If you have ever worked in sales or marketing, then you know that everything starts with lead generation. I was once told by a sales manager, that every time I closed out a lead, I should be back stocking it with eight more. In the world of sales, leads rule all.
There are no secrets to success in sales, and in fact, there are many different successful approaches to sales. With that said, there are certainly a group of behaviors that most successful salespeople have in common. The sales manager I referenced earlier, also introduced me to BAT. This is a methodology that breaks down salespeople into behaviors, attitude, and techniques.
He’d often say, “It’s your job to consistently bring the right attitude and behaviors, and it is my job to teach you the techniques.”
In my experience, it’s the behaviors that make the difference between succeeding and failing in sales. Behaviors are monitored and tracked through key performance indicators (KPI’s) on a daily basis. Most organizations have evaluated the activities you need to do to be successful and they are reflected in these KPI’s. What you will find though, it’s very easy to appear busy in sales without actually being productive.
A successful salesperson is very protective of their time as they know it’s an invaluable asset. Every behavior and action should be done with the end goal in mind.
Consider this example. Many sales organizations or departments track time on call for inside sales reps. More specifically, they will track the number of quality calls each person makes that day. Now, the specifics beyond this will vary, but the general principle is that if you are having a long talk it’s usually a good thing. Rejections typically come quickly.
The spirit of this is good, but it can be easily manipulated. You can call and find out that a prospect is not in the market currently. But maybe they indicate that they mar be in the market in the distant future. This prospect is in a talkative mood, so you oblige and milk the clock to hit that quality call. This call did nothing for your book of business, but you can check off a KPI.
Another action that can be manipulated so a salesperson looks busy is with lead generation. Despite its importance, some salespeople just want to look busy, so they just dump leads of any kind into their pipeline to keep their manager happy for the day. In fact, real quality lead generation takes time, and for this reason a lot of organizations are turning to lead generation services so their salespeople can just focus on selling.
Lead Generation Services is a booming industry and sales organizations are not hard pressed to find someone to partner with. Whether you are doing it in-house or using a service, your focus still needs to be on quality over quantity.
This is a major concern for companies and sales managers. How can you guarantee that the service you use will provide quality, vetted leads?
On the flip side of the coin, lead generation firms ask themselves how they can guarantee quality to their prospective clients. Sure, customer referrals and testimonials are a good place to start but that’s not enough to get many prospects across the finish line.
This is the answer to both of those questions. By invoicing clients only for valid leads and leaving it to their discretion which are qualified gives them the reassurance that they need. It puts the burden of quality on the lead generation firm and it gives some of the control back to the clients despite moving this process out of house.
This will make for a real accountable partnership which both sides will need to work hard to maintain. It allows the sales team to sell, and lead generation firm to generate leads, and mitigates the risk of losing quality in the process.
Lead generation is an extremely important part of making sales. Quality lead generation is what separates the great salespeople and sales teams from the average to below average. Busy work and empty actions are a death null in this industry. KPI’s are indicators of success, but as a salesperson, they should not be your focus. Your focus should be on generating quality leads, with a good chance to close, to help grow your book of business.