Demand generation isn’t just about putting leads into the funnel. It’s also about qualifying them, working them and selling them on the other end. Because of that, I’m surprised at how many demand generation marketers think their job is over when a lead is handed over for calling. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Here are six hints on how to get the most out of your leads after the hand off:
- Avoid the “I’m calling because you showed interest in our product” calls. Personalize your follow up as part of an integrated marketing effort by segmenting leads by program and then drafting a unique script. If someone responded to a whitepaper offer, mention it by name and discuss the content to lay the foundation for the sales pitch. If the prospect came by the booth at a trade show, ask if they’re enjoying their coffee mug. The more you make the follow up call a personal experience, the more likely the lead converts to a sale.
- Before the leads are loaded, prep your calling team. And not by email. Kick off each program in person or if you’re not in the same city, over the phone so you can encourage dialog and make sure the calling team understands what you’re trying to achieve. Share the objectives and what you know about the program and why you picked it. And be prepared to answer questions and role-play a call or two.
- Encourage feedback. Comments from the call center team are really valuable. Consider it front line research and a success predictor. If a rep shows concern about the script, the program or approach, dive deeper. Sit with him while he makes a call or two and see if he’s right. In my experience, reps know within the first hour of calling if a program is a loser. While ultimately in demand generation, analytics are king, I can’t tell you how often a call center rep has saved my butt by giving me time to refine a program before it’s a disaster.
- Monitor calls. I’m stunned how few demand generation managers do and they’re usually the first ones who say they have no idea why good leads failed. Your reps should welcome monitoring and feedback. If possible, listen remotely so you can hear both sides of the conversation at a time that the rep doesn’t know they’re being monitored. If you can’t, sit side by side in the call center. Are your reps following the script? Are they paying attention to the lead source? Are they presenting the offer right? Are they being assertive enough? If not, it’s time for more training.
- Don’t forget to monitor chat and email follow up as well. It burns me to see a $200 lead interact in a chat that looks like it was typed by a 13 year old.
- Last, please reward and respect those folks on the phone. Calling teams are usually staffed with entry level folks who work hard at a very challenging job. Thank them. Reward them and inspire them. Their contribution will make or break your success.
Need more help with leads after the handoff? I’m here to help – give me a call or shoot me an email.