Managing the Prospect Base

Report
CHAPTER
9
Developing and
Qualifying a
Prospect Base
Learning Objectives
• Discuss the importance of developing a
prospect base
• Identify and assess important sources of
prospects
• Describe criteria for qualifying prospects
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Learning Objectives
• Explain common methods of organizing
prospect information
• Describe the steps in managing the
prospect base
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Prospect, Prospecting, and
Prospect Base Defined
• Prospect: a potential customer that meets
the qualification criteria established by
your company
• Prospecting: identifying potential
customers
• Prospect base: is made up of current
customers and potential customers
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Importance of Prospecting
• Every salesperson must cope with
customer attrition:
• Customer may have a one-time need
• Customer may move outside the
salesperson’s territory
• Firm may go out of business or merge
• Sales may be lost to the competition
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Girard’s Ferris Wheel—Supply
FIGURE
9.1
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FIGURE
9.1
9-6
Prospecting Requires Planning
• Increase number of people who board the
Ferris wheel
• Improve the quality of prospects
• Shorten sales cycle by determining which
prospects are “qualified”
• Prospecting plans must be monitored
continuously for effectiveness
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Sources of Prospects
• Referrals
• Website
• Centers of influence
• Computerized database
• Directories
• Cold calling
• Trade publications
• Networking
• Trade shows and special
events
• Educational seminars
• Telemarketing and e-mail
• Prospecting by non-sales
employees
• Direct-response
advertising and sales
letters
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Referrals
• Prospect recommended by current satisfied
customer or one familiar with product or service
• Endless chain: ask contact who else could
benefit from product
• Referral organizations: facilitate
networking
• Friends, family members,
centers of influence: a person
who may have influence
on opinion leaders
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Lead Generation
See the
Website
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Lead Generation
See the
Website
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Directories
• Hundreds of business and industrial
directories available
• Many major trade associations publish
directories
• Be sure to use current copy or edition as
prospects shift firms; track people and
companies
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Popular National Directories
• Middle Market
Directory
www.dnb.com
• TrackAmerica
www.trackamerica.com
• Standard & Poor’s
Corporation Records
Service
• Thomas Register of
American Manufacturers
www.thomasregister.com
• Polk City Directory
www.citydirectory.com
• The Encyclopedia of
Associations
www.gale.com
www.spcglobal.com
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Trade Shows/Publications
• Trade shows and conventions: your company
may have a booth at key trade shows/expositions
• Trade publications: each industry has trade
publications that sales professionals need to read
• Join trade associations:
many salespersons join
trade associations to
gain access to potential
buyers
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Telemarketing
• Telemarketing: the practice of marketing
goods and services through telephone
contact
• To identify buyers and generate contact lists
for sales staff
• To qualify prospects
• To verify sales leads
generated by other
methods
• To conduct follow-ups
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Direct Response and
Sales Letters
• Direct response advertising: often features
inquiry cards or information requests via mail or
telephone
• Sales letters: send sales letters
to decision makers,
then follow up
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Website
• Websites provide a cost-effective way for
sales professionals to:
• Project personal image
• Provide additional information
• Generate leads from visitors to site
• Present product information
• Establish e-mail lists
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Computerized Databases
• In-house databases: your firm may already
have a comprehensive database,
sometimes referred to as the “house list,”
with details on customers, purchase
patterns, and so forth
• List sources: wide range of precise lists
available from variety of sources
• See www.infoUSA.com
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Computerized Databases
• Purchasing databases or lists can be
costly; price usually set on cost-perthousand names
• Not all relevant databases are equal;
some “pull” better than others
• Pull is the percentage of the list resulting
in qualified prospects or actual sales
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Cold Calling
• Simply calling prospects without referrals
• New salespeople rely on these as they
haven’t built a referral base
• Must be strategically planned
• Prelude to in-person
appointment
• A way to introduce yourself
and your company to a
prospect
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Networking
• Making and profiting from personal
connections
• Networking guidelines
• Meet as many people as you can
• Tell them what you do
• Do not do business while networking
• Offer business card
• Edit contacts and conduct follow-ups
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Three Types of Networks
FIGURE
9.2
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Educational Seminars
• Provide opportunity to showcase product
without pressuring to buy
• Require extensive preparation
• Start value-added process
• Can attend or present at industrysponsored seminars or offer your own
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Non-Sales Employees
• Non-sales personnel can be valued source
of leads
• Prospecting not necessarily
exclusive task of sales force
• Non-sales personnel often
need training and incentives
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Combination Approaches
• Salespersons generally rely on
combination of prospecting methods
• Some methods have higher yield than
others
• Important to use CRM technology to help
maximize efficiency
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Qualifying Prospects
Basic questions:
•
Does the prospect need my product?
•
Does the prospect have the authority to
buy my product?
•
Does the prospect have the financial
resources to buy my product?
•
Does the prospect have the willingness
to buy my product?
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Collecting and Organizing
Prospect Information
• Sales data can be collected and organized into
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Systems
• Examples of popular applications:
• Salesforce.com
• Oracle
• NetSuite
• Microsoft
Harvey Mackay
suggests a 66-question
customer profile.
See it at:mackay.com
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The CRM Contact Sheet
FIGURE
9.3
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Sample CRM Contact Sheet from
Salesforce.com
9-28
See the
Website
Managing the Prospect Base
FIGURE
9.4
Sample CRM record for one salesperson’s
prospects from Salesforce.com
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See the
Website
Prospecting and
Sales Forecasting Plans
•
Important to balance time and
organize contacts:
• Prepare a list of prospects
• Forecast potential sales volume for each new
account, by product
• Carefully plan the sales route to minimize time
and cost
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The Portfolio Model for
Classifying Prospects
FIGURE
9.5
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The Sales Funnel Model
FIGURE
9.6
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Using CRM Technology for
Pipeline Management
Sample CRM
pipeline
dashboard from
Salesforce.com
See the
Website
FIGURE
9.7
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Key Concept
Discussion Questions
• Discuss the importance of developing a
prospect base
• Identify and assess important sources
of prospects
• Describe criteria for qualifying prospects
• Explain common methods of collecting
and organizing prospect information
• Describe the steps in managing the
prospect base
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall
9-34
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a
retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written
permission of the publisher. Printed in the United States of America.
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc.
Publishing as Prentice Hall
9-35

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