Sales reps often say “If you want me to sell more I need more leads” but that’s only partly true. In fact, what they need are more high quality leads. Following up low quality leads sucks up a sales rep’s time, energy and enthusiasm.
It can take a sales person several attempts and a long time to make contact, schedule a meeting, do their preparation and have the meeting. If the lead is useless it’s a total waste of their time and your money. It also makes the sales person less inclined to follow up other leads.
But it’s even worse if you have a low chance of winning but your sales rep decides not to qualify out because he or she is under pressure to fill their sales pipeline. Because you waste even more time, resources and money when you chase “opportunities” that you don’t really have a chance of winning.
It’s better to have a sales pipeline only half full of high quality opportunities, where you have a good chance of winning, than a pipeline full of opportunities that will go nowhere. But it’s even better to have a sales pipeline full of high quality opportunities – and that’s what we give our Clients.
So what is a high quality lead? We believe it’s someone who has a definite need, who may (or may not) have reached budget stage, where you know what their requirements are, where you know their timeframe, where you understand what they’re trying to achieve – and where they know and trust you.
By the time a sales person engages with them you should already have a relationship in place with them. If you (or the Database Dept on your behalf) have been educating them and nurturing them so they know you have the capability to solve their business problem, if you know as much as possible about what they’re trying to achieve and why then you have a much better chance of winning the business.
People are more likely to buy from people and organisations they trust – and it takes time to build trust. If a sales person has to understand someone’s business need, qualify them, identify their key issues, provide relevant information and develop rapport all on their first visit they’re trying to do an awful lot from a standing start. This is one of the key principles of our ARM Business Platform.
So our definition of a high quality lead is someone who has a business need, who understands how we can help them and who we’ve started to build a trusted relationship with before a sales person speaks to them.
It means your sales person can contact them pre-armed with knowledge and with confidence that they won’t be wasting their time. It means there’s a much better chance they will develop into a high probability qualified sales opportunity.
And it means your sales people will waste less time chasing no-hope leads and more time actually selling to qualified prospects, so they’ll sell more.