Sales Training: Lead Generation
Published: Friday, November 04, 2011
Sales Training Article: Lead Generation - Stop Complaining and Start Conquering
By Vince Koehler, Sales Benchmark Index
Strategy for mapping a sales process has changed as customers have adapted over the last 30 years --- yet many reps still approach Lead Generation as if it's 1985.
Throughout my career in sales, few leads that I have received have been of great quality. Sound familiar?
Lead Generation Keeping up with the Sales Process
The same way that sales leaders have had to adapt to remain successful, so have the efforts of Lead Generation. World class sales organizations have revolutionized Lead Generation. This includes robust Demand Generation with content marketing and lead sourcing early in the buying process. As prospects early in the buying process begin to interact with your company, there are new Lead Management processes to transform cold inquiries to warm leads. This is done by nurturing through marketing automation and personal contact by Lead Development Representatives. For many companies, the days of bad leads are over.
Conquering Lead Generation
Is your company evolving to deal with the demands of Demand Generation? If not, then you have a responsibility to put a fire under someone's tail to get them excited. Chances are your company is in the midst of an evolution. As a sales or marketing professional, you are in charge of how successful Lead Generation ultimately becomes for your corporation. At Sales Benchmark Index we recommend 7 tactics for creating the best Lead Generation Strategy.
7 Tactics for Approaching Lead Generation:
1.Have the Right Expectations -World class firms have shifted away from appointment setting. Instead focus on generating demand that results in prospects that have engaged and qualified at some level of need. These leads will be looking for help right now. A good lead therefore is one that is worth investing time developing into an opportunity. It's NOT a prospect who is ready for your reps to zoom in and close a deal, but rather someone who is a fit, has been qualified for some level of need, and is ideal for engagement by the sales rep.
2.Give the Right Feedback - Don't let your reps give negative feedback without specific details. They should be able to communicate the problems with the leads and offer solutions for improvement. Be tough with feedback. Coach on what makes a great lead. Continuous feedback between the individual rep and the contact providing the leads is required for success.
3.Celebrate Success - In the daily slog of Lead Generation, things get tough. When you find a great lead, celebrate and offer positive feedback. This will ensure that the positive actions are reinforced.
4.Remember the importance of Nurturing for Demand Generation Success- What makes a great sales rep is a closing attitude intent on producing results. Demand Generation efforts will drive inquiries and prospects early in the buying process. In a complex b2b sale, pressure to qualify too early in the process can hurt a success rate. Companies with Lead Development Representatives and Marketing Automation have the capability to offer resources and build a rapport.
5.Don't Settle - As lead generation efforts increase in success; resist the urge to increase the short-term quantity of leads to the sales force by lowering the criteria for when a lead passes off to the sales rep. Allow best practices in lead management to work for your sales force. Don't prematurely pull prospects that aren't ready to move through the Sales Process into the sales rep's call plans.
6.Return to Nurture - When your reps receive a lead that's not ready or is non-responsive, continue to nurture. Let the nurturing resources of lead generation work on your behalf to cultivate awareness, onto interest, through consideration. The reps will get pulled back in at the right time.
7.Expect the Best in Lead Generation - Creating a best in class Lead Generation program requires dedicated resources and senior level support. Set expectations for the Lead Generation program so those responsible for implementation receive the support required for success.
Vince is a Sr. Consultant with Sales Benchmark Index. He is a demand generation thought leader with more than 16 years of industry and professional services experience. He has been chartered with "filling the funnel" for organizations to keep sales resources productive in driving systematic growth.Click here to read our sales training articles.