The Multi-Step Sales Process
If a sales force does a consultative sale, they can usually handle relatively cool "more information" or product related offers well. But they may not be able to handle an offer with "free information plus a free gifts."
If the sales force is comprised of "order-takers," make the gift or converter conditional upon sale and focus more on price-off or "buy one, get one free" type offers.
Sales Rule #1
If your sales reps tell you the lead is too hot and they can't close it, they can't. Find another offer that they can close.
SS-E—These are the easiest people to qualify, they know the product, they understand price/value relationships and they know whether or not they are part of the buying process. The qualifying system can be quite simple and straight forward.
SS-F—These are the hardest folks to qualify. They often need to hear the entire product story before they know whether or not they are qualified to make a decision. You often have to go slower and invest more "back end" resources with this group. That investment often demands higher price and margin to support the selling system. And finally…
The Don't Be Stupid Rule
In all cases, use some judgement. Recently, I sent in a BRC, requesting information. My title, president & CEO, was clearly marked on the BRC. I got a follow up call. The first thing the TSR asked me was, "are you qualified to make a $5,000 decision?"
I hung up. Two weeks later I spent $15,000 with a competitor.
Generally, the higher you target in any organization, the more sophisticated your qualifying, telemarketing and fulfillment systems must be.
Bob Hacker started The Hacker Group, Ltd, in 1986. Since then, it has become one of the largest full-service direct marketing agencies on the West Coast, currently serving over 100 clients, both in the U.S. and abroad. The company's client base is concentrated in high technology, telecommunications, financial services, travel, real estate and general advertising agencies. A graduate of The Harvard Business School and the University of Washington, Hacker can be reached at (425) 454-8556 or firstname.lastname@example.org.