So, it’s the New Year and like most you’re probably well into the new business plans you so lovingly created last year (remember the late nights at the office and hard negotiations with the boss?). I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent the first few days back at work getting back into the swing of things and putting the blood, sweat and tears back into practice.
With the pressure of a new year, new targets and a new impetus, it’s a race to bring in the new business opportunities from your marketing plans. The agencies have been briefed, the business primed and the sales team are ready and waiting for your meticulously planned leads or appointments.
But suddenly out of nowhere swoops a Bluebird, the most beautiful creature you’ve ever seen. You’re in awe; its shiny feathers dazzle you as it glides silently from the heavens.
Now, for all you ornithologists out there, I’m not talking about the insectivorous or omnivorous birds in the thrush family, I’m talking about the unexpected hot sales opportunity variety which lands into your lap.
I first heard about bluebirds in a recent training and development programme and they certainly ring true. They present an immediate business opportunity, which often appears to be too good to miss, and has the distinct ability to make you drop your business-savvy guard as you relish in delight.
But not all bluebirds are the same. I (as I am sure you too) have on more than one occasion been blinded by a bluebird. Jumping in head first to find that after lots of effort and excitement, the lead actually turned out to be not that great an opportunity. And now at this time of year when we are all keen to kick-start our marketing and lead generation activity, don’t ever forget the importance of B2B lead qualification, bluebird or not.
As B2B marketers, we’re all well aware of the need to lead score and qualify all selling opportunities before passing the baton to sales, but can you truly say that for each hot incoming lead that appears to fall straight into your lap is 100% qualified?
Whether you pass sales leads directly to your sales team or indeed handle them yourself – they should be treated in exactly the same way as a non-incoming sales opportunity. Does the prospect fit your profile? Are you dealing with the right decision maker? Do you need an indication of your prospects budget or in-depth information about their pain points to help you during your sales process?
Don’t be fooled at this time of year, keep your bird watching book to hand and qualify!
Happy twitching everyone.