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Editorial from Aug 2012 issue of Business Bulletin, a free monthly ezine from  Marketing Consultant Venkatachalam

1. Editorial –  Quick assessment of sales enquiries
A sale is the most important activity for a business. It brings revenue.  
Every business person wants more and more sales. Sales need enquiries.
These enquiries are generated using various promotional activities. But there is one thing many have not realized.
Enquiries don’t come when you are waiting for it. They pop in when you  are least prepared.
Maybe you are tied up doing some other work or handling another sales call.
When it does come in, you have to capture it. Every salesperson knows that.
People generally capture the contact details and will reply ‘I will call you back’.
While this is correct, we have to consider other factor also. Each enquiry that is kept pending like this adds to our ‘pending’ work.
The next activity is ‘qualify’  all these enquiries or leads.
When many leads are pending, that by itself may give some stress.
If many of the leads eagerly handled, turned out to be poor prospects it will still upset us.
Why can’t we have some system or resources or tools that can be used to do quick assessment of leads?
There are 3 things that must be assessed for any type of business:
 Time constraint
These 3 are critical issues to be checked.
If the calling prospect’s requirements do not match the product, it is a mismatch.
If their budget does not meet our minimum pricing, it is a mismatch.
If their time constraint is too tight, for which we cannot provide the service, it is a mismatch.
When we find these mismatches, there is no point in continuing the qualifying process.
The sooner we find this out, the better we save our energy and time.
Many of us are still hesitant to ask these important criteria early in the interaction.
But it is better to ask these straightaway than spend quite some time and find out it is a mismatch.
We can also have some tools for doing this work quickly.
 To give information on our products, a PDF document or even a video can be used
 A document that describes your ideal customer profile can be used as a filter
 A form which gets basic information that we want from these enquiries can be used
These tools can be in paper or electronic. Since many people are comfortable working online,
these documents and form can be emailed to the enquiring person to be filled up.
Once we get these details, the preliminary assessment or qualifying task is done quickly.
We immediately know whether to follow-up or drop the lead.
But to standardize these qualifications, we need to clearly set our minimum criteria for each of these points.
Once we have done this, we can handle more leads per day easily.
In case, it is affordable, a person can be appointed to handle this part alone also.
So, a quick assessment of sales enquiries by standardizing the 3 criteria to qualify the prospects can really be helpful in handling Sales activity easily and efficiently.
R Venkatachalam
Marketing Consultant
Copyright (C) 2012. R.Venkatachalam.
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