SOURCE: PointClear

November 14, 2006 09:00 ET

PointClear: Direct Marketing That Utilizes Lead Farming™ Can Fill a Sales Pipeline With Qualified Prospects

Looking for Greener Sales Pastures? Lead Farming Grows Raw Sales Leads Into Qualified Sales Opportunities

ATLANTA, GA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 14, 2006 -- PointClear, LLC, a leader in Business Prospect Outsourcing, believes that companies should incorporate Lead Farming™ into their direct marketing campaigns as a way to improve their sales performance. Lead Farming™ is the process by which raw sales leads are properly filtered, qualified and developed prior to being turned over to the sales force for harvesting.

"The problem in many companies today is that there is no one working the Lead Farm," explained PointClear President Dan McDade. "Marketing is focused on generating leads and sales is focused on closing them, but there's nothing being done in the middle to identify the best prospects from direct marketing campaigns and cultivate them into ready buyers."

According to McDade, lead qualification can be thought of as a funnel. Marketing pours raw, unfiltered sales leads from a variety of direct marketing sources into the top of the funnel. Ideally, what emerges at the other end -- ready for handling by a lead-hungry sales force -- is a steady supply of qualified sales opportunities, each with a defined process and timeframe for buying. The reality, however, rarely matches the ideal.

"Too often, no one is managing what happens to sales leads once they enter the funnel following a direct marketing campaign," said McDade. "No one is contacting and qualifying the inquirers, no one is augmenting the leads with demographic and firmographic data, and no one is nurturing long-term prospects into short-term sales opportunities."

A Lead Farmer qualifies sales leads generated from direct marketing campaigns and then equips the sales rep with in-depth knowledge about the prospect. In turn, this enables the sales rep to engage the prospect in a consultative conversation rather than launching into a cold-call presentation or discovery interview. Lead Farming™ is a multi-step process that can take weeks or months, but brings with it the potential to dramatically improve the quality of sales leads and, therefore, the success of sales efforts.

Whose job is Lead Farming™?

In most organizations today, the bulk of lead qualification and development work currently rests with sales. McDade said that this is often "a recipe for failure," since management tends to motivate and compensate salespeople to focus on making the immediate numbers, not on building a pipeline of prospects.

Similarly, traditional marketing departments are also not good Lead Farmers, since marketers are brand-builders and communicators who are measured on the number of sales leads generated from direct marketing campaigns and "cost per lead," and not on lead quality.

PointClear's best practices suggest that a separate group needs to take control of the vital function of developing sales leads. This can be a specialized in-house team with no direct sales responsibility, or an outsourced firm with the specific skills required to identify and prioritize leads created by direct marketing campaigns and nurture them into qualified sales opportunities.

"It's clearly a reap what you sow situation," concluded McDade. "Lead Farming™ eliminates the practice of giving unfiltered, unqualified sales leads to your team. It qualifies and engages prospects prior to the sales process, so that you can grow your revenue more effectively."

For nearly a decade, PointClear has been helping companies with complex sales processes to improve their sales performance. PointClear programs are based on its Six Deliverables Methodology™, which integrates proven direct marketing practices, tools and metrics to help companies connect with target audiences and close more sales.

More information on Lead Farming™ is available in PointClear's white paper, "Why Your Sales Force Needs Fewer Leads." The paper can be downloaded for free at

About PointClear

Headquartered in Norcross, GA, PointClear (, the Business Prospect Outsourcing company, provides Sales Opportunity Management solutions that fill client forecasts, not just their pipelines. PointClear's expert sales and marketing professionals deliver the qualified leads clients need to increase sales, correctly cover client markets, and add predictability and surety to client forecasts.

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