9 Career-Strengthening Moves to Make This Fall

By Kate Lee | 09/06/2016 | 10:53 AM


If your job has left you to feeling stuck in a rut, try these steps to improve your professional life.

Summer vacations are over, and the year is more than half gone. Perhaps all those best-laid plans for boosting your career this year have yet to come to fruition. You may be feeling as burnt out as those last colorful leaves before they surrender to the fall.

If this frustration sounds familiar, it may be time to shake things up and move your career in a new direction. 

Here are 9 tips to propel your career forward:

Make the move

Unhappy at your present job? Identify the reasons. If you are frustrated with your current role but you like your company, inquire about other positions within the organization. If none are a good fit or there are no growth opportunities, consider looking elsewhere. Use every job-search tool available — network, use a recruiter, and/or work with an executive search firm.


There is tremendous opportunity in networking. Studies have found that the majority of jobs (between 49% and 80%) come about through networking. But networking offers more, like professional development and sage advice. You will make important connections that could bring you career success.

Create your own brand

A quick search on the internet or on LinkedIn and you will see: You are a brand.  First impressions are now inclusive of your Facebook page, personal blog, your Instagram page, and Twitter account. Even your pins on Pinterest say something about you. Keep that in mind as you are posting personal content.

Work for someone intelligent

Working for someone smart brings you more knowledge and critical thinking skills simply through observation and example. You will grow professionally and personally.

Plan for the 12-24 months

Don’t get hung up on making a 10-year career plan.  Look for the right opportunities, be flexible, and know the direction you are headed in, but don’t lock into a long-term direction.

Use your muscles

Research has found that a regular exercise routine can make you happier, smarter, and more energetic. Being fit can also brand you — giving a perception of health and stamina that signifies effectiveness, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Explore something new

Is there something your colleagues are doing or using that you aren’t? LinkedIn or Twitter for example. Take the leap!

Find your balance

Research by the Families and Work Institute found that 55% of respondents reported feeling overwhelmed by everything that is on their plate. A different survey found that 80% of people are unhappy with their work-life balance. Look at your priorities and keep only what matters.

Take a vacation

Have leftover vacation days? About 57% of Americans don’t use their vacation time. Taking time off is important to both your mental and physical health — and it has a positive impact on work performance and productivity.

How to Gain C-Suite Support for Content Marketing

By Kate Lee | 07/11/2016 | 9:21 PM

Content marketing

Speak the language of the C-suite with metrics, statistics, and facts that articulate content marketing’s impact on customer acquisition and sales.

Garnering C-suite support for your content marketing program can be a challenge. Your team knows that your strategy is working by evaluating a series of metrics (e.g., shares, website traffic, email click-through rates), but executives do not always understand the value of such measures. It is almost like marketers speak another language.

So, how do you articulate the value of content marketing in a way that your executives will understand and support? Think of it this way: It is like that scene in the movie Jerry Maguire, only it is your boss demanding, “Show me the money!” The C-suite wants to know the cost to the company and the dollar amount of the return for any marketing initiative you undertake. To gain C-suite support you need to quantify success in terms of customer acquisitions and new sales.

Don’t focus on the secondary results, or “soft” metrics like per-post Facebook engagement. Talk the C-suite’s language, and demonstrate how your content marketing efforts led to new customers and what those customers are worth to the company’s growth and success.

Report these six metrics to win C-suite support

  1. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): This is the total average cost your company spends to acquire a new customer. Basically, what your company spends in marketing costs, divided by the number of new customers it produced.
  2. Marketing Percentage of the CAC: This is the marketing department costs divided the costs of the sales and marketing costs to get the marketing percentage of overall cost per new customer. The figure demonstrates if more is going into the sales team or the marketing team to produce the current result, and the lower the percentage the better.
  3. Ratio of Customer Lifetime Value to CAC: This figure estimates the total value that your company derives from each customer versus what you spend to acquire them.
  4. Time to Payback CAC: This estimate demonstrates how many months it takes for your company to earn back the CAC it spent acquiring your new customers.
  5. Marketing-Originated Customer Percentage: This is where you look at all of the new customers from a set time period and determine what percentage of them started with a lead generated by your marketing team.
  6. Marketing-Influenced Customer Percentage: This figure highlights all of the new customers that marketing interacted with at the time they were still just leads.

