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Leading the Way: Information is the Foundation for Better Leads

Quality over quantity is an age old saying. But the adage is often useless when it comes to actually making an impact on your business. When it comes to sales leads, quality is what it’s all about. But the question is really how we choose quality over quantity.

This post describes how you should add to your lead information and data over time to turn them into the sales opportunities that will make a real difference to your business.

Knowing Me, Knowing You: Target Customer Profile

No doubt we are in the midst of the information age. We are now incomprehensibly, indescribably reliant on information. Information is the key to the modern world and to deriving sales opportunities from your leads. A little data gathering can deliver the information you need to guide where to put your effort and focus.

Your lead generation process should be built on a foundation of solid, primary base of information to which you will add as you learn more about your prospect until they become a sales opportunity. Amassing unqualified leads and then sorting through them steadily may seem like a decent plan, but it really is not. Every moment you spend with a prospect that is never going to buy – for perfectly acceptable and knowable reasons – is time wasted.

The information you need to build this base of information starts within your own company.

You need to know:

    – Target audience, demographics, psychographics if possible, and their potential brand loyalty
    – Your own message about your own products and services. Who they could be used by, under every eventuality and why.

You need to know both your business and your own target customer profile inside and out. This is the foundation of information upon which you can build quality leads.

Implementing a process of sourcing leads from a solid foundation of information will make your pool of prospects more focused and of better quality.

Effective Communication: Interact & Add to Your Base

So what’s next?

Ask yourself: “If I could read the mind of my leads, what would I want to know next about them?”

Think of this like a pyramid – you know the potential customer has ticked all the boxes for the base layer, the primary information, and now you need to decide what makes up the second layer.

When you get to asking these additional questions, it needs to be done through open and honest discussion or online interaction that gets right to the point and communicates your messages effectively and efficiently.

You don’t want to waste time, and really, neither do they.

Relationship and Deduction: Get Granular to Expose Priorities

On the very top of the pyramid, you’re now building a relationship to ensure your prospect becomes a valuable sales opportunity and spending time deducing just how valuable they will be.

Timelines, future needs and budgets are often good subjects to expand upon at this point in your questions. You may have covered this in earlier stages of information gathering, however delving in deeper will create a clearer picture of just how much priority and opportunity cost to dedicate to this potential customer.

Summary

Quality matters so much more than quantity when it comes to sales leads. If you put in place the right processes and templates, you can ensure you build up the useful information over time. Start building your information base before a prospect is ever contacted, and continue to add to it with every interaction with your organization. Do this, and you’ll begin to convert and retain like never before.

Guest Author

Sean McPheat is a renowned sales expert and advisor who has appeared on CNN and Sky News and in news media outlets such as The Guardian and Forbes. Sean also heads his own Sales Training specialist company MTD Sales. You can connect with Sean on and on Twitter.