article | March 3, 2012
Lead Generation Best Practice Follow-up – Avoid the Call of Shame
First let’s examine the problem. It’s painful to be afflicted with ineffective LeadGen calls. After engaging a company’s website, prospects are often rewarded with scripted and unimaginative follow-up. Here are some classic Calls of Shame:
3rd Down and a Cloud of Dust
We have all seen NFL teams that lack imagination. Observing Lead Generation teams execute unimaginative follow-up is a throwback to the Marty Schottenhiemer led Kansas City Chiefs of the 1990’s.
Schottenheimer excelled in coaching the defensive side of the ball, but largely ignored the offense. His offense was laughable. When faced with a ‘3rd and Long’ the Chiefs offense would line up in a double tight-end set and run a 270-pound bruising tailback nicknamed The Nigerian Nightmare right up the middle for a gain of 3 yards. Third down and a cloud of dust was the predictable result. It didn’t seem to matter that 1st down conversions were almost non-existent. Schottenheimer willed his teams to bluntly pound a path to success. His offense was inept because he didn’t adapt.
Lead Generation teams operate no different when pounding out follow-up calls that are out of synch with best practices. Adapt to work smarter.
Balanced Approach – Leveraging Lead Generation Best Practices for Follow-up
Warm the Call – Gather knowledge on the contact by reviewing their company and industry through 3rd party data sources, website search and LinkedIn. Identify their main product/service offering. Review past activity reports of their website visits and content downloads. Think through their likely challenge.
Familiarity vs. Expertise – Don’t worry about being an expert. Deep questions that challenge you are the perfect opportunity to propose a meeting to discuss further with the real expert — the sales representative. It is okay to say “I don’t know” when the questions go deeper than knowledge. Basic knowledge and natural non-scripted delivery is more than enough to be successful.
Bring New Value – The LDR must go above and beyond what an automatic nurture path can provide. Value must be brought to the table in every interaction. Delivering value:
Give the Prospect a Sense of Control – The key purpose is to engage in discussion. Interactions should not be pitches but an opportunity to explore their own needs. Ask what their thoughts are and if they believe a concept could apply to their company.
Build Off of Activity History – The Prospect has already revealed to you some of their preferences, as well as concepts that were interesting. “I saw that you were interested in ‘X.’ I actually have some more material on that topic that I think specifically applies to you.”
Develop Natural Conversation Talk Tracks – People can sniff out a scripted caller. Rip the scripts up. Invest time helping your LDR’s develop conversation ability through exercises and feedback.
Engaging High-Level Contacts – High-Level contacts are bombarded with requests for their time, so initiating engagement requires use of a few key concepts to overcome their hesitance:
These calling best practices will set your team on the right path and help you avoid the Calls of Shame category. Respond with your favorite Calls of Shame, and additional suggestions for calling practices
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