We have to stop the nonsense of thinking a lead is a lead and start getting serious about the quality of the leads we get.
I see far too much time spent by not only sales but also marketing at the top of the sales funnel, doing nothing but gathering leads that don’t go anywhere.
Check out this 40-second video of me talking about this issue:
Our focus needs to shift from simply gathering leads to focusing on customer outcomes. I hate to break the news to some of you but a lead is useless unless it turns into a profitable customer.Too many sales organizations are somehow thinking if they just have enough leads, then customers will surely follow. Yes, spring always turns into summer, but I hate to say it leads don’t always turn into customers.
Too many sales organizations are somehow thinking if they just have enough leads, then customers will surely follow. Yes, spring always turns into summer, but I hate to say it, leads don’t always turn into customers.
We need to increase our focus on understanding the customer outcomes we provide our customers. I’m not talking benefits. I’m talking outcomes, which means getting to the core of how we are able to help the customer. When we understand what outcomes we provide to our customers, then we can begin to better understand the type of prospect we need to be going after.
This will hurt when I say it, but I’m all about throwing away 50% of the leads. Let’s not kid ourselves — there is zero chance they will become a customer. I can already hear you asking, “How do I know which 50% to throw away?”
The answer will emerge when you speed up the customer qualification process. Sadly, with pressure to keep pipelines full, salespeople are too timid to ask the tough question early in the dating process — excuse me — the prospecting process.
Don’t let yourself fall victim to the argument that you need to keep calling on them because “one day” they will buy from you. That argument will kill you because you will die from exhaustion.
I’m not saying to throw the lead out completely. No, they will still reside in your CRM, but don’t go spending your valuable time on them.
You can’t afford to spend your time on anything that does not create revenue!
Push your focus to understand the customer’s desired outcomes earlier in the prospecting process. If their outcomes aren’t in line with what you can deliver, don’t kid yourself — you’re not going to close them no matter how much you discount!
The sooner you and the prospect are in alignment on outcomes, the more confident you’ll be in being able to close the deal.
Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.
Mark Hunter, your next keynote speaker:
Mark Hunter, CSP, “The Sales Hunter” is recognized globally as one of the top sales speakers, known for his challenging insights, high-energy, and passion to create change that he delivers each time he speaks, whether it be a sales kick-off meeting, corporate function or association event. Mark Hunter is the author of the best selling book, High-Profit Prospecting. Here’s what others are saying:
Mark presented “Accelerate Your Sales Prospecting” at the February 2015 Institute for Excellence in Sales program in Northern Virginia. He nailed it and gave the 150 selling professionals and business owners in attendance amazing tips, strategies and tactics they could implement that day. The sales leaders at our program universally acknowledged Mark as one of the top speakers we’ve ever had.
- Fred Diamond, Executive Director, IES Washington DC
At our annual company sales meeting we’ ve never seen a speaker work so hard, with advance preparation, with such genuine style of delivery, and with such hunger for results. If you weren’t on the edge of your seat….you were in a coma. Period!
- Mark Allen, Regional Manager, Marlin Companies
Mark’s strategies are innovative, easy to follow and easy to use in the “real world.” He customized his strategies to directly speak to the issues and challenges facing our unique business, and he helped us encompass specific selling examples. This training was very applicable to our sales staff, both at a senior and junior level, as it reinforced important sales techniques.”
- Danielle Pakradooni, Blue Man Group
Copyright 2017, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.