Ripening prospects

I enjoy a mango.  But as I am not an inhabitant of South Florida – where they literally grow on trees – I do not always know when they are ready to eat. I buy imported mangoes in the grocery store here in South Carolina. The skin maintains its color, a green that morphs into yellow, with sometimes a bit of red thrown in the mix. But not always. They’re usually firm to the touch, but sometimes have a little give.

So it’s usually a guess as to when they’re ready to eat.

Upon peeling and slicing, the yellowish flesh can taste anywhere from firm sinewy sour to slimy mushy sweet. Both ends of the spectrum are unacceptable, and I throw them away. Occasionally I am lucky enough to get one right in the middle, when it’s orange-ish, slightly firm, and sweet, with the citrus-like taste that only a mango has.

We often talk to businesses owners who prospect as if they’re eating mangoes. They have no idea when a prospect is ready to talk. They’ve been in the database for 2 days or 2 months, and on a random day they land in the rotation for a call. If lady luck is on the call, then the prospect is ripe for the picking.

But luck is not a business strategy.

If my mango is bad, I’m out $1.50. If you’re prospect goes cold, you’re out a whole lot more than that.

Lead scoring and contact management are keys to determining when your prospects are ready to engage in meaningful – and productive – conversation. Email marketing with a marketing automation tool can help you monitor electronic behavior and assign it a value that will be a tangible indication that your prospect is ready to start talking. That way, your sales team will only engage with qualified, informed prospects who have indicated an interest in your product or service. Both you and your prospect will spend your time more wisely, discussing perfectly ripe needs and timely solutions, rather than slimy sinewy sales pitches that land in the trash can.

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