How to involve your consultants in the lead generation
If you get most of your revenue from existing customers and agree that it is hard to get into new customers, read this article to get insights in how to grow your existing customer by involving more people than your sales reps in the lead generation stage.
In the times we live in it is most likely wise to look beyond the traditional way to get new customers. It’s also time to stop thinking about me and put “the we” in focus, i.e. collaborate, get everybody involved and grow together.
New ways of working and new technology gives consultant companies a breakthrough competitive advantage to grow their existing customers – without costing any more than what’s affordable to the smallest and cheapest of their competitors!
So it will probably be a question of who in your market gets there first…
“It’s my client, not yours” – Putting “I” before “we” places a ceiling on your success. Break it down before it’s too late!
The commonly accepted attitude of “It’s my client” probably adds to the consultant-client commitment, which is a good thing, but it also undermines the vision of growth imagethat any striving consultant company has.
You know, from the consultant’s perspective, their clients are really THEIR clients, but from the perspective of the sales rep who sold the services of the consultant, the same client is their client.
So there you have at least 2 people from the same company serving the same client, yet both think the client is theirs alone.
Unsurprisingly, this automatically creates a gap. Rightly or wrongly, colleagues’ “it’s my client” mentality creates distance and barriers, and ends up with multiple business opportunities falling through the cracks and customers not getting the level of service they deserve and that you desire to provide.
The easy way to grow accounts – and let customers know you mean business!
Collaboration is key! Having an easy-to-use system that connects consultants, sales reps and managers increases the likelihood of business growth from two important perspectives:
- Consultants aim to identify additional business opportunities when visiting clients and share those hot leads with sales reps so that action can be taken while the lead is still hot; and
- Working together to grow accounts creates close-knit teams working towards mutually beneficial targets.
Real life example:
Consultant A is visiting Client B. Consultant A has great authority due to his/her high level of expertise and Client B feels comfortable relying on A’s expertise.
Sales rep C, who sold A’s expertise to B, does not have a particularly strong relationship with B. When Client B is talking to the trustworthy Consultant A, B lets down their guard and opens up about the company’s true needs.
Consultant A is savvy enough to pick up on those needs and quickly identifies Client B’s “confession” as:
- A way to help B beyond current services; and
- A business opportunity to grow the account.
Consultant A utilises the strong relationship with Client B to inform B that A’s company can actually help solve B’s problems and that Sales rep C will do some research and contact Client B to move forward.
Consultant A then uses Salesbox CRM to quickly share this business opportunity with Sales rep C.
Sales rep C instantly receives the hot lead on their iPhone or iPad and gets a quick update on Client B’s needs. Five minutes later, Client B’s phone is ringing and Sales rep C is helping B through the process of moving forward to solve the problem.
You win – and consultants stay committed and loyal
Instead of business opportunities falling through the cracks and never being seized or even acknowledged, leads and business opportunities can quickly be entered in a CRM and instantly delivered to the right person or put up for grabs to the hungriest sales rep, and thus taken care of while the opportunity is still hot!
As a result of this collaboration, connectedness and the fast-action line of thinking, a close-knit team can evolve. It’s not that big beats small, it’s that fast beats slow!
Connecting with and keeping consultants close to the rest of your company also creates a strong sense of fellowship.
Consultants are thus more likely to stay with your company, because they are less inclined to accept offers to go work for your clients.
After all, they surely receive such offers more often than is commonly thought, because great consultants are hard to find, so keep them close!
“If only I’d known, I could’ve rescued the deal from breaking”
The “It’s my client” syndrome effectively blocks collaboration and dampens progress. You probably already know this from experience. Letting go of this mindset (syndrome) enables true collaboration between consultants, sales reps and managers.
Using a CRM to build a steady flow of incoming hot leads to sales reps has 3 effects in particular:
- More hot leads increases the likelihood of generating more business from both new and existing accounts. That’s a desired given!
- This teaches consultants to stay alert to business opportunities (and at the same time deepens their relationship with clients), and also trains sales reps to instinctively act on leads while they are still hot.
- Lastly, the new collaboration practices increase the awareness of everyone involved regarding all important actions taken in relation to their mutual clients. Thus, every person working on an account can easily follow progress, and whenever help is needed to move forward the best person to help needs only a short briefing to take action and close the deal or solve the problem at hand. Fast action is impressive to clients!
BONUS FACT #1: Leads are systematically generated in the CRM when they appear, which if used correctly eliminates leads getting cold or even being forgotten.
When was the last time you increased your prices without seeing decreased demand?
The consultant market is quite entertaining at times, at least from a spectator’s perspective. Due to extreme levels of harsh competition, consultant companies reluctantly yet necessarily join forces with competitors to score clients.
Being on site before competitors to identify clients’ needs is thus crucial if you want to keep the cookie all to yourself.
If you are not quick enough to close the deal before your competitors make their offer, price becomes the most common way of competing for clients, leaving the “winning” offer with not much to spare after mission completion.
If you’re looking to beat the competition and eventually increase your pricing model, you need to look at your selling process and fill any gaps before momentum is lost.
One huge issue for consultant companies that we’ve already covered but which cannot be stressed nearly enough is that the process of generating and closing hot leads needs to be sealed and completely waterproof.
Using a modern CRM, consultants are taught to identify business opportunities and act quickly on them by distributing these leads to sales reps in real time, so that action can be taken before the competition decide to start a bidding war.
Want to increase your prices? Go hard, go fast and go smart!
BONUS FACT #2: Consultants and sales managers can focus on taking the best meetings with the best clients at the best time, all thanks to real-time lead generation.
As mentioned above, connecting colleagues so they work in close-knit teams is a great way of keeping them committed and loyal.
Making them work in an environment that is full of boundaries and forces them to be more selfish in order to grow results is a great way of deterring talented employees.
To avoid this, collaboration is key! It’s a given that the biggest talents and sharpest resources prefer working for innovative companies, where time does not stand still but rather moves forward swiftly, where they can work with modern tools and state-of-the-art software, and where processes are modern.
BONUS FACT #3: Attracting competent consultants and employees is incredibly hard – and competition is fierce.
That is the way to attract effective minds, because people who want to move forward are drawn to forward-moving environments.
Stay attractive by moving forward. Using a modern CRM is the biggest step forward that any consultant company looking to “build” a mobile office can take!
Imagine if every consultant could generate 1 lead per month and what that would do for your business.
CEO & Founder Salesbox