Posted by Mike Scher
Mar 2, 2015 12:00:00 PM
I love talking to sales leaders about their lead development, inside sales and / or lead qualification processes. In our line of work, this happens quite often. Many times the team is struggling. They aren’t getting enough appointments and the connect rate to marketing leads for follow-up is 15%, 10% or even less.
Many times, these discussions are lead by the Sales VP, Head of Business Development or the Chief Strategist, inviting us in to observe the current state and behaviors of their team.
The Silent Sales Floor
First, we interview the manager to understand the process they hope the team is following. Next we interview a select group of reps and they describe their process. Then we observe actual behaviors.
Walking around the floor, we see a lot of people in front of their computer screens. After a while we ask them what they are doing. Invariably, the reply is (imagine my finger quotes) “research”. What the heck are these people doing? What are they looking for — what school they went to? How long they have been at the company?
Sales reps, and in particular, Business Development Reps can easily get mired in details. They tend to overthink the process. They troll places like LinkedIn and treat it as if it is a CIA secret and they are the only one who knows it exists.
I love and use LinkedIn too, but usually, anything more than 5 minutes is no longer “research”, its procrastination. If these reps would just pick up the damn phone, they would be surprised what would happen.
I am sure you know what your ideal prospect looks like. You probably even have a list of them. I am also confident that these prospects (while they may not know you) are likely to have the business problems your solution addresses. After all, that is why your company got into business in the first place and why other customers have bought from you.