How to avoid screwing up your leads!

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

Ok.  I know someone will tell me that I should be more professional and should have titled this post something gentle like “Ways to improve lead conversion.”  But this concept needs an attention-getter.

Too many times my firm has been tasked with generating leads only to see them get pushed to the corner without proper attention.  To me a lead is gold.  It’s an opportunity to build a new relationship with a new prospect.  For one of my clients, a new client could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions of dollars) in revenue over the potential multi-year duration of the relationship.  So what could be more important than jumping on new leads?

Nothing!

In fact, did you know that 13% of all inquiries buy in the category they inquired about within the first 90 days?  And 19% buy within 180 days.  Overall, 45% of all inquiries will buy within 12 months.  If you attend to your leads, you should be able to sell a good percentage of that 45%.  And for most businesses, that means tons of repeat business, growth and profits.

So here’s how to avoid screwing up.

1- Make sure everyone (telemarketing, customer service, fulfillment, the receptionist and especially the sales staff) knows about the lead generation effort.

2- Discuss what you expect to occur once a lead comes in.  Will letters be written?  Mailed?  Will brochures be mailed?  Will sales people call to qualify the leads?  Emails be sent?  How should the receptionist treat the newcomers?  To whom will she transfer the calls?

3- Execute the plan!  Why go through so much trouble and expense to generate leads only to drop the ball once the prospect has raised his or her had screaming “I might want to buy from you!!”?

4- Review what you did.  Did everything go smoothly?  Did the brochures get out?  Did the sales team make the calls?  Send out emails?  Set appointments?  Make sales?!?

5- Results?  How many leads turned into appointments?  How many appointments turned into proposals?  How many proposals turned into sales?  How many sales yielded repeat sales?  Measure it so you can improve everything next time.

Now back to my headline…

I’ve seen so many lead generation effort fall flat on the follow-up.  I know you’re probably thinking that’s nuts.  But time and time again, organizations get overwhelmed with day-to-day problems that it becomes hard to focus on the fresh meat.  Don’t let your next marketing campaign suffer a similar fate.

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