4 Tips to Turn Flight Delays Into New Business
Managing lead generation using your BlackBerry® device and a CRM application on the go
So often as a small business it is easy to get bogged down in the daily race to fulfill your existing obligations, while business development and lead generation can get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. If this sounds familiar, read on for some helpful tips on fitting lead generation into your workweek, on the go:
1. Make time for lead generation and prioritize your activities
Lead generation takes time and requires consistent follow up, but how often do you add that follow up into your schedule? Book the time same as you do your client meetings. Then capitalize on the downtime while traveling or between meetings to catch up on your follow up using your BlackBerry device.
“A common mistake traveling sales people make is taking the 30 minutes between flights to respond to new email rather than contacting their priority customers and prospects,” says Vik Naik, Vice President of Sales for Salesplace, a BlackBerry Alliance Member. “A sales person who is constantly on the go has a very different challenge than other traveling business people. Between the flights and taxis a sales person has to capitalize on small windows of opportunity during the day when their prospects are available.”
Naik suggests that putting specialized software on your BlackBerry device can help you organize your calls. “BlackBerry devices are great for ensuring a sales person is always connected, however a CRM solution like SalesNOW will also ensure that a sales person is always organized in order to capitalize on those windows of time.”
The tool can also be used when you're off the grid, says Naik. “The off-line capability of the SalesNOW BlackBerry CRM solution means the time on the plane can be spent organizing and identifying the high priority prospects, while the time in the terminal can always be spent actioning on the high-value business.” Qualified prospects can automatically be pushed to the BlackBerry device from the office so that they are ready for your next free moment.
2. Generate possible sources of new business and referrals
Warm leads are much stronger than cold approaches, so think about other sources who could refer business your way. First, think about the 80/20 rule in business that 80 percent of work comes from 20 percent of clients—are you making the most of this statistic? Make a list of your best clients and think about how well you're serving them—are there other services you could offer them? Could you ask them for referrals? Consider establishing an incentive program for referrals, and make sure every client knows the full extent of your services and that you're always looking for new business. If you send out a regular e-newsletter, consider adding a note that encourages readers to forward the newsletter to others so more people will know about your business.
3. Follow up on your leads at all stages in the sales cycle
Once you do have leads, follow up with them closely—there's nothing more tragic than quashing a potential client's interest with your (perceived) disinterest. And make sure that you follow up on new deals as well as ones that are about to close, says Naik. “When deals near the bottom of the funnel are close to closing, sales people tend to neglect the lead generation at the top of the funnel. It's important to always allocate enough time each week to all aspects of the sales funnel to ensure consistent sales results are delivered quarter over quarter. Based on the average sales cycle, the value of the average sale, and the typical close rate, a sales person can easily calculate approximately how many leads are required and how much time should be spent in lead generation activity.”
Try to find thoughtful ways of connecting with your leads. Even a simple gesture like forwarding an article that's appropriate to their business will help to keep you top of mind as they're making a decision—another thing you can do almost any time from your BlackBerry device.
4. Focus on the high-value leads
“Generating the leads is one thing, however ensuring that a sales person focuses their time on the high-value leads is another challenge,” says Naik. “Sales people by nature believe any lead is a good lead, which translates into significant time being wasted in unproductive conversations.” Naik advises that small business owners should make sure that their sales people have an ideal customer profile in mind.
“The best way to objectively assess the quality of a lead is to define the profile of your ideal customer, then classify how well your leads measure up to the set of ideal criteria. That way you can rank all your leads and ensure the 30 minutes waiting in the airport terminal or between meetings are spent on calling the best leads.”
Thank you to Vik Naik and the folks at Salesplace for the tips provided in this article. Salesplace is a BlackBerry Alliance Member providing Sales, CRM and Marketing solutions, including SalesNOW Solo for BlackBerry devices. For more information please visit salesnow.com.
Find more sales solutions in the BlackBerry Alliance directory.