Stop Treating Your Sales Leads like Morons

Stop Treating Your Sales Leads like Morons image sales leadsStop Treating Your Sales Leads like MoronsInternet-empowered consumers can spot promotions that insult their intelligence in less than a second.  If your message is full of hype and unbelievable promises, they will be disgusted like the woman who found a chicken head in a McDonalds Happy Meal given to her child.

Although some promotions are – shall we say – stupid, they are popular for the sake of the humor.  If you have a high paid advertising agency you may get by with humor that insults the brainpower of your customers.  The rest of us benefit from communicating with respect for the prospective customer.

Consumers Demand Minimal Commitment

One of the egregious ways that companies treat their sales leads as morons is to jump into the process of selling to every prospect (or suspect).  Trying to close the sale with new sales leads is insulting and disrespectful.  If you have done your marketing automation effectively, your CRM is full of fresh sales leads.  The first goal with these new relationships is to disqualify them for a sales presentation.

Yes, you read it right.  Your sales team will be most effective if you let your CRM integrated email marketing communicate to the sales leads that are not yet ready for an appointment.  When these sales leads are nurtured with useful information, it helps them feel recognized, appreciated and in full control.

Person-to-Person Still Closes Sales

Marketing automation can be threatening to some sales organizations.  The new standard recognizes that consumers spend far more time on email, websites and social channels.  However, person-to-person communication is, by far, the most expensive form of sales lead contact.  Lead nurturing delivered in email campaigns is far more welcomed by the buyer because it leaves them in the driver’s seat.

The lead nurturing email campaign needs to be educational rather than promotional.  When your email campaign program is integrated with an online CRM, you can set up dashboards to monitor the activity and guide the sales process for your company.

Break Down Silos in the Sales Process

Not too long ago marketing was primarily charged with the task of furnishing sales leads to the sales department.  In those days, the sales department was responsible for closing the sales leads.  It was pretty clear cut.  The two departments spoke a different language and maintained their own silos of information.  That simply does not work anymore.

A sales process that does not respect the consumer’s demand to be in charge is failing…or at least losing market share.  This ignorance of consumer demand can kill the business all together.  The most important entity in the company is the consumer.  Without them, the reason for a company’s existence implodes.

This statement may be a bit insulting to the companies who persist to conduct a sales process that tries to close every sales lead.  Sorry if it steps on your toes.

Marketing Automation Respects the Buyer

Moving the sales process away from person-to-person contact for the majority of sales leads sounds like the complete opposite of showing respect, doesn’t it?

When the sales lead is qualified for an appointment, according to a pre-described set of questions, the sales process is similar to a decade ago.  There is no need to change your approach to those increasingly rare sales leads.

Listen to your sales team when they say that all the sales leads are poor quality because they are really saying that the vast majority of them are qualified for a sales appointment.  Out of respect for the rest of the sales leads, a lead nurturing email campaign gives them what they want…education and a relationship with you.

It all gets back to what advertising giant, David Ogilvy said on page 96 of his 1963 ground-breaking book “Confessions of an Advertising Man”:

“The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything. She wants all the information you can give her.”

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