What is Lead Generation

 

Lead generation is the process of acquiring leads through marketing to convert them into paying customers. It’s when a prospective customer enters your sales pipeline for the first time and starts the journey towards learning more about each other.

There are many ways that companies start relationships with their customers. Starting with the awareness of your offer and sharing what makes you different, the relationship that upon nurturing well can last a lifetime.

Why do we need to generate leads?

Generating leads is important because it helps companies can better focus their efforts on the right kind of customers. Sales teams have a wide range of roles to fulfill – prospecting customers, nurturing relationships, and converting sales.

Being able to identify who will need their offers, and afford to make that decision will mean a huge difference. From knowing what is a good and bad lead, companies can save thousands of dollars in marketing expenses, sales team hours, and overall team morale.

How do we generate leads?

With the rise of the internet, online and social media has changed the landscape of lead generation. Prospective customers are more educated now than ever. From checking reviews from previous users, reading about your company’s status on industry reports to even reading direct comparisons with your competitors, customers need a lot of information before making a purchase.

A combination of on the ground activations, great content, and online campaigns can generate leads. From compelling blog posts, special events, or webinars to eBooks, once a customer has given a significant amount of time and shown enough interest to give their contact details, they become a lead.

What makes lead generation difficult?

While great leads exist, so do bad ones. Pursuing bad leads may even be worse than having no lead at all. One of the biggest reasons that lead generation is hard because it can be either very expensive or incredibly time-consuming.

For leads to be good, they must have accurate, relevant, and up-to-date data. They also need to be segmented into high and low priority and followed throughout their journey in the sales pipeline.

Improving the lead generation system

Lead generation is a tough business. Making sure the lead generation process is efficient and effective needs more than just a one-off set up process.

It’s a combination of marketing and sales working together to paint a clear picture of each customer. It requires continuous refinement of the buyer’s persona, understanding the customer lifecycle, and refining the nurturing process. All of this can be possible only with the right foundation of CRM data.

Your partner in lead generation

While the journey to generating leads may be difficult, companies don’t have to do it alone. By partnering with sales enablement platforms like Hey DAN, companies can utilize their consulting services to analyze opportunities throughout the sales pipeline.

Hey DAN also does data entry, clean up, and management services, which are essential to making sure that your company gets not just quantity but also quality leads.

 

What is a Sales Qualified Lead?

Every type of sale starts with the same thing – a lead. Leads are prospective customers that have shown interest in your product or service. Leads are generated through a variety of efforts conducted by both marketing and sales departments.

However, not all leads are made equal. From hot leads, cold leads to everything in between – there are many ways to classify a sales lead. But there’s one kind of sales lead that every business spends their money to get a hold of- a sales qualified lead.

What is a sales qualified lead (SQL)?

Sales qualified leads are prospective customers that have undergone assessment by both marketing and sales departments. These are the people or businesses that not only have the potential to be customers, but they are also those who are most likely to convert with less effort. Often, these leads are those who already have needs for your product or service.

After being tagged by marketing, the relationship with customers is taken care of by the sales team. Customers who have decided to speak to your company’s representatives then move up the buyer’s journey. While it may not mean immediate opportunity, sales teams will be able to identify their potential and begin the relationship that will nurture them into a purchase.

The value of a sales qualified lead

The value of a qualified lead goes beyond just the initial acquisition period. Customers that inherently find value in your product or service are more likely to remain loyal and repeat their purchases.

A qualified sales lead also gives companies insights on how to better connect with their existing customer base. Qualified leads preferences reveal many things. SQL’s who avail competitor’s products give you clues into what things matter or don’t matter to their purchase.

To stay ahead, companies need to provide consistent and relevant value to their customers. Through learning more about who needs their offerings, companies learn how to give better products or services to match their ever-changing needs.

Nurturing your qualified sales leads

Companies have thousands or even millions of potential customers. However, the bountiful global economy also entails a lot of competition. It’s becoming more and more important to nurture every possible qualified lead to conversion.

Every industry will have its metrics for sales leads. But what is universally applicable is the need for continuous growth and consistent relationship management. A qualified sales lead is nothing with a proper CRM system to stay engaged with your customers.

With the help of CRM enablement platforms like Hey DAN, companies have the opportunity to not only track leads at every stage of the sales funnel but to spot new opportunities to grow their customer base.

From data entry, management, and clean up to profile updating, pipeline tracking, and various other consulting services, Hey DAN has the expertise to take your qualified sales leads and turn them into life-long customers.

