January 23, 2014

Getting The Most Out Of Your Company’s Sales Leads

Salespeople all across the country believe that the leads they are provided by their employers play a major role in their sales success. It’s a running conversation in every sale’s office. Everyone wants the new lead, the fresh lead, and the hot lead. Nobody wants to old, tried, stale, never-could-get-them-on-the-phone lead. All too often disillusioned salesmen and women find that the new leads are the same as the old leads. Frequently it’s the lead source that is the issue. Other times it’s the way in which the leads were generated which causes the problem. No matter the issue, there are ways every company can ensure that everyone gets the best out of the available leads. Let’s take a look at some of the ways to ensure that your salespeople are getting the most out of their leads.

Know Your Customer Inside and Out

A running theme on this blog is that business owners simply must know who their customer is. They should know the age range of their customer base, whether they watch football or tennis, whether they drink beer, wine, or neither. Every lead which was generated in an honest fashion and contains valid information about a prospect in the demographic of your client base is a good lead. In order to judge your lead provider you have to know as much as possible about the client base which you expect your lead provider to deliver to you.

Spare no Effort to Contact Your Leads

Though it may be seen as going overboard, many a sales manager has demanded that their sales people call current leads up to six times per day in order to qualify to receive new leads. Of course no one wants to harass the prospect. And the nature of the business will help to determine the rules of contact. For example, debt relief leads require more calls because people being harassed by creditors are less likely to answer the first few calls. More delicate leads may require fewer calls. Overall, salespeople should make every reasonable effort to contact current leads before giving up on them and going on to the next. This includes using voice mail, email, and even traditional mail when appropriate.

Ban Lead Bashing and Use the Poker Player Analogy

So much of sales is morale. Too often when a salesperson is in a funk they begin to look for anything which they can blame for their lack of success. Leads often take the brunt of the blame. There are thousands of capable salespeople who have convinced themselves that sales success is “luck of the draw,” with those who do the best simply being lucky enough to draw the better leads. It is a good idea to outright ban lead bashing among salespeople, while remaining open to honest feedback and dialogue about the leads, feedback which can lead to better targeting. One helpful analogy for those who think sales amounts to getting lucky with the leads is to ask them if they think the average person can beat a world champion poker player in a game of poker. After all, the cards dealt in poker amount to luck. If they agree that top poker players have skill, then they should be able to see that it’s what you do with your leads determines your success or failure.