For anyone in the B2B, sales leads management world, it’s always a good time to think about what you can do to better serve your clients. You may have previously read about thinking outside of the box, especially when faced with challenging sales campaigns. One way to do that is to provide excellent Business Intelligence, also known as “BI.” One way to define Business is “the ability to transform raw data into meaningful and useful information for business purposes.” **
Any lead development rep should strive to provide Business Intelligence (BI) by probing for additional information regardless of whether or not you’ve obtained a lead. In fact, Business Intelligence can provide the most benefit when you do not get the lead.
Here’s the trap - you hear rejection by the prospect, you thank them for their time, and you hang up. Instead of ending the call at that moment, try asking some exploratory questions about why the prospect was not interested. You don't know what you may learn until you simply ask. Any information you obtain and share with management allows the campaign to be modified and tweaked, addressing the BI you gathered. And don’t forget – LISTENING to a prospect’s response is just as important as asking her the questions!
Another potential benefit of listening and asking questions is that a non-lead may convert to a lead! Yes - you may find that the contact had misunderstood or not fully realized what you were proposing. For example, the Sales Manager on the other end of the phone may not have realized you were offering a free, no-obligation software trial. When he realizes the trial is free (after you ask for his reason for saying no), he jumps on it. If the once-confused prospect now completely understands why you called, the conversation may turn around!
Another example: You’re told “no” when asking a prospect about one of your proprietary sales tools. Ask “OK then, how are you currently handling your leads?” Listen carefully to the response - you might learn your prospect actually does not have a sufficient solution in place! By asking, letting the prospect answer, and listening to their response, you just might lead them to your solution.
Samuel Smiles once said,
“We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do.”
Any Lead Development Rep will probably be seeing more and more call guides involving suggested probing questions. Use these to learn from failure and ensure future success in your Lead Generation and Market Research efforts!!!
Do you have any BI gathering tips? Let us know!
** (Rud, Olivia. 2009. Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-39240-9.)
Alan Beck - Alan has been a Lead Development Representative with Acadia since 2010, and a Team Leader since 2012. He’s great at asking those probing questions!