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Five Ways VARs Can Nurture Sales Leads Into Paying Customers

Five Ways VARs Can Nurture Sales Leads Into Paying Customers

So you bought a list of leads in your target market. You may be tempted to simply begin calling those leads and trying to sell your products. Not so fast; there are many ways VARs can nurture those leads, improving your chance of obtaining a successful closure. To get started, I've got five tactics to help you weed out the uninterested leads while allocating resources to the good ones -- thus preventing your sales force from wasting time.

The five tips include:

1) Send periodic emails – If a VAR has an email marketing system they can set up an email nurturing campaign that will sendperiodic emails to a selected list. Each email should have a specific call to action, and when the lead acts upon a set number of calls it can be passed on to one of the VAR’s sales reps. There are many email marketing systems available, ranging in price. A good, simple, choice like Constant Contact is an excellent beginner’s option.

2) Offer information – When sending out nurturing emails, try to provide links to whitepapers and other educational information rather than focusing on the features and capabilities of your product. Generally, interesting emails are read and obvious sales pitches are deleted. Following this tip will help ensure your emails land squarely in the former category.

3) Host a webinar -  Webinars are a great way to demonstrate a VAR’s expertise in a specific subject to a mass audience. They are also a great way to make leads more interested in a VAR’s offerings and give you an excuse to follow up with lead.

4) Use a telemarketing service – When a VAR would like to assess the value of a lead list quickly, they can use a telemarketing service to contact the leads prior to sending them to sales. They can also set up appointments for the sales team to follow up with a particular lead and determine what the needs of that lead are. That way, the sales team is better prepared for the call. While telemarketing services can be very useful, we recommend only using them after the lead has received a couple of emails from your nurturing process. That way, the lead is better prepared for the call as well.

5) Send a survey - The information gathered in a survey can be used to determine a lead’s interest level, what their pain points are, and how you should start the conversation. The information gathered in a survey is also a great ice breaker for telemarketers or your sales force to use when calling a lead for the first time.

The steps above will help you gauge the interest of each lead and help warm them up before the sales teams begin calling. This will save time and energy and help make your sales teams more efficient and effective.

Bob Darabant is VP of Astaro Americas. This monthly guest blog is part of The VAR Guy’s annual sponsorship program. Read all of Darabant’s guest blog entries here.

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