Additional selling points for content marketing

Content marketing can make a big impact on your company in terms of spreading brand awareness, growing your audience, and helping form business relationships. Though these benefits are difficult to quantify, try using the following statistics and facts to articulate the value your program could have in a way your executives will understand.

  • As any business knows, it is essential to be where you customers are, and they are online. Your competitors know this, too. In fact, a recent study indicated that that 77% of companies surveyed, across industries, had plans to increase their digital marketing budgets in the coming year.
  • The B2B buying process has evolved, and now content is an essential tool for generating and nurturing leads. Reportedly, 88% of B2B marketers use content marketing as part of their programs, with lead generation (85%) and sales (84%) being the most important goals.
  • Blog content has long-term value, as what you post today may continue attracting traffic months (or years) from now.Your posts last indefinitely, outliving more traditional marketing methods, such as a print advertisement in a magazine.
  • Consistently publishing quality content can earn your company a reputation as a thought leader in your industry. The public will come to trust your company as a respected source of knowledge, and you’ll begin forming relationships with readers who want to know more about your products and services. People buy from companies that they trust and feel connected to.
  • Content marketing will get you more bang for your buck. Results are not instant, but, with time, you can actually reduce your marketing expenses while increasing your reach and growing your business.
  • Content marketing is a valuable business intelligence tool. By distributing content through social media platforms, you not only engage potential customers, but you get their feedback and learn more about their needs and wants.

What you need to know about content marketing during the slow season

By Kate Lee | 07/06/2016 | 9:19 AM

Content marketing

Keep producing consistent, quality content during your slow season to win business when things pick back up.

For everything there is a season, and that expression holds true for most businesses. When is your slow season? That depends largely on your industry and customer demographic, but you are probably well aware which quarter your sales historically drop off and your customer engagement wanes.

The calendar is heading into a slow season for many companies, especially those in IT systems or the capital equipment marketplace. In these industries, the highest sales volumes typically occur in the first two business quarters. That is when potential customers are busy creating and implementing their new business initiatives and doing the bulk of their purchases for the year.

By third quarter, many businesses are past purchasing and have moved into problem-resolution mode. They are trying to meet the goals they set and stay within budget. Purchasing capital equipment is not on their agenda, at least not for now.

Should you head to the beach during that quarter? Should you ditch your current content marketing strategy because it suddenly is producing fewer leads? According to  Daniel Pastuszak, marketing expert and head of customer acquisition and lifestyle marketing for LinkedIn, absolutely not. 

Tips for effective content marketing during a slow season:

Provide content that demonstrates your expertise and positions you as a thought leader.

Don’t write a sales pitch! In your blog posts, offer helpful advice in an easy-to-digest format. For example, explain a recent case study or trend within your industry in a way your customers will understand it. This type of content keeps your customers engaged with your business, so when it comes time to purchase, they remember you as a trusted source of knowledge.

Share customer testimonials and their backstory.

Nothing is more memorable than telling a great success story. Now is the time to share reviews that demonstrate how your company expertly fulfilled customers’ needs, exceeded their expectations, or provided solutions to a tough challenge.

Cover events attended by your company’s management or leaders.

This can make for a great post on industry-related news, and can support branding the company as an industry leader. Again, there’s no need to include a sales pitch. You’re simply demonstrating how your company is among the movers and shakers in the industry.

Cultivate content that is fun, like customer contests.

