Nathan Teahon: "Making Lead Generation Work"
Lead Generation and Appointment Setting
By: Nathan Teahon
A good lead qualification program can be a great thing for an organization. More specifically, a good lead qualification program can be a sales person's best friend. If done right, it can provide a lot of good leads for them to pursue, and almost as importantly, save them a lot of time in sifting through all of the cold leads to find the warm ones. For a sales person, this can be like separating needles out of haystacks.
Despite how effective they can be, there are some good Do's and Don'ts to remember when starting up a lead qualification program.
Too much information. Don't fall into the trap of giving your telephone agents so much information that it dilutes the purpose of why they are making the calls they are making. Have you ever heard the phrase, "just enough information to be dangerous"? This is an easy trap to fall into when setting up a lead generation program. As managers, we want to arm our agents with as many weapons in their arsenal as possible. We want them to have all of the information to answer any question conceivable. Before you know it you've spent multiple days training agents on a product/service so that they can be experts. Then they hit the phones and they are trying to sell the product. The goal and purpose of the call has been diluted. The goal for a good lead qualification program is to do just that, qualify the leads so you can get those needles in the haystack to the sales person. The sales person should sell it, otherwise you'd be training a sales program, not a lead qualification program. Just remember to train according to the goal. You want the agents to have enough information to sound knowledgeable and intelligent, but it's not a bad thing for you agent to say that they aren't the expert but they can set up a meeting with an expert if they'd like.
Categorize your leads. Qualified and Not Qualified probably isn't going to be as efficient for your sales person as it could be. The problem will be that you end up still flooding your salesperson with too many leads that he has to sift through. The leads that are truly hot might get missed because they weren't differentiated from the other leads. The other spectrum could be that only really hot leads get passed on, and everything else ends up being ignored, translating into missed opportunities. How you qualify the leads is going to depend on your product/service, but you should have at least three categories of leads. Hot/Urgent, Warm, and Moderate. Moderate leads might be a lead that isn't a productive lead for right now, but there is some opportunity in the future. Paying attention to these leads and implementing a lead nurturing program can help you turn these leads into real value down the road as opposed to just ignoring them.
Be patient. It's easy to get frustrated when a lead doesn't work out, but it's important to remember that not all of them will. A lead qualification program is designed to filter out the leads that are most likely to be successful. This is true, and it will allow your sales people to do what they do best, which is sell. Nonetheless, they won't all pan out. If they did, you wouldn't need a salesperson anyway.
Nathan Teahon is the Director of Operations for Quality Contact Solutions. Prior to his employment with Quality Contact Solutions, Nathan worked for a Top 50 inbound/outbound contact center. During his tenure, he ran the gamut with the different positions he held. Nathan has call center experience as a Supervisor, Quality Assurance, Program Management, Account Management, and also as a Call Center Manager. His diversity of call center experience lends itself well to support a wide variety of clients and their unique requirements.
To contact Nathan Teahon: email@example.com or by calling 1-866-963-2889 ext 203.