Lead generating by the Belgian Romanian Chamber for more business in 2010

Romania: Lead generating by the Belgian Romanian Chamber might be something for you?

"Lead Management is a term used in general business practice to describe methodologies, systems, and practices designed to generate new potential business clientele, generally operated through a variety of marketing techniques. These processes are designed for business-to-business and direct-to-consumer strategies. Lead management is in many cases a precursor to sales management and customer relationship management. "

Why do so many organizations struggle with the lead generation process?

The Chamber is the initiator for the experts, engineers and suppliers. We asked our experts, engineers and suppliers to identify which step of the "lead management process" is their top challenge.

We got the following response on the question: Which step of the lead management is your top challenge?

Generating leads = 48%
Qualifying leads = 17 %
Nurturing early stage leads = 17%
Managing the hand-off to sales = 5%
Closing the loop with sales = 14%

The lead process also suffers from "perception" and "communication issues", not only between marketers and salespeople, but with prospects and customers. Doing business today isn't just about hitting targets and sales goals: it is about people.
How can the chamber help you?

The chamber generates lead for the experts, suppliers and engineers. Two people are screening the market to identify and they write tailor made leads that come with a short memo on the lead event and a company profile with contact data. Easy....

Let's look at the different steps of lead management. You should do something with the leads that are generated by the chamber..

Lead Management: Three Key Steps

These three steps are the basis of a lead management system:
1. Refine the lead definition
2. Qualified leads based on universal lead definition
3. Close the loop via Sales and Marketing

To understand the process of moving from effective thinking about leads to effective implementation, let's examine the essential elements of each step.

Step One: Refine the lead definition

In the case of experts, engineers and suppliers, we worked with the sales and marketing teams to develop a "lead definition" based on criteria such as:

• Spoke with a decision maker
• Met a potential at a cocktail or networking event
• Meets our ideal customer profile
• Clear business need for what we sell
• Plans to evaluate in three months or less
• Purchase decision in six months or less
• Ready to speak with sales rep within two weeks
• Gathered information fits our target profile

Leads that fit these criteria are considered "sales ready" leads, while those that do not qualify are held back for additional nurturing by the chamber.

We define the criteria for each expert or supplier at the start of the membership.

We agree upon a lead - generating system in an intake that takes about 2 hours. The experts and suppliers provide us with a "profile" and after that we understand their business we put the lead generation in practice.

Step Two: Qualified Leads - What do we do after that we received the leads?

Through qualification, you consolidate and centralize inquiry information so that your team can see where more knowledge is needed.
Qualification using a LD allows you to:

• Pick up the phone and qualify prospective leads - call them
• Determine a clear hand-off procedure for every lead
• Measure sales pursuit on every lead

One significant part of lead qualification is its potential to help you identify "early leads," clients with whom you need to develop a relationship, and "slow-growing" leads, clients whose needs or awareness of their needs don't yet match your services but, in time, could be an ideal fit. You will also identify and qualify leads that will generate business in a short period of time.

Step Three: Close the Loop with Marketing and Sales

Getting live feedback on leads from salespeople is vital to making sure they are acting on leads. It also yields better lead refinement.
Feedback must be structured around an open discussion with attendees. Initial meetings can encourage communication by asking sales and marketing teams to respond to a few prepared questions, such as:

• Have you been satisfied with the quantity of leads that has been generated?
• Is there anything unique about the leads that went into the sales pipeline or were closed?
• Do database notes contain enough information to prepare for the next steps?
• What other questions would help us better prepare for the next action?
Other elements that should be incorporated include:
• Timing - Meetings should be consistently held, at least once a month. With some experts, we started with a weekly huddle in their company to get the system rolling, and then shifted to biweekly as the system took root.
• Status - Where are the leads currently in the sales process? Which leads have been incorrectly qualified and need further follow-up? Which leads need to be handed back to Marketing for additional nurturing?
• Review - What's working with the current process? What still needs to be improved? What wins can be celebrated with both teams?

Feedback meetings can meet with resistance from team members and be a challenge to organize or facilitate.
However, the reward for this extra effort is improvements in all aspects of the sales and marketing partnership, as well as greater results.

"If you install a working feed- back system then you will be successful."

The Chamber is the initiator for the experts, engineers and suppliers. The experts, engineers and suppliers have to execute the follow up taking into regard the above steps.

The management will play a crucial role and feed back to the team that executes and feed back to the camber are the keys to continuation and success.

Dipl. ir. Freddy M.E. Jacobs, president
Camera Imobiliara Belgia Româna