Create Energy In Your Sales Team Via New Opportunities – Part 1
In the upcoming series, we will be discussing how internal energy can be created through opportunities and how – when utilising a lead generation company – making a just few good sales out of the exercise enables you to recover your costs.
In the next article, we will focus on the absolute necessity of lead generation and how to rate the effectiveness of your process.
The tough, but rewarding road of generating sales leads!
Most salespeople are not fans of the thought of cold calling for leads – in fact, it’s probably not a stretch to generalise that most normal people would also break into a sweat at the thought of cold calling. For all the frogs that are kissed, which metaphorically turn into beautiful princesses (i.e. business), aching lips testify to the lack of success of 90% or more of the effort.
Lead generation requires a clinical approach based on a plan that involves time, discipline and clear direction. Most salespeople would rather be in the office waiting for something to happen than out following up lists of potential opportunities – where the fear of rejection is more often the case than actual rejection. Lead generation might be frustrating and wearing, but it is also very, very necessary to most businesses.
How complex is your product or service?
The more complex the business world that your products and services inhabit, the more difficult it is to produce a lead. CRM systems typically look at different gradations of leads from a contact, through to a lead as an opportunity etc. within their sales process methodology; this is where a software package is trying to be universal in its appeal and – before it can be useful to a business – needs to be tailored to suit the specific needs of that company.
As complexity of the realm you inhabit grows, so the need for a structured approach grows. The search for leads has to be handled as a full on project. All aspects of the project – namely the business objectives, clear definition and understanding of what constitutes a lead, motivation, target market, costs (including opportunity costs), management and timelines – must be documented and agreed.
It is due to this complexity that most businesses do not apply their efforts to the problem of lead generation sufficiently, and are thus hamstringing their sales team.
How good are you?
Spending time on lead generation, or using a professional organisation to assist or outsource the job, is vital. Hit rates are often discussed when trying to gauge a sales team’s effectiveness and it is often assumed that the more leads you have, the more opportunities will be created and, ultimately, the more business that will be generated.
It is not a difficult concept to understand and we know that the more we put into the exercise, the more we will get out. However, the motivation in most businesses is still lacking.
Tracking and measuring leads
It is a good process to track where the leads that turned into business originated from. As businesses grow and mature, the number of leads that come from reference sells should grow – depending on the product or service quality of course.
However, to break new ground and continue feeding the beast, you have to research new areas with the project approach touched on previously. That being said, historical metrics should not be ignored and should be used as the most efficient way to properly evaluate the effectiveness and value of leads generated.
You can also place a monetary value on lead conversion over time, which enables the business and/or sales leader to measure which approach – internal or external lead generation – works best for the business.
Although the process can be arduous, having a robust and focussed lead generation process in place for your company is vital to business growth.
If you are not one of the highly motivated, determined businesses – and let’s face it, rare organisations are that committed to generating all their own lead with the associated visible and invisible costs – then you should be in open contact and discussion with a professional lead generation company to assist you with that process.