I was just catching up on the lead-gen blogosphere and read a great article from my boy Mike Damphousse on getting leads during the holidays. I know you’re hearing right now from your people working the phones, “No one’s picking up their phones.” I’m not completely oblivious; there are less people in the office right now. However, there are some important things to remember about holiday lead gen:
- The first week in January isn’t much better. This is for a different reason; it’s CRAZY when the new year starts. If the sales (inside, appointment setters, etc.) are wigging out now, think about the beginning of January when everyone’s hair is on fire.
- 2010 planning either happened or is still happening. If you haven’t converted leads, you need to right away.
- People who are in the office may be more open to chat. It’s slow, so you may have a more captive audience. This is key.
- You’re paying to have people working the phones. Use them!
So, here’s the problem: your connect rate is your conversion rate and your guys are dialing like crazy and no one is answering. That hurts, I know. We just ran a Connect and Sell session and got zilch. (For reference: we average 20 connects per session on it.)
If connect quality is up (the people you will speak to may be more engaged) and connect quantity is down, marketing can help solve this problem. What you don’t want is for sales to just dial for dollars; instead you want to provide them with the intelligence to call the right people.
Who should they call?
- Download = Call them: People do download from home, but they don’t download from vacation. Instead of piling through leads generated over the last month, only work on recent downloads. Think about this type of buyer: He or she finally has time to research, and more importantly, he or she is working.
- Web site Activity = Call them: Marketing automation can help you here. Remember, one of things you want to do is get sales working on the right thing. Leaving voice mails for out-of-office prospects is not one of them. You need the functionality to tell sales “this guy is working and BTW, currently checking out your solutions.”
- Email: Many people shut email down because they don’t get the type of big responses they get during non-holiday times. Instead, turn it on, and even the five to 10 people you get to react will help sales calling people who are working.
- Lower your scores: If you do use marketing automation, have dedicated phone resources and aren’t connecting as much, then don’t wait until they hit your steady-state “this guy is ready for sales to call” scores. In the holiday season, download and Web site activity should trigger a call.