How To Keep Your CRM Data Clean

Your company’s CRM is a treasure trove of information. A combination of prospective customers and existing relationships, the effectivity of CRM systems will mean the difference between thriving and surviving. Great CRM keeps both the management and their sales teams aligned. It should be a centralized system that makes sure companies will never miss out on opportunities. It’s a powerful tool unless your data is all wrong.

In a webinar by DiscoverOrg’s CEO Henry Shuck, he revealed through a study that bad data cost companies approximately 550 hours and as much as $32,000 per sales representative. If you’re not taking the time to maintain your CRM system’s data, it doesn’t matter how much resources you’ve spent. Good campaigns with bad data don’t convert customers. They waste money.

How common is flawed data?

According to Salesforce, 70% of CRM data becomes unusable and obsolete every year. Customers change with time; they move houses, change jobs, and get married. The list goes on.

To realize the maximum value of your CRM investment, you need reliable, accurate, and up-to-date information. To have this, you have to do two things: make sure that the data entry process is flawless and do routine cleaning of your existing data.

Why Data Entry & Hygiene Is a Problem

A common problem that sales teams experience is that they don’t have enough time to do all the administrative aspects of their job. The study says that of over 2900 sales representatives worldwide says that admin activities use up 66% of sales representatives’ time on average. These activities are more often than not unrelated to their essential core function – selling.

Sales representatives are also people; they have limited capacity that a company must manage effectively. Salesforce’s State of Sales report says that sales representatives only have 7% downtime while on the job. With minimal breaks between engagements, sales reps regularly have their plates full. Sales teams are prone to not only having flawed data but also high chances of burned-out staff and high attrition rates. High turnover rates with delayed data entry can lead to wasting company acquisition resources and loss of institutional memory.

Finding A Better Solution

Instead of using your sales team’s valuable time to do the CRM data maintenance, you can outsource this to integrated systems like Hey DAN. Data automation through sales enablement specialists can not only assure you that your data is timely and accurate, but they can also improve the context of your relationship.

In just a single recording, Hey DAN is a customized voice to CRM solution for all your data capturing and hygiene needs. From the first time you speak to a client to the automated follow-ups, you’ll have a range of expert assistance for your CRM maintenance needs. From data clean up, mining, and management, you’ll not only save your team’s energy; you’ll also be gearing yourself for sales success. If you’re not confident in your company’s data, CRM enablement partners like Hey DAN can help you get there. Book a demo with us today.

3 Key Stages of the Customer Life Cycle

Sales is more than just closing a deal. Great salespeople build entire relationships with their customers that span decades. Like any relationship, customers will be loyal to companies that are willing to nurture them.

Customer Life cycles vary for every company depending on the nature of their business, their products, and their services. There are three key stages that every prospective customer in every industry goes through before they become customers.

The Three Key Stages of a Customer Life cycle

Attract

The Attraction stage of the Customer Life cycle is a joint effort by the marketing and sales departments. In this stage, companies either reach out to their customers through campaigns or create avenues by which interested customers can find them.

It’s a combination of education on what their business can do for their customers and how it fits their individual needs. Besides having a great product, it’s also about how comfortable a customer is associating with their brand and directing customers towards physical or online channels where they can avail of the product or service. It also utilizes social proofs such as endorsers, reviews, or testimonials.

Engage

Once customers know about your products and services and where to find them, the next step is making the purchase. Ideally, companies should always follow up with customers afterward to make sure the purchasing processing is up to standard – quick, easy, and painless.

The engagement period is also when customers give their verdict on whether or not your company’s products or services are worth the value you are charging. Should your customers have any issues, this should be reported back to teams in charge to improve the experience.

Retain

After the initial happy purchase, the next step is keeping them happy. Companies spend a lot of resources convincing customers that their product or service is worth it. Nurture your existing relationships encourage repeat purchases that will cost less than you find new customers.

How To Nurture Your Customers In Every Stage

Before you can reach the stage where you can expect customers to be loyal to you, you need to earn your customer’s respect and trust. But how do you that? You should be consistent. Each stage requires a seamless passing of hands between various departments within an organization. Customers should always feel like companies are speaking to them in a singular voice through each stage of a cycle.

Making Sure Your Brand Is Consistent

Having a clean, updated, and accurate data in your CRM system will mean the difference before loyal customers and those who will jump ship the moment a better offer comes along. Sales enablement platforms like Hey DAN help make that consistent voice a reality. Hey DAN makes sure that your data is not only clean through their data clean up and management services, but also analyze opportunities and follow-up for you.

Never miss important moments. Always be there for your customer.

KPIs: Lagging vs Leading Indicators

The sales process takes a village. Nurturing relationships with prospective clients require multiple, well-coordinated touch points, and strategic engagements that pass several hands. With this, there will be a multitude of targets from several people before a sale is closed. How does one tell how effective their sales activities and engagement are?

