By Jenny Vance, an EO Indiana member and president of LeadJen.
The end of the year is quickly approaching and most entrepreneurs are focused on closing sales. With that in mind, we’ve developed a list of New Years resolutions designed to help entrepreneurs increase sales and boost the bottom line in 2012.
Resolution #1: Invest in validated prospect data. Entrepreneurs are risk-takers and go-getters, so it’s not uncommon for them to jump into lead generation with both feet. One important step that’s often overlooked is the importance of good data to the success of lead generation. Some may think that investing in clean data is too expensive or takes too long. However, our recent study shows that sales reps who work with validated data achieve nearly four times more qualified appointments. In addition, reps who don’t work with validated data waste about US$20,000 in productive sales time annually.
Resolution #2: Look for customers on social networks. Most companies today have a presence on social-networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. However, few companies are using these networks for prospecting. Every day on social networks, people are indicating a need for products and services. By listening and responding to conversations immediately and in a genuine way, you can significantly increase sales.
Resolution #3: Jump start sales by investing in prospecting support. Entrepreneurs usually are the rainmakers when it comes to sales. Their passion for the business makes them a natural at sales. However, as the company grows, entrepreneurs are pulled in many directions and sales prospecting may not be the best use of the entrepreneur’s time. If this is the case, consider investing in outside prospecting support that will jumpstart sales without adding to your headcount.
Resolution #4: Turn your marketing events into sales opportunities. Traveling to attend seminars or exhibit at trade shows can be costly. Maximize this investment by arranging sales meetings to take place while at the show. At a recent trade show, my company arranged 40 sales meetings over three days, and the added cost was minimal.
Resolution #5: Invest in technology to measure effectiveness of prospecting. Entrepreneurs love to measure their success. There isn’t time or money to continue efforts that aren’t producing a return on investment. The same is true for prospecting. Look for technology that can measure meaningful success metrics that go beyond things like call attempts and calls logged. Seek technology that gives you the ability to categorize calls in a way that helps you understand where you are successful and why, and allows you to try different scripting and calling strategies.
Jenny Vance is president of LeadJen, a B2B lead generation company that uses unparalleled data and insight to drive prospect interactions that convert to sales. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @jennyvancyindy.