Get customers involved with some friendly competition, and show them you are listening by sharing their responses. For example, one of Fronetics’ clients, a wholesale food distributor, recently challenged food service customers to create a meal using ingredients purchased from the wholesaler. They were then asked to post photos of their entries on social media with the contest hashtag. Fun and engaging, this contest captivated the customers’ attention and had them sharing content (and the client’s name).

Write for your (very specific) audience.

That means knowing who they are and what peaks their interest. If creating engaging content has proven to be challenging for your business, consider outsourcing your content creation, or your marketing program all together. Your slow season is the perfect time to boost the quality and consistency of your efforts to engage your audience and expand your outreach.

All businesses experience seasonal cycles, but that does not indicate your sales or content marketing strategies are in need of major revisions. Slow periods are the perfect time to take a deep breath, revitalize, and strategize. Use this time to research information you need to accelerate your efforts for the next hectic season of sales.

Use data to drive your content marketing strategy

By Kate Lee | 06/27/2016 | 10:06 PM

Data driven content marketing

A data-driven content marketing strategy will increase your program’s success and help win the buy-in of executives.

What is driving your digital and content marketing strategy? If all you have in the driver’s seat are a few creative ideas, you may find yourself frustrated with the results and struggling to garner support from the C-Suite.

Different audiences respond in different ways. The question is, where are your potential new customers and what are they looking for? Data plays a critical role in uncovering those answers.

Data can guide you to:

  • Define your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? When can you best reach them?
  • Select the best topics for your content. What information do they need, and what will peak their interest? What do they seek most from the content they read?
  • Narrow down a distribution strategy that will produce results. Which digital and social media channels will best reach your audience, grow your business, increase sales, and improve your brand’s reach? Which networks are your competitors using most?
  • Gauge what is working and what is not. Reportedly, 53% of digital content marketers don’t measure their success. No wonder so many content marketing programs fail. If you don’t take the time to determine what content is resonating with your target audience, how will you know what to produce in the future?
  • Tune into market changes. As your business evolves and customers’ needs change, data serves as your compass to remain competitive in an ever-changing marketplace.

A data-driven strategy will win over the C-suite

In addition to giving you a foundation for your strategy, data can garner the support of the C-suite, which you must have in order to fund your marketing program. A plan based simply on ideas, no matter how brilliant, will not appeal to executives who base decisions on data.

They want to see how your marketing plan provides answers to the needs of your target audience (potential customers) and what those customers are worth to the company’s growth and success. If your strategy aligns with data, they’ll be able to get behind every point.

Creating a data-driven strategy

Aligning your strategy with data takes some time and effort, but it is crucial to optimizing the performance of your content marketing program and winning C-suite support. Here are some steps to get started.

  • Analyze your reports, data, and interviews with stakeholders in the company about your target customer. Compile this information, and document the very specific demographic(s) you want to reach. Research the digital behaviors and patterns of this demographic.
  • Audit your existing content (or hire an expert to do it). Look at the substance, source, and performance of your most successful and your least successful assets. Are there changes you can make to your poor-performing content to improve it, based on learnings from your successful content and your audience research?
  • Plan an editorial calendar of future content based on what has been successful in the past. Sharing this information and seeking ideas from employees outside the marketing department can be a very valuable exercise.
  • Test the distribution channels and times that have been most successful in the past and that fit the behaviors of your target audience. Continually refine your distribution strategy based on your results.
  • Don’t forget to document your strategy! Marketers who put it in writing report success at significantly higher rates than those who don’t document their strategies.

By distributing the right content, at the right time, to the right audience, on the right channels, your content marketing program will reach its maximum potential.

The key to lead generation: stop pitching, start helping

By Kate Lee | 06/20/2016 | 10:26 PM

Content marketing

Trying to pass your sales pitch off as content will only hurt your content marketing efforts.

Do you think of your company's blog as a refreshing new way to highlight your products or services? Do your posts include verbiage like “one-stop-shopping,” “innovative,” or “industry leader?” Stop right there. Everyone you reach probably knows right away that you are trying to sell them something, and they will quickly move on.