What are Key Performance Indicators?

Key Performance Indicators or KPIs are metrics used by organizations to determine if their business goals succeed during a set period. With every company having their version of success, they will also have unique targets that can accurately determine if they are doing well or need to improve in the ways that matter to them.

Leadership and sales teams use Sales KPI to track the effectiveness of their sales activities within a company. While there be a myriad of ways to manage sales performance, there are two major categories that all metrics fall under – lagging indicators and leading indicators.

Lagging versus Leading Indicators

Lagging Indicators are performance metrics that rely on historical data. Some metrics under lagging indicators are monthly, quarterly, or annual sales data, deal closing rates, and withdrawals. They are the best starting points for measuring the effectiveness of old sales activities versus older, established practices. These indicators are most important for long-term, strategic changes.

While Leading Indicators utilize forecasting and using mostly real-time metrics such as sales pipeline status, and customer lifecycle value. They also include the data on prospecting new clients such as contact tracing, presentations, and proposals. These are the data that sales teams on the ground need on a daily and weekly basis. These indicators are most relevant for sales teams to make tactical changes quickly.

The Importance of Both Indicators

When both types of Sales KPIs are inaccurate, it can lead to tension. Management can be giving unreasonable targets that are not backed up by historical data. Sales leads will not be able to defend the number of resources necessary for their sales targets to be feasible. Both lagging and leading indicators are necessary to a holistic view of a businesses’ sales goals. They are two sides of the same coin that give both management and sales leaders clarity on how to proceed.

After properly defining sales metrics, the next challenge for companies is to make sure they are being tracked, managed, and refined. When data is improperly segmented, not updated regularly, or lost, it causes a lot of issues with reporting. One way to improve the Sales KPI tracking experience is to outsource the data entry process. By outsourcing the time-consuming administrative work to dedicated providers like Hey DAN.

Hey DAN offers a range of solutions to make sure your sales data will be accurate, updated, and transparent. From cleaning outdated, duplicate or incomplete data, organizing unstructured data to creating target lists, and identifying target gaps, their data specialists will work with your company’s unique sales tracking needs to create the ideal customized workflow.

How to Spot a Rising Sales Star

How To Spot a Rising Sales Star

 

Great salespeople don’t just happen. They are a combination of natural affinity to sales and the right environment to succeed. In a sea of job hunters and aspiring salespeople, how do you spot a rising star that will take your team to the next level?

Active Listener & Empath

Everyone knows how to listen, but to listen effectively? That’s a rare skill. Most people listen with the intent of replying. Because they have a goal to close deals quickly, many salespeople fall into this trap and make it hard to form a genuine relationship and connection with your lead.

Outstanding sales representatives will know how to read the conversation. They’ll be able to hear what customers want from your product or services. They’ll know how it will fit into their lives. Empathetic salespersons can also give valuable feedback to your product teams about how to improve it.

Great Communicator

Sales require meeting various kinds of people, one after the other. Salespeople need to blend in when meeting their prospective clients. From coffee shops to board rooms, they have to know how to adjust their situation.

You can tell when a person knows their stuff when they can easily explain complicated things. Excellent communicators can adjust their language, tone, and energy with what the conversation demands. Great salespeople can speak to everyone from the staff to the CEO without losing their attention.

Networker

Sales go beyond just closing a deal. It’s a process that requires relationship management that sometimes lasts a lifetime. After meeting a client for the first time, salespeople need to remember little details that show they care – birthdays, anniversaries, coffee preferences.

Trust takes time and consistency to build. Salespeople know that it’s not just about who you know, but who you continue to have a relationship with.

Resilient

Anyone who comes from sales knows that everyone goes through difficult times. Dry spells are part of every seasoned salesperson’s book of experiences. During periods of uncertainty, exceptional salespeople view it as an opportunity. They’ll look hard times as drivers to do and be better.

Great salespeople can see the silver lining in every situation. They know that tough times don’t last, but tough people do. No matter what happens, their next sale is on the verge of happening.

Once you find these traits in a sales team member, you’ll know that this is a person who will be an essential part of your team. After hiring the best possible people, the next challenge for every company is to give them everything they need to succeed.

Salespeople spend 66% of their time working that isn’t related to their primary function. Sales enablement platforms like Hey DAN rid them of time-consuming responsibilities such as data entry, expense tracking, and note-taking – leaving room for the things that matter.

Don’t waste their talent and their time doing tedious administrative work that someone else can do. Make sure that your salespeople stay at the top of their game and focus on what they do best – selling.

Sales Pipelines and Sales Funnels: What’s the Difference?

