Companies entering their fourth quarter in a sales crisis mode can solve revenue and profit shortfalls by mining sales inquiries generated in the previous 12 months. If there is no database of these prospects, the company gets what it deserves.
Fortunately, most companies have a list of inquirers and leads, regardless of their qualification level. And most companies can sort their lead list into a group worth calling.
First Decision: whom to call?
If there are only a few hundred inquirers, call them all; if several thousand, then it’s time to segment the list. It can be segmented by:
- Product: shortest sales cycle, most likely to be bought, most profitable, etc.
- Inquirers who are qualified, but did not buy or are not in the pipeline already
- Inquirers who filled out the product information form (not just, “I wanna see that video”).
- Inquirers who visited your website more than once.
- Inquirers who have a time frame to buy (immediate need), etc. Give it some thought, and call only the most qualified.
Second Decision: Who will call?
Assign this to your salespeople and they will probably give you lip service. After all, they didn’t sell the people the first time around, or didn’t call them at all. Either way, it’s a losing proposition to have your people call them.
The answer: have a telemarketing outfit call them. Telemarketing companies love to call recent leads; the results are have a higher success rate than cold calling programs.
Third Decision: the offer!
Don’t think you can call people without an offer. Or, at the very least, have something new to say. “Thank you for your previous inquiry; we have something special for you!” No reputable direct marketing firm will take on the job without an offer; a good offer. Don’t be cheap. Remember, you’re in a crisis and you can be generous to the people who pull you out of it.
Ask for an Appointment!
Generally, one in ten raw new inquirers may agree to an appointment. Considering that these people have already inquired, and were qualified to have a need, have your telemarketing ask for an appointment at least five business days in the future. Get them to set the time, pass the appointment along to the right representative and let them change the time and date if they can't make it. Better to have an appointment and ask for a change than not have one at all.