A 1997 study by Cahners Publishing of 40,000 sales inquiries showed that only 11% of people bought within 90 days of their initial inquiry. About 17% bought between 4-6 months after their inquiry. And another 25% bought 6-12 months after inquiry. Almost 50% took a year to make a purchase. Do the math and you realize that those who end up buying 90 days after their inquiry represent four times more sales opportunities than shorter-term prospects.
You’ve heard it said that an effective lead handling process must build-in future follow-up. Touching a prospect periodically over 18 months after they show up on your radar screen has several essential benefits:
- Greater likelihood of being there when your prospect is making a buying decision.
- Developing recognition of your products/services and company.
- Maintaining your database accuracy as your learn of personnel and address changes.
- Informing prospects of special promotions, awards, announcements, new products and other information that may trigger a response.
- Each prospect communication can build credibility and leave a positive residual affect; thereby strengthening the impact of future communications.
A common mistake is leaving lead follow-up to the sales force. Sales people primarily communicate on verbal channels (phone and appointment). While very powerful, the sales force may not deliver enough frequency and coverage. To achieve the repetition lead follow-up requires companies may have to use direct mail, broadcast fax, broadcast email, and public relations.
GoldMine is the perfect tool for lead follow-up. The sales force and marketing share and update the same database. Their individual efforts compliment the others; leading to better overall results.
Do your sales and marketing people meet regularly to discuss ways to improve their cooperation via the database? Does marketing advise sales about campaigns? Do the sales people capture the information that is vital to targeted marketing campaigns?
If you want your prospects to remember you and buy from you by reaching them periodically for a longer time frame, GoldMine is the perfect tool.