Qualified Lead Development
As executed by Praxes Group the words “Lead Development” are misleading. Our approach considers developing relationships with potential buyers merely as one step toward the ultimate goal: profitable growth. However crucial this step is, it must be considered in the overall context of a client’s growth strategy. We work closely with our clients to assess and refine their objectives, research and narrow the target market, establish specific lists of company and individual targets, and refine the proper value statement. In addition, we immerse ourselves in the culture of our client, learning their products, services, and ways of doing business. The goal is to be able to communicate the value of our client’s offerings at least as well as they could themselves.
Tools and Techniques
When “Lead Development” is discussed in sales circles, it usually refers to phone calls made to prospects with whom there is no existing relationship. However, an effective “Relationship Development” campaign consists of a series of independent, linked efforts. These could include postal mail, email, and/or phone; sequenced and timed in accordance with the decision-making power of the target individual and the potential business to be gleaned. When pursuing a CEO at a large company, for example, we will be more persistent, albeit in a tactful manner, over a longer period of time than we would with the assistant controller. A typical sequence could include multiples of all these contact methods spaced over a 6 week or longer span before the prospect is relegated to the “Not Viable” heap.
Relationship development, a more accurate description of this aspect of Praxes Group’s work, consists of many parts. Many of our clients attend or exhibit at trade shows, speak at conventions or other events, sponsor their own events, or do so with their business partners. In each case our work has been crucial to strong attendance at the events, but also to ensure that the time before, during, and after the event is well spent. These are wonderful opportunities to meet with a significant number of prospects over a short period of time. Our job is to fill this time with meaningful appointments. In addition, it is common for our clients to be unable to follow up promptly. That becomes our responsibility also. Finally, we have actually attended our client’s networking events and have been successful at generating new relationships there also.
Who Does This Work?
The majority of our clients require entry into the “C” Suite where decisions to use their services must be made. To do this properly requires more than just the tools mentioned above. It requires individuals familiar with the “rare air” of a top executive’s office and capable of carrying on a confident, interesting conversation with the executive assistant or the CEO. These people, our partners or employees, have been CEOs, COOs, sales managers, and consultants themselves. It is they, movers and shakers all, who have the capability to penetrate to the proper individual, discover or generate interest in our client’s services, nurture the relationship, qualify the prospect according to our client’s criteria, link them with our client, and then guide the process to a close. Because of their backgrounds, they are capable of providing cogent advice throughout each phase of the sales cycle. This is exciting work and makes good use of people with strong sales, marketing, and management backgrounds.