What If Huey Lewis Was Your Sales Person?!

I want a new lead

One that won’t make me think too much
One that won’t make me talk too much
Or make me stay past 5:00.

I want a new lead

A lead that’s qualified
A lead that’s ready to buy
One that’s also close by

I want a new lead

One that will help make my plan

One that buys me some time

Or gets me outta my jam

Well, Huey Lewis might not be the best person to ask, but if you asked 100 sales executives what they needed to ensure they achieved the annual quota, 98 of them would tell you that they need more qualified leads. Many organizations are investing significant sums of money re-tooling their marketing and demand generation processes to provide a steady stream of “marketing qualified” leads to their sales teams.  Unfortunately, even with best-in-class companies that are investing in and embracing the new science of selling, we often see that these investments are not delivering the expected returns because of missing or poorly managed sales processes.

One thing that really surprises us is how many sales people continue to view marketing provided leads as weak – or even worse – useless.  The fact is that science and analytics based lead generation programs are capable of providing more highly qualified warm leads than in years past.  It is critical that the sales and marketing have a crisp process for the distribution, engagement and reporting of these leads. Without a good process your lead generation program cannot be fined tuned and worse, deals will be lost to your competition.

Here are some key concepts that must be discussed for effective lead promotion and sales process alignment.

  • Both the sales team and marketing team must agree on the definition of a lead, without one sales will continue to question the validity of the lead passed to them.
  • The sales team is responsible and accountable to contact each and every lead assigned to them. Sales people that do not meet this requirement should be taken out of the lead distribution flow.
  • A contact methodology and frequency cadence is a must have. For example, you may require the rep to attempt four phone contacts and two email contacts over a 10-business day span before promoted leads are returned to marketing for further nurturing.
  • All sales-related activities need to be captured in a CRM or sales contact system so the data can be analyzed and acted on in the future. Capturing this information can help your marketing team fine tune their process.  (It also ensures that if your rep leaves, their account knowledge is secure).
  • Lead behavior on closed opportunities should be analyzed to improve future lead scoring.

The fact is that qualified sales leads are the lifeblood of high performing sales teams.  Unfortunately, in many organizations there are major disconnects between the leads generated by marketing and how those leads are followed up on by sales. Maximize your lead generation investment through process and accountability, it will be worth the effort.

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