My husband is an avid, no a rabid baseball fan. He has been a fan of Bill James, the baseball statistician for years reading every annual report and watching James’ recommendations play out each season. Long before the Red Sox hired James as a consultant, my husband used the James scorecard to evaluate players and teams. The Baseball Scorecards tells you what skills should be a priority for a particular position, what positions are most critical and what actions management should take to maximize their team’s talent. What if you had a scorecard to define the actions your sales team should take when given an inquiry?
You can increase the inquiry to sale conversion rate if you are honest and realistic about how you qualify, score, prioritize and assign inquiries. In last month’s newsletter we talked about the definition of a lead versus an inquiry:
Inquiry: someone who has expressed interest in your product or service
Lead: an inquiry that has been contacted profiled and qualified according to defined criteria based on your company’s target customer.
To become a lead, the inquiry must be examined against a set of specific criteria. The score the inquiry receives as a result of this examination determines:
if the inquiry becomes a lead
the action to be taken
Divide and conquer is the mantra here. Not all inquires become a lead nor should they. Deciding what action to take is part of that initial qualification that either turns an inquiry into a lead or moves it to another step in the process. Your first priority should be to divide your inquires into categories. You do this by “scoring” each inquiry against specific criteria.
We recommend four criteria that are general enough to accommodate your specific sales strategy. The four criteria include:
Need/Solution: How important is your solution or product to the prospects company and their goals? Is it a must have or a nice to have? Is it critical to their profitability?
Purchase Time Frame: Does the prospect have a firm purchase date? Is it 30, 60, 90 days or 6 months?
Budget: Has a budget been established and funded? If not, where will the money come from?
Strategic Value to Your Company: Could this be a large reference account? Is this an account that will open a new targeted vertical market? Will you win the account from a competitor?
Catalytic Management specializes in business performance and growth
including sales effectiveness, customer service and business
process improvement for companies
in New England and the Northeast.