Quantity or Quality?
The old adage “sales is a numbers game” has made people think that it’s salesperson who makes the most calls or follows up of the leads that cross their desk. In the case of playing a pure numbers game with marketing leads, you’re probably hovering on the edge of a black hole. What do we mean by black holes? They are those areas where if an object falls in, it can’t get out. However, the big question that many struggled to answer over the decades is “what happens to the information that an object contains when it falls into a black hole. Is it simply lost or just ‘confined’ inside it?”
Like a black hole’s gravitational force that sucks in all matter and light, B2B world can do the same thing to your business. Your prospects will disappear when you pass volumes of unqualified leads along to the sales force. Even more likely, they may end up in another dimension and maybe another universe, one controlled by your competition.
Unqualified Leads Seldom Convert
The fact is 73 percent of leads are unqualified when handed off to sales and will not readily convert into business. In spite of this, 61 percent of marketers pass all leads (qualified or unqualified) directly on to sales. Is it any wonder then that salespeople seldom follow up on marketing’s leads? More than 70 percent of leads are never acted on—typically because they do not reach the right person or organization at the right time.”
Salespeople’s primary objective is sales. ABC (Always Be Closing) is virtually embedded on their thoughts and qualified leads are the means to that objective. Companies that actively qualify and nurture leads will have 50 percent more prospects that are “sales-ready,” and their cost-per-lead will be 33% lower.
So you can expect that your best salespeople will ignore unqualified marketing leads and cultivate their own— based on their years of experience and expertise. Meanwhile, the people who have provided their names, email addresses, and phone numbers to your company in good faith, who may not be sales-ready today, remain ignored. This lack of attention can sour potential customers on you and your products permanently.
Quality is More Important to Quantity
“Value is in the Worth, Not the Number”, an old saying from Aesop’s fable, The Lioness. Today, we often just say “quality over quantity” and it’s the perfect slogan for developing qualified sales leads. Finding and qualifying 10 hot leads in every 100 is the best way to:
- Encourage your sales force to follow up on 100 percent of the leads you pass along, and
- Close more business
However – since sales people likely will not qualify any unqualified leads you’re passing along today – you need another resource to do the job. Here is what telemarketing teams are made for. Whether your lead generation is inbound, outbound, or both, a professional and well-trained telemarketing team is very important.
If lead qualification is a new thing to you, it’s time to involve your sales force in the process of coming up with the right set of lead qualifiers. You’ll benefit by alerting them to this important change in your lead generation program and gain their buy-in. Here are a few ideas to get you started as marketing and sales work together to develop a list of key qualifiers:
- Measure each prospect’s degree of interest in your products and/or services.
- Determine if your products and/or services are a good match for the prospect.
- Identify when the prospect will be most likely to buy.
- Verify that the prospect has an appropriate budget.
- Determine if the prospect is a decision maker with buying authority.