Is it worth the time to prepare a program? Absolutely!
You probably know at least one person who hates to read instructions; they would rather dive right in and figure out the details as they go. They throw out the Ikea schematic, leave the cookbooks on the shelf, and wing it. (Maybe you’re one of these people yourself.) If you’re doing something easy, or something routine, you’ll probably be successful. But for many projects, success is not so easy to come by, and having a clear plan from the start will make the process significantly more efficient and will leave you with a better end product.
This is certainly true for lead generation programs. Taking the time to make deliberate choices about all details of the program, however trivial they might seem, will make the time you spend making calls that much more productive. Think seriously about factors such as:
• how many calls you should spend trying to reach the decision maker
• whether to leave voice mails and, if so, when
• how many emails you should send to make sure the prospect sees your information without becoming a nuisance.
Here are critical elements of a program that require planning, yet are often short-shifted:
• Developing an effective and compelling script and drafting strong emails that prospects are likely to respond to
• Being able to clearly define who you consider to be a qualified lead. Are you only interested in decision makers ready to buy right now, or those willing to have a conversation for the future?
• Selecting callers who have an aptitude for the kind of program you want to implement. A caller’s success generating leads on one account does not necessarily predict their success on a different kind of program.
• Preparing detailed reports to measure and track your progress. Not all programs look at the same kinds of results, so think in advance about what kinds of outcomes you are interested in. Think about the metrics you are interested in so your callers can begin to track them from the start.
Yes, preparation takes time, and often companies want to avoid the expense of this planning period. But we have long ago stopped shortening the preparation period for clients who didn’t see its relevance to the campaign’s future success.
In the past, we believed clients when they told us they had a proven process and script, that they didn’t need any special reporting, or that any caller could get on the phone and be successful. Now, those kinds of statements are red flags for us for a poor-performing campaign, and we insist on developing a program with them using our proven approach.
It is the programs with the most detailed and thorough preparation that end up generating the best quality leads, at a pace that exceeds our clients’ expectations.