Qualifying Prospects at Speed
The Fastest Way to Mine a Cold List for Qualified Leads
An industrial component manufacturer came to The Alias Group with a list of over 2,000 sales contacts in a narrow market that they had no way of qualifying. The company had let this under-served segment grow cold and couldn’t determine either the current status or future potential of each contact. And as often happens, the company’s own outside sales staff had larger accounts and active business to attend to.
After a compressed onboarding process, Alias assigned one completely dedicated sales professional to the account. This salesperson personally phoned every contact on the list (several times, if necessary) to quickly determine which contacts were most likely not qualifiable and which had the most potential to become high-quality prospects. Good old-fashioned phone work in volume is still one of the most effective ways to qualify prospects.
One key to this project was the early cooperation and collaboration from the client company’s outside sales staff. As the project progressed, expanded, and evolved, the relationship became more and more interactive. As Alias delivered high-quality, qualified leads back to the outside sales staff, they in turn looked to Alias as a valuable ongoing resource.
The primary goal of the initial phase of the campaign was to qualify the best leads quickly and remove any that didn’t have potential to qualify. A “qualified” lead in this case meant one with high potential to convert to a sale and one with enough volume to warrant the attention of an outside salesperson. Those qualified leads were fed back to the outside sales staff for their immediate attention.
While lead qualifications are coming in and conversions are happening, there is another deliverable that The Alias Group is producing—market intelligence. The market intelligence that Alias supplied to this company was real-time information that could only have come from person-to-person engagement.
Because of this process, the client discovered competitor details such as market share and pricing trends that were a complete surprise. Even more surprising, the client didn’t know who their main competitor was in certain segments. They also detected a supply shortage at one of their competitors that allowed them to capture greater market share.
The outside sales team grew to appreciate how Alias could reduced the time it took to “get a foot in the door.” In effect, the Alias outsourced inside salesperson took “prospecting” almost completely off the company staff’s plate, freeing them up to take care of their priority accounts.
As market intelligence flows in, Alias then incorporates the most market-relevant knowledge into every conversation with customers in that market. The salesperson also shifted prospecting efforts to the markets where they were seeing the greatest success. Creating opportunities is as much about listening and responding in the moment as it is about crafting the right message before the call.
As trust grew between Alias and the client, the project expanded to a new stage that targeted three separate industries. Alias’ dedicated salesperson delivered 48 highly qualified opportunities across these industries, as well as setting up 10 in-person appointments for the outside sales staff in just three months.
As the relationship evolved even further, the company’s outside sales team members started supplying Alias with “wish lists” of companies that would be ideal targets to do business with. Alias then qualified those contacts for the outside sales staff by finding the right person to talk to and gauging their intent to buy.
While prospecting one segment, our dedicated Alias salesperson would naturally learn about other segments from the nature of the questions that prompt fruitful conversations. By expressing a genuine interest in understanding the product and the market, our salesperson could outline a complete competitive landscape. This opened up new lead generation avenues, new market penetration opportunities, and new sales tactics to close sales.
Still ongoing, this Lead-to-Qualification program continues to create new opportunities and close significant business for the client’s outside sales team. The long-term commitment from the client is forging an ideal partnership that has qualified over 75 active opportunities in the program’s most recent calendar year.