As counter-intuitive as it may sound, being “salesy” will make potential customers look elsewhere, or run in the opposite direction — perhaps to your competition. The best way to win customers is to stop boasting about yourself and to stop trying to sell. Content that answers your customer’s needs is what will grow your business.

Nobody welcomes a sales pitch

Admit it: you tune out anyone that comes across as trying to sell you something. You get emails, voicemails, and social media updates with “information” that is really a not-so-cleverly disguised sales pitch. What do you do? Most likely you hit delete, or you do not read past the first sign of a sales promotion.

So you know deep down that “salesy” does not sell. Yet, according to a recent study of 500 global marketers from the Economist Group, many B2B content marketing programs are doing just that: promoting products throughout their content efforts. In fact, 93% of the marketers surveyed said they directly connect content to a specific product or service.

Customers see right through this trick. The same study found the majority of B2B customers are annoyed by pitches. In fact, 71% of B2B executives reported that content they didn’t like seemed more like a sales pitch than valuable information.

Focus on your customers to increase sales

So what should you content be doing? Rather than forcing your products on your prospective customers, take time to answer their questions. Be the expert advice they are seeking. You do this by:

  • Keeping content informative and educational. Your content should hold value for your readers.
  • Letting your content demonstrate market expertise. It should give the reader a favorable impression of you and your business. They should walk away thinking that you know what you are talking about.
  • Write as if you are speaking to a business peer. You are approachable and intelligent. Speak the language of the customer, and bring something new to the table, in terms of information.
  • Focus on topics and questions of crucial importance to your target audience. What do they care about or want to know more about?

The philosophy of content marketing is to offer help, to educate, and, at times, to entertain your target audience. This is accomplished by focusing on the customers’ needs and interests, not your company’s latest product. When you form this online relationship with your audience, you gain their trust and respect, and that is what brings in sales.

A Social Strategy Can Help Break Your Company’s Silos

By Kate Lee | 06/15/2016 | 9:26 AM

Social media

A cross-departmental social strategy can help facilitate company collaboration.

In your company, social media should be everybody’s business. It is time for your social strategy to include broader collaboration, breaking down your company’s silos. Here is why:

Though marketing departments like to keep tight control over access to social media, doing this can cost you. Such isolation can impact:

  • Brand awareness
  • The quality and diversity of your content
  • Overall customer engagement on social media
  • Customer satisfaction and trust
  • Insight into industry trends, so you stay ahead of the competition

The truth is, social media is bigger than just the marketing department. It can help gain insight into what customers need, generate sales leads, answer questions, and distribute valuable information to consumers. It impacts many different aspects of your business, so it makes sense to tap into departmental intelligence throughout the company.

Allowing access to the right people, across multiple departments, could actually facilitate the ultimate company collaboration. Your business can realize the full potential of social media use, and your customers get better service.

Tearing Down the Silos

Often a company has several silos in place: sales, customer service, new product development, and marketing are just a few examples. Historically these departments do not work together, and the sharing of information is rare.

But the digital age has changed the way business is conducted. Consumers are not only buying online, they are researching before they buy and asking questions about products or services through social media channels. In fact, one study found that social media is asserting itself as the primary customer communication channel.

Response time is also a factor to consider. One Harvard Business Review report found that the number of customers who expect a response through social media has doubled since 2013, yet seven out of eight messages to companies go unanswered for 72 hours. Why? Because the marketing department often needs to obtain answers from other departments in order to respond.

If you are ready to tear down those company silos, here is how you begin:

  • Define goals and identify who will be on your new social media team. Who is knowledgeable, articulate, and can handle social media needs within each department?
  • Assign social responsibilities to key individuals throughout your company, perhaps one assigned person per department. This can be effective and make one-on-one customer engagement manageable.
  • Clearly define the roles and responsibilities for customer service, public relations, marketing, sales, management, etc.
  • Marketing professionals are not typically trained to answer questions or complaints about service or product issues. Since the customer service department may need to handle several questions through social media channels, consider assigning more than one person within this department to provide a timely response.
  • Tap into knowledge from all departments to generate ideas, information, and data for informative, fresh content creation.
  • Keep your brand voice consistent by crafting guidelines for the style and tone for all social media interactions. Compiling a list of dos and don’ts is always helpful so everyone knows how to respond in difficult situations.

