It’s that time of year again, when we all start thinking about the people and things in life we’re truly thankful for. Many of us are thankful for our friends, families, and co-workers (which, in the case of small businesses like ours, are like an extended family). Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that bring us the most happiness. So why not do something special for your sales team this year and generate quality leads they’ll love and be thankful for?

Thank YouA huge complaint from many sales teams is that marketing isn’t providing quality leads for them to call upon. So, how can your marketing team ensure the prospects they are providing to sales are qualified? Here are some great tips on lead generation to help your sales team be as successful as possible this holiday season and beyond.

Tips to Delivering Quality Leads

Provide the Right Information

To deliver quality leads, you first have to make sure you know what your sales team is looking for. Talk to your colleagues and find out what information they need in order to do their job well, and then get it for them. Some teams only need a name, email address and/or number while others might require their location, company name, or even specific information about their lifestyle.

Once you know what information your sales team needs and is interested in, create landing pages, forms, surveys, etc. to capture the needed data. Keep in mind, when in doubt, more information is always better. Any information that can help a salesperson understand and/or relate to the lead could help to close a sale.

Provide Accurate Information

This may seem like a no-brainer, but once you’ve collected information from a lead, be sure to verify that the information is correct. Sometimes leads give false phone numbers, emails or names, and this will make it difficult and frustrating for your sales team to get in touch with them. Make sure your lead is from a real person.

You don’t have be an investigative reporter. You can usually tell pretty easily if an email or phone number is real. Double check your lead contact information so you aren’t sending a lead with the name of John Doe, with a phone number of 555-555-5555, and an email address of [email protected] over to the sales team.

Provide Contacts within your Target Market

Once you’ve verified that John Doe is in fact a real person, and can be reached at the phone number and email he provided, you still need to make sure he’s actually within your target market. If John Doe is a student at the local college and you’re targeting Marketing Professionals or CEO’s then you might not want to pass John’s information along.

Before you put together any Marketing campaign, make sure you define your target market and buyer personas. This will help you determine whether or not a contact is within that group. The last thing you want to do as a marketer is provide your sales team with contacts that cannot be sold to because they do not qualify for whatever it is they are selling.

Provide Qualified Leads

Even though you may have a ton of information for a lead, and they fit the target market perfectly, they still may not be ready to talk to sales. In order to make sure you generate quality leads, you should make sure they are in the right part of the sales funnel. Otherwise they may need to be nurtured a bit more, and sending them to your best salesperson isn’t going to change where they’re at in the sales funnel.

Brainstorm with your sales team to put together a way to evaluate incoming leads to help determine when a lead is officially qualified. Some marketing tools provide lead scoring capabilities to track prospect’s activities and notify the team when they are at the right stage of the sales funnel.

Provide Background Information

Have you been talking or emailing with a lead for a few days now? Did the lead provide you with any personal information that might be helpful for the salesperson to know? It’s important to share as much information as possible with the sales team so that they don’t have to start all over again.

By arming the salesperson with all the information they need, you can prevent them from having to repeat any of the questions you’ve already asked, and the lead will certainly appreciate not having to repeat his/herself. You’ll also be saving the salesperson time, so they can potentially close more sales.

Bring on the Thanks

So take a little extra time with your lead collection. Ask more questions. Dig for more details. And most importantly, be sure to pass along everything you learn in the process to your sales team. We guarantee they’ll be thankful for the extra effort and your sales-marketing alignment will be that much stronger.

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