. Make sure your system is easy to use and can produce effective lead follow-up reports.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>6 Your software and reports must reconcile and account for every lead</b> that your sales team has been assigned. For example, if a sales agent received 40 leads for the month and five were not interested, two purchased and 33 were in-progress, your reports must reflect this. Ensure that your sales team has been directed as to what the next steps are on each of these categories. If you do not take the time to do this, sales will have leads with little or no follow-up. Remember: Leadership must do this at least once a week.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>7. Leads in progress should be reported in categories</b> so leadership understands what is holding the customer back from purchasing. Leadership should be able to guide sales on their next follow-up steps based this important information.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> 8. When you review the report details with your sales team, you can see the in-progress leads updated each week. <b>Making sure there is progress each week for every lead is the key.</b> If there is little progress on the leads from week to week, stop giving that sales agent new leads until they catch-up on the current leads they have been assigned.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>9. Weekly performance reports on the in-progress leads should have three or four key follow-up areas</b> that you will be looking for when you meet with the salesperson. This type of leadership follow-up will help your sales agents improve. Make sure you write down what you will be looking for next week and then next week record the action the sales agent took toward these requested steps.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>10. Recognize and celebrate great lead follow-up in front of the entire sales team.</b> Set the tone for the importance of this process.Coaching and counseling with poor follow-up agents should be done one- on one and will also send a message to your team on the importance of follow-up.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <i>In his new book "<a href="http://www.loreinstitute.com/LeadDominationOrder.html" target="_blank">Lead Domination</a>," Jamie Klein covers in detail the 10 topics above—as well as other applicable strategies! Jamie has over 30 years experience in the lead management sales and marketing profession. He has launched luxury ownership business enterprises, lead management initiatives, and sales and marketing operations for luxury brands including the Marriott , the Four Seasons, and St. Regis. He speaks frequently at national conferences and is one of the premier real estate sales and marketing experts in North America.Jamie can be reced via e-mail at <a href="mailto:JamieKlein@LoreInstitute.com">JamieKlein@LoreInstitute.com</a><br clear="none" /> </i>