Today’s consumers are on social media and ready to engage. The question is, do you have a cross-departmental team ready to respond quickly and work collaboratively to meet their needs?

When to fire a client

By Kate Lee | 05/30/2016 | 10:39 PM

Firing a client can help you make way for others who better suit your business.

Letting someone go can be hard to do. But when it comes to certain clients, it Firedmay be necessary to ease them out of your business portfolio.

Fire a client? Who does that? Well, successful companies committed to providing the best service possible and maximizing their energy for future growth do it whenever necessary.

Let’s face it: We all have had all-encompassing clients with whom the payoff does not correspond to the hours spent catering to their needs. These clients just may not be a good fit for your business. Essentially, if what you give far outweighs the return, or if you struggle to meet your client’s needs and expectations, it is probably time to fire that client. You are not doing what is best for them (or you) by keeping them in your portfolio.

This may seem counter-intuitive to growing your business, and the thought of giving up hard-earned clients may make you cringe, but, in fact, it better supports your success.

Why? If you have clients who are overly demanding, temperamental, or requiring skills or services you do not wish to provide — especially if they do not pay you what you’re worth — perhaps it is time to cut ties to make room for new clients.

According to the Forbes article “4 Reasons to Fire a Client,” sometimes a business will discover that focusing on a different set of services is far more profitable than some other services they offer. So, the business focus shifts, and the client portfolio should shift with it.

Firing those ill-fitting clients allows time to acquire new clients who align with your top skills and practices, and who will pay you what you’re worth for them. Essentially, you set yourself free to work with those that can fully benefit from your services. And focusing your time on clients that fit your business model will better support growth and happy clients who recommend your services to others.

How do you decide?

You may have a client that comes to mind as you read this. You are always making adjustments to provide them the best service. You second guess yourself and your quality of work. Quite simply, the relationship is exhausting.

First, you should do a thorough audit of your relationship with this client.  Identify why the client doesn’t seem to fit your company’s business model.  Essentially, try and identify why your client’s needs and your company’s services do not seem to align.

Perhaps your business and theirs were once a good fit, but now you have grown apart. According to the Harvard Business Review article “A Consultant’s Guide to Firing a Client,” business owners typically learn exactly where they excel, and where they’d like to focus their attention, over time, so perhaps your focus has changed or grown. Maybe this client has never been a good fit, and hindsight is 20/20. Examine the entire business relationship from the time you first acquired the client, and document everything.

How do you fire a client?

Once you determine that you will fire a client, the approach must be done either by phone conversation or in person. Never leave a message, send an email, or text a client to accomplish this. You need to do it with tact and professionalism.

Discuss and illustrate the basic reasons why the client and your services are no longer a great fit for either of you. Recommend another company to take your place if you can, and thank them for the time you worked together.

You need to keep your company’s strengths in the forefront of what you do and the services you provide. Some clients mesh with your particular expertise, interests, ethical practices, and work style. Other clients will make you feel like it is a constant struggle to provide them what they need and deserve. Sometimes firing a client is the best thing you could do for both your business and theirs.

When to Contact a Lead (Hint: Earlier Than You Think)

By Kate Lee | 05/23/2016 | 10:33 PM

Leads and sales

Engage your leads early in meaningful dialogue to improve your chances of conversion.

Your strategic marketing plan is generating a steady influx of quality leads, so closing sales should be easy, right? Only if you are contacting your leads early enough in the sales cycle.

Leads become sale opportunities if they are approached like a garden. Care is needed from the start to cultivate and produce the desired results. So, when is the perfect time to begin nurturing leads? It is earlier than you might think.

