Increase in Connect Rate = Increase in Conversion Rate

There were a couple of blog posts recently about “selling the conversation” –  see Dale Underwood’s Effective B2B Lead Generation Means Selling the Conversation and Trish Bertuzzi’s follow-up Do Your Team’s Voice Mails Sell the Conversation. This is a very similar blogosphere conversation to the brief “pounce” controversy which I weighed in on in my posts, To Pounce or Not to Pounce, That Is the Question and To Phone or Not to Phone, There Is No Question and a long time ago in Optimize to Connect, Everyone Wins.

To be clear, it is my firm belief that demand generation is the art of getting the right person connected with the right sales rep at the right time. Just take that in for a second. Marketers ALWAYS try to achieve too much with their campaigns and in most cases they are trying to sell the product when what they really need to do is sell the next step.  I have said this a million times and I will say it again: The number one tool for conversion is the PHONE.  You can run campaigns until the cows come home and they will fail if your lead qualification or sales team is not on the phone converting them.

Here are some examples of how I think about this:

1.  Marketing automation: All highfalutin ideas aside, one of the greatest things about this movement is increasing the likelihood of conversations with right people at the right time
2. Pre-connect scripts and emails: Instead of trying to sell the product, sell the connect.
3. Opening script: Instead of trying to sell the product, sell the fact that you want five minutes of their time.

When you analyze the nature of nonconverting leads of marketing programs, the vast majority of those are going unconverted because they “could not connect.”  If you’re pushing the right leads into the pipeline, conversion rates will automatically rise when you improve connect rates.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

  • Amen brother! The only thing a phone based lead generation team should be selling is the next step in the process. Arouse curiousity, close on the next step, arouse curiousity, close on the next step – rinse and repeat.

    Now, that does not mean leadgen teams are drive by appointment setters and then their job is done. The human touch should be integrated with effective delivery of content and all steps should move the process along. MOVE being the operative word. A lead is only good when it converts to a customer and to get them to do that you have to move it through your well defined and repeatable process.

    So, I am on your bus…connect and connect again – that is how you win.

  • Craig, Great post, and I agree. Trish, Great response, and agree…with an expanded addition to your comment.

    As Craig and you know, there is appointment setting and then there is appointment setting. As Trish says, it’s all about getting to the next step in the process. Craig even says “demand generation is the art of getting the right person connected with the right sales rep at the right time.” If it’s not by having the right sales rep connecting with that right person on their own, then it’s about the right appointment setting expert nailing the appointment down.

    Then the next steps can happen, but that gating factor is the first step. Get the right person to want to connect with the right sales rep.

    end of shameless self-promotion 😉

  • I agree with Trish and Mike. The phone has two great purposes — relationship building and database cleanup. Unfortunately, emails, webinars and other one way approaches do not build a relationship as a phone does. This is why the phone is such an essential part of the lead generation process.

    I have lots of content at on this topic too.

  • Craig,
    I totally agree. Just because prospects don’t want to talk to sales people yet does not mean they are shunning all human contact with your firm. A non-salesy telemarketer can be a powerful component of any lead nurturing campaign. You inspired me to post about it!