Friday, August 26, 2011

Do Your Sales People Need Fewer Leads?

If your sales team (including dealers) is missing revenue targets, their first impulse might be to cry out, "We just need more leads." After all, it's logical that more leads will generate more opportunities and more sales.

It reality, just the opposite turns out be true.

A sales paradox is at work here because reps actually need fewer sales leads -- or, more accurately, fewer raw, unfiltered, unqualified leads from marketing. Drowning your sales reps in more leads, especially those of poor quality, can simply make things worse.

Standard lead generation's focus on quantity floods the pipeline with far too many low-value leads that don't deliver sales and marketing ROI. Qualifying criteria are rarely met due to lack of marketing resources.

It's no surprise that many recent surveys of sales reps report that an overwhelming majority of marketing-generated leads are not being pursued because their quality is perceived to be poor. Rep calendars are cluttered with unqualified meetings; ultimately, money is being wasted on lead-generation programs that simply don't work.

Sales teams need qualified leads that have been carefully and consistently nurtured, as well as appropriately developed into high-value, sales-ready opportunities. Reps can then invest their time more effectively on the most likely buyers.

Source: Dan McDade

Next time: Attributes of a well-qualified lead.

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To share common sense lessons learned with 40-plus years experience in marketing, sales and as a B2B publisher.