Click – call – appointment – sale: this ideal sequence of the sales process only rarely matches reality in online marketing. Even if a marketing tool triggers a sales alert and a well-informed lead has shown a real interest in a service or product, a full schedule or insufficient decision-making authority often put the acquisition project in peril. The motto is to stick around; to keep the ball moving and to work towards the moment when the lead is ready to accept a proposed date.
There are leads who have a general interest in a topic, but defer any action indefinitely. Maybe they are to preoccupied with other things to compare products and offers or to implement new work practices that might become necessary. Procrastinators have interest, but they are indecisive. In this situation, marketing and sales have to ponder if they are going to feed the lead more information or if the lead already has everything s/he needs to take initiative at a later point in time. In order to not appear pushy, it might be a good strategy to reduce marketing activities to the minimum (such as the regular newsletter). No company has any interest in acquiring a reputation for spamming. However, it is important to keep clients in sight even during these cold phases.
Still, when is it advisable to invest in the sales process and when is the time to back off completely? This question can be answered with a 3 step program. Both experience and instinct are required.