Sales pipelines and sales funnels, together with sales and marketing, is probably in the “Top 5 Most Interchangeable Terms Because They Kind of Mean the Same Thing”. It’s easy to see where the confusion stems from, as both describe the flow of a prospect in a sale. But what makes them different from each other?

What is a Sales Pipeline?

A sales pipeline is an established set of stages in your sales process that a prospect moves through in order to become a customer.

The Anatomy of a Sales Pipeline

Though it may vary from company to company, every sales pipeline should have these stages:

  1. Qualification Stage: this is the stage where sales people determine their prospects needs, capacity and intent to be a future customer;
  2. Meeting Stage: as it suggests, reps and prospects meet to discuss if a possible business relation can be beneficial to both parties;
  3. Proposal Stage:  a formal and detailed quote (product or service, cost and duration) is sent to the prospect;
  4. Closing Stage: at this point, prospect and rep make final negotiations, if any, and signatures are put on the dotted line. Congratulations on signing a customer!

What is a Sales Funnel?

As the name suggests, the sales funnel looks like – a funnel. Wide at the top and tapering as you go further through the stages, a sales funnel tracks the number and conversion rates of prospects going through the sales pipeline. It is shaped like a funnel because, as the prospects go through the stages, not all will decide to buy or become a customer in the end.

What’s the Difference?

The main difference between pipelines and funnels is in what they monitor. Pipelines mainly monitor the number of deals in each stage, at any given time. This is useful to sales people as they can see if they can hit their predetermined quotas. Funnels on the other hand track the conversion rates for each stage in the pipeline. As an analytic tool, it becomes useful as you determine weak points in the pipeline – as in, where your deals usually fall through – and make corresponding adjustments in the future.

Still confused? A trick to avoid confusing one over the other is to picture pipes and funnels –  pipes can be straight tubes that carry water from one point to another while funnels are wide at their mouths and get smaller towards the end. So with this in mind, sales pipelines carry the prospect from the beginning and towards the end become customers, while funnels start with a lot of prospects but gets “filtered” towards the end as they become customers.

Whether you are using pipelines, funnels or both in your CRM, keeping your data accurate is key to creating meaningful reports and accurate analysis. Hey DAN combines technology and AI into a Voice-to-CRM solution that greatly reduces data input errors which results in accurate databases, all the time. Experience the difference by firing up your funnels and pipelines today.

Maximizing Time – Improving Sales

People to people meetings, and coordination and most of all, SELLING – clearly eats up a lot of energy.

As the saying goes, you should always be 150% mentally and physically present when you meet with clients.

A simple hi – hello can really mean much to your target market and it is very important to be there in the moment when it actually happens. Conditioning the sale is an art in itself, you can’t be too slow, and you can’t surely rush it. Clients are sensitive and they feel every bit of intent in your body language if you look at them as just numbers you want to close. Most prospects do not like that.

So being there 150% in every meeting takes a toll in someone physically and most of all mentally. Most of the time you’d feel exhausted after a whole day of meeting/s – yeah there are clients that take a whole day to meet while they feel you out and see if they can establish trust and build a relationship.

What do you think you would be able to put in your CRM at the end of the day? Probably you’ll wait till tomorrow and just entering your data and trying to remember what happened in the meeting and be able to assess when the next follow up would be, or do you close the sale in the next meet. Most likely the data you would be able to put in will just be 80% complete if you really are good and lucky to remember everything.

Why not just record the meeting, or better yet do voice recordings (memos) for you to be able to get the most important parts of the meeting and have someone else enter it to your CRM? Listening to it on your own and putting in the details into your system will still eat up an hour or more perhaps. Personal Assistant – probably not cost-effective if this is the only thing they do for you.

This is where data entry service companies are available for you to tap into. More so there are companies that are just focused on CRM Data Entry. They understand the policies and complexities different CRMs have.

With such service providers, you are assured that

  • Security and Privacy – CHECKED!
  • Data Entry – ACCURATE.
  • Turnaround time – FAST!

Wake up and review your data the next day and plan the next course of action in closing the sale. You save time, and your energies are always refreshed making you a more effective Sales agent.

The Pharmaceutical Industry and CRM

The Pharma Industry

Medicine is big business. From $390 billion in 2001, the pharma industry has seen tremendous growth and was valued at $1.2 Trillion in 2018. By 2023, global spending on medicine is projected to reach $1.52 Trillion. The pharmaceutical revenue for North America in 2018 was pegged at 48.9%, while China has seen the highest growth rates in recent years.

The pharma industry is also responsible for the research and development of new and better medicine. The task for marketing these products also falls under their responsibility and this is where the sales team steps in.

