Super Agent

Archive for July, 2012

Segment Your Opportunites & Customize Your Message

In today’s difficult market, if producers want to experience organic growth, the development of a sound pipeline is necessary to consistently generate new business and track sales. A pipeline is frequently described as a list of leads in different stages of development, and traditional pipelines often divide leads into two categories: suspects and prospects. In our organization we divide the pipeline into three distinct categories: suspect pool, suspects, and prospects. In order to successfully fill a pipeline and develop leads into “client-ready” prospects, producers must approach the lead nurturing process with a long-term plan. The frequency and type of messaging strategies deployed to leads should be different in each stage of the pipeline.

Here is a breakdown of the three categories and what messaging strategies can be deployed in each stage:

Suspect Pool- Leads in the suspect pool have not been fully qualified, but the potential for them to become a right-fit client is present. The goal is to deliver value based messages to these leads frequently and at a low-cost in order to see who shows interest. If a lead who shows interest shares similar business goals and objectives with the agency but isn’t ready to develop a business relationship, they move from a Suspect Pool to a Suspect.

Suspect-The leads in the Suspect stage of the pipeline receive specifically targeted and more frequent messaging than those in the Suspect Pool. This allows both the producer and the suspect to learn more about each other and to continue assessing the potential for a business relationship.

Prospects- These leads continue to receive frequent and targeted messaging, but the communication between producer and prospect should be occurring in both directions. The prospect already recognizes the value of the producer’s capabilities and is considering engaging in a business relationship. In turn, the producer recognizes that the prospect meets the criteria of their perfect-client type and is ready to guide the prospect through the sales process.

Inc. contributing editor Donna Fenn discusses the value of segmenting your opportunities and customizing your message: “As time passes, you can begin to track what share of sales you close. If that share is consistent, you should be able to forecast sales with greater accuracy.” A well-managed pipeline will prevent producers from employing ineffective sales strategies, and will allow them to better forecast and close more sales.