When a potential customer first shows interest in a blog post, opens an email, or shares your company’s post on social media, this is the first point of positive contact. You needs to keep that contact going and develop it into a conversation. And we are not talking about starting out with a sales pitch, either. Leads become sales when they are cultivated and grown like a trusted relationship — and the earlier after first contact the better.

According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, most companies are not responding nearly fast enough to their sales leads. The authors audited more than 2,200 businesses and measured their response time to web-generated leads. While only about a third (37%) responded within an hour, the average first response time was 42 hours. Surprisingly, 23% of companies never responded.

Google and Corporate Executive Board’s white paper on lead follow-up offers some insight on why quick responses are so important. For one, a reported 35% to 50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. That is largely because today’s B2B customers are nearly 60% through the sales process before they first engage a sales rep. By the time you hear from them, they are close to buying and want answers in a timely fashion to make their decision.

So, how fast of a response is ideal? A study conducted by Franklin Covey found that contact ratios improve 900% if web leads had some form of contact by the company within five minutes of submission. Now, it is probably not possible for your sales team to act upon every lead with that kind of velocity, but it is vital that they utilize proactive sales strategies, rather than reactive.

Reactive is leaving a message and, if they hear back, responding to it. Proactive is going after the sale with confidence and commitment to engaging the lead in real dialogue.

Early dialogue: What it is, and what it’s not

Early on in the sales cycle, you are not pushing to close the sale, but rather you are building a relationship through conversations. You are creating dialogue, not a sales monologue. Be there first, be relevant, and be action-oriented, and your customers will rely on your solutions more often.

You begin this dialogue by asking great, open-ended questions, essentially taking the time to get to know the potential customer. This helps you determine what will best suit this prospect’s needs, and it builds confidence and trust and will very often help the prospect consider issues they may never have thought of.

When you get that potential customer thinking outside the boundaries of their initial issue, it provides a bigger opportunity for you to showcase how your services or products can solve several of the customer’s dilemmas. It is also important to consider your products or services in terms of how they benefit the customer; your presentation will then be customer-focused, and that builds trust and respect in the relationship.

There many moving parts to an effective lead-nurturing campaign, and often there are many steps required to cultivate those leads into sales. From the start of the sales cycle, your company should:

  1. Take the time to discover and understand the potential customer’s needs and wants first, then advise and offer information. Make the move to match and sell the appropriate solution your company can offer.
  2. Have the ability to listen and offer viable solutions. Your sales team needs to be well informed about the products, services, and solutions that they are selling.
  3. Your sales team must be able to follow up quickly, consistently, and with an open dialogue to turn leads into customers.

Studies show that the faster you begin dialogue with a lead, the better your chances of conversion into a sale. This means that when cultivating a qualified lead, you don’t want your sales reps to make one phone call and simply leave a voicemail.  You want real conversations to happen. If you don’t, your lead-generation efforts were for naught.

Should my business be on social media?

By Kate Lee | 05/16/2016 | 10:25 PM

Should i be on social media

In today’s digital world, it is amazing that many businesses, particularly those in the supply chain and logistic industries, are still questioning whether they should be on social media. The simple answer is yes — social media channels are the ideal place to brand, market, and grow your business.

Here are five reasons why your company should be on social media.

1.  Lead generation.

Sales teams can also use social media as a lead-generation tool. Social media takes the old marketing billboard and makes it a conversation, which is a huge benefit to businesses who use it well.

2.  Trust and thought leadership.

Though the results are not instant, the amount of time and marketing dollars you spend on social media pays off. How long will it take? That varies depending on your business and your sales cycle. But by distributing quality content and engaging customers through these channels, you eventually will establish your company as a knowledgeable, thought-leader in your industry. This creates a level of trust with potential customers, which is invaluable to securing the sale down the road.

