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The higher the quality of your prospects, the faster you can close sales. Easily said, but not so easily done. The big question I hear all the time from VARs is, How can we improve the quality of prospects we’re generating from our marketing and sales efforts?

Kendra Lee

January 31, 2013

3 Min Read
How to Fill Your Pipeline with High-Quality Prospects

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The higher the quality of your prospects, the faster you can close sales. Easily said, but not so easily done. The big question I hear all the time from VARs is, How can we improve the quality of prospects we’re generating from our marketing and sales efforts?

When you have better-qualified prospects, they enter the sales pipeline further along. They have identified a business issue they need to address and why it’s important to them. They’ve probably even done some research about you. Suddenly your sell cycle is smoother and your cost of sales decreases.

Many VARs think only of cold calling as a method for bringing in new business. The challenge with cold calling is that when you’re truly cold calling–calling a list of people who don’t know anything about you, have never heard of you–it can take 10 hours of calls to schedule one appointment. The prospects who agree to an appointment don’t know you. Unless a skilled sales rep demonstrates significant value and creates a memorable impression, a high percentage of those appointments are frequently cancelled or forgotten by prospects. All this drives your cost of sales through the roof while your pipeline suffers.

You don’t have to rely on cold calling as your main new business development strategy. Consider the following attraction strategies as approaches you can use to develop awareness and to drive a higher volume of new business opportunities. In my new book, “The Sales Magnet,” I call them the Attraction Trifecta.

1. Personal Attraction Strategies
One of my favorite strategies for attracting new prospects is to take a personal approach, making a prospect feel like you’ve reached out to connect with them one-to-one. This might include tactics such as email, personal letters, postcards and warm calling. The objective is to make your first contact with prospects much more personal.

2. Digital Attraction Strategies
Prospects have embraced the digital world and you can leverage it in your new business development activities. Your prospects look to the Internet for input on issues they are addressing, the latest technology they should be thinking about and what their peers are saying. Digital Attraction Strategies leverage the Internet to reach prospects who are already out there looking for information and answers. You can use social networking, e-newsletters and your company blog as your first point of contact with these prospects.

3. Collaborative Attraction Strategies
Many lead-generation tactics are hard to do on your own. Think webinar, local events, PR and even alliance partnering–they require more resources than you can bring to bear, so you avoid them. The challenge is that while these strategies may be resource-intensive, they are also some of the most productive. The solution is to collaborate with vendors, colleagues and others in your office to execute them so you can reap the rewards of the higher-quality leads they generate.

When you employ The Attraction Trifecta, you no longer have to rely on cold calling to fill the funnel. Combined, these strategies become awareness campaigns that allow you to cultivate a stronger relationship with your prospects, increase your connection ratio and decrease your cost of sales.

While cold calling has its place when your pipeline is dry, you’ll find you’ll get higher-quality leads if you have nurtured prospects before reaching out. And when you do, suddenly you’re calling from a whole different perspective with more insight into prospects’ behaviors, interests and needs.

To read two free sample chapters of my new book, “The Sales Magnet,” or take the Stop Cold Calling Quiz, visit www.thesalesmagnet.com.

Kendra Lee is a top IT Seller, Prospect Attraction Expert, author of the newly released book, “The Sales Magnet,” and the award winning book, “Selling Against the Goal,” and president of KLA Group. Specializing in the IT industry, KLA Group works with companies to break in and exceed revenue objectives in the Small and Midmarket Business (SMB) segment.

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About the Author(s)

Kendra Lee

Kendra Lee is a top IT Seller, Prospect Attraction Expert, author of the award-winning books “The Sales Magnet” and “Selling Against the Goal,” and president of KLA Group. Specializing in the IT industry, KLA Group works with companies to break in and exceed revenue objectives in the Small and Midmarket Business (SMB) segment.

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