Better Sales through Lead Management
On the Internet, content is king. If you expect to throw up a dummy site and start raking in the dough overnight, then you’re in for a rude awakening. Seems that, as advanced as we’ve become with technology, the “want it now” mentality is a hard one to shake in the area of sales.
But consumer buying habits are different than they were 25 years ago. Back then, the guy with the smarmy smile and tweed suit may have topped company sales charts by guilting little old ladies in to buying lemon cars, but in the digital age, he’s probably your company’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, sites like Twitter have created about 6 million of these characters looking to spam you with their self-published trilogies of elf erotica and Jason Bourne knockoffs.
Aspiring business types learn just enough about technology and social media platforms to abuse them, but they hardly stop to consider the effective ways to “sell” online. And the truth is that your business will achieve better sales through less selling and more quality lead management. Lead management is an important factor in the growth of your business for a few reasons.
1. It can improve what you have to offer.
For a number of years, I worked as a full-time freelance writer, pounding the digital pavement, sending out about 300 emails per week begging for work. As this process continued, I learned to slow down whenever I’d get a bite from a potential client and put all energy into delivering on their expectations. That’s a tough mindset to master when you don’t have enough work to make rent, but it’s one that paid far greater dividends than the mad rush mentality that possessed me throughout the week as I strove to make as many contacts (leads) as possible. Patience was more than a virtue for me. It was a necessity. As a result, it improved the system with which I handled lead management, and it made me a better writer.
2. It can turn connections in to relationships.
As I satisfied my existing clients’ expectations, I began to notice something happen that truly amazed me. People started to email me, asking if I could work for them. I’d spent my entire life begging for jobs; suddenly, I was thrust into an entirely different role. One that forced me to think about billing rates and administrative procedures for the growth of my blossoming business. One of my best clients came about because I’d written an article entitled, “Top 100 Movies Every Guy Must See” for a guy-centric website. He read it, loved it, and contacted me about doing some work for him. That same client later referred me to a colleague, who became my best client in terms of pay and quality of work. Essentially, by focusing on lead management and improving what I had to offer, I landed two clients without sending out a single application or making any effort whatsoever to sell my services.
3. It can help you manage scalability.
In the life of every business, there will come a time when you realize you’ve gone as far as you can with your current system. For true growth, you’ll need to find ways to reduce the workload and take whatever product or service you’re selling to the masses. Lead management can help you to achieve the level of scalability you’re looking for to grow the company from sole proprietor toto major corporation. I’ve yet to turn my writing business into one of major corporate scale, but if I wanted to, I could create a lead management system that helped me to identify my clients by industry. I would then seek out other writers, who could produce quality content in those sectors, and I’d keep an editorial eye over the work I wasn’t doing directly, reinvesting a portion of each negotiated fee into the business and adding resources as necessary. But without a lead management system for writers and another for clients, I would have a difficult time creating the synergy needed to pull it off.
Regardless of what you think about global warming, the sales climate has definitely changed. You can’t use aggressive sales tactics to bully your customers into submission anymore. However, through lead management, you can develop a better understanding of your clients, and then use that understanding to take your business to the next level.