by Mac McIntosh
Are you looking to outsource your sales lead management? Choose a firm that understands the importance of properly managing, developing, identifying and distributing qualified sales leads to your direct salespeople, dealers, reps or distributors. Follow these steps to find the right partner.
1. Determine what your response management or lead management system must include ahead of time. Construct a flow chart of the process, including the steps required and the time allotted to each. Prepare a "wish list" of the features your lead generation programs will include if budget allows.
2. Put together a package of background information for each vendor being reviewed. Include literature about your company, products or services as well as samples of current inquiry response materials.
3. Share your numbers with the vendors. How many inquires per month? How many sales offices, reps, dealers or distributors are involved? How many different pieces of printed literature are required?
4. Get a written proposal. The proposal is an easy way to check the sales lead management service company's understanding of your needs. It should include background on the sales lead management service company, its qualifications, a detailed program recommendation and the related fees. Keep in mind that the quality of the proposal and its attention to detail will often serve as a reflection of the vendor's quality and its attention to detail in all aspects.
5. Tour the lead management service company's facilities. Be sure to explore beyond the conference room, and visit the production department. Listen in on phone calls. Look over the shoulders of people who enter data and fulfill information requests. Be sure you meet the people who will actually be managing your business.
6. Check the lead management service's references. Ask to see a current customer list and look for other companies in your industry or market. Call these companies, not just the ones provided on a reference list. Ask about both the quality of the company's services and the quality of the company's customer service representative who handle their account.
7. Conduct a trial program. Establish measurable objectives up-front, and then determine how long it will take to decide whether the relationship with the sales lead management service will be a good one. Consider running the trial program concurrently with your in-house operation until you are sure everything is working properly and smoothly.