3.  Brand awareness.

Social media not only builds your brand but can expand your content’s reach. Those who follow you and enjoy your content will “like” and share it, meaning their followers will see it, thus expanding your audience. This makes your reach virtually limitless, providing that your content is compelling, engaging, and worthy of sharing.

4.  Business intelligence.

Being on social media keeps you on top of the latest trends; it is a valuable business tool. You not only engage potential customers, but you can learn what they are looking for, what your competition is doing. It can also provide data that serves as a strategic compass to generate ideas and guide the direction of your business in the future.

5.  Talent acquisition.

You can find new talent for your company through social media, which gets you connected with qualified job-seekers and streamlines the search process.

Harvard Business Review surveyed 2,100 companies and found that 79% use or plan to use social media.  But, only 12% of those organizations felt that they were using social media effectively. The fact is unless you are using social media correctly, you will probably not see the results that you desire.

Content needs to be fresh, engaging, informative and sometimes entertaining. You need to post consistently and respond to questions that are posted by your readers. (You are creating a relationship, after all.) All of this may seem daunting, but the reward is a highly visible, respected, presence within the social media community. Your business can strategically reach a myriad of potential customers online, which as you know, can be a game-changer in its potential for growth.

Leads are not sales

By Kate Lee | 03/21/2016 | 10:39 PM

Cultivating a lead is just as important as finding it in the first place

If you have a solid strategic marketing plan in place that is generating a high volume of quality leads, tomorrow’s revenue should be almost assured, right? Not necessarily.

A lead is only worth as much as the effort your company puts into cultivating it. The next vital step is to convert those leads into new sales or clients. In other words, getting quality leads is only half the battle.

Your business grows through a steady stream of quality leads being nurtured and developed. If you have these precious leads in hand, it is vital that you also have a sales team that knows how to turn them into customers. If you don’t, that brilliant strategic marketing plan was a waste of valuable time and money.

There many moving parts to an effective lead-generation campaign, and often there are many steps required to cultivate those leads into sales. Your sales team should:

Conduct consistent, quality follow-up on all leads.

Committing to expedient and professional follow-up provides better conversion of leads into opportunities. This means that when cultivating a qualified lead, you don’t want your sales reps to make one phone call and simply leave a voicemail.  You want real conversations to happen. What works best is having someone whose only job is to reach leads in person, overcome objections (identify and present solutions that truly meet your clients’ needs), qualify them (determining whether a lead should move into the sales process), and facilitate any needed connection to your sales teams to complete the sale.

Realize that time is of the essence.

Studies show the faster you contact the lead, the better your chances of conversion into a sale. According to a study by Franklin Covey, contact ratios improve 900% if web leads are called within five minutes of submission. While your sales team may not be able to act upon a lead with that kind of velocity, it is vital that they utilize proactive sales strategies, rather than reactive. Reactive is leaving a message and, if they hear back, responding to it. Proactive is going after the sale with confidence and commitment to engaging the lead in real dialogue.

Target the best window of time to call leads.

This, of course, has many variables and will be relative to your particular business and potential-client demographic. But, one study suggests that Thursday and Friday offer the highest productivity in lead conversion, and the hours between 4 and 6 p.m. often produce optimum results.

Have the ability to listen and offer viable solutions.

Your sales team needs to be well informed about the products, services, and solutions that they are selling. They also need to remember that it’s vital to take the time to discover and understand the potential customer’s needs and wants first, then make the move to match and sell the appropriate solution.

Capturing successful leads is only the first step in generating greater sales revenue. Your sales team must be able to follow up quickly with proven fundamental steps that turn leads into customers.

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Elizabeth Hines

Elizabeth Hines

Elizabeth is a content strategist with 12+ years of experience in content development, branding, marketing, and communications. As the creative/editorial director at Fronetics, she oversees all efforts related to content and creative assets, including strategy design and brand development.

She has written extensively about supply chain and logistics, and has developed content strategies across a number of verticals, including the B2B space. Prior to joining Fronetics, Elizabeth worked at Boston University, Prospectiv, and Cengage Learning.


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