1. These lists do not include leads. They are lists of contacts based on simple demographic (job titles) and firm-graphics (industry, company size, type-of-business). A lead is much more than a job title at the right company. Simply stated – a lead is a hand raiser who has indicated they are seeking information to solve a problem that you can help with.
2. Contact information is generally poor due to the economic downturn causing so much volatility in the workforce.
The results from the above described investment in cold-calling a list often involve:
· Finger pointing between marketing and sales
· Wasted time
· Wasted marketing budget
Take 3 steps to avoid falling into this trap:
1. Create consensus between marketing and sales on the definition of a lead. At the highest level, it is important to define a marketing qualified lead by the types of solutions the lead is researching. At some point in the purchase process, figure out what makes a lead “sales qualified” and ready for personal follow-up. Ultimately, a full lead scoring system can be developed to integrate both marketing automation and CRM systems.
2. Figure out the average number of sales touches (X) that were required to convert a lead to an opportunity for your business. The average number of touches is likely to be higher than you think (easily 5-10 sales touches). It will vary by company, product type, sales cycle, etc. Task your sales team to reach out to every single lead at least X times before they bother with cold-calling contacts.
3. Arm your sales team with educational content and recommend places to find real leads. When they have time to cold-call – encourage them to engage with leads that are seeking solutions via forums, twitter, and online communities.