When it comes to generating sales leads, do your sales and marketing people a favor and give them a customer evolution model that helps them spend quality time in the right places. This way, they never have to worry about where to focus their efforts. To really make the process stick, make it part of your Sales PlayBook.
Generating Sales Leads: A Client Evolution Model
The model below lists the six levels of an evolving client relationship. As the list progresses, so does the relationship. Starting at the appropriate relationship level is key to generating sales leads effectively.
So, pick a customer, any customer!
It looks like this: six levels, starting from the bottom:
Someone you know about and want to connect with. You can get suspects from social media, inbound marketing, referral requests, and many other sources. The goal is to convert Suspects into Prospects, which is the next level in the model.
This is a person who checks you out if he or she has a need and the timing is right. The buyer’s journey gets under way at this point, so you must target your messaging precisely to their current problems and concerns.
A customer buys from you, but usually on price, terms, and conditions. It’s about the transaction. Think about it as “money for goods.” At this level, you’re mostly a commodity sell.
A client, as distinct from a customer, places a value on doing business with your organization. Your customer support and responsiveness serve as examples of the value someone will pay a premium for. Your likeability, subject matter expertise, and professionalism also make you valuable.
This is my favorite level of relationship with a person. At this stage, they not only value my company and our relationship, but will also advocate on my behalf, usually because it’s in their best interest to do so. They look good, or get promoted, or even receive a bonus because of the successful application of what they bought from me.
This is the ultimate relationship. People can’t live without you at this level. If your company stops providing the service they need, it hurts their business. You might discover that the majority of your revenue comes from a small number of Partners, because it can take a lifetime to build and nurture these relationships.
Help your people use the client evolution model to decide what selling and marketing activity to perform at each level.
How do they move these people up the chain?
How do they keep them from slipping down?
Which contacts get the most priority this year, this quarter, or this month?
Which level are you, the sales leader working on?
A simple model like this can really help you manage your territory in the most efficient way.
Looking for more on generating sales leads? Check out our free guide on How to Generate Sales Leads Using LinkedIn.