The CRM Industry

Would it be a surprise to know that CRM is now the biggest software market in the world? Don’t be, because it is. It is projected to reach $80 Billion in revenues by 2025. This can be attributed to new trends emerging and merging with the CRM space that includes social media, mobile apps and voice technology and AI. 2019 saw increased mobile CRM use which was due to the fact that a lot of companies were adopting cloud based CRM solutions, which allowed their sales reps to access the system from anywhere with a plethora of devices. Sales and marketing departments benefit the most out of CRM software – and ironically, customer relations come only third on the list of departments that use CRM.

When worlds collide

The pharma industry is a gigantic place to navigate – sales or otherwise, and without the necessary tools, tracking your customers and products could prove more than a handful. With a trillion-dollar industry at your doorstep, wouldn’t it be natural to have every bit of an advantage right at your disposal? Taking a slice out of the pharma pie will be daunting, but don’t fret; recent advancements in CRM software technology provides the perfect solution for this gargantuan task. Voice technology cuts down the time your team spends on administrative tasks, like data entry and gives them more time to track down and close a sale. Arm your team with an efficient and reliable voice-to-CRM services. Hey DAN is an advanced voice-to-CRM solution with a unique combination of technology and intelligence that is both fast and efficient. The sales rep just needs to speak into their devices and let Hey DAN do the rest.

Voice-to-CRM and the Pharma Sales Pipeline

Keeping your pipeline busy

With so much sales to be closed in the pharma industry, your pipeline should always be growing – voice-to-CRM ensures just that. Quickly access customer data and know exactly when a sale is closed – and reload your pipeline instantly.

CRM systems ultimately aim to improve sales performance by streamlining its processes.

The art of the follow-up

Easily recognize which client needs a follow-up and create schedules that work. Voice-to-CRM gives you better leverage of your time plus getting  up front information already in your CRM by the time you are ready to work on it.

This gives you more time to do what you do best, nurture those leads and close.

Pharmaceutical clients should be handled with precision thus understanding their schedules and interacting at the right moment increases the chance of making the sale.

Laser focus

One benefit of having an intelligent voice-to-CRM system is the amount of time you save – which can then be repurposed for sales activities. Reps will have more time to focus on selling by freeing them from data input duties. All the freed up time can be used creatively to get a bigger slice of that pharma pie.

You will not believe how diverse accounts would be and each will have its own strategy to close. Getting all your points in line fast and efficient will give you that edge in closing that sale from your competition.

The sheer size of the pharma industry cannot be taken lightly. Taking advantage of the latest trends in CRM technology will at least give you a chance to keep abreast with your competitors. Get with the times and take advantage of what technology and services available to you to be able to perform better in the highly competitive pharma industry.

The Information Gold Rush

When you hear the word “mining”, the mind often conjures images of people in hard hats and carts filled with ore under a hot dimly-lit mine. It’s a cumbersome, yet rewarding process that involves a lot of digging and sifting, and digging, and extracting and dig… – you get the picture. Data mining shares a lot of similarities, but instead of tunneling through a mountain or burrowing beneath the ground, analysts excavate and examine heaps of information stored in data warehouses and process it into meaningful reports for the end-user, like sales teams and managers.

The Process: A Quick Run-Through

Data mining starts with identifying data source. Let’s take your CRM database as an example. The information is housed in a data warehouse, which could be a local server or a cloud-based solution. This raw data is then organized and run for analysis to search for different patterns like purchasing behavior, web searches, social media interactions and so forth. The output is refined through a series of rule revisions and data queries – similar to processing ore in traditional mining – until the data analyst uncovers the outcome he is looking for. From there, the sales team or managers can formulate a plan of action based on the interpretation of the findings.

Get with the program

So you want to integrate data mining into your system. It’s not as difficult as it may seem. You need not look any further than your current CRM. Most popular CRM packages offer data mining add-ons or may have third party solutions already developed for it. You may be pleasantly surprised that the feature you’ve been wanting to add existed all along, right under the hood of your current system.  Hubspot is a perfect CRM system that enables you to perform data mining capabilities with partners that are quite experienced and capable. With evolving  This ensures that your system grows in tandem with the needs of your business, so you wouldn’t need to make a drastic shift to another platform.

Conclusion

When implemented correctly, data mining capabilities can effectively move your business forward to the next level. That is why covering all the bases with a solid program is the next logical step to any growing operation. The insight gained from data mining can be tremendous for your business. It can save you money on costs, increase your ROI, and most importantly, keep those smiles stuck on your customers faces. After all, a deep knowledge of your client base will do your business no harm – you